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INVESTMENT

The big step: if distribution and trading companies get into wine production

The latest is Compagnia dei Caraibi: bought 8 hectares of farmland in the Langhe. In a similar path to Gruppo Meregalli and Signorvino
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From distributor to producer: Caribbean Company buys in Langhe

From distribution to production activities, the leap is no small one: yet it seems to represent an irresistible temptation for some companies that, following a logic of investment and diversification, decide to purchase vineyards and wineries. The latest in order of time is Compagnia dei Caraibi Spa-a leading company in the import, development, brand building and distribution of premium, ultra-premium and prestige spirits, wines and soft drinks from around the world (including top sellers such as Rum Diplomàtico, Rum Plantation and Gin Mare)-which has just bought 8 hectares of farmland in the Langhe region, specifically in the municipality of Montelupo Albese, for a value of 670,000 euros, with the aim of producing its own wines in the near future. But in the past, the same path has been taken by giants such as the Meregalli Group, a leader in the trade of great wines, spirits and Champagne, and Signorvino, a chain of wine shops owned by the Veronesi family (owners of brands such as Calzedonia, Intimissimi, Falconeri, Tezenis and Atelier Emé, among others).
With this transaction, Compagnia dei Caraibi aims to consolidate its strategy of developing its own brand portfolio, as well as launching a positioning strategy in the production of the wine segment. “It is with great enthusiasm that we announce this operation as a key strategic step in the consolidation of our business model”, said Edelberto Baracco, ceo of Compagnia di Caraibi. “In 2020, our company expanded its offer in the world of wine with the launch of the “Indigenous Element” catalog, which aims to tell a precise enological approach focused on quality, respect for the environment and an unconventional taste. Entering the direct production sector allows us to further strengthen our position in the market through the distribution of proprietary brand labels that fully represent our vision”. The purchase was made by Have Fun Società Agricola, incorporated in 2023 and 75% owned by Compagnia dei Caraibi (through its investee Refined Brands) and 25% by Alessandro Salvano, current owner of the Dwnl wine brand, formerly distributed by Compagnia dei Caraibi (characterized by a portfolio of wines with great drinkability, ideal for a young, contemporary and future market).
In the transition from distribution to production, there is no shortage of illustrious precedents, conquered by a world that never ceases to exert its fascination on potential investors. Meregalli, Italy’s leading distributor of prestige wines and spirits, bought Tenuta Fertuna, in Maremma, in 2008: 145 hectares, 50 of which are planted with vines, where not only Sangiovese and international grape varieties are grown, but a major hospitality project has also been developed, with a fully restored villa and numerous activities aimed at wine tourists. Signorvino, a colossus that has 29 wine shops in Italy, but is also aiming abroad (an opening in Paris is planned by the end of 2023), has also been betting on direct production for a few years now: in 2021 it bought the Tenimenti del Leone winery in Velletri, Castelli Romani, 30 hectares of vineyards, in Cesanese, Malvasia Puntinata, Chardonnay, Merlot and Syrah, and 20 of olive groves, all organically managed, followed by other major investments. The first in Sardinia, with 16 hectares planted with vines in Alghero, where only native varieties are grown; the second in the Trentodoc area, where to date there are 6 hectares planted, including Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, but soon to become 12; and lastly in 2023, with the purchase of La Giuva, the Valpolicella estate founded in 2003 by former coach Alberto Malesani.

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