New Company, Vintage Point - “Partners in Wine,” Serves Small, Luxury Wineries
March 8, 2006, Sonoma, Calif. – When the partners of Vintage Point began talking about starting a new wine company together, they knew they wanted to take a different approach. Ultimately, their experience and passion for the luxury wine market led them to launch Vintage Point – “Partners in Wine,” which announces its formation today. They’ve designed Vintage Point to specifically meet the sales, marketing and general management needs of small, luxury wineries, both in the U.S. and abroad. The two partners, David Biggar, Managing Director 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.
“Above all, we want to help small, independent boutique wineries get to market. The way wine is marketed and sold in the U.S. is changing so quickly, with consolidation happening in all parts of the business -- retail, wholesale and supplier. As a result, we see that these wineries are getting lost in the system,” said Biggar. “Vintage Point speaks to the needs of the luxury producers, embracing their individuality and the special niche they occupy in our industry. Our aim is to partner with these wineries so that their businesses remain viable, profitable and strong.”
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. The company specializes in channel management, employing luxury wine industry veterans that have strong, personal relationships with distributors, master sommeliers, restaurateurs and key retail accounts.
“Some wine marketers believe that wine is just a consumer product,” comments Peterson, who has been a winemaker for over 25 years. “Wine enriches our lives; it inspires conversation and gives us a special connection to people and to our experiences. This view is readily shared by passionate wine producers and embraced by restaurateurs, fine wine retailers and consumers who seek out unique and interesting wines. It is central to selling and marketing luxury wine, and it is central to Vintage Point’s philosophy and mission.”
Adds Biggar: “We’ve found that the most successful small brands are those that know how to manage their sales channels. We focus on the channels that understand luxury wines and that best serve our clients: the 10,000 restaurants and specialty luxury retail accounts in the U.S. Providing better access to these accounts is a true service to these wineries, and builds profit for the distributors whose margins are being squeezed by the large global drinks companies. Approximately 50% of wine revenues are generated by the ultra premium market in these accounts.
“In addition to its national sales network, Vintage Point offers marketing services that include package design, merchandising and advertising development, forecasting/planning and website development. The company also offers general management services including warehousing, wine sourcing, legal compliance, financial management and new product development to its domestic and import wine clients.”
Vintage Point’s founders are seasoned wine industry executives with experience in all aspects of the wine business. Biggar, a 20-year veteran of the premium wine business with vast experience in sales and marketing for domestic and imported wines, was VP National Sales Manager for Beringer Blass Wine Estates’ Luxury Wine Division from 2000 to 2003. Most recently Biggar was VP, General Manager, Marketing California Brands for Foster’s Wine Estates.
Peterson is a well-known wine business leader and winemaker with over 25 years experience in wine production and winery management. With international experience in the wine and cooperage industries in the U.S., Europe, South Africa, Chile, New Zealand and Australia, Peterson held the position of SVP, General Manager for Beringer Blass’ Luxury Wine Division, followed by a position as SVP, Chief Production Officer. With a graduate degree in viticulture and enology from U.C. Davis, Peterson began his career at Beringer as Chateau Souverain’s Winemaker and Director of Operations.