One of the most popular Australian wines around the world, Yellow Tail, was launched 20 years ago.

A family-owned wine brand, Yellow Tail has risen from humble beginnings to become a wine that sells 13.5 million (nine-litre) cases a year, available in more than 60 countries across the planet.

John Casella, the Managing Director of Casella Family Brands, and the man who first created Yellow Tail back in 2001, said: “Over two decades, Yellow Tail has grown to be one of the most famous wine success stories of our time.”

“We have achieved this without losing sight of who we are or what the Yellow Tail brand stands for, which is ultimately about bringing people together and creating moments of happiness.”

Yellow Tail is produced at the Casella winery, which can trace its history back to 1957, when Filippo and Maria Casella arrived in Australia from their native Sicily.

They settled in Yenda, NSW, where they constructed a small winery in 1969, and began producing easy-drinking wines, inspired both by their Italian viticultural heritage, and the laid-back Aussie lifestyle.

John Casella claims that it was this easy-going approach that encouraged him to create Yellow Tail. He wanted to create a wine that people could enjoy on any occasion – targeting potential wine drinkers amongst those who would usually consume beer.

Yellow Tail aimed to demystify the sometimes-confusing world of wine, offering simple, attractive packaging and a food-friendly, fruit-forward flavour profile. As John Casella says: “At its inception Yellow Tail stood out in an overly crowded and traditional wine category due to its unique personality and differentiated positioning.”

The brand has grown beyond all expectation from its first shipment of 1,104 (nine litre) cases back in 2021, with Yellow Tail now estimating that almost 12.5 billion glasses of its wine have been enjoyed worldwide.

Yet, Casella and Yellow Tail have not been able to rest on their laurels, with the world of wine changing rapidly in the two decades since its inception. The brand has expanded its range, from two initial bottlings (Shiraz and Chardonnay) to a portfolio of 23 different grape varietals.

As Casella himself says: “The category has become increasingly cluttered and fragmented, with consumer tastes and trends constantly changing; we have had to work extremely hard to maintain our position and continue to grow Yellow Tail worldwide.”

Here, the company states it has been led by customer trends – developing products including Jammy Red Roo (a blend of Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, and other red grapes), and Yellow Tail Pure Bright (a wine lower in alcohol and calories) to meet consumer demand.

Similarly, Yellow Tail have also diversified its target markets, moving from the original focus of the United States, to enter the UK and Asia, successfully spreading risk and protecting the brand from changing market forces. These days, the US remains Yellow Tail’s largest market, accounting for 50 per cent of the brand’s market share by volume, followed by the UK and Australia.

With 20 years of experience now under the belt, Casella remains upbeat about the future of the Yellow Tail brand, looking to create new products that reflect consumer trends, and to enter new occasions and customers.

The company also now has a sustainability strategy in development, with the aim of providing a clear path for Yellow Tail over the next five years, with Casella concluding: “We are fortunate to have a unique, strong, and powerful global wine brand.”

“I’m very excited for the next chapter – there is still so much opportunity for Yellow Tail, and I know we have the passion, the people, and the ability to ensure Yellow Tail is the world’s most loved wine brand for years to come.”

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