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Ste. Michelle Wine Estates Appoints Berkmann Wine Cellars as Exclusive UK Importer for Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars

September 20 2012

Ste. Michelle Wine Estates has appointed Berkmann Wine Cellars as the exclusive UK importer for the wines of Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, the iconic Napa Valley producer. This change aligns Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars with its sister winery Chateau Ste. Michelle and its joint-venture partner Marchesi Antinori, which are also imported by Berkmann Wine Cellars.

Washington’s Chateau Ste. Michelle and Col Solare and Italy’s Marchesi Antinori have been working with Berkmann Wine Cellars for many years. Ste. Michelle Wine Estates and Antinori have been involved in a strategic alliance since 2006 with Ste. Michelle Wine Estates serving as its U.S. Importer and in a joint-venture with Col Solare on Washington’s Red Mountain. In 2007, Ste. Michelle Wine Estates and Antinori created another joint-venture to purchase Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars. Consolidating the portfolio of these fine wine brands makes strategic business sense.

“The decision to consolidate our distribution with Berkmann Wine Cellars is another step in the evolution of our strategic alliance with Marchesi Antinori, “said Ted Baseler, President and CEO of Ste. Michelle Wine Estates. “We are very appreciative of The Wine Treasury for representing Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars with great passion over the years and we look forward to working with Berkmann to expand our reach throughout the United Kingdom.”

Marchese Piero Antinori is happy with the decision as well. “Berkmann has been distributing our wines in the UK for many years and we have been very pleased by the results,” he said. “Having Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars with the same importer as the rest of our portfolio is very important to us.”

Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars has just released the 2009 vintage of its Estate-Grown Cabernet Sauvignons – FAY, S.L.V. and CASK 23 – at the winery. The 2009 vintage represent the finest wines crafted to date under the historic partnership between Ste. Michelle Wine Estates and the Antinori Family. These wines proudly display a new decorative seal proclaiming “Estate Winner – Paris Tasting 1976” as a way to authenticate the winery’s role in the history of Napa Valley. These wines will be arriving in the U.K. for a launch in early November. The 2009 vintage wines demonstrate the enhanced fruit character along with the balance, elegance and restraint that have made Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars wines some of the most highly regarded and collected worldwide.

"The wines of Northern California are a personal passion and an increasing focus for our company,” said Alex Hunt MW, Purchasing Director of Berkmann Wine Cellars. “Stag's Leap Wine Cellars is a thrilling addition and a perfect match for our portfolio, joining Saintsbury and Joseph Phelps to form a trio of bona fide Napa pioneers. Iconic producers like Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars continue to demonstrate, year after year, California's ability to produce beautifully balanced, terroir-driven wines of substance, poise and pedigree. And, given the way the fine wine market has moved in recent years, the wines represent excellent value as well.”

Since acquiring Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars in 2007, the Antinori family of Tuscany and Ste. Michelle Wine Estates of Washington have focused on preserving the legacy of Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars while setting the bar even higher for the next 35+ years. Investments have been made at the facility and in the vineyards to ensure that Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars remains one of America’s benchmark producers.

©2012 Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, Napa, CA 94558