Domaines Barons de Rothschild is ending its seven-year relationship with Chinese importer Summergate.
From 1 January 2011, distribution of exclusive DBR wines will be held by ASC Fine Wines.
DBR (Lafite) said in a statement that ‘after years of successful collaboration, this will permit to both companies to independently reach their own goals in a fast growing market.’
Summergate’s founding partner Brendan O’Toole made clear that the split was amicable, and that ‘the relationship has been a very successful one for both parties.’
He went on, ‘Summergate believes that the interests of its producers…customers…and stakeholders will be best served by remaining independent and free of any single brand owner holding an equity interest in the company.’
Summergate, established in 1999, imports more than 60 wineries in China from Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Macau, and Hong Kong.
Its clients include Bouchard, Antinori, Catena, Yalumba, d’Arenberg, Villa Maria and Fairview, among others.
ASC Fine Wines was founded in 1996, and represents more than 100 brands including Bollinger, Gaja, Beringer, E Guigal and Robert Skalli.
The company has more than 800 staff and 12 regional offices.
ASC CEO Don St Pierre Jr was ranked 16th in the 2009 Decanter Power List of the wine world’s most influential figures.
In December last year Japan’s Suntory group bought a 70% stake in China’s ASC Fine Wines, for an undisclosed sum.
DBR (Lafite) had no further comment.
Written by Adam Lechmere