Calabria make large Riverina buy
By Andy Young
Calabria Family Wines (CFW) has bought a large Riverina facility, which has seen the family-owned wine company has double its capacity overnight.
The transaction, which is due to settle later this month, includes the winery, cellar door and warehousing and was purchase to assist the family with storage and production facilities.
CFW’s Sales and Marketing Manager Andrew Calabria told TheShout: “It’s a big step for us, what it has done is double our capacity as a winery overnight. The wine business, for us, is something that is long-term so we are in a bit of a transition at the moment, where my dad built the business to where it is today. Then my brothers and my sister and I decided that we have no intentions to sell, we love what we do and anything in our wine business is about the long-term.
“The expansion allows us to be a bit more competitive in the market and our business focuses a lot on export and this gives us a transition there so we can play the export market a lot harder.”
The site includes more than 18 million litres of storage capacity, 3000 square metres of cold stone warehousing and 22,000 tonnes of crushing capacity.
Andrew added: “It’s an amazing site, it was built by Cinzano in the late seventies and the winery has always been well maintained. It’s great for commercial wine-making, which is exactly what we wanted to focus on. Currently we focus on small-batch premium wine-making, so this give us a bit more scale in the commercial sense.
“Anyone can make good wine, but I think if we can make a $10 wine and make it taste like a $14 or $15 bottle of wine that’s giving the consumer extra value, which for us is basic marketing. Australia has always been perceived as having good quality entry-level wine, but it’s now about taking it to a different level and now regardless of price point we want to over deliver and I think this facility will gives us that opportunity.”
In addition to the commercial wine, Andrew said that the new facility will help the family to improve on its export focus.
“Export at this stage represents over 60 per cent of our business, our business was built on exports and I think we’re over the wave. We’re having a lot more conversations and seeing a lot more enquiries coming through about Australian wines, where previously it was a brick wall, things seem to be improving now.”
The purchase of the site means that CFW now has a total storage capacity of more than 40 million litres and has two bottling lines with the capability to produce over two million cases annually, pushing Calabria to become one of the largest family-owned wineries in Australia.