Australian winemaker Penfolds is in the midst of organising tastings with various duty free retailers as it looks to roll-out the California Collection in further DF&TR locations.
The four new Californian wines (2018 Quantum Bin 98 Cabernet Sauvignon —RRP $700; 2018 Bin 149 Cabernet Sauvignon — RRP $149 — 2018 Bin 704 Cabernet Sauvignon — RRP $70; and 2018 Bin 600 Cabernet Shiraz — RRP $50) have been available in the channel since 4 March 2021.
Singapore Airlines (KrisShop), Lotte Duty Free (Changi Airport and iShopChangi), Gebr. Heinemann (Sydney Airport), China Duty Free Group (Hainan Tourism Duty Free Shopping Complex) and CDF-Lagardère (Hong Kong International Airport) were among the first travel retail listings.
Asked by TRBuiness how Treasury Wine Estates expects the Californian range to perform in GTR, Pamela Yeo, PR Manager, Southeast Asia and GTR, Treasury Wine Estates commented: “We’re aiming to position ourselves as a leader in the wine category to capture and educate the unique traveller audience in key airports worldwide.
“The two flagship wines in this range (2018 Quantum and 2018 Bin 149) are referred to as ‘Wines of the World’, a Penfolds term used to describe what we believe the wines’ taste profile exhibits, as a result of the way the wine has been blended.
“We believe this philosophy and new product range will drive meaningful connections and engagement with shoppers.”
Speaking during a recent tasting of the California Collection, which was attended by TRBusiness, Steph Dutton, Senior Red Winemaker, Penfolds emphasises the global appeal of Penfolds’ wines and the California range in particular. “Penfolds has very much been established and grown as a global brand, particularly over the last 30 years.
“When we operate in other countries, we have really close networks that have already been established, given that we have been operating in these countries for a very long time.”
She added: “From a concept point of view, The California collection has been received far better than expected. From a taste perspective, I hope to see a house style that perseveres regardless of where consumers are.”
The journey towards the unveiling of Penfolds’ inaugural California Collection commenced over 20 years ago. The ambition was to create a range of wines unrestricted by vine, border or continent. Made from predominantly Napa Valley cabernet parcels, each wine contains a significant addition of flagship-worthy shiraz (Quantum) and cabernet (Bin 149) from South Australia.
Peter Gago, Chief Winemaker, Penfolds commented: “A quality-first approach underpins this inaugural release, led by 2018 Quantum. This blend assembles parcels of prized cabernet sauvignon from some of the Napa Valley’s best vineyards and pedigreed shiraz from South Australia. This is a first for Penfolds.”
Over the past three years, Penfolds has sourced grapes from some of the best Californian vineyards to complement Penfolds’ house style.
Gago added: “The wines made in California pay respect to California terroir, yet one thing remains overtly consistent — the red Penfolds stamp. AP John barrels, open fermenters and time-honoured Penfolds winemaking techniques have been applied.
“Being global isn’t just about selling wine around the world. It is about working with both feet on the soil. We will have the Californian sun above and soil beneath, but everything in between will be Penfolds.”
Currently, Penfolds is investigating winemaking opportunities in Bordeaux (and Champagne) with more information to follow in due course.
*All images courtesy of Treasury Wine Estates.
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