The start of a new year is when people tend to take stock of things. Mike Ratcliffe of Warwick is one of them. He sat down and mapped out sales of wine at various price points – using Warwick and Vilafonté wines since he’s involved with both. “I have to say the graphs made for interesting reading once I’d finished them.”
“There’s 30% compound growth in the value end of the market – wines like our First Lady which sell for around R60. That ticks over quite nicely.”
What raised his eyebrows was the “really strong growth” in the top end – wines selling above the R250 a bottle mark. Warwick Trilogy is R275 and the Vilafonté wines – Series C and Series M are R479 and R350 respectively.
Vilafonté Series C – the Cabernet-led red blend – sells out in less than six months while the Merlot-led Series M takes a full year to reach the same sold-out status.
Once again this demonstrates two maxims which form the bedrock of marketing folks’ strategies: to over deliver on quality at lower price points and secondly, that high-ticket items are essentially recession proof. When people want luxury goods and can afford them, they buy them. And that includes Aston Martins, designer handbags, fashion, watches and the like.
“The other thing is to tie your wines in with limited volume, high-end brand extensions,” Ratcliffe said, “That’s the place to be…”