By Andy Young
Treasury Wine Estates has announced the launch of its first range of wine under the company’s Regional Gems strategy.
The Stag wines from St Huberts are now available in Chardonnay and Shiraz and TWE’s managing director for Australia and New Zealand, Angus McPherson, told TheShout that the launch and the wines have come as part of the company’s commitment to focus on growth opportunities for the wine category.
“This is us following up on what we announced in January and it’s the first major innovation to come from the work we have been doing for the last six months,” McPherson said.
“There are a variety of reasons why we’ve gone with St Huberts first; when we looked at the portfolio it was a brand where we really felt that we could broaden the appeal. And there were a couple of key pillars as to why we thought we could do that.
“St Huberts was named after the patron saint of the hunt from the seventh century and he named it after a chance encounter with a mythical creature – the stag. So there was this really rich story and we have seen this emergence of brands which are a bit more personality-led. But they have got to be personality-led with real authenticity and what we saw with The Stag under St Huberts is that St Huberts has that authenticity; it was founded in 1862 and was one of the first wineries in the Yarra Valley.
“So when you look at why St Huberts and why The Stag, it is this emergence of personality-led brands, with authenticity and then we have the credibility of the winemaking, with Greg Jarratt our award-winning winemaker who has been there since 1996.
McPherson added: “Then the other thing is that we’ve seen the growth of the premium Chardonnay in $16-$20, we’ve seen growth of Shiraz so you add all those different elements up and it was a real opportunity to expand the footprint and the offering of what St Huberts is today and a more broadly customer or consumer base.”
The launch of The Stag will be supported through national marketing activity incorporating in-store collateral and sampling, catalogues, digital and PR. St Huberts wines including The Stag tier will also feature in TWE’s upcoming Vintec promotion.
And while there are other wines in the St Huberts portfolio McPherson told TheShout that the initial focus will be the two wines, but a further Pinot Noir is likely to be launched soon. “At the moment it is a real focus on the Chardonnay and the Shiraz and we also had a Pinot Noir that existed under the St Huberts brand, and The Stag is really about being endorsed by St Huberts, so there is a Pinot Noir out there and that will come under The Stag with a new label.
“The core of it is, that the introduction of The Stag broadens the appeal of St Huberts, to a broader audience than it has been doing. And as one of Australia’s leading winemakers we do have a responsibility to try and grow the category.”
In February 2016, TWE announced that iconic wines from regional Australia will form a key part of the next stage of the Company’s global brand strategy. A second portfolio of wines including regional ‘gems’ from Coldstream Hills, Devil’s Lair, Seppelt, T’Gallant, Heemskerk, Saltram and St Huberts will follow the trajectory established by TWE’s 15 global priority brands;
The new Stag Chardonnay, which is 13.5 per cent ABV and The Stag Shiraz, which is 14.5 per cent ABV, will be available at national and independent retailers across Australia from early July with an RRP of $19.99.