The Shout Magazine (New Zealand)

Peregrine Wines secures US distribution

Toasting the future of Peregrine Wines and Vineyard Brands – (L to R) Tommy Oldre, Greg Doody, Lindsay McLachlan and Fraser McLachlan.

One of Central Otago’s premium wine producers has signed an exclusive business agreement that will see its wines distributed the length and breadth of the US.

The long-term relationship between Peregrine Wines and Vineyard Brands – a medium-sized, quality-focused importer of international wines – was cemented this month when Peregrine co-directors Lindsay, Fraser and Jude McLachlan hosted Vineyard Brands’ President and CEO Greg Doody.

Doody, who has worked for Vineyard Brands since 2014 but formally took over the top job in April 2016, has spent the past 10 months assessing his company’s producer portfolio around the world.

His meeting with Peregrine Wines’ owners the McLachlan family will see Peregrine Wines continue as its sole New Zealand wine producer after the two businesses signed the agreement.

“This is a huge milestone for us because it gives us the reach into the world’s biggest wine market with nationwide placement, something we never envisaged we would have access to,” says Peregrine Wines Managing Director Lindsay McLachlan.

“We’re absolutely thrilled they have selected us; delighted they enjoy the wines and recognise the quality. What we have here is a long-term channel to be able to take wines we’re really proud of to a huge wine market, and we couldn’t do it without them.

“As a result of this trip they’ll take the range of wines we make because they’re committed to building the Peregrine brand in the US and already have a growing market for our stunning Pinot Noirs.

“Those Pinots are already distributed across 30 states and this agreement will broaden that portfolio.”

Figures show that the US was the largest export market for New Zealand wine in the world in 2015, overtaking Australia, and is on a rapid growth path for New Zealand wine exports.

Greg Doody says his company is “quite picky” about who they worked with but that they “loved the wines and the people” at Peregrine.

“We’re a family business and so are they; we have a good track record of working with families looking to the future, planting for their children or grandchildren,” he says.

“There’s a really good story to tell about Peregrine and Central Otago back in the US and that’s important to us when we’re so much more than a delivery system. We can ‘sell’ that story to our distributors and in turn their sales reps can sell it to retail outlets and restaurants.

“We work across all 50 states which is very different to a lot of US importers and we’re now in a good position to cement this business relationship because Peregrine has become established. We’re investing in the brand from our perspective.”

Both Doody and McLachlan said they shared the same philosophy when it came to being ‘hands on’ in their business.

“If your goal is to capture the hearts and minds of your sales people then the way to do it is to come here to meet the winemakers, see how people are treated, and understand how being clean, green and organic makes better wine, which in turn tells a better story,” says Doody.

“Our clients in the US want to feel that the wine was grown somewhere, not made somewhere. They want to ‘feel’ the people in the wine.

“The US overtook France as the world’s largest consumer of wine back in 2013. Our consumers are now much smarter, millennials who want authenticity and transparency, to find out what the wine is all about,” he says.

Image: Toasting the future of Peregrine Wines and Vineyard Brands – (L to R) Tommy Oldre, Greg Doody, Lindsay McLachlan and Fraser McLachlan