Calabria Family Wines; Banta BoxNew releases

Calabria takes boxed wine upmarket

Cask wine has ditched its daggy reputation and is now the No.2 category driving traffic to liquor stores in Australia, with winemakers such as Calabria Family Wines proving that buying boxed wine no longer means sacrificing quality.

Wine lovers have been embracing the format during COVID-19, as it offers value for money and convenience.

According to data from Wine Australia and IRI Market Edge, sales surged 21% in April after lockdowns were first introduced. Sales had grown by just 1% the previous month, and were in 5-7% decline before that.

Calabria Family Wines has released a range of upmarket, environmentally friendly boxed wines available exclusively to independent retailers across Australia this summer.

Banta Box offers premium quality wines in a 2-litre cask format, including classic varieties such as Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Rosé and Shiraz.

Sales & Marketing Manager Andrew Calabria said: “For a while now, the Australian cask category has carried a poor reputation for being of low quality, but this perception is changing as more premium offerings come to market.

“We believe there is a change in the perception for boxed wine. ‘Bag in Box’ wines have been performing so well abroad and I think that trend is starting to flow through to Australia.”

However, Calabria said that size matters this time around for boxed wine.

“I do not believe the growth and interest is in the old formats that we have seen in the past – 5L cask wine is not where we see the market is shifting,” he explained. “We see the 2L or smaller, premium format with varieties like Pinot Grigio and Montepulciano growing in interest and appeal to a wide range of drinkers.”

All the wines in the Banta Box range are also 100% vegan friendly and once opened stay fresh for up to 30 days. With its 100% recyclable outer carton, and lightweight format, the cask produces a fractional amount of the carbon footprint when compared to its glass bottle counterpart.

“Consumers are more conscious than ever of the impact excess packaging is having on our planet, and it’s no different for the regular wine drinker, which is why we’re seeing such great excitement for alternative packaging formats in the industry,” Calabria said.

“Banta Box gives wine drinkers who want the occasional glass of wine with a meal at home an option they can store in the fridge for an extended period of time without the guilt of opening an entire bottle. Banta is great for outdoor occasions, as it’s easier to carry around than glass bottles.”

Aussies love their rose and Calabria says it’s a similar story for the boxed wine format.

“Rose is a stable part of wine consumption; we are seeing growth in all formats,” he noted. “Cask makes sense for Rose as it is a great BBQ or picnic wine and totally suits the outdoor occasion.”

Calabria debuts boxed Montepulciano

Calabria will also introduce early-to-market red varietals such as Montepulciano and Nero D’Avola to the Banta Box range in 2021.

Wine writer James Halliday describes Montepulciano as being “particularly great with full-flavoured dishes”.

“This generous variety is full of plush red, purple and black fruits, and often with a bold, spicy tannin structure,” he said.

As for Nero D’Avola, Halliday added that it’s “medium-bodied and fruit-forward, with floral and herbal notes”.

Nero d’Avola is often compared to shiraz or cabernet sauvignon,” he said. “That perhaps explains its uptake in Australia, offering a palate that’s approachable for local drinkers.” 

Banta Box Montepulciano features forest fruit flavours of blackberry and raspberry, with finishing notes of spiced cherry; while Banta Box Nero D’Avola has flavours of dark berries, cherry and plum with a savoury, dried herb finish.

“Based on our research we are the first producer to package Montepulciano and sell it in a cask,” Calabria said. “We have a bunch of innovation we want to explore in the 2LT category.

Calabria Family Wines boxed wine

The new Banta Box range has an RRP of $13.99 and has been rolled out in select independent retailers for summer.

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Categories: New releases