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June 2012 Data Released on 07.13.201219 of Top 20 Luxury Brands From CaliforniaNineteen of the top 20 luxury-priced brands sold off-premise come from California. The only one that isn't domestic comes from Italy, and it holds the No. 1 spot. Santa Margherita is by far the biggest selling wine brand in the $20-plus category sold at major U.S. food and drug stores whose sales are monitored by the Symphony IRI Group (SIG), a Chicago-based market research firm.
Off-Premise Sales » Month 12 Months June 2011 $342 million 7% $4,507 million 7% June 2012 $367 million $4,836 million
Well known for its luxury-priced Pinot Grigio, Santa Margherita tallied sales in the 52 weeks ending June 10 that more than doubled those of its nearest competitor, Sonoma Cutrer.
With Napa-based Rombauer in third place, the top three brands hold the same slots as the last time Wines & Vines reviewed this top 20 segment. (See “Highest Priced Wines Grow Fastest” in the October 2010 issue.) New at No. 4 is Duckhorn’s Decoy brand, and Stags’ Leap Winery bounded past Charles Krug to take the No. 5 spot.
Belle Glos (including sister label Meiomi) from the Wagner family of Napa Valley grew faster than all other top 20 brands, showing a 175% increase in dollars and $3.1 million in 52-week sales. “They’re the hottest thing out there for Pinot Noir,” said Curtis Mann, director of client insights at SIG. Two other Wagner brands, Caymus and Conundrum, also made the list, for a total of $10.9 million.
Caymus was possibly the first blue-chip Napa Valley Cabernet brand to reduce prices during the recession, but now its price has gone up by $10 per bottle during the past year. Besides Decoy and Belle Glos, the other brands new to the top 20 are Francis Ford Coppola Director’s Cut, Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars and Justin. California brands Cakebread, Newton, Trefethen and Beaulieu dropped off the list, along with Ruffino Riserva from Italy. Domestic table wine at all price points continued to grow at 7% in dollars during the most recent four weeks as well as during the past 52 weeks.