Hot off the success of selling Meiomi to Constellation Brands in 2015, Joe Wagner is now focused on another Pinot Noir–led brand, this one from Oregon. Elouan is the largest wine in the Copper Cane Wines & Provisions portfolio and depleted 50,000 cases in 2016, according to Wagner. The brand currently features three expressions: Elouan Oregon Pinot Noir ($21.99 a 750-ml.), Elouan Rogue Valley reserve ($44.99)—sourced from a warm, dry region in southern Oregon—and the Elouan Rosé ($19.99).
The Provence-style rosé launched last spring and comprises Pinot Noir and Syrah from the Willamette, Umpqua and Rogue valleys. The core Oregon Pinot Noir—a blend of fruit from the same valleys—is the brand’s biggest focus and does most of its business in the on-remise, where Wagner sees a growing market for Pinot Noir by the glass. “Pinot Noir is just getting to the point where Cab was in the ’80s,” he says. “Oregon Pinot Noir is a traditional style, and the American palate is starting to understand acidity and balance. There’s a big customer base out there that’s excited about the Old World crashing into the New World.”
The brand’s price point is key to its success, bolstered by aggressive by-the-glass pricing where legal. Top markets include California, Texas, Illinois, Florida and Arizona. This year, the company will release a small-production Willamette Valley Reserve Pinot Noir ($44.99) to help consumers explore the state’s regionality. “I really want people to understand Oregon Pinot Noir,” Wagner says.