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Columbia Crest and 14 Hands Named Impact Magazine's "Hot Brands" for 2016

by Press Release
March 14, 2017

March 14, 2017 - Two Ste. Michelle Wine Estates brands, Columbia Crest and 14 Hands Winery, were named “Impact Hot Brands” for 2016 in the March 1 & 15, 2017 issue of Impact magazine. 14 Hands was named a Hot Brand for the ninth consecutive year and Columbia Crest received its first since 1994 making it its seventh award as well.

In total, 19 domestic wine brands earned Hot Brands honors for 2016. This year’s Hot Brands features a lengthy list of returning brands as well as promising upstarts.

To earn Hot Brand status, wines must have achieved double-digit growth in each of the past three years, or they must be established brands with at least 15% growth, or top-10 volume leaders with at least 5% growth in 2016 and at least 15% growth since 2015. Significant new products also can qualify. The minimum volume requirement is 250,000 cases.

“The success of Ste. Michelle Wine Estates’ 14 Hands and Columbia Crest brands demonstrates Washington State’s rising profile.” states the magazine.

Ste. Michelle Wine Estates President and CEO Ted Baseler was quoted in the magazine saying, “With Columbia Crest, we’re getting tremendous growth from the Horse Heaven Hills range, or what we’re calling the H3 tier. With 14 Hands, we have a new red blend called Stampede, which has seen great success.”

Columbia Crest’s Recent Growth

The now world-renowned brand, Columbia Crest is one of the most significant wineries in the U.S. and a major force behind Washington State’s emergence as a world class wine region.

Year after year, the winery maintains its commitment to quality, heritage and innovation in grape growing and winemaking to craft wines that meet the highest expectations.

Several milestones in recent years have attributed to Columbia Crest’s growth. The Columbia Crest Grand Estates label underwent a dramatic change that has led to steady growth for the tier and particularly for the brand’s flagship varietal of Cabernet. Additionally, Columbia Crest added Sauvignon Blanc, sourced exclusively from the famed Horse Heaven Hills appellation, to its popular H3 tier of wines to help meet consumer demand.

14 Hands Reaches Important Milestone

14 Hands Winery reached an important milestone in 2016 ? exceeding 2 million cases shipped for the first time since the brand’s inception just 12 years ago. The success comes on the heels of several recent product milestones, including the national launch of the 14 Hands Brut , 14 Hands Brut Rosé and the 14 Hands Stampede Red Wine Blend from the Columbia Valley AVA.

14 Hands is Washington’s second-largest winery and among the top 10 premium U.S. wine brands sold nationwide. The 14 Hands “Hot To Trot” Red Wine Blend, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Chardonnay are all top 5 best-sellers within their respective premium varietal categories according to recent Nielsen[1] data.

About Columbia Crest

Founded in 1983, Columbia Crest has grown from a small winery in a relatively unknown wine region to one of the most significant wineries in the U.S. and a major force behind Washington State’s emergence as a world-class wine region. In 2009, Wine Spectator magazine named the Columbia Crest 2005 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon the No. 1 Wine in the World on its Top 100 list, the first time a wine from Washington State has received the ranking. More information about the winery can be found at Columbiacrest.com.

About 14 Hands Winery

14 Hands wines are inspired by the spirit of the wild horses that once roamed the arid landscape of eastern Washington. It was here that these special horses C measuring a scant "14 hands" tall C developed their legendary endurance, strength, and tenacious spirit. Like these wild horses, the vineyards struggle in the same harsh conditions of eastern Washington. It is their ability to thrive in this environment that produces the world-class quality fruit that goes into each bottle of 14 Hands. Learn more at 14hands.com.

About Ste. Michelle Wine Estates

Ste. Michelle Wine Estates is the third-largest premium wine company in the U.S. The company, located outside of Seattle, Wash., has a distinguished history that dates back more than 80 years to 1934. Wines under the Ste. Michelle label were first introduced in 1967, and since that time the company has expanded its vineyard holdings to more than 3,900 acres in Washington, Oregon and California. Today its ‘String of Pearls’ wine portfolio represents owned or imported brands that demonstrate the producers’ unwavering commitment to creating distinctive, high-quality wines from authentic estate vineyards.

Ste. Michelle’s Washington portfolio includes Chateau Ste. Michelle, Columbia Crest, 14 Hands, Northstar, Col Solare (in partnership with Italy’s Antinori family), Spring Valley Vineyard, Michelle sparkling wines, Red Diamond and Snoqualmie. In California, the company owns Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars (also with Italy’s Antinori family), Conn Creek and Villa Mt. Eden (Napa Valley), and Patz & Hall (Sonoma). Ste. Michelle also owns Erath, in Dundee, Oregon. The company became the exclusive U.S. importer in 2006 for the acclaimed Marchesi Antinori wine portfolio of Italy and Chile’s Haras wines, for Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte of France in 2009, for New Zealand’s Villa Maria Estate in 2010, for Spain Chile’s Bodegas Torres in 2014.


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