Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits (Southern Glazer’s), the largest North American wine and spirits distribution company, today announced the enhancement of its specialized efforts by adding 80 new fine wine experts to its already existing field teams of nearly 600.
In addition, new fine wine companies are being added to Washington, Oregon, Illinois, Colorado and Florida.
These new additions will continue to grow under the direction of Mel Dick, senior vice president of Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits and president of the company’s wine division, and Steve Slater, executive vice president and general manager of the company’s corporate wine division.
The expansion is part of a “focused effort to continue to grow and invest in this important and specialized segment of the wine industry,” the company says in a press release. As a family-owned and operated company, Southern Glazer’s has been long term partners with many family-owned wineries. The vision of the fine wine team is to “ensure a long-term and bright future that benefits both the Company’s producer partners and consumers.”
“Wine sales volumes in the U.S. continue to grow at the same time we see that consumers are more willing than ever to explore wines at a higher price point,” says Dick. “This is why fine wine has become an even more important part of our overall wine strategy and why we’ll continue to invest in this important growth segment.”
“Our Fine Wine Divisions provide Southern Glazer’s with unsurpassed resourcing, capabilities and expertise,” adds Slater. “In addition to our significantly expanded and highly-specialized team, our specialty wine houses provide a tighter focus on luxury brands that require increased attention by virtue of their premium positioning in today’s market.”
As added support for this effort, the company created a new organizational structure with a dedicated team to manage relationships with key suppliers, as well as track and monitor insights and performance. The divisions are also supported by Southern Glazer’s recently-announced, new national wine education team, which the company calls the first of its kind in the industry.
The education team, which includes 15 master sommeliers, is made up of the industry experts who hold certifications including Master Sommelier (MS), Master of Wine (MW), or Certified Wine Educator (CWE). They are led by Eric Hemer, MS, MW, CWE and senior vice president and corporate director of wine education for Southern Glazer’s.
The education team will work hand-in-hand with the company’s expanded fine wine field teams.
Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits has operations in 44 U.S. states and the District of Columbia, Canada, and the Caribbean, and employs more than 20,000 people.