Ste. Michelle Wine Estates Opens Brand Incubation Hub Called Elicit Wine Project

The brand hopes the project will help boost growth by leveraging innovation.

Ste. Michelle Wine Estates plans to boost growth by leveraging innovation with the opening of a new brand incubation hub called the Elicit Wine Project. Patrick Kozel, who previously served as Ste. Michelle’s director of insights and innovation, is director of the new unit. Kozel says the plan is to build off the successful approaches used with recent new products like Intrinsic and Prayers of Sinners & Saints with a fresh slate of brand propositions. Elicit will roll out three new offerings this year, among them Liquid Light ($14 a 750-ml.), billed as a crisp Washington Sauvignon Blanc with high acidity; Fruit & Flower ($13), comprising a Chardonnay in 750-ml. bottle format, as well as Sparkling, Chardonnay, and Rosé wines in 2-packs of 250-ml. cans ($11); and Altered Dimension, which includes Black (Cabernet Sauvignon), White (Sauvignon Blanc), and Pink (rosé) offerings that all retail at $15 a 750-ml. “Virtually all growth in premium wine has been coming from products that didn’t exist five years ago,” says Ste. Michelle president and CEO Jim Mortensen.“We’ve successfully introduced several products during that time, but this new team will enable us to move more quickly to bring innovative concepts to market and capture our share of this growth.” In addition to its new brands, the Elicit portfolio includes existing Ste. Michelle brands Anew, Borne of Fire, The Cosmic Egg, Intrinsic, Merf Wines, Prayers of Sinners & Saints, and Tenet Wines.