U.S. wine exports decline over the last 12 months

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Fetzer’s hires lead for fine wine division

Fetzer Vineyards of Hopland has hired Stephanie Peachey to develop and lead the winery’s fine wine division.

Peachey will oversee brands such as Sanctuary, The Elysian Collection by Bonterra Organic Vineyards, the Fringe Collective and the estate Biodynamic vineyard line from Bonterra. She also will be in charge of the fine wine portfolio of its parent company, Viña Concha y Toro, headquartered in Chile.

“We saw the need for a Fine Wine Division following our expansion in South American imports in 2018, and also to address the growing interest among U.S. trade and consumers in the premium and luxury segments of the market,” Giancarlo Bianchetti, CEO of Fezter said in a statement.

She previously served as vice president for brand strategy at Kosta Browne winery in Sebastopol and also was vice president of direct-to-consumer sales at Vintage Wine Estates.

Vintage Wine Estates buys wine brand

Vintage Wine Estates of Santa Rosa has acquired Alloy Wine Works, a Paso Robles producer of fine wine packaged in cans.

Alloy was created by winemaker Andrew Jones under his Field Recording portfolio and was one of the first innovators in canned wine products.

“Simply put, we were so impressed by Andrew’s vision of providing high quality wines in alternative packaging that we felt the brand aligned perfectly with our commitment to vertical integration and innovation, of always being focused on wine quality and the consumer experience,” Pat Roney, CEO of Vintage Wine Estates, said in a statement.

Alloy has recruited Josh Phelps, founder and winemaker of Grounded Wine Co., as part of the new team.

Wine exports decline over past 12 months

U.S. wine exports have declined over the last year through December by 12 percent in volume and 5 percent in value, according to a recent report by bw166, a wine industry consulting group.

Almost 35 percent of the packaged U.S. wine by value went to Canada.

The U.S. bulk wine market — wine shipped in containers to be later repackaged— was different as exports in that sector grew by 12 percent in volume and 10 percent in value. Fifty-six percent of that bulk wine was exported to the United Kingdom.

Imported packaged wine remained flat over that same time period, but grew by 6 percent in value. About a third of all imported packaged wine came from Italy.

Compiled by Bill Swindell. Submit items to

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