Home' National Liquor News : NLN FEB 2018 Contents 108 | FEBRUARY 2018 NATIONAL LIQUOR NEWS
ADRIAN GARFORTH MW, CEO
YEALANDS WINE GROUP
WHAT WERE THE MAIN HIGHLIGHTS
FOR YEALANDS IN 2017?
2017 was an extremely challenging vintage
for all, but I am delighted to say that our
winemaking and vineyard teams excelled,
winning the Champion Sauvignon Trophy
(Peter Yealands Reserve) at the Marlborough
Wine Show, and collecting the most awarded
winery at Sydney International Wine Challenge.
WHAT DO YOU SEE AS THE MAJOR
OPPORTUNITIES FOR YEALANDS
OVER THE NEXT 12 MONTHS?
We will continue to build and develop our
existing distributor relationships. Although we
are active in more than 80 different markets,
we recognise that we are still a relatively new
player in the market (we will be celebrating
our 10 year anniversary on 8 August), and
need to work ever harder to ensure trade
success and raise consumer awareness. We have
bolstered our commercial team globally with
more people on the ground, and have recently
announced the appointment of a new GM Sales
and Marketing and an EU Market Manager.
HOW IS THE NEW VINTAGE
LOOKING FOR YEALANDS?
It’s a bit early to call, but the vintage is
looking very promising – with some of the best
flowering conditions we have had in years.
Growing conditions have been excellent in the
Awatere Valley, and we are very optimistic for
the coming vintage. We also have challenged
the team to see just how good we can be, and
are doing some exciting work identifying our
premium blocks, lowering yields and giving the
winemakers the tools to make some genuinely
innovative, great tasting wines. We understand
the appeal of Marlborough Sauvignon, but also
recognise the need for innovation if we are to
retain customer interest.
WHAT TRENDS DO YOU SEE AS
COMING FOR 2018?
Wine tourism – we have a truly unique vineyard
and winery location – so are investing in our
Baby Doll sheep viewing area, improving our
White Road visitor experience and generally
trying to encourage as many of our customers
to come visit. There is also interest in low
alcohol wines, and new varietals both of which
are projects that we are actively engaged in.
We also want to encourage a greater consumer
awareness of sustainability; we only have one
world and we like to think that we enjoy an
industry leading position in this critical area, but
also recognise that others are catching up (which
has to be good for everyone).
WILL YOU BE EXPERIMENTING
WITH ANY NEW WINE STYLES?
The winemakers have been given a license to
produce the best wines possible and within
this we will be experimenting with new styles.
We want to demonstrate that Marlborough
Sauvignon can genuinely produce a high
quality style that will bear comparison with
the great white wines of the world. With
regards to packaging, we have been focussing
on improving paper recycling with our label
suppliers. Looking at other formats, we are
already the number one brand in Norway and
Sweden with our The Crossings Bag-in-Box,
and also have a surprisingly successful PET
format in Sweden. We are also looking at
premium small bottle formats to appeal to the
convenience sector, and are constantly looking
to tweak and improve our label designs
WHAT PLANS DO YOU HAVE TO
ENGAGE THE TRADE TO DRIVE
SALES IN THE YEAR AHEAD?
Our recruitment strategy reinforces our
understanding that we need to get closer to
our customers and consumers. We have a huge
number of in-market initiatives around the globe
and need to improve our consumer engagement
at the same time. Thankfully our quality remains
exceptional across the portfolio, so we need
to get more ‘glass in hand’ experiences and
ensure our communication is relevant and easy
WHAT KEY FACTORS DO YOU
THINK THE INDUSTRY SHOULD BE
DISCUSSING IN 2017?
Sustainability – it is well recognised in New
Zealand, but for many consumers struggling
with the economic challenges that surround us,
it is almost too big an issue for them to engage
in. Our wines show that you don’t need to
pay a premium to enjoy a great drink and do
something good for the environment.
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