By James Wells
Robert Oatley Vineyards is seeing strong acceptance for its wine packaged in 30 litre kegs from on-premise venues.
Speaking with TheShout at the recent ProWein exhibition in Dusseldorf, Robert Oatley Vineyards chief executive officer, Anthony Roberts, said there is strong acceptance from the vineyards and from the on-premise customers.
“We are using 30-litre disposable KeyKegs which we buy in from Europe and e are filling them through our bottling line process. The kegs are hand filled through a specific coupling system, and we also provide the coupling system to the customer.
“We are currently selling five wines in keg – Giesen Sauvignon Blanc, Barossa Shiraz under Four In Hand, Robert Oatley Chardonnay from Margaret River, Wild Oats Pinot Grigio and Josef Chromy Pepik Pinot Noir from Tasmania.
“We are selling kegs to higher end restaurants across the country that are looking for the convenience of using a keg as opposed to the packaging and the waste associated with bottled wine. We are finding that is being very well received by the vineyards as well as their customers. We have a number of larger format restaurants that are using kegs and are very much focused on premium wines as opposed to commercial wines.
“Certainly when we look at our US business, premium keg wines has been very successful over the last 10 years and we are certainly seeing that trend coming to Australia, we don’t see it as a significant part of our business, but an increasingly important part of our business moving forward.
“We are looking at a shelf life of a keg of at least 12 months from bottling the line to when we expect it to be used. So in terms of customer purchasing, there is no specific volume requirements. For a restaurant to put on a keg, they would want to be doing the equivalent of three of four cases of that wine in a bottled format each week.
“We are kegging our wine at our bottling facility in Mudgee in New South Wales, while Giesen Wines are doing it at their bottling facility in Marlborough and Josef Chromy in Tasmania.”