A Brief History of Southern Wine & Spirits of Minnesota

Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc., (Southern), the nation’s largest wine and spirits distributor, first entered the Minnesota market in early 2010 via a joint venture with Minneapolis-based J.J. Taylor Companies, a leading beer wholesaler. Continuing its association with J.J. Taylor, Southern’s presence in the state was further strengthened when its now-established Southern Wine & Spirits of Minnesota division acquired the Quality distributorship in early 2012.

In November 2012, Southern announced plans to open its own fully operational distribution center in Shakopee, Minnesota. At that time, Southern Wine & Spirits of Minnesota and J.J. Taylor mutually agreed to end their partnership, and Southern Wine & Spirits of Minnesota commenced operations as a wholly owned, independent statewide wine and spirits distributorship in Minnesota.

Then, on August 21, 2013, Will Conniff, Executive Vice President, Southern Wine & Spirits of Illinois, Kentucky & Minnesota, announced several leadership transitions in Southern Wine & Spirits of Minnesota. Outlining the transitions, Conniff said in the announcement, “I am appointing John Acott out of our SWS-Illinois division as Vice-President, General Sales Manager of Minnesota—managing our entire commercial organization across the state. I have worked with John for a number of years in Illinois and am confident of his abilities to expand our brand distributions in Minnesota to achieve strong growth in the marketplace.”

Conniff continued, “I am also pleased to move Dan Daul into this lead wine role—overseeing our sales in this exclusive distribution category in Minnesota. Dan brings tremendous energy, wine knowledge, in-market experience to this important role, and I look forward to seeing the great things he and John will accomplish in this partnership.”

John Acott is an industry veteran with over 25 years’ experience in wine and spirits—with key positions at Gallo, Brown-Forman and Romano Brothers before joining SWS-Illinois when Southern acquired Romano Brothers in 2002. While at Southern, John has successfully led and managed several sales teams in the Chicago and Northern Illinois area as Vice President, Retail Wine Sales. A graduate of Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, John has served in the United States Marine Corps and is the proud father of seven children. John is an avid outdoorsman and is also the President of the Jefferson Sportsman Society, an industry association with over 100 members.


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 nearly 14,500 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, see: http://www.southernwine.com.

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