Newly-Formed Stoli® Group (USA), LLC Signs Distribution Agreement with Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc. SIX-STATE, FIVE-YEAR ACCORD INCLUDES STOLICHNAYA® PREMIUM VODKA, STOLICHNAYA® FLAVORED PREMIUM VODKAS AND ULTRA-PREMIUM ELIT™ BY STOLICHNAYA®

NEW YORK, Feb. 11, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Stoli Group (USA), LLC (Stoli) announced a new distribution partnership with Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc. (Southern), the country's leading wine and spirits distributor with operations in 35 states. The new agreement includes representation of the full Stolichnaya brand portfolio, which includes Stolichnaya Premium and Flavored Vodkas, Stolichnaya Gold Vodka and elit by Stolichnaya Ultra Luxury Vodka.

With its inception on January 1, 2014, New York-based Stoli Group (USA), LLC reflects significant growth investment in the U.S. market by parent company SPI Group. A fresh 70-plus person team is charged with boosting the original imported premium vodka back to the top of its competitive category. Reinvigorated marketing for the Stolichnaya brand will be at the core of the company's efforts along with a trailblazing strategy for flavored vodkas and a more collaborative approach to distributor relationships.

"As we embark on this new venture for Stoli Group (USA), LLC, we recognize the need for strong support from a like-minded partner, a distributor that shares our ambitions and passion for the brand. Our partnership with Southern is a great opportunity for us to grow our iconic brands in key markets across the country," said John Esposito, President, Stoli Group (USA), LLC New York, NY. "We believe this will be a valuable partnership, and look forward to learning from everyone at Southern."

Esposito is no stranger to electrifying a brand's presence. In fact, he's an industry veteran who was responsible for the success of many brands while leading other spirits organizations like Bacardi USA and Moet Hennessy USA. Esposito retired from Bacardi in 2011.  

Southern is now Stoli's exclusive distributor in six U.S. markets—Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Illinois and Washington. In Minnesota, Southern is Stoli's preferred distributor for the five-year term of the agreement. Southern will continue to distribute Stoli products in Nevada, and become the broker of record in Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Utah and Wyoming. The new agreement expands the geography of the partnership between the two companies, bringing the total number of markets to thirteen. 

Wayne E. Chaplin, Southern's President & Chief Operating Officer, said, "We at Southern are excited about our agreement with Stoli and working closely with our friend, John Esposito, and his team. On behalf of our management team and entire group of professionals across these important markets, we will bring our leading sales and service capabilities to bear for the benefit of Stoli's portfolio of vodkas."

About Stoli Group (USA), LLC 
Stoli Group (USA), LLC is the North American subsidiary of SPI Group, recognized globally for pioneering heritage and the outstanding Stolichnaya® brand of premium vodkas. With its inception in January 2014, New York-based Stoli Group (USA), LLC reflects significant growth investment in the U.S. market by parent company SPI Group and will drive the brand forward through new marketing, sales and brand innovation. Internationally distributed Stolichnaya vodkas are bottled in Latvia and are known for award-winning flavor and impeccable clarity. Considered a trailblazer in the vodka industry, Stolichnaya vodka defines the benchmark for quality with meticulously crafted liquid that meets the highest Alpha Spirit standard. The Stolichnaya brand portfolio includes Stolichnaya® Premium Vodka, ultra-premium elit by Stolichnaya®, Stolichnaya® 100 Proof Premium vodka, the super-premium Stolichnaya® Gold and Stolichnaya® Flavored Premium vodkas including Ohranj, Razberi, Vanil, Citros, Peachik and Hot. For more information visit stoli.com.Follow on Facebook at facebook.com/stoli and on Twitter @Stoli.

About Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc.
Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc. is the nation's largest wine and spirits distributor and broker with operations in 35 markets. The multi-state distributor currently operates in: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Florida, Kentucky, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wyoming. Southern also holds operating licenses and permits in Nebraska and Texas. On a national basis, Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc. employs over 14,000 team members. Southern urges all retail customers and adult consumers to market, sell, serve and enjoy its products responsibly. For more information about Southern and its responsible consumption program, visit: southernwine.com.

SOURCE Stoli Group (USA)



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