UST, a holding company with interests in the wine business, has announced that its International Wine & Spirits subsidiary is to distribute the wines of the Tuscan wine company Antinori in the US.

International Wine & Spirits, whose operations include Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, the leading wine producer in Washington State, has already collaborated with Antinori in the production of the Col Solare luxury red wine.
The company estimates that the Antinori deal will add US$25- 30m to its annual revenues. UST also announced that it is to open a new office in New York City.

"Our strategic alliance with Antinori provides us with an exciting opportunity to enhance the growth prospects for our wine business by distributing this truly impressive portfolio of some of Italy's most respected wines," said Murray S. Kessler, UST's president and chief operating officer, yesterday (3 April).

"It also is a perfect demonstration of how we can concurrently grow our wine operations, while improving the returns on the business."
Ted Baseler, president of Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, said: "Starting with our joint venture on Col Solare, we have developed a strong personal and professional relationship with the Antinoris. With this distribution agreement, we strengthen a successful and ongoing strategic alliance that will benefit both companies."

International Wine & Spirits will market the Antinori range, which includes ultra-luxury wines like Tignanello and Solaia, as well as Tormaresca, Montenisa, Haras de Pirque and Antinori California, throughout the US.