Union Wine Co. doubles production, adds sales reps beyond Oregon

By on May 20, 2018

Ryan Harms, founder and president of Union Wine Co., in Tualatin, Ore., stands as the state’s second-largest wine producer according to research compiled by the Portland Business Journal. (Image by David L. Reamer Photography/courtesy of Union Wine Co.)

Union Wine Co., stands at No. 2 on the Portland Business Journal’s latest ranking of Oregon’s largest wineries, and owner Ryan Harms recently added to his growing team.

Harms more than doubled production at his Tualatin facility in the past two vintages, trailing only A to Z Wineworks in total production according to the PBJ. His winemaking team, spearheaded by New Orleans native JP Caldcleugh, rolled out 211,000 cases from the 2016 vintage. Last year, they crushed 448,000 cases worth of wine for their trio of brands, which are dominated by the exploding success of their entry-level Underwood tier.

Now, Union Wine Co., which sells wine in 49 states and 12 countries, employs six regional sales managers. The latest moves included the appointment of Adam Coremin as vice president of sales, an executive who spent the previous six years on the East Coast with Seattle-based Precept Wine.

“Adam’s leadership and experience equips our sales team with the tools it needs to meet aggressive new sales goals, improve support for our distributor partners and increase availability for our customers,” Harms stated in a news release.

Union Wine Co. set to launch new facility

Harms created Union Wine Co., in 2005 after working at critically acclaimed Pinot Noir houses Bergström, Rex Hill and Torii Mor. His production facility in the Cipole Business Park, not far from the Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge, afforded him room to methodically grow his portfolio of Alchemist, Kings Ridge and Underwood.

His recent success with Oregon Pinot Noir is undeniably linked to the canned wine program he developed for Underwood, and more Northwest wineries continue to follow in his footsteps with the marketing of the 375-milliliter cans. The 2016 vintage breakdown by brand is Alchemist, with 2,250 cases dedicated to Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from vineyards in the North Willamette Valley; Kings Ridge (35,000 cases) and Underwood at 173,810 cases.

The Underwood lineup includes four bottlings — Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and rosé in both 750-milliliter and magnums — backed by eight products in aluminum cans. Among those are two sparkling wines, dubbed as The Bubbles and Rosé Bubbles, and a pair of wine coolers. Retail prices range from $5.99 to $6.99 per can.

According to Union Wine Co., production of wine in cans by Underwood increased by 94 percent from 2017 to 2018 for a total of 244,000 cases of Underwood cans in 2018. Production of Underwood bottles increased by 13 percent, growing to 147,000 cases. In total, the Underwood line will account for 391,000 cases in 2018.

“The local team at New Seasons has always been a big supporter of Union Wine Company, and we’ve seen them embrace our innovations, from cans to coolers,” a company spokesperson said via email. “Nationally, we’ve seen Cost Plus, Whole Foods and Total Wine embrace the wine coolers, as well as independent shops around the country.”

As a result of the momentum, Union Wine rolled open the doors to a new 43,000-square-foot packaging facility adjacent to the winery. Harms’ financial director is his younger brother, Eric, who partnered with him on the 2014 purchase of historic Amity Vineyards from founder Myron Redford.

Earlier this year, Union Wine Co., landed a spot on Fast Company magazine’s Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in the food sector.

Union Wine Co. looks east with sales hires

Adam Coremin, a former executive for Precept Wine, recently joined Union Wine Co., to become vice president of sales. His focus remains on the East Coast. (Image by David L. Reamer Photography/courtesy of Union Wine Co.)

The addition of Coremin also provides Union Wine Co., another presence on the East Coast with an international scope. A graduate of North Carolina State and Wake Forest, he was part of Andrew Browne’s crew at Precept that helped the Northwest’s largest privately owned wine company grow into one of the top 15 in the U.S.

Coremin, a certified sommelier and wine educator, has been involved in Sommelier Journal and Tasting Panel magazines, and speaks German. His résumé includes time at Silver Oak in Napa Valley and with innovative Michael David Winery in Lodi.

Also joining Coremin at Union Wine Co., is Shannon McGill, who will oversee sales and distributing in New England; and Brian Altomari, whose role in the Midwest will be similar. McGill’s 16-year career in wine includes work with Terlato, Michael David and European importer Evaton. Altomari’s work history reads of time at J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines, Treasury Wine Estates and Southern Wine & Spirits.

Last year, Justin Hoffman, Harms’ first hire, took over West Coast sales for Union Wine Co.

“The additions of Shannon and Brian will further strengthen our sales team and help us accomplish these objectives with their incredible industry knowledge and acumen,” Harms said. “We are very excited to see the direction in which our sales team is growing.”

About Eric Degerman

Eric Degerman is the president and CEO of Great Northwest Wine. He is a journalist with more than 30 years of daily newspaper experience and has been writing about wine since 1998. He co-founded Wine Press Northwest with Andy Perdue and served as its managing editor for 15 years. He is a frequent wine judge along the West Coast.

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