November 13, 2006, Sonoma, Calif. – The strategy of targeting small, luxury wineries with sales, marketing and general management needs is proving successful for Sonoma-based Vintage Point – “Partners in Wine,” which today announced it has just signed agreements with two prestigious producers, Napa Valley’s Mason Cellars and its sister label Pomelo, and Sonoma’s Hidden Ridge Vineyard. Mason and Hidden Ridge join a portfolio of Vintage Point clients that includes Jayson Woodbridge’s Hundred Acre, Gold and Pure Love Wines, Luna Vineyards, Arnold Palmer Wines, and Joseph Carr Vineyards. Formed in March 2006, Vintage Point offers a full range of winery services and a national sales and marketing team that specializes in placing luxury wines in the optimal retail and restaurant outlets.
“One of the biggest issues facing small, luxury wine producers today, even well-established brands like Mason Cellars or hot new producers like Hidden Ridge, is getting their wines into the right restaurant and retail accounts,” says President David Biggar, who spent over 20 years in premium wine sales and marketing before forming Vintage Point earlier this year. “Having an optimum channel mix is key to building a brand, but for small wineries with limited resources, it’s hard to even know where the wines are being sold. Vintage Point’s access to TradePulse® sales and depletion data, our broad sales coverage in the marketplace and our years of experience enables us to act quickly and strategically, ensuring our clients’ wines are being sold in the right outlets.”
Best known for its signature, multi-award winning Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc, Mason Cellars was established in 1993 by longtime winemaker and vineyard manager Randy Mason and his wife Megan. Wine Spectator’s Jim Laube has called Mason “one of the best Sauvignon Blanc producers in California.” A sister wine, Pomelo, a Sauvignon Blanc from Lake County, was introduced by Mason in 2004 and named a “Best Value” by Wine & Spirits magazine the same year.
Hidden Ridge Vineyard is a spectacular site with steep vertical slopes situated on the Westside of Spring Mountain, near Pride Mountain Winery and Paloma Vineyards. Made by rising superstar winemaker Marco DiGiulio, the wine’s debut vintage of its 100% Cabernet Sauvignon was 2003. Calling the wine “absolutely hedonistic,” luxury wine merchant Bounty Hunter said Hidden Ridge “is making an immediate run at the top of the Sonoma food chain” and advised its customers to “keep an eye on these guys.”
“Mason Cellars and Hidden Ridge each have unique, compelling stories: one as a specialist who virtually reshaped the Sauvignon Blanc category: the other with a site reminiscent of vineyards in the Alto Douro region of Portugal and a “rock star” winemaker known for making some of Napa Valley’s most renowned Cabernets,” comments Tom Peterson, Vintage Point Director of Operations. “It’s our job to communicate these stories to the key decision makers in the marketplace and to help our clients build their brands. It’s a one-on-one, not a one-size-fits-all effort, and our company, with its national sales representation, access to sales data and longstanding industry relationships, is uniquely positioned to do it.”
Vintage Point serves the business needs of its small winery customers through a national sales network designed to help them navigate through the complex and consolidating U.S. distribution system, increase or improve sales, and stand out from competitors. Vintage Point specializes in channel management, employing luxury wine industry veterans that have strong, personal relationships with distributors, master sommeliers, restaurateurs and key retail accounts. The company also offers marketing and general management services to its domestic and import wine clients. The two partners, David Biggar, President and Tom Peterson, Director of Operations, emphasize that “Partners in Wine” signifies not only their own partnership, but the many partnerships they have formed with the luxury wine trade.