Home' National Liquor News : NLN FEB 2018 Contents NATIONAL LIQUOR NEWS FEBRUARY 2018 | 71
THEO GIESEN, CO-OWNER
WHAT WERE THE MAIN
HIGHLIGHTS FOR GIESEN IN 2017?
After the June 2016 acquisition of the brand
assets of Winegrowers of Ara, 2017 was a
year of consolidation and we concluded the
year with Ara well established within the
It was the same for our partnership with
Oatley Fine Wine Merchants (OFWM) who
in April 2016 were appointed distributors
of the Giesen portfolio in Australia’s
independent retail and on-premise accounts.
This partnership grew and in 2017 has helped
Giesen Wines continue to perform strongly
across all segments of the Australian market,
within all ranges of the Group portfolio. A
year into the partnership we are achieving the
objective to show Australians the diversity and
depth of our portfolio.
Another highlight in 2017 saw Giesen
Wines being invited to pour at the prestigious
Wine Spectator New York Wine Experience
in October. The event includes dinners and
cocktail parties, with the highlight being two
New York Wine Experience Critics’ Choice
Grand Tastings on Thursday 19 and Friday
20 October. Wineries are invited to pour
at the tasting by Wine Spectator’s board of
senior editors, and only wineries that have
received the highest tasting scores of 90+ point
ratings from the magazine’s tasting panel are
considered. I attended the event to introduce
wine lovers to Giesen and it was an outstanding
honour to share our Marlborough wines with
many discerning wine drinkers.
In late 2017 after months of work our
marketing team launched a new website. This
is now a great repository for wine lovers in
Australia and throughout the world to learn the
stories behind our brand.
IN WHICH AREAS DID YOU SEE
THE MOST AMOUNT OF GROWTH
Giesen and Ara sales are increasing in Australia
and we look forward to this continuing. Our
partnership with Oatley helps us call on many
more customers across Australia. Because of
this relationship in 2017 we saw compelling
growth within the on-premise and independent
retail segments. Australia has always been a
very supportive market for Giesen and we look
forward to this continuing in 2018 with the
ability for us to supply more outlets.
WHAT DO YOU SEE AS THE BIG
TRENDS FOR 2018?
Trends come and go. But there are constants
in the wine market and we deliver to these.
They are quality and value for money from
recognised regions such as Marlborough.
That said, we are seeing increased demand
for organic wines. We have noticed every year
that consumers and trade are taking more
interest in organic wines and we will continue
to develop more styles and wines as we gain
a better understanding of the wines and their
We have been growing, making and selling
organic wines since 2009. Now 20 per cent
of Giesen vineyards are certified organic
or in transition. These vineyards allow
us to create a selection of flavour-filled
award-winning, organic wines. In 2015
after a long-term lease, we purchased the
prized organic Clayvin, Marlborough’s
first significant hillside vineyard. This
significant addition to our vineyard
holdings complements our winemaking
innovation and premium wine portfolio.
We also see some sophistication from
drinkers around their understanding of rosé,
like what we experienced in the US market a
year or two ago. We introduced Giesen Rosé in
Australia in late 2016 and we are seeing sales
growth. Wine drinkers are increasingly looking
for a fresh, crisp style of rosé, which is the how
the Giesen Rosé is made.
Consumers are increasingly looking for
lighter in alcohol options and we are pleased
to have responded to this demand. We have for
a few years offered a Marlborough Sauvignon
Blanc that is 25 per cent lighter in alcohol than
our standard Giesen Estate Sauvignon Blanc.
We are seeing growth here with consumers
recognising the power of Marlborough and that
our lighter in alcohol wine retains the delicious
concentration of flavour they expect from the
region and Sauvignon Blanc. We expect this
category to continue to grow.
HOW WILL YOU ENGAGE THE
TRADE TO DRIVE SALES IN 2018?
Working with Oatley Fine Wine Merchants we
will continue to increase our distribution by
calling on more independent retail and on-premise
outlets. We have a variety of point of sale and will
continue to develop this following an increased
investment in sales and marketing for the
company. Our relationship with Oatley Fine Wine
Merchants provides insights to help us develop
unique and engaging consumer promotions and
we will continue to innovate so our customers
have points of difference within our brands.
In Australia we are also the wine supplier
for American Express Openair Cinema. This
allows consumers to taste and trial our Giesen
wines. This program began in October and
runs until April so gives us a strong consumer
experience for six months.
WHAT IS YOUR KEY MESSAGE TO
Despite some claims to the contrary people
are continuing their affair with Marlborough
Sauvignon Blanc. The Giesen range features
an extensive range of Sauvignon Blanc from
light alcohol to organic and ultra-premium
single vineyard styles such as Matthews
Lane Sauvignon Blanc. We want to continue
illustrating that Sauvignon Blanc has many
faces and styles and invite consumers to find a
style that meets their taste.
In 2018 we will continue to focus on the
most important person in the drinks business
– the consumer. We’ll keep listening to them,
identifying what they want and then delivering
upon this. We think that’s what everyone in the
industry should be doing.
claims to the
contrary people are
continuing their affair
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