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Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, Marchesi Antinori renew partnership

The third-largest premium wine company in the U.S. and the first family of Italian fine quality wine have renewed their exclusive distribution agreement for five years
by Press Release
May 24, 2019

Woodinville, Wash.—Ste. Michelle Wine Estates and Marchesi Antinori have renewed their exclusive distribution agreement.

The agreement was signed yesterday afternoon during the Ste. Michelle Wine Estates Global Leadership Summit, a gathering of Ste. Michelle’s sales personnel taking place near the company’s headquarters.

“We are honored to renew our partnership with the Antinori family,” said Jim Mortensen, President and Chief Executive Officer for Ste. Michelle. “We consider them friends as well as partners, and we look forward to continuing our relationship for years to come.”

“The Marchesi Antinori portfolio is an important part of our business,” said Dan Werth, Chief Operating Officer for Ste. Michelle. “Our organization has a deep understanding of and appreciation for the family and their wines, and we are proud to represent them both in the world’s most important wine market.”

“We are very happy about the renewal of this partnership with Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, said Renzo Cotarella, CEO and Chief Enologist for Marchesi Antinori. “We have a lot of confidence in our long-lasting relationship and we have great expectations for what’s to come.”

Ste. Michelle and Marchesi Antinori first partnered to establish Col Solare – an estate winery producing exceptional Cabernet Sauvignon on Red Mountain in Washington State – in 1995. Ste. Michelle then became the exclusive U.S. importer of the Marchesi Antinori portfolio in 2006. In 2007 Ste. Michelle and Marchesi Antinori again partnered to acquire the legendary Napa Valley estate Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, which famously catapulted American wine to international prominence by besting the top Bordeaux chateaux in the Judgment of Paris in 1976.

The new five-year distribution agreement is effective January 1, 2020.

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 renowned Marchesi Antinori wines of Italy and Chile’s Haras de Pirque wines, for Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte of France in 2009, and for New Zealand’s Villa Maria Estate in 2010. For more information, please visit

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