Victorian winery Terra Felix is striking out in a new direction following its success in the domestic market.
Terra Felix released its first vintage in 2002 and quickly established a reputation for value for money wines in a very crowded marketplace.
According to Terra Felix owner, Peter Simon, considerable effort has been invested in matching wines to consumer preferences. “Consumer wine knowledge has grown enormously since I first became involved in the industry 25 years ago. They are now much more selective when it comes to buying wines, especially when matching them with food. This fact, coupled with intense competition for buyer attention, made me realise that to succeed in the wine industry today small producers such as us need to more nimble in responding to consumer preferences,” he said.
While the results of this consumer oriented approach speak volumes for the brand’s continuing success in the domestic market, Simon now has his sights set on the rapidly emerging Chinese market. According to Simon, “we’re applying the same business principles to entering the Chinese market as we use here in Australia — intensive research, a focus on value for money and a wine that suits the local palate.”
The result is Moscato Gold, a wine that is quite sweet, has low alcohol (5.5%) and is packaged in a clear glass bottle that allows the wine’s golden hues to shine through. The label, too, has golden touches, maintaining the lucky theme of the Terra Felix name — in China gold is the colour of luck or good fortune — and the label design has been adapted to local tastes.
According to Simon, “Chinese consumers generally have a low tolerance to alcohol, a preference for sweeter wines and appealing label designs. We believe we’ve ticked all the right boxes in creating this wine specifically for the rapidly increasing number of Chinese wine consumers. We’ve also created a 12 bottle wine box that easily converts to a cut carton display with a header card. The box and header card are also coloured gold, creating a vivid and eye-catching retail display.
“Leaving nothing to chance, Moscato Gold was created by the winemaker who pioneered the style in Australia, Terry Barnett. He had enormous success with Brown Brothers and has adapted those learnings to produce this wine. The entire vintage of 15,000 litres is now on its way to China.”
The decision to export the entire vintage of a new wine in a single shipment is a courageous decision for a small producer. But with exhaustive research, careful planning, a wine that ‘meets the market’ and a name like Terra Felix adding a little bit of luck to the equation, the brand will hopefully be just fine.
The wine is styled on the famous Italian Asti wines. Made from the aromatic Muscat grape it highlights the natural fruit flavours of the variety. It is made to be fun, a low alcohol wine (5.5%) with partial fermentation that allows for the retention of natural acid and sweetness in harmony. Added to this is a unique winemaking process that retains the natural fermentation gases within the wine. This increases the flavour profile and also results in a prickly sensation on the tongue. It is best described as having a lively ‘zippy’ feel and is suited to many occasions. It can be served with Dim Sim snacks, as an aperitif wine or with spicy Sichuan food.
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