Australian Vintage celebrates spirits launch success

Australian Vintage Limited has celebrated the success of its new spirits collection at a launch event that combined tastings of the range with near 360° views of Sydney at a rooftop bar in The Rocks.

The global wine company, which produces brands including McGuigan, Tempus Two and Nepenthe, has launched four spirit and ready-to-drink cocktail ranges in response to the global rise in popularity of spirits and RTD beverages.

AVL has been working on expanding into the spirits and RTD market for about 12 months, spurred by the strong growth rates in the category, particularly in gin. 

The new products offered for tasting at the stylish event this week included:

  • Tempus Two Gins, which include the world’s first Prosecco Gin, Shiraz Gin, as well as a Botanical Gin
  • Rescued Spirit Co – a sustainable brand that ‘rescues’ citrus fruits from local producers in the Murray Darling to give them a second lease on life. The range of gins and vodkas is made using renewable energy and 100% recyclable materials.
  • Gelato Drinks Co – a range of gelato-flavoured drinks
  • Mr Stubbs – RTD cocktails crafted to be enjoyed at home

AVL General Manager for Australia and New Zealand Jeff Howlett said the new spirits ranges are already available in selected First Choice Liquor Market stores, select independent retailers and at AVL Wines cellar doors – Nepenthe, Tempus Two and McGuigan – with the company’s sights set on expansion.

“We are confident of future listings in retail and on-premise venue in Australia and there are early signs that the ranges will be well received internationally as well,” Howlett said.

While the range has only been available in the off-premise for six weeks, Howlett said there had been a positive response from both retailers and consumers.

“We launched these products in response to emerging trends, putting the consumer at the heart of everything we do is core to our strategy,” he said.

“Since the first launch at our cellar doors, sales have been performing above forecasts and we’re excited to see how they perform in retail and on-premise venues, both in Australia and internationally, over the next few months.”

The sundowner event was held at rooftop bar Henry Deane at the Palisade Hotel in The Rocks.

AVL Wines CEO Craig Garvin was on hand for the launch, sipping one of his favourite tipples from the new range, Tempus Two Shiraz Gin. Garvin was buoyant about the potential for the products both in Australia and globally.

“We’re incredibly excited to enter this growing category,” he said. “This is a great example of leveraging our know-how and world-class assets to deliver products that consumers are demanding.”

AVL revealed in March that it had devised an ingenious strategy to use the alcohol it removes from its McGuigan Zero range to create spirits and RTDs.

Garvin told the Australian Financial Review that AVL had developed a process at its Buronga winery near Mildura where it “spins” off the alcohol from McGuigan Zero, and it made perfect sense to use that in other products.

“We’re spinning off a lot of alcohol,” he said. And now it is being put to very good use.

Drinks Digest sampled many of the new products in the range, which are incredibly smooth spirits due to their use of a wine base. Grape-based spirits are characterised by their fruity taste and fuller mouthfeel than their grain-based counterparts. 

Rescued Spirit Co gins and vodkas, for example, can be enjoyed equally well neat or in cocktails.

They were a highlight of the event, alongside the Tempus Two gin range, while the Gelato Drinks Co’s Tiramisu variant was the perfect finale to the evening.

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