Premium SA wine region to enter all 50 US states

SA Gov

Two historic family-owned wineries have joined forces to roll out premium McLaren Vale wine across all 50 US states, elevating the South Australian wine region’s world-class reputation.

Iconic McLaren Vale winery, Wirra Wirra, has used a Government program to help secure an exclusive deal with the world’s largest family-owned wine company, leading US winery and distributor E. & J. Gallo Winery (Gallo).

Gallo will exclusively import Wirra Wirra’s premium Shiraz, Grenache and Cabernet Sauvignon wines through a new two-year deal, with the first year focused on increasing distribution in the US.

Under the agreement, Wirra Wirra’s products will be stocked on supermarket shelves and in restaurants nationally in the largest wine-consuming market in the world – promoting McLaren Vale as a premium wine region to a global audience.

Gallo will provide Wirra Wirra direct access to all 50 states across the US market, which has a highly regulated system for alcohol distribution and can prove challenging for South Australian wineries to navigate.

Wirra Wirra received support through the 2022-23 US Market Entry Program, with the State Government and Wine Australia co-funding the company’s participation.

The initiative matches local wineries with US buyers and retailers to build industry connections and help them secure orders and break into the US market. The US is the largest consumer of imported wines, highlighting growth opportunities.

In the last US Market Entry Program, South Australian producers received a combined $1.8 million in opening order sales.

The US is the second most valuable market for SA wine exports, reaching $164.5 million in the year ending June 2023, as the demand for premium wines above the lucrative USD$15-25 per bottle price range continues to grow.

Wirra Wirra joins a long list of Gallo – founded in 1933 by brothers Ernest and Julio Gallo – partnering with esteemed family-owned brands, such as Allegrini, Argiano, The Dalmore, Don Fulano, and Gruppo Montenegro.

The McLaren Vale winery – founded in 1894 – already exports to more than 20 countries around the world, including Canada, Singapore, England and Hong Kong.

As put by Nick Champion

This deal opens the door to one of our biggest wine markets and will make it easier for premium South Australian wine to appear on US shelves.

Wirra Wirra is a great example of a local winery taking advantage of Government support available to boost export opportunities – and I congratulate them on their success.

The partnership they have forged through the US Market Entry program will streamline distribution and cut through the different import controls and arrangements across the country.

The McLaren Vale region is world-class and this is another sign more US retailers are tapping into our State’s rich diversity and variety of wines.

As put by Leon Bignell

This is a significant achievement for the South Australian wine sector led by Matt Deller and his team at Wirra Wirra.

The presence of premium Australian wine on the shelves and wine lists of stores and restaurants in North America has shrunk dramatically in the past decade.

It will be terrific to have a flagship McLaren Vale label like Wirra Wirra across all 50 US states spreading the word and reminding Americans about the great quality of our region.

As put by Wirra Wirra CEO Matt Deller MW

As a family-owned winery with history dating back to 1894, Wirra Wirra is delighted to partner in the US with E. & J. Gallo Winery, another historic, family-owned wine company that we admire immensely.

Gallo are unparalleled brand builders in the US market who are uniquely positioned to bring Wirra Wirra’s great McLaren Vale wines to American consumers.

Since Wirra Wirra launched Church Block 50 years ago it has grown to be Australia’s favourite premium Cabernet Sauvignon blend, thanks to how it massively overdelivers value for money. We are excited to work with Gallo to see where they can take our generous, energetic, perfumed wines in the US.

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