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SND: Italy’s Frescobaldi Parts With Its Longtime Importer

The historic Tuscan wine producer partners with Shaw-Ross and Vintus
Photo by: Ross Karre
Lamberto Frescobaldi (left) and Michael Mondavi have worked together for years.

Daniel Marsteller
Posted: August 30, 2017

After a two-decade partnership with the Mondavi family, Italy’s Frescobaldi is shaking up its U.S. route to market, splitting its portfolio and aligning with two new importers: Shaw-Ross International and Vintus Wines.

As reported by Shanken News Daily today, Florida-based Shaw-Ross will take on U.S. import rights for the Frescobaldi and Danzante brands, which combine for about 150,000 cases in the market, beginning Jan. 1, 2018. New York–based Vintus Wines will become the U.S. importer for the Ornellaia, Masseto, Luce della Vite and Attems labels, which account for about 35,000 cases and skew heavily toward the prestige segment of the Italian category. Folio Fine Wine Partners, the import and winery house founded by Michael Mondavi, currently handles all of the wines in the U.S.

Mondavi is also a partner in the Ornellaia, CastelGiocondo and Luce della Vite brands, and Frescobaldi reports that Mondavi plans to sell his stake to Frescobaldi before the end of the year.

In an exclusive interview with SND, Frescobaldi president Lamberto Frescobaldi thanked Michael Mondavi and his team for their efforts on the portfolio over the years, and said the main reason for the move was to divide his company’s vast portfolio to ensure that each winery is getting proper focus.

“We have somewhat of a weird portfolio in that we don’t have one pyramid—we have a number of different pyramids. Each of them has something unique to offer, and they each need focus to grow to the next level,” said Frescobaldi. “We believe we can grow our U.S. business by 10 percent to 15 percent annually in the years ahead.”

With Ornellaia, Masseto, Luce della Vite and Attems, Vintus gains some of the most prestigious names in Italian wine. All of the above have been featured among Wine Spectator's annual Top 100 Wines of the Year, and routinely garner scores of 90 points or higher. For more on how this deal will impact American fans of Italian wine, visit Shanken News Daily.

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