Meritage Wine & Spirits
Welcome! We are Meritage Wine & Spirits—
bringing industry experience, connections and a personal approach to help bring your product to the market.
Meritage Wine & Spirits is a full-service wine & spirits consulting and brokerage company representing a diverse worldwide portfolio of family estates. We began modestly in 2003 after twenty years of supplier and wholesale experience encompassing the east coast. Our goals change with each client, but our core values remain steadfast: sharing the “inspiration” of our producers with our wholesaler networks and ultimately to consumers in the states we represent. From the beginning, we partnered with terroir-driven vineyards and speciality spirits distilling companies. We continue to represent many of the producers who believed in us over a decade ago and have been fortunate to add exceptional family-owned estates from California, Oregon, France, Italy, New Zealand, Spain, Ireland, Kentucky, Mexico, Australia and Finland.
“Entrepreneurs are fundamentally very creative individuals, they have a higher sense of purpose, they are not in it primarily to make money, that’s a secondary concern. They are in it to fulfill their dreams and passions.
J. Mackey, Whole Foods
Entry into US 3-Tier Market: is it still possible? YES, but one better have a valid plan.
If everyone (suppliers) is fighting for the same ball, watch out for the biggest players. The top 2 distributors in the US handle 54% of all wine sold, with nearly 2,000 wines in stock. They need demonstrated growth and profit for their stakeholders. It’s almost impossible to stand out in that competitive set. Consider that twenty years ago there were roughly 2,500 wineries and 3,000 distributors in the U.S.; there are now 10,000+ wineries in the U.S. alone and a close estimate of 700 distributors (with trucks and at rest warehouses). It comes down to greater engagement with your brands, with our distributors and customers, building relationships over a long course of time combined with solid business planning to execute your vision.
The first step in any project is educating ourselves. To best understand a client’s needs, we look at a brands history, specific appellation, value added proposal, and current sales activity to begin to identify the brand assets and potential “fit” into the wholesaler network.
DISCUSS THE OPPORTUNITY IN PERSON (FEE-FREE)
We assess the brand culture, current distribution network, sales scalability and vineyard holdings. This profile represents an in depth overview of your company, the opportunity and roles each of us play necessary for success.
CREATE A BUSINESS PLAN BY STATE (*CONTRACTUAL)
We make strategic recommendations to achieve a client’s specific goals.
We creatively develop sales objectives with 2-5 year business planning.
We use a “FIT” model (fiscal investment & timing) to determine a brand’s input at prospective distributors and then key accounts. How do we get your brand in the growth and attention mode?
*Meritage Wine & Spirits’ business model requires a minimum 24 month retainer fee, offset by sales commissions based on industry standards. Again, we design your costs on your feedback needed to integrate with your brand needs in real time.
Once the brand offering is complete, a competitive set identified and pricing and programming needed for distributor evaluation and forecasts are determined. Public relations, social media and wholesaler sponsored trade events become key components to the overall sales mix. It then becomes our shared time to engage the core trade and consumers.