Exclusive: Precept Teams With Whole Foods On Canned Wine, Bets Big On Oregon

by Shanken News Daily

Seattle-based Precept Wine is ramping up innovation efforts with the launch of West Side Wine Co., a new premium canned wine brand. Developed by Precept’s private label innovation division Grape & Grain, West Side Wine Co. features California Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay offerings packaged in 250-ml. cans. Off-premise, the range is debuting exclusively at Whole Foods nationwide, retailing at $14.99 a four-pack. Additionally, West Side will be offered at select airport restaurants operated by travel food and beverage group HMSHost.

West Side joins a Precept portfolio that includes core brands Waterbrook, Canoe Ridge, House Wine, Gruet and Browne Family—all of which have been enjoying solid sales gains. According to Impact Databank, House Wine’s volume rose 4% to 175,000 cases last year, while Waterbrook grew 10% to 108,000 cases and Canoe Ridge surged 37% to 75,000 cases. Precept will bolster House Wine’s bag-in-box range ($19-$20 a 3-liter) with a new Dark Cabernet this August, and extend Canoe Ridge’s Expedition tier with a Washington state Malbec ($15 a 750-ml.) in September.

Other Precept offerings include Pendulum, a Washington red blend ($15-$17 a 750-ml.), and Primarius, an Oregon label led by Pinot Noir and retailing at around $16-$17. “I see a lot of opportunity for us in the premium side of the Oregon business,” said Precept chief marketing officer Alexandra Evans. “We’ve been planting aggressively in Oregon. We’re now one of the largest Pinot Noir producers in the state.”

Precept also is investing heavily in new Oregon brand Battle Creek Cellars, whose sole label—Unconditional Pinot Noir—is priced at around $18 a 750-ml. This summer, the company will extend Battle Creek with a Reserve Pinot Noir ($25 a 750-ml.). Next year it will move further up the ladder with a vineyard-designate wine.

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