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Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, Torres Announce Changes to U.S. Business

Familia Torres to establish its own import business in the U.S. market, Ste. Michelle and Torres to continue international business together
by Press Release
April 26, 2019

Woodinville, Wash. (April 26, 2019)—Ste. Michelle Wine Estates and Familia Torres have mutually agreed to wind down their U.S. business together.

Torres will establish their own import business to represent their portfolio of Spanish and Chilean wines and spirits in the U.S. market, with the transition expected to be complete by May 31, 2019.

Ste. Michelle and Torres will continue to do business together in several international markets. Torres will continue to represent the Ste. Michelle portfolio in China and Brazil, and Ste. Michelle will continue to represent the Torres portfolio with international cruise line and duty free customers.

“We are proud to have represented the Torres portfolio in the U.S., and proud of our work together to advance the Torres brand in the world’s most important wine market,” said Jim Mortensen, President and CEO of Ste. Michelle Wine Estates. “We wish the Torres family continued success in the U.S. market, and we look forward to continuing our relationship internationally.”

“I would like to extend a special thank you to the entire Ste. Michelle team for their great efforts, professionalism and brand building during these years of cooperation – now that we are starting a new phase in the U.S. market – and I am also looking forward to continue our relationship representing Ste. Michelle beyond the U.S.,” said Miguel Torres Maczassek, General Manager of Familia Torres.

Ste. Michelle began importing the Torres portfolio in 2014. They continue to be the exclusive importer for Marchesi Antinori of Italy, Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte of France, and Villa Maria of New Zealand.

About Ste. Michelle Wine Estates

Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, located outside of Seattle, Washington, has a distinguished history that dates back to 1934. The company pioneered vinifera grape growing in Washington State while wines under the Ste. Michelle label were first introduced in 1967. Today, SMWE owns more than 3,900 vineyard acres across Washington, Oregon and California with key sites certified with the LIVE, Salmon Safe or Napa Green designations. SMWE’s ‘String of Pearls’ wine portfolio represents owned or imported brands, all demonstrating the producers’ unwavering commitment to creating distinctive, high quality wines from authentic estate vineyards. Chateau Ste. Michelle, its cornerstone winery, enjoys winemaking partnerships with some of the world’s most distinguished vintners. Col Solare is an alliance with Tuscany’s Piero Antinori, Eroica Riesling is a partnership with the Mosel’s Ernst Loosen and Tenet is a collaboration with Michel Gassier and Philippe Cambie of France. SMWE’s charitable giving program, which supports some 400 non-profit organizations annually, has provided more than $3 million for scholarships for high-achieving, low-income students at Washington universities. The company also was the principal fundraiser for Washington State University’s viticulture and enology institution, the Ste. Michelle Wine Estates Wine Science Center.

Ste. Michelle’s Washington portfolio includes: Chateau Ste. Michelle, Columbia Crest, 14 Hands, Col Solare, Northstar, Spring Valley Vineyard, MERF, INTRINSIC, Seven Falls and Michelle sparkling wines. In California, the company owns Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars (with Italy’s Antinori family), Conn Creek (Napa Valley) and Patz & Hall (Sonoma). Ste. Michelle also owns Erath Winery, 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, and for New Zealand’s Villa Maria Estate in 2010.

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