Winery Exchange picks up Echelon

Diageo also sells Moon Mountain, Rutherford vineyards as it divestsNOVATO -- One of the results of Diageo Chateau & Estate Wines' recent sales of wine assets is providing corporate alcoholic beverage brand creator Winery Exchange with a line of its own products.

Winery Exchange has created dozens of wine, beer and spirits brands for grocers, restaurants, retailers and other clients but earlier this year the Novato-based company made its first brand acquisition, picking up the Echelon Vineyards brand, launched in 1998, from Diageo for an undisclosed amount.

"It's the first of a portfolio of established brands we're calling the national brands division," said Chip Block, senior vice president of sales.

Winery Exchange has been considering an expansion into national brands, and has to some extent with beer.

"We like Echelon, because it is evenly distributed," he said. "There's a heartbeat. There's a following."

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