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Disappearing Wine Brands


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I'm doing a Post column on New World rosé. Okay, Okay, I know, but there are a few good ones out there. One I wanted to include was Beckmen Vineyards Purisma Vineyard Grenache Rosé 2008, which I thought was quite nice. So I called the winery and asked who carries it in this market. (This is sometimes an issue with samples.) The winery marketing director told me it was distributed by The Country Vintner. So I contacted TCV, which told me they've dropped Beckmen in an effort to pare down their portfolio. Country Vintner in recent years bought out The Wine Source, a major local distributor, when it went under, then expanded to take over The Henry Wine Group (which itself had swallowed up Franklin Selections). The Country Vintner, in other words, is a huge player in the DC-region wine wholesale market.

So my question to DR.commies: Are there any wine labels that you miss the last few years? Something you used to buy but can no longer find? These may or may not be related to Country Vintner - there has been much other consolidation in the wholesale realm too - but I'd like to trace the effect of consolidation on the consumer, by tracking down some of these disappearing wine brands.

Cheers,

Dave McIntyre

[ETA: I don't mean this query as a slap at Country Vintner as they adjust to their new portfolio and business structure, but rather as a general query about brands disappearing after consolidation in the distribution business. TCV is merely a recent example - and not even the most recent, as Mark mentions below, considering Billington recently went out of business and most of their line was taken up by Winebow.]

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I'm doing a Post column on New World rosé. Okay, Okay, I know, but there are a few good ones out there. One I wanted to include was Beckmen Vineyards Purisma Vineyard Grenache Rosé 2008, which I thought was quite nice. So I called the winery and asked who carries it in this market. (This is sometimes an issue with samples.) The winery marketing director told me it was distributed by The Country Vintner. So I contacted TCV, which told me they've dropped Beckmen in an effort to pare down their portfolio. Country Vintner in recent years bought out The Wine Source, a major local distributor, when it went under, then expanded to take over The Henry Wine Group (which itself had swallowed up Franklin Selections). The Country Vintner, in other words, is a huge player in the DC-region wine wholesale market.

So my question to DR.commies: Are there any wine labels that you miss the last few years? Something you used to buy but can no longer find? These may or may not be related to Country Vintner - there has been much other consolidation in the wholesale realm too - but I'd like to trace the effect of consolidation on the consumer, by tracking down some of these disappearing wine brands.

Cheers,

Dave McIntyre

Two things I heard last week: Billington Wines went out of business and Diageo Chateau and Estates is getting out of the Bordeaux business. This is large.

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