Gonzales Byass is upping its US focus by switching distribution in the country to the company it acquired last year, Vin Divino.

The Jerez, Spain-based group said the Chicago-based distributor, which it bought from the Angelini Group last August, will handles its entire Sherry and still wine portfolio in the US, including Bodegas Tio Pepe, Bodegas Beronia, Finca Constancia, Viñas del Vero and Cavas Villarnau, from Saturday (1 February). 

Gonzales Byass' US distribution was previously handled by San Francisco Wine Exchange, a spokesperson told just-drinks. Asked why the company was switching distributors now, the spokesperson said: "It was the right timing and right opportunity in terms of investing in the US market."

Vin Divino will also oversee the launch of Byass’ London No.1 Gin in “limited” US markets this year. 

“This move is part of a strategic mission to expand on an international level and the US is a key part of that direction,” said the Spanish group’s CEO Jorge Grosse. 

Gonzales Byass also announced two staff promotions to reflect the changes. Andrew Sinclair will become senior business development manager for the US east coast, while Christopher Canale-Parola, currently part of the company’s international sales division, will manage its Western US and Canadian sales business.

Both appointments take effect from Spring, the company said.