In the 2023 National Liquor News Industry Leaders Forum, Calabria Family Wine Group detailed the strategic achievements of 2022 that are set to be built upon in 2023.

Looking back on the last 12 months, Andrew Calabria, third-generation Sales & Marketing Manager, says: “2022 has been a whirlwind of a year, but the Calabria Family Wine Group continues to grow and succeed in achieving the strategic goals we have set out to achieve.”

A key strategic point of the Calabria Family Wine Group (CFWG) portfolio in 2022 was the McWilliam’s brand. Further integrating this into CFWG has been an important task since the brand was acquired in 2021.

“This included a portfolio review across Calabria’s and McWilliam’s wines, ensuring the McWilliam’s master brand logo is prominent across the collection and setting the foundations for further NPD and innovations that speak to the heritage of the McWilliam’s brand,” said Calabria.

This heritage was heroed in 2022 already with a major launch of the McWilliam’s portfolio – the redevelopment and relaunch of McWilliam’s Hanwood Estate and the Aged Tawny collection.

“The McWilliam name has always been at the forefront of the fortified category, and this range of age-statement releases is an exciting step towards showcasing the diversity of Tawny across multiple lengths of barrel ageing in a premium way,” said Calabria.

2022 was also a busy year for other arms of the CFWG business. On the international front, the company saw exciting growth in imported wines with the launch of Champagne Deutz and Fontanafredda, which extended CFWG’s potential reach in independent retail channels. Then on the Calabria front, the group saw some great success.

“Two of our packaging-lead releases remain top performers in their price and varietal brackets. The beautiful Bélena range, which celebrates the true partnership of my Dad and Mum – the second generation of the Calabria Family Wine Group – marked its official launch in the market with an event in Sydney and a national personalisation campaign in-store,” Calabria said.

“Additionally, our Kings of Prohibition range continues to see strong growth and industry recognition, with the range receiving the Best Package Series Design at the PACKWINE Awards and the brand celebrating the inaugural ‘Kings of Prohibition Day’ – an official wine holiday we created on the same day as Repeal Day (the end of prohibition).”

These brands, alongside the reinvigorated McWilliam’s fortified range, have seen some key success in the retail sector in 2022, particularly with bespoke trade campaigns like the Kings of Prohibition BBQ competition and the custom label promotion for the Bélena range, which Calabria said: “has seen great uptake by consumers looking to create a custom label for this beautiful range of wines.”

Navigating the year ahead

Looking ahead to 2023, core high performing brands, such as Kings of Prohibition, will be an important component of the CFWG objectives. Bélena, for example, will see a major consumer and national media promotion, with the grand prize giveaway for a diamond.

“The statement bottle has been a hit with retailers, which has seen this range double in size in just one short year, and we look forward to growing awareness for the collection with this campaign in 2023,” said Calabria.

It will be an exciting year for the McWilliam’s brand too, with the reopening of the Hanwood Estate Cellar Door after its redevelopment.

“The site is an important part of Australia’s wine history, and we look forward to celebrating this with the newly developed cellar door sometime next year,” said Calabria.

Finally, 2023 will see CFWG continue to overcome a “perfect storm” of supply chain challenges brought on by the shortage of labour, container delays, and limited access to dry goods. Calabria predicts this “is going to prove a challenge through the new year, but one we’re well equipped to tackle.”

Find more from the 2023 National Liquor News Industry 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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