Sonoma County wine storage and logistics companies continue to be on the move. Express Wine Delivery is taking advantage of the expansion of Alexander Valley Cellars' main Windsor warehouse to triple in size itself.
Starting with two families operating two trucks from a home garage six and a half years ago, Express Wine Delivery (707-544-7459, expresswinedelivery.com) has grown to have 21 employees operating 13 trucks from 20,000 square feet of warehouse space on Brickway Boulevard near Charles M. Schulz--Sonoma County Airport. Next month, the company plans to relocate to 70,000 square feet of storage space at 7970 Cameron Dr. in Windsor, according to co-owner Marcela Aguilar.
"There's a lot of demand for wine storage," she said.
With six bobtail trucks, two Sprinter vans and four big rigs, Express Wine specializes in Northern California delivery. By offering delivery services for quantities as small as a pallet or two, the company has built a client list of about 120 small wineries. Leveraging inventory management and order-processing software by Advanced Management Systems of Santa Rosa, Express Wine also offers storage, consolidation and fulfillment services, including a department for club shipments.
Alexander Valley Cellars expanded by 110,000 square feet into the rest of the 282,000-square-foot 1010 Shiloh Rd. wine warehouse and had been leasing 7970 Cameron. The company has been eying another large warehouse farther to the south in Santa Rosa for expansion and the launch of a bulk-wine storage service, according to co-owner Meritt Dahlgren. [See the June 24 story "Demand stacks up for wine warehouser."]
Express Wine Delivery started after Grapevine Express became part of Zephyr Express and consolidated from 7970 Cameron to southern Napa Valley. Oscar and Marcela Aguilar with Donald and Valerie Arrodondo pooled their resources and three decades of combined experience at Grapevine and similar companies to start their own company in January 2007.***
Novato-based Winery Exchange, which builds and markets national and corporate beer, wine and spirits brands worldwide, inked a sales and distribution deal with St. Helena-based JT Wines, maker of Flasq Wines, said to be the first and only U.S.-produced wine in aluminum bottles.
The exclusive multiyear agreement, announced last week, includes select regional and national account sales and distribution.
The design of the half-bottle (375 milliliters) to be chilled quickly, not break and be totally recyclable is targeted to Millennial and physically active consumers. The wine comes in California merlot and chardonnay varieties and retails for $5--$7 each.
“We believe there’s a strong market for premium wine in a convenient, eco-friendly container,” said Oliver Colvin, Winery Exchange chief operating officer. "The adventurous millennial demographic specifically is drawn to the uniqueness and mobility of the aluminum container, but purchases for the wine quality, accessibility and recyclability."
The Flasq brand had early regional success but now needs a push into national and international markets, according to Dave Bon, JT Wines chief executive officer.
“This agreement is a solid move to facilitate the next phase of the Flasq Wines brand,” he said.
The wines are currently available at Cost Plus World Market stores nationwide, as well as select Total Wine & More, Vino Volo airport shops and Whole Foods Markets.***
"The luxury part is what gives the whole portfolio credibility." That's how Constellation Brands Chief Executive Officer Rob Sands explained the company's initial interest in Robert Mondavi Winery nearly a decade after the New York-based company acquired it for a whopping $1.36 billion and continued investment in the brand.