Case Detail

Case Summary

Terlato Wines International: Managing Rutherford Hill Merlot in a Post-Sideways Market

Case Number: 5-108-001, Year Published: 2008

HBS Number: KEL357

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Authors: Alice Tybout; Patrick Bennett; Brie Koenigs

Key Concepts

Brand Management, Advertising and Luxury Brands, Pricing Strategy.


In 2005, a wine snob in the critically acclaimed movie Sideways denounced merlot. Subsequently, sales of merlot, including sales for Terlato’s Rutherford Hill merlot, declined significantly. Students are asked to evaluate three strategies—rebranding, cutting price, and launching television advertising—that Terlato is considering to reverse this decline.

The learning objective of the case is for students to explore the challenge of managing a brand when external factors cause a decline in category demand. They also explore the role of pricing and advertising in managing a small luxury brand.

The case should be used with Student Supplement: Terlato Wines International: Background Note on the U.S. Wine Market and Terlato Wines International, Case #5-108-002.

Number of Pages: 6

Extended Case Information

Teaching Areas: Marketing

Teaching Note Available: Yes

Geographic: United States

Industry: Luxury Wine

Organization Name: Terlato Wines International

Organization Department: Marketing

Organization Size: Medium

Decision Maker Position: VP Marketing

Decision Maker Gender: Male

Year of Case: 2007