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Wine Group and Grands Chais de France form strategic alliance

Published:  23 July, 2008

The Wine Group (TWG) and Les Grands Chais de France (GCF), the world's third- and fourth-largest wine producers, have formed a global strategic alliance' to cover the US and Europe.

TWG will distribute GCF brands including the world's number-one French brand JP Chenet, La Baume and Kiwi Cuvee in the US, while GCF will look after TWG brands such as Franzia, which claims to be the world's number-one wine brand, and Gray Fox, Fish Eye and Concannon, throughout Europe.

The alliance covers all trading channels: multiple grocers, specialists and the food service sector. The combined portfolio makes it the world's second largest, accounting for more than 60 million nine-litre cases. The agreement does not affect Golden State Vintners, a wholly owned but separate division of TWG, specialising in bulk wine.

David Kent, TWG chief executive, is quoted as saying: The rapid pace of consolidation in the wine industry requires ever-greater scale and efficiency to address the needs of our customers and their consumers. Together we can expand our respective brand portfolios into new and exciting markets.'

The Wine Group is a San Francisco-based management owned company, while Alsace-based Les Grands Chais de France was founded in 1979 by managing director and present-day CEO Joseph Helfrich.