The Tasting Panel magazine

November 2015

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Page 75 of 136

november 2015  /  the tasting panel  /  75 managed expectations. The Delegat family is willing to build a brand carefully and correctly and I think that's going to be the path for Barossa Valley Estate. They're great operators. They're sincere people. When I meet with Peter Edgar, Delegat's Delegat's San Francisco–based Vice President, who runs their national sales here, he knows sitting in my office in Miami, who the division manager in Southern California is and what they did for them last month. It's pretty amazing how close they stay to their business." Edgar was with Delegat for the initial growth phase of Oyster Bay and feels they learned a great deal from its success. I spoke with him about applying the very same result-producing approach. "The launch of Barossa Valley Estate is focused on our distributor partners, targeted trade channels and accounts and the end consumer. For all touch points, the story is consistent—discover- ing a world-class wine region through an exciting new brand from one of the Barossa Valley's defining wineries. We will also be promoting direct to consumers ourselves through our tasting program that has supported Oyster Bay's growth so well, plus engaging with people at select high-end food and wine events. The consumer response and purchase rates so far have been phenomenal with the contemporary wine styles and super premium price positioning resonating strongly." RNDC's Joe Gardner is already seeing its payoffs. "We're ahead of trend in our goal. Just about every state is showing some success already and we're in the very early stages of our program." The Right Consumers When it comes to distribution, Delegat may employ simple, straightforward strategies, but the reasoning for procuring BVE is actually a calculated response to consumer demand. According to global marketing research firm AC Nielsen's 52 weeks to August 15, 2015 by-volume report: ■ The super premium (over $15) priced red wine category is growing at 13%; the $15-$19 red wine category is growing at 13.5%, which is especially impressive when all of red wine is only growing at 2.4%; ■ super premium red blends are growing by 18.7%; ■ and $15–$19 red blends are growing by 16.6%. Yes, those numbers are relevant to Barossa Valley Estate because their wines fall into the super premium price-positioning category, but so do a lot of other wines. How will BVE get ahead of the pack? The aspirational wine drinker. Those aforementioned super premium red wine numbers are increasing thanks to these younger, up-and-coming wine drinkers who are Standing in front of Casa Marina, a Waldorf Astoria Resort, in Key West, FL, Pamela Wilson, Account Sales Manager, South Region for Delegat USA Inc., and Warren Zinn, Director of Food and Beverage for Casa Marina. This upscale property offers the Barossa Valley Estate Shiraz by the glass, which has been very successful with its adventurous clientele and pairs beautifully with dishes, includ- ing its goat cheese salad and veggie wraps. Zinn notes: "Our guests are open to suggestion and we offer many varietals that can surprise and delight, including Shiraz. The Barossa Valley Estate Shiraz is supple on the palate, full of ripe black fruit and very aromatic. It has an easy going style with a touch of flair that mirrors our property and our guests." motivated by their values and life goals. Or, as the Business Dictionary describes, by a "preferred end-state of being (e.g., sense of accomplish- ment, love and affection, social recognition)." These are wine drinkers who want to know about varietals, aspire to travel the world and are willing to spend around $25 to at least explore the contents of a bottle represent- ing those destinations and further their wine savvy. According to Wine Intelligence, Vinitrac US, 2014, of premium U.S. wine drinkers, 57% of them consider region of origin as a reason for purchase versus 49% for "regular" wine drinkers. RNDC's Joe Gardner tells us, "The beauty is that, once a consumer who is impressionable finds Barossa Valley Estate and enjoys it, they'll look it up online and discover that the Barossa Valley is a very cool place with some firm pedigree and with something to latch onto. Plus, they'll communicate about it! That increases the long-term viability of the brand." As a sommelier, one of my favorite things to do is introduce a guest to a wine and/or wine region they've yet to try. If Delegat succeeds with Barossa Valley Estate—and they're beginning to already—I won't get to do this as much, at least in regards to the Barossa Valley. I can forgive them, though. It also makes my job a lot easier when I'm simply giving the guest exactly what they're looking for, or I should say, in the case of the aspirational wine drinkers—exactly what they're wanting to project. PHOTO: MEGHAN ROWE

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