The Tasting Panel magazine

April 2015

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april 2015  /  the tasting panel  /  73 renowned winemakers is a great comple- ment and addition to our portfolio." The company has enjoyed astounding growth—about 20 to 25% a year—helped by exclusive partnerships with national retailers. And they are likely to achieve that with the national rollout this month of a specially priced single-varietal line with four varietals to choose from. The 750-ml. bottles—all premium juice from California vineyards—will sell for an astounding $7.99, and compete with brands such as Barefoot, Yellow Tail, Smoking Loon, Blackstone and Beringer. "Who launches a $7.99 wine? Nobody!" Scommegna said, returning to a frequent refrain. "What we were saying is we don't want to be like everyone else and if we're going to do this, we're going to have extreme value. We want you to pay $7.99 and think you got a $10.99 or $11.99 wine." Jewel-Osco, a grocery chain in Chicago, developed the new line with Three Thieves. Kim Connery, Liquor Sales and Merchandising Manager at the store, says the wine is a top-20 brand for them. "The packaging is fun, sassy and the point of sale developed around the product," she says. "[It] has resonated with not only the mil- lennial customer, but with many different types of customers. The response has been overwhelming." Bieler, The Hustler, admitted that being different has paid off in many ways. "There have been times when if we'd done what everyone else does, we'd make more money," he says. "We don't want to be the big corporation that builds a monumental winery to itself and uses that to say who they are. That's not us. Our mantra has always been 'When others zig, we zag.' " Caught in the act! The Three Thieves themselves (left to right): Roger Scommegna, Charles Bieler and Joel Gott.

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