Washington Portfolio Drives Strong Growth For Precept Wine

Mark Harmann, SVP Sales

Copyright 2015 Shanken News Daily 9.22.15

Seattle-based Precept Wine is firing on all cylinders across its Northwest-focused portfolio, with four of its brands recently earning Impact “Hot Prospect” honors. One of Precept’s emerging stars is Radius, which hit 110,000 cases on 20% growth last year. Radius, a Total Wine & More exclusive offering, was launched in 2010. Retailing at $10.99 a bottle, the brand has been adept at attracting a broad range of consumers, due in part to its attractive price-value positioning, notes Precept senior vice president of sales Mark Harmann.

Two other Precept labels from Washington, Waterbrook ($10.99-$19.99) and Canoe Ridge ($15.99-$19.99) also earned Hot Prospects after showing strong double-digit growth. Waterbrook is focused on Columbia Valley varietals, while Canoe Ridge is led by wines from its Horse Heaven Hills estate vineyard. Both brands were up 25% last year, to 98,000 cases and 53,000 cases, respectively.

Meanwhile, Precept’s largest brand, Washington-made House Wine ($10 a 750-ml.), is benefiting from its recent foray into the three-liter box segment. House Wine Box ($18.99-$19.99) has been an impressive performer right out of the gate, rising from just 6,000 nine-liter cases in 2013 to nearly 100,000 cases last year, its first full year on the market. Harmann says House Wine Box has leveraged the core brand’s recognition and is now opening new horizons for the franchise. “People are recognizing box wine’s quality, fresh taste, packaging with relatively lower environmental impact and the convenience of portability for entertaining,” he says. The House Wine Box lineup is led by its Cabernet Sauvignon, and also includes a Chardonnay, Malbec, Merlot, Pinot Grigio, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc and red blend.

The success of Precept’s Washington wine stable comes as the overall Washington segment makes impressive progress in the U.S. According to IRI data, the category rose 9% to 2.8 million cases and 11% to $324 million in the calendar year-to-date through September 6. With total Washington volume up 15% to 900,000 cases in 2014, Precept could cross the 1-million-case mark on its Washington wines this year if current trends hold.

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