Cecchetti Wine Company & Racke USA Form New Global Wine Company

SONOMA, CA Ñü January 21, 2009 ‘€“ Roy Cecchetti of Cecchetti Wine Company and Marian Kopp of Racke USA have announced the merger of their two wine companies. The new company will combine all elements of their current operations into a single entity, Cecchetti Racke, with projected annual sales of $8.4 million and a total of approximately 140,000 cases of wine in 2009. In the next several weeks, Cecchetti Racke will be reviewing their current distribution network in all markets across the United States with an eye to maximizing the company’€™s portfolio of wines.

‘€œWe expect that this will have a very positive impact for us in the market,’€ says Roy Cecchetti, co-president of the new company. ‘€œWe are currently meeting with all of our distributors to make sure that this project builds on the relationships both companies have established throughout the US. The strength of Racke, which began many years ago in California with the Buena Vista project, also adds a great power to the equation. They have more than 150 years of experience in the wine business, millions of cases sold internationally, including 1.6 million cases of Golden Kaan in the short period of only five years since its launch. With the personal involvement of Marcus Moller-Racke, we have taken a big step forward on the world stage.’€

‘€œIt is an ideal partnership,’€ says Marian Kopp, co-president international sales and marketing for Cecchetti Racke and President of the Golden Kaan Brand. ‘€œWe both provide real American expertise in the market and we combine that with Racke International’€™s marketing savvy and sophistication. And when we look at our brands, we offer a focused domestic and import portfolio covering key price segments that are critical to success in the market today. We are small enough to provide outstanding service, while big enough to bring the world of wine to our portfolio in the USA.’€

‘€œOur mission is to become a leading premium brand owner and importer of trusted quality wines from high profile and up and coming wine growing regions around the world,’€ says Cecchetti. ‘€œWe are proven global Brand Builders providing maximum profitability to our trade partners. We bring global winemaking expertise and resources and focus those resources on what the US market demands: a fruit forward wine style, consistent and excellent quality for value.’€

‘€œRoy is an ideal partner for us,’€ says Kopp. ‘€œHe really knows the US market, and has a great track record with his brands. He is the architect behind the Pepperwood Grove brand, which was an Impact Magazine ‘€œHot Brand of the Year’€ for three years. And he was honored as a Finalist in the Ernst & Young ‘€œEntrepreneur of the Year’€ awards in 2000 and 2001. He is dynamic, smart, and has a real passion for wine.’€

The brands in the new company include Line 39 from Lake County, Golden Kaan from South Africa (a joint venture between KWV and Racke), Espiritu de Chile, Espiritu de Argentina (joint ventures between Aresti and Racke), Vitae from Italy (joint venture Racke and Torrevento), and Redtree, a line of award-winning value wines with a California appellation. Each of the imported wines is supported by Racke and its respective joint venture partner of each individual brand and is based on its unique ‘€˜soft consolidation’€™ model, with a strong local partner in the country of origin, and the international sales and marketing support of the World Wine Alliance network, driven by the global venture partners. This will now be augmented as a partnership incorporating all Brands that were created by the Racke Group with the respective joint-venture partners in its global wine brands with Cecchetti’€™s larger sales force in the US market.

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