McGuigan Wines is expanding out of its core Australian and U.K. markets as it marks the quarter-century of its brand's existence, looking to boost sales in newer business areas such as China, the wider Asian market and North America.
That's according to Neil McGuigan, the family-owned company's winemaker and chief executive officer, interviewed by phone during a visit to London this month.
McGuigan, whose roots are in Australia's Hunter Valley, sells about 8 million 12-bottle cases a year worldwide, of which some 40 percent are in Australia, a further 40 percent in the U.K. and elsewhere in Europe and the remaining 20 percent in Asia, the U.S. and Canada, he said.
The family's links to the Hunter Valley date back to the 1880s, when his grandfather Owen McGuigan moved to the area and started working the vineyards. Father Perc McGuigan managed a winery and older brother Brian with his wife Fay built a wine business with Neil that led to the establishment of the brand in 1992.
Within seven years the family opened a second base in Barossa Valley to move into Australia's prime Shiraz region and broaden its reach.
``When you're an Australian wine company, you've got to have a full portfolio of wine from every level,'' McGuigan said.
Its range of wines now include Semillon from 30-year-old vines in the Hunter Valley, a Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz blend from Clare Valley, Riesling from the Eden Valley and a pure Shiraz from Barossa that is designed to age for 10 years or more.
McGuigan's latest expansion is being driven by a couple of unrelated factors. In the U.S. its hands were tied until recently by a non-compete agreement which has now expired, enabling it to start moving more into that market. And in China McGuigan says the company has developed two ``very good'' business relationships, covering import, distribution and online sales.