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Wirra-Gallo deal ‘a turning point’

By Tuesday 15 August 2023No Comments

Wirra Wirra Vineyards in McLaren Vale has signed a new US distribution agreement with international wine giant E. & J. Gallo Winery in what is being heralded by Wine Australia as a “visionary” partnership.

E. & J. Gallo is the largest family-owned winery in the world, boasting a global portfolio of more than one hundred unique wine and spirits brands.

It is estimated that one in every five bottles purchased in the United States is sold by the California-based company.

Under the new agreement, Wirra Wirra Church Block Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz Merlot – Australia’s leading Cabernet blend over $20 – along with a 100 percent varietal Wirra Wirra McLaren Vale Cabernet Sauvignon, will soon be available in thousands of restaurant tables and stores across the US.

Wirra Wirra’s highly acclaimed The Holy Thirst Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz (96 points Vinous, US$120) and RSW Shiraz (93 points Vinous, US$60) will be allocated to the market.

Wirra Wirra CEO Matthew Deller MW says it is a huge opportunity for the Australian label.

“E. & J. Gallo Winery holds an unparalleled market share in the United States, and we couldn’t be happier to embark on our next chapter with them,” Deller says.

“It has been a challenging couple of years for the Australian wine industry, but this is an incredible opportunity to make a significant impact in the world’s largest and most attractive wine market.

“This is the perfect opportunity with the right partner at the right time.”

Steve Carlotti, senior vice president and general manager at E. & J. Gallo Winery, believes Wirra Wirra will have huge appeal to the American market.

“We are thrilled to partner with Wirra Wirra, one of the most well-known and well-respected names in Australian winemaking,” Carlotti says.

“Wirra Wirra consistently delivers elegant, classic wines at incredible value.

“We look forward to bringing this exciting new choice to American consumers.”

Aaron Ridgway, regional GM Americas for Wine Australia, says the partnership marks a “turning point for Australian wine in the US.”

“This strategic launch by E. & J. Gallo Winery in the Australian category is both visionary and well-timed,” Ridgway says.

“Their ability to create and define entire categories over many decades sends an extremely positive message about the viability of Australian wine in higher price segments.”

Recognised as a Red 5 Star James Halliday winery, Wirra Wirra has enjoyed widespread domestic success and its international profile has also been growing in recent years.

The 2019 Chook Block Shiraz was acknowledged internationally as one of 50 Best in Show wines judged from 18,500 wines at the 2023 Decanter World Wine Awards and the winery was awarded the 2021 Global Best of Wine Tourism Award by Great Wine Capitals.

First founded in 1894, family-owned Wirra Wirra is synonymous with McLaren Vale.

Winemaking is led by chief winemaker Emma Wood, and an all-female winemaking team.

Wirra Wirra has also demonstrated an enduring commitment to environmental responsibility.

The winery’s estate vineyards are 100 percent biodynamic and organic certified, while the winery is also Sustainable Winegrowing Australia certified.

Founded in 1933 by brothers Ernest and Julio Gallo, E. & J. Gallo Winery is a family-owned company and global wine and spirits industry leader.

The hallmark of E. & J. Gallo Winery is their lasting commitment to sustainability and quality, and consistently providing wine and spirits for every occasion.

Gallo’s range of offerings includes Apothic, Barefoot Wine, Black Box, J Vineyards & Winery, La Marca Prosecco, Orin Swift, New Amsterdam Vodka, RumChata, High Noon, along with partnerships with esteemed family-owned brands such as Allegrini, Argiano, The Dalmore, Don Fulano, and Gruppo Montenegro.



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