Discover Unique Quality Wines from Boland Cellar at IBWSS 2017

Boland Cellar is a regional specialist with a long history of producing internationally-acclaimed wines.

From its humble origins, Boland has grown over 75 years to become an international producer of fine wine, competing on a global scale. Extensive prime vineyards across the Cape Coastal Region guarantee consistency in style and quality year after year, which, with collaboration, dedication and expertise, have led Boland Cellar to become one of South Africa’s top wine brands.

Boland Cellar

They are the most recent in our 40-year legacy of international wine awards and trophies here.

The captivating history of Boland Cellar in Paarl dates back to the late 1930s and the early 1940s.

In 1939 some 40 wine farmers of the Boland region came together to begin collectively were pressing their grapes. Soon their joint production was too large for the existing facilities to handle and the group broke up, at which point nine bold farmers from the Paarl area, determined to continue their collaboration, decided to head out on their own and took the courageous step of forming their own winery on 17 June, 1941. Today, that winery is known as Boland Cellar.

Their growing partners’ vineyards cover approximately 1,900 hectares (almost 4,700 acres) in area across the Cape Coastal Region – from Paarl and Malmesbury to Durbanville and the Berg River Valley. The variations in terroir and climate across these areas create regional expressions of each varietal, giving their dynamic and award-winning winemaking team the opportunity to create wines of both high quality and distinctive character.

The Cape Coastal Region is unique in its myriad of different terroir and climatic zones, producing some of the finest expressions of the varietals grown. Through collaboration with different growers across this region, Boland Cellar brings together grapes from a variety of different climatic zones, and blends them with their knowledge of the region and our wine-making expertise to create exceptional wine.

Boland Cellar

Among the climatic zones we draw on are the Paardeberg and its surrounds, well-known for producing exceptional Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc and Shiraz; the Drakenstein Mountain Slopes, which have lower yields, but very high quality grapes; the Swartland Border Area, which traditionally produces grain, but is now also renowned for its robust, full-bodied Pinotage and Shiraz; the coastal areas, ideal for Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, and lastly the Berg River Valley, which favours white varietals, and consistently delivers a high quality harvest year after year.

Boland Cellar has been lauded as one of Paarl’s most progressive cellars, and we constantly strive to meet international accreditation standards.

Boland is IPW and HACCP accredited and has BRC accreditation through its bottling facilities. Boland Cellar is a shareholder in its bottling facility and is therefore able to ensure strict adherence to international quality assurance standards.

Boland Cellar also obtained full WIETA accreditation in 2016.

Wines Inspired by Nature

Great wine is not determined by a single element. It’s not just the terroir, with its soil and its rocks. It’s not just the summer sun, or winter’s chill. Each grape is the result of the collaboration between nature’s different elements – elements that shift and change and can prove fickle, but can also produce greatness. Like nature, Boland Cellar has chosen to work together with farmers and growers across a broad range of climates and terroir, taking the collaboration that was begun by each vine all the way to your glass.

Pioneers of Boland Cellar

The idea and spirit of collaboration has inspired Boland Cellar since its founding, and we are proud to have remained pioneers of collaboration in the South African wine industry for more than 75 years.

History is filled with great collaborations. They have changed the face of culture and technology, of music and art. Through it we are able to create something better, something that no individual could have created alone.

Since Boland Cellar’s formation in 1941, their ethos of collaboration has been at the heart of everything we do. The exceptional quality, style, consistency and service we offer is built on working together with growers, employees and suppliers, talented winemakers, and, of course, nature. Together, we are able to craft outstanding wine for our loyal customers.

Meet and Explore Boland Cellar at IBWS Show. The International Bulk Wine and Spirits Show (IBWSS) is an annual trade show and conference which will give wineries, importers, supermarkets, retailers, restaurants, distilleries and other buyers a premiere international platform to source bulk wine and spirits and meet private label suppliers. Book now and save on exhibitor rates 

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Private Label Wine Business in USA

The growing US private label market offers European producers a chance to sell wine in the biggest wine-consuming country in the world, not only reaching a new market but also possibly getting better margins. But, as with all things US wine-related, creating private labels means negotiating the three-tier system that regulates US wine distribution – each of the 50 states has its own laws, and there are sometimes even different laws within a state.

In addition, the private label system – that is, the creation of wines that are exclusive to one retailer or restaurant – can be almost as complicated as the three-tier system. Not only are there two major kinds of private label, there are also several legal and supply chain hurdles to overcome to do it successfully.

Still, say those who do private label, it can work and benefit producers. “You have to be willing to be flexible,” says Jean Hoefliger, a Swiss native who is the winemaker at California’s Alpha Omega, as well as a consultant who has worked with private label on both sides. “You have to be willing to understand how the US market is different, on how the system works, and what retailers are looking for.”

What is private label?

Private label wine, also called ‘store label’, is a brand that is created for, and sold exclusively by, one retailer and can’t be found anywhere else. It may carry the name of the retailer – which is common in Britain, but less so in the US – or a name devised for that retailer. The two best-known private labels in the US are Kirkland, which is sold only at the Costco warehouse chain, and Charles Shaw, the legendary ‘Two Buck Chuck’, available only at the Trader Joe’s specialty grocery chain.

Traditionally, private label was only for retailers, but the growth of large regional and national restaurant chains in the US has created a demand for private label on-premise as well.

The other thing to know? There are two kinds of private labels – control, or exclusive brands, and traditional private label brands. In the former, the producer owns the label, and can sell it to any retailer it wants. The Charles Shaw wines are control brands, since its producer, Bronco Wine Company, owns the label. Costco’s Kirkland is a traditional private label, where the retailer buys wine from a variety of producers and sells it under a name that it owns.

Each approach has its advantages. Owning the brand allows the producer to make the best deal it can, and to shop the label if it doesn’t like the current deal. But working on a private label with a big retailer offers stability and predictable sales. In this, says Gary Glass, president of the Parducci-owned Mendocino Wine Co in Ukiah, California, it’s not one size fits all. Each producer has to decide what works best for it; if it doesn’t want to worry about marketing, then traditional private label works better, for instance.

For some producers, it’s so worthwhile that they specialise exclusively in private label; they buy bulk wine or juice and then package it for the retailer, based on the retailer’s requirements. Or they put together a private label program and pitch it to a retailer or restaurant chain. The system also works the other way. Costco, for instance, contracts with producers to make wine for its Kirkland brand, and looks for specific varietals and regions of the world.

Even small wineries make private label. About 15% of the 5,000-case Brooklyn Oenology, a small New York City producer, goes to private label. Owner Alie Shaper says she works with local retailers and restaurants, who don’t need to buy enough wine to interest a bigger producer, but do want to do private label.

Growth of the market

The private label market is growing quickly, though it still isn’t as established as it is in Britain or used as often as it is in other US consumer categories. John Bratcher, a long-time retailer, wine broker, and winery sales executive in Austin, Texas, says: “It has picked up over the last 15 years, and really accelerated over the past five years.  The idea is that, with the expanding wine market in the US and more retailers, more retailers want to sell something that consumers can’t buy anywhere else.”

One difficulty with tracking private label in the US is that many retailers are reluctant to identify their wines as private label. Kroger, the $110bn grocery store chain, sells several private label wines under names such as Parkers Estate. This is such a common practice that Nielsen, which tracks grocery store wine sales, has a difficult time estimating the extent of private label sales in the US.

The Total Wine & More chain, with 135 stores in 18 states, and BevMo!, with 158 stores on the west coast, have a heavy focus on private label. After speaking with a number of private label producers, it appears that as much as 20% of the wine sold at the largest national supermarkets could be store brands; at some retailers, it may be as high as 40%.

The reason is not hard to find. The margins on private label wines are simply better – often double that of branded wines – and they also offer the retailer exclusive products. As important as margins are, that exclusivity matters, too. Retail competition in the US is more intense that it has ever been, as chains like Total Wine & More expand and supermarkets like Kroger boost their wine sections. This means that smaller retailers, in particular, are looking for something to sell that the bigger retailers don’t carry.

So what works in private label?

“Retailers always tell you that they want the best quality private label, but so many other things go into it,” says James Gunter, who owns Wines With Conviction, a wholesaler and distributor in Dallas who has worked with private label for years. “Where are they trying to slot the private label? What pricing do they want?”

Does the retailer want control or traditional private label? What grapes? Does it need a private label to compete with a national brand? To fill a certain space on the shelf, be it a category like red blends or a specific region? Does the retailer have a particular demographic in mind?

Retailers are more likely to use well-known international grapes for private label, rather than regions or more unusual grapes.  This doesn’t mean there isn’t a market for Rhone wines, or for French, Italian, and Spanish varietals, but that it’s often an uphill battle trying to make private label wines from them. Retailers are a little more open than used to be, says Gunter, but it still isn’t easy.

As to how to get into the market, while referrals happen, Glass of Mendocino Wine says cold-calling is vital. His company uses a pitch book with sample labels that include the name of the wine, the price point and the wine blend. This gives retailers “the look and feel” of what they might finally see on their shelf; a retailer who wants a $20.00 red blend or an $18.00 Chardonnay will be able to see a product mockup.

What the label looks like is crucial, says winemaker Hoefliger: “This is something that is difficult for Europeans to understand,” he says, adding that the wine is sometimes less important than the name and the label. “Don’t be surprised if you spend 70% of the cost of developing the private label on that part of it.”

That’s why Gunter says it’s important to find an importer with private label experience. The importer will better know which retailers are looking for a private label, what wine they’re looking for, and who makes the decisions. “I’ve wasted a lot of time with teams of salesmen over the years,” says Gunter, “but they weren’t anyone who could make a decision. Find the decision maker, and have a clean conversation.”

In three-tier, every wine sold to a retailer or restaurant must go through a distributor. This means that almost every private label wine, even if it’s 100% exclusive, still has to be distributed through a wholesaler to the retailer or restaurant. This isn’t as much of a problem when dealing with a big retailer, since the retailer’s wholesaler will probably be happy to take the wine to keep the retailer happy. But it can be problematic when selling to a smaller retailer and there isn’t enough volume to interest larger wholesalers.

Labels must also be approved by the US government, and some states require that wine goes through their own label approval process. In both cases, an experienced importer can help navigate the legal challenges.

Is it worth it?

Producer margins on private label wines can be much better than on branded wines – 50% to 55% compared to the more usual 30% to 35%, says Texas retailer Bratcher.

Here, as in so many other areas, says Glass, one size does not fit all.  Producers may have to sacrifice margin to get a retailer’s business, and larger retailers may offer lower margins in any case, because they do more volume or are using the private label to undercut a rival’s brand. Hence, producers need to be flexible and willing to work with the retailer on price and margin, particularly when it comes to their first contract. Once the first private label wines are on the shelves and selling, they will hopefully prove themselves and be a key to future business.

– Jeff Siegel

Source : Meininger’s Wine Business International.

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What Drives Imports and Exports of Bulk Wine?

Georgi’s Conclusion

Exchange rates are part of the explanation. There are other things that influence the wine trade: yields, demand changes, policy (duty drawbacks)

Theory and Reality: Bulk wine 2011-2014

A strong dollar

  •  Increases volume of imports and
  •  Lowers the U.S. dollar price of imports
  •  Reduces volume of U.S. Exports and
  •  Raises prices of U.S Exports for foreign buyers in their currencies

Between 2011 and 2014 the dollar gained about 15.5% against currencies of most wine producing countries (weighted by value of imports).

The dollar gained about 7.5% against the currencies of major wine importing countries (Euro, Pound, Yen, Yuan, HK Dollar) • What happened to U.S. Imports and Exports of bulk wine?

U.S. Total Bulk Imports by Month

Chile, Argentina, and Australia are the major bulk suppliers to the U.S. (87%)

Chile, Argentina, and Australia Bulk Imports as Trendlines

Changes in Bulk Wine Quantities and Price (dollars/liter) from 2011-2014

Thoughts on Bulk Imports and Theory?

  • Bulk imports did increase in 2012 for all countries but then declined in volume the following two years
  • However Chilean and Australian prices fell in U.S. dollars by 18% and 19% and these two countries accounted for more than 50% of bulk shipments.
  • Argentine bulk prices in U.S. dollars per liter remained roughly constant, but volumes declined by 60% from the 2012 high. Not competitive with Chile and Australia?

Despite a strong dollar, volumes of U.S. bulk shipments have remained fairly constant

What Was Happening in the U.S.?

  • Domestic quantity demanded has been increasing (2-4% per year) • Quantity demanded for wine under $7 a bottle has decreased by 7% from 2011 to 2014
  • Short vintages in 2010 and 2011. CA supply did not keep up with U.S. demand.
  • This led to increased bulk imports in 2012, accounting for the spike • 2012 and 2013 were two record harvests in California
  • Southern S.J Valley harvest produced a record 2.48 million tons in 2013, filling tanks and reducing the need for bulk wine imports
  • All this effected California prices and import volumes

Quantity Demanded and California Shipments

Recent California Grape Crush

Drawback, if a factor, encouraged exports (and would tend to raise grape prices)

Conclusion?

  • Exchange rates are one of several factors that effect grape prices.
  • A strong dollar makes imports more competitive with domestic wine, thus lowering grape prices in California (at least for those segments where imports are a substitute)
  • But decreasing U. S. demand for inexpensive wine coupled with large CA harvests also reduces CA prices (supply/demand)
  • We live in a global marketplace. The two strategies for success are: (1) Differentiation (i.e. reduce the potential for substitution)(2) Increased efficiency (out compete foreign producers)

Source : http://aic.ucdavis.edu/publications/CAWGLapsley2015.pdf

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How to Have Your Own Wine Label Without Having a Winery

On the surface, it almost sounds like an oxymoron – having your own wine label without having a winery. But private label wines are becoming an increasingly popular segment of the U.S. wine market, and for good reason: launching your own private label wine can boost revenue, increase profit margins, and help you create a unique brand identity that sets you apart from the competition.

Perhaps the best example of a private label wine business taking off is the Kirkland Signature line of wines at Costco, which is already the #1 wine retailer in the U.S. Through its exclusive partnerships with wineries in the United States, Costco is able to offer unique, premium wines at half the cost anywhere else. Similarly, Trader Joe’s has sold over 50 million cases of its private label wine since 2002.

And a growing number of retailers – including some national wine and liquor chains and supermarkets – are following suit, viewing the private label wine business as a way to boost revenue and grow margins. According to some estimates, the margins on private label wine bottles are 10-15 percent higher than on bottles from national brands like Kendall Jackson and Barefoot.

Plus, as wine experts point out, retailers are essentially shortening their supply chain by squeezing out some of the middleman who are making their mark-ups every time they sell a case of wine. You are getting your wine direct from the winery, after all.

As a result, it’s no longer out of the ordinary to see private label wines show up on the shelves of supermarkets. Even a few national wine and spirits stores, such as Total Wine, now offer private label wines. According to the current estimates, private label wines now account for approximately 5 percent of all wines sold in the United States, and that figure could be headed higher. Some projections call for private label wines to eventually account for 20 percent of the entire market.

That would make private label wines roughly the equivalent of other private label goods (i.e. private label pasta, private label canned goods) that supermarkets now sell. And in France and Italy, the private label wine market is even more popular, accounting for nearly one-third of all wines sold.

In addition to the economic appeal of these private label wines, there’s also the branding aspect that can help to differentiate companies from other restaurants or retailers. For example, the legendary Italian restaurant Carmine’s in New York City has used private label wines as part of its overall branding strategy. It has worked with wineries to create a range of different wines – Pinot Grigio, Chianti, Prosecco, Montepulciano and Trebbiano – that it can offer to customers as examples of small, family-made wines, which can be enjoyed as part of a family-style feast. For families and tourists on a budget, it’s a way to create a welcoming wine menu that is also true to the restaurant’s overall brand.

The important point to keep in mind is that a private label wine doesn’t say “private label” on the bottle. To the casual wine drinker, it looks just like any other wine they might drink. While Costco and Trader Joe’s customers may realize they are drinking private label wines, that’s not necessarily true in the restaurant and hospitality business.

In general, private label wines are starting to catch on as customers become more adventurous and daring in their choices. They may not recognize the wine or the label, but are tempted to try it and experiment. And, as we’ve seen already, having an eye-catching label is often just as effective as having a first-class wine in terms of attracting attention. The “snob appeal” of avoiding private label wines, if there ever was any, appears to be fading. After all, the bottle, the cork, and the label are no different. It’s just a matter of convincing a customer to try a $10-15 bottle of wine they may not recognize instead of a bottle of wine that’s 2-3 times more expensive.

If anything, the major trend is towards private, exclusive wines that are grown in limited quantities. So that’s how businesses can choose to position their private label wines. Instead of being used to attract cost-conscious customers, it’s a way to attract affluent, sophisticated customers. That may not be true for Costco, which is focused on selling huge quantities at low prices, but it certain works for the hospitality business, where there is a constant search to differentiate oneself from the competition. As a result, everyone from a national chain of steakhouses to a small boutique hotel chain might be interested in creating a private label wine.

Bottles of white wine in a bottling plant

Which leads to the obvious question: How do you get started if you want to own your own private label?

The first step, say industry insiders, is to figure out the types of wines that your customers enjoy drinking and what the average price of the bottles they are ordering is. From there, you need to make a few projections about the growth projections of your business. You don’t want to be ordering thousands of cases of wine, and then be stuck with dead inventory. Also, since every label must denote the place of origin of the wine, the wines you select should be a natural fit for the restaurant in terms of region and style of wine.

From there, it’s time to reach out to wineries that might potentially be interested in a deal. Some wineries are able to accommodate a wide range of order sizes – everything from 5 cases to 1000 cases – while other wineries prefer only to work on smaller or larger order sizes. Once you’ve narrowed down your choices, the vintner will work with you on every aspect of creating your own wine – down to the creation of the label and even the type of cork. There are also independent design companies specializing in designing wine labels, cases and other promotional material. They will design a label that meets the specifications of the country you want to sell in and the tier you want to sell the wine in.

From there, all you have to do is place the order and you’ll soon have your private wine label, all without the time and expense of actually operating your own winery.

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