The Stoli Group is set on building its ultra-premium wine and spirits portfolio after buying 50% of Chateau Miraval from Hollywood actress and humanitarian, Angelina Jolie.
Speaking exclusively to the drinks business following the announcement yesterday, Stoli Group’s global CEO Damien McKinney said that the group had spent the last year repositioning itself, and was keen to build both the wine and spirits portfolio.
Tenute del Mondo, the wine division, is a co-owner (alongside the Frescobaldi Family) of iconic wines such as Masseto, Ornellaia, Luce, CastelGiocondo, and the owner of Achaval Ferrer and historic brand Arínzano.
“We’re on a huge transformation, which I started a year ago, with wines and spirits,” he said. “This is the first big deal but we’ve done on the wine side in particular. What’s great is that Chateau Miraval is clearly very popular – and there are three rosés and a champagne, so that makes it very special.”
However McKinney stressed that the acquisition of the high profile Provence rosé producer, who is co-owned by Brad Pitt, was part of a much bigger transformation of the company.
“For years, Stoli has been seen as a vodka company but now it’s more about how we are becoming an ultra-premium portfolio of wines and spirits,” he said.
Wine currently makes up around 15% of the whole portfolio, having been built up over the last five years.
“The key will be to continue to build on that, so as we see more opportunities there will be more acquisitions to come,” he said.
The Group is set to have a strong year with the wine division on track for its best year to date.
He credit much of this success to the strategic leadership of Jon Pepper MW, managing director of Tenute del Mondo.
“He’s brought leadership, a proper strategy and ambition, and he’s someone who really understands brand building,” Mckinney said.
“If you want to win the World Cup, you need the right people on the field, you need that level of person on the field. We’ve got that in place now and you can feel the business taking off.”