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Don Sebastiani & Sons Reaches Two Million Case Milestone; Will Reposition Company to Focus on Up-Market Brands

January 16, 2008
One of the nation's fastest-growing wine companies, Don Sebastiani & Sons, today reported sales in 2007 reached two million cases, reflecting a doubling of the company's sales since it reached the one million case milestone in 2004. The company also announced that it will begin a strategic brand repositioning program in 2008, with a gradual and steady move up-market.

"Our goals are to deploy our assets as best possible, attain a more sustainable level of long-term growth and start a gradual, steady and continual move up-market," Don Sebastiani said.

The company will create several new sales positions in its The Other Guys division, which grew by 200% in 2007 and is expected to repeat or exceed that performance in 2008. It also will increase prices on several labels within its Three Loose Screws division in order to support the company's efforts to pursue the finest fruit sources and wines in each sales category. Finally, the company has announced plans to introduce a series of higher-priced, appellation-specific, limited release wines.

According to Sebastiani, the Three Loose Screws division, which includes the company's flagship labels -- Pepperwood Grove and Smoking Loon -- will exchange rapid growth for better margins for all the company's business partners. "As a result, we expect sales of the brands in this portfolio will level off somewhat as we reposition these wines at higher price points," Sebastiani said.

Meanwhile, The Other Guys division, which markets smaller-production labels such as Hey Mambo and Plungerhead, will continue its explosive growth as the company expands its production of wines from the Russian River Valley, Dry Creek Valley, Napa Valley and Sonoma Coast appellations, making varietal wines best suited to those growing regions -- Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay, among others. The company will also seek more placements on upscale urban restaurant wine lists and in higher-end boutique retail wine establishments. The average price points for the wines will be in the $15-$50 range.

Today's announcements also lay to rest a rumor that the company might be selling one or more of its labels. "We're enthusiastic about the future of our portfolios," commented Sebastiani.

Don Sebastiani & Sons is a family-owned wine negociant firm specializing in the marketing of upscale, but moderately priced varietal wines. Principals Don Sebastiani and sons, Donny and August, are third and fourth generation California vintners and merchants. The company is headquartered in Sonoma Valley and has a winery in the Napa Valley. Don Sebastiani& Sons' fast-growing The Other Guys portfolio is currently expanding at an annual growth rate of 200%: the more established Three Loose Screws portfolio includes Impact Hot Brands Smoking Loon and Pepperwood Grove.

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