Castle Brands Inc. (NYSE Amex: ROX) announced today that it has partnered with Grand Cru Selections (“Grand Cru”), a New York City fine wine distributor, to expand its premium wine business. The venture brings together several high-profile figures in the wine industry and offers significant opportunities for both Castle Brands and Grand Cru.
Under the terms of the agreement, Castle Brands will act as U.S. importer and national distributor and Grand Cru will act as the wholesaler for New York and New Jersey for a select range of fine wines. Castle Brands will assign Betts and Scholl wines -- Grenache, Syrah and Riesling from Australia, Syrah from California, and Hermitage Blanc and Rouge from France -- to Grand Cru for New York and New Jersey, and Castle Brands will represent the Cerbaie Brunello di Montalcino brand, throughout the United States, except New York and New Jersey.
Roy Welland, a prominent wine collector and owner of the Cerbaie winery in Tuscany and Robert Bohr, former wine director for widely acclaimed Cru restaurant, are both principals in GC Wine Consulting, a wine consulting firm that advises Grand Cru and other private clients. Messrs. Welland and Bohr will now be working with Master Sommelier Richard Betts, Vice President of Castle Brands and head of its fine wine division, to implement the Company’s fine wine distribution strategy.
“We are very pleased to formalize our relationship with Grand Cru as it creates synergies that will allow us to maximize our competitive advantage in the marketplace,” commented Mr. Betts. “Primarily, the preeminence of the Grand Cru team in the New York market will offer the most well-placed distribution for all of our brands. Additionally, the strength of our relationships with fine wine producers and our cooperation in recruiting them creates a formidable team and an exciting option for high quality wine distribution nationwide."