In the 2022 National Liquor News Industry Leaders Forum, Andrew Calabria, Sales & Marketing Director at Calabria Family Wine Group, discussed the significance of the past 12 months and the relaunch of the business.

It’s been a significant 12 months for the Calabria family, as a series of new partnerships and brand acquisitions led the business to relaunch as the Calabria Family Wine Group (CFWG).

The most significant of these acquisitions was of McWilliam’s Wines and Andrew Calabria, Sales & Marketing Director, CFWG, says there are some exciting things planned for the McWilliam’s portfolio in 2022.

“The Calabria and the McWilliam families have had a long and supportive relationship over the past seven decades. They have been an inspiration and guiding force for ourselves and the greater NSW wine industry for over 140 years,” he said.

“We are committed to honouring their legacy while breathing new life into their incredible portfolio of wines.

“We have some exciting plans in 2022 to amplify the heritage of McWilliam’s Wines and its premium fortifieds, as well as doing more to unify the brands to help shoppers discover the different tiers in the portfolio.

“Finally, there are exciting plans to develop the Hanwood vineyard and cellar door for visitors to the region. The changes will enhance the history behind the site while bringing the brand and site into the future.”

CFWG now sits among the largest family-owned wine groups in Australia. Its portfolio consists of Calabria Family Wines, McWilliam’s Wines, Deakin Estate, and La La Land. And its new distribution arm Vintners & Co. Merchants represents its international distribution partnerships, including well-known brands like Dow’s Port, Canti Prosecco, Librandi, and Champagne Deutz. In early 2022, Dona Paula will also be welcomed to the portfolio.

Calabria said: “The purpose of the relaunch was to ensure these unique and celebrated brands retain their individual identities, along with marketing and sales strategies to support their growth in the domestic market. As we are now servicing over 280 SKUs, it’s important to us that each product, range, and brand is distinct and provides value for our customers and ultimately wine lovers across Australia.”

The primary focus for CFWG in 2022 will be “establishing the marketing messages we aim to deliver over the short term for our recently acquired brands while continuing to grow the success of our well-established brands like Calabria Family Wines, Kings of Prohibition and Pierre D’Amour.

“On behalf of Bill, Lena, and the rest of the Calabria family, I want to say thanks to the wider industry for its support last year, especially to those of you that reached out as we welcomed McWilliam’s Wines to our family,” Calabria continued.

“We are truly honoured to become custodians of this iconic wine brand and look forward to continuing a long and prosperous relationship with the McWilliam family into the future.”

New opportunities for Australian wine

Calabria said that the industry needs to come together to determine where the next big international opportunity for Australia wine is going to be.

“We put a lot of faith in the China wine market, and it paid off in the short term, but we are now shut out from that market with few options to fill the gap,” he said.

“As international travel becomes more accessible to us, we as an industry need to cast a critical eye as to where our wines have the greatest chance of success and to work together to fly the flag for premium Australian wine in these markets so that we can build long term export stability across the globe.”

Article written by Deb Jackson.

Read more from the 2022 National Liquor News Leaders Forum here.

Brydie Allen

Brydie Allen is the Editor of National Liquor News. She has been with Food and Beverage Media since 2019, when she joined the company as a journalist across National Liquor News, Bars & Clubs, The...

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