by Bernard Burtschy
The unusually shy Josef Helfrich, founder and managing director of Grands Chais de France, announced recently that his group had formed a
strategic distributional alliance with the Wine Group in San Francisco. The rapid pace of consolidation has united the world s 3rd and 4th largest wine producers, who trust that their joint scale will increase efficiency and allow them to enter new markets. Grands Chais will now be distributing the Wine Group s brands, including Franzia, in Europe, while the Wine Group will take on those of Grands Chais, including JP Chenet, in the United States.