Napa Valley based wine company C. Mondavi & Sons has unveiled their plans to launch their first new brand in over 60 years. Wines rolling out under their new brand The Divining Rod will be soon be available nationwide starting with a 2010 Santa Lucia Highlands Chardonnay and followed by a 2010 Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. According to COO Mike Jaeger, “The Divining Rod will target the Millennials” so expect both of their first releases to be premium wines that still float under that pesky $20 price point.
Historically a divining rod appears as the forked branch of a tree or shrub. The operator of this device would utilize it to miraculously discover water or other valuable resources in an otherwise barren plot of land. Irrigation techniques in the vineyard have since improved. If C. Mondavi positions it well, their Divining Rod will surely find profit in catering to the Millennial wine market. The man in the picture above can bee seen using a divining rod. He does not belong to the Millenial wine market.
C. Mondavi’s existing portfolio includes their premium label Charles Krug and the accessibly priced CK Mondavi. Charles Krug features estate grown Cabernet, Merlot, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir varietals with a selection of wines ranging from $18-$29 while their Family Reserve ranges from $50-$75. The Divining Rod offers the opportunity to round out the family portfolio and add a fresh brand to the mix.
“C. Mondavi has been in business since the 1940s and has only had two brands,” says Jaeger, formerly president of Wilson Daniels and Canandaigua Wines (Constellation), who joined the group last year. “But we now want to focus on growth—more than the winery has ever done in the past.” And grow they shall! C. Mondavi is adding The Diving Rod to the table in April, recently hired Stacy Clark as the new winemaker for Charles Krug, and renovating Redwood Cellars, a historic building that will be repurposed as the vineyard’s tasting room and visitor center.