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Sustainable Practices Help Wente Family Estates Land New Distributor, Make Sales

April 15, 2016

Susan Crawford is a Communications Specialist for the International Trade Administration 

The U.S. Commercial Service (CS) Oakland, the consul general of Norway, the mayor of Livermore, California and others celebrated Wente Vineyard’s successful foray into the Norwegian wine market at a recent bi-lateral meeting held at Wente Family Estates. The Livermore, California-based vintner has shipped 3 wine-filled cargo containers to Norway since December 2015, and expects that number to triple by the end of 2016 with an approximate value of over $500,000.

Success doesn’t happen overnight, and this journey began last year when Rod Hirsch, director of CS Oakland, encouraged Wente Family Estates, a Certified California Sustainable Winegrower, to participate in the CS’ Discover Global Markets: Sustainable Solutions conference that was held in Silicon Valley in 2015.

“I knew that the vintner’s sustainable initiatives would be a major competitive advantage in the right market, such as Norway, which values sustainability and green growing practices. I wanted the firm to have the chance to investigate new potential markets,” Hirsch explained.

CS specialists from 20 international markets, including Norway, counseled conference attendees on market opportunities. A meeting between Hirsch, Norway-based CS Commercial Specialist Bjarke Frederiksen and Wente Vineyards coincided with a new listing opportunity with the Norwegian Liquor Government Monopoly.   Wente Vineyards Morning Fog Chardonnay from Livermore Valley was selected in a government procured tender; soon Wente Vineyards was on the path to a successful listing in the Norwegian market. “The concept of Sustainable Farming has been an instrumental selling feature of our wine in Norway” says Michael Parr, Vice President of International Sales for Wente Family Estates.

“The CS strives to connect the dots between U.S. exporters and appropriate international markets and it is very rewarding to know that we played a role in helping Wente Family Estates expand and market their brand in Norway,” Hirsch said.

In addition to assisting Wente Family Estates in Norway, the CS previously helped the winery crack the competitive Australian wine market. CS Oakland worked with CS Australia and the U.S. ambassador to organize promotional events at each of the three Australian consulates in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth.

Hirsch and the CS Oakland team can help Oakland area firms identify and enter new markets or expand exports to existing markets. For more information, please visit: http://www.export.gov/california/oakland/.

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