SWS Announces Expansion into West Virginia

For Immediate Release

Contact Wayne E. Chaplin
President & Chief Operating Officer
Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc.
Telephone: (305) 625-4171                                                                          


Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc. Announces Formation of Control State Operation in West Virginia

Agreement Expands Southern’s Control State Coverage to 14 States

     Miami - September 19, 2006: In a strategic move whose aim is to further broaden its Control State representation in the United States, Wayne E. Chaplin, President and Chief Operating Officer of Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc., Miami, Florida, the country’s largest wine and spirits distributor with operations now current in 26 states, announced the formation of Southern Wine & Spirits of West Virginia, which brings to 14 the number of Control jurisdictions in which Southern is present.

    Mr. Chaplin said, “We remain determined to continue building our Control State Group’s overall reach and coverage. With this latest expansion move, our Control State operations now encompass 14 out of a total of 19 Control jurisdictions in the United States. On a collective basis, the 14 Control States in which we operate account for approximately 68 percent of the total Control jurisdiction coverage in 2005.” [Data Source: Adams Advance Handbook-2006 Edition] 

     Mr. Chaplin added, “As we have in all our operations, we will bring our expertise and leadership in the establishment and ongoing development of our West Virginia division.”

     Brad Vassar, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc., said, “Our Control State Group, led by Peter Hickey, Executive Vice President, General Manager-Control States Group of Southern Wine & Spirits of America and his dedicated team, will work closely with Jay Davis, Vice President, General Manager-Control States Group for West Virginia on all appropriate state liquor control board issues, national initiatives, and supplier and brand programs and strategies as well as implement best practices in all our control state markets.”

     Mr. Hickey said, “Here at the Control State Group at Southern Wine & Spirits of America, we are intent on building a coast-to-coast team of experienced Control State executives, all of whom know what is involved as we focus on our suppliers as well as effectively and efficiently serve all the appropriate Control State entities in which we are privileged to operate.” He added, “Mr. Davis will report to Paul Criscuolo, Vice President, General Manager for the Company’s Mid-Atlantic division, which includes North Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia.” 

    According to Mr. Vassar, “Jay has been in the industry for 24 years, both in the retail and supplier side.  Most recently, he worked for Future Brands as their West Virginia Manager.”

     This latest announcement follows news earlier this year that in partnership with Alaska Distributors Co. of Seattle Washington, Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc. had formed SouthernWine/Spirits West, whose operations cover the Control State markets of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Utah and Wyoming.

 Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc. is the nation’s largest wine and spirits distributor, with current operations in 26 states, including: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Kentucky, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wyoming. On a national basis, Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc. employs more than 10,000 team members.