When it comes to sparkling wine, few people are as passionate as Peter Cap, founder of the Manor Estate winery and its eponymous brand, ME wines. As a vintner, the process of wine-making is near to his heart, and as a connoisseur of a good glass of bubbly, he’s the ideal wine-maker. “If you’re going to do something, do something you’ll enjoy.” could well be his motto. Commenting on reports showing a rise in consumer demand for sparkling wines, Peter says that 2020 may have brought the need for consumers to create special occasions in their own homes.
“These aren’t hard drinkers. They’re ordinary people who feel the need to create opportunities for celebration and a little self-indulgence,” he says. “Nothing says ‘celebration’ better than a good bubbly.”
Proactive Approach Helps ME to More Than its Share of Rising Sales
Peter Cap notes that overall, his winery is seeing greater growth in sparkling wine sales than that reported by various beverage industry associations. The figures vary depending on the part of the world under consideration and the source reporting, but all agree that there’s a rise of anything from 4 to 11 percent in sparkling wine consumption.
Manor Estate is outperforming that, and Peter attributes this to several reasons, including a bit of luck. “Manor Estate was pushing for its share in the US market for boutique wines, and its representatives were celebrating US success just as the lockdowns started,” he says. “It came at a time when the brand was getting a lot of attention from foodies and wine celebrities. Having progressed to that degree, it was difficult to maintain the previous momentum under lockdown, but Manor Estate was no longer the unknown new kid on the block and the demand was there.”
Back home in Australia, locals were enthralled by the Manor Estate success story, further increasing the brand’s sparkling wine sales. “The Australian market wasn’t a priority for ME Wines at the time,” says Peter, “but people wanted to taste the Australian wine that was being served in top New York establishments like the Carnegie Club. The estate’s Wine Club saw rising membership along with increased sales while market awareness was also boosted by a made-for-TV wine documentary filmed on location at the estate.”
Quality is Key
Skill also had its role to play in Manor Estate’s rising sales curve. Peter says that tastebuds were doing the talking here: “There are a lot of cheap, mass-produced sparkling wines, but Manor Estate stands out from the crowd because its sparkling wines are produced using properly aged wine – the difference this makes lies in the taste.”
For an unbiased confirmation of Peter’s opinion, the world-renowned Wine Enthusiast panel is the first port of call. In blind tasting, Manor Estate’s Sparkling Shiraz and Brut achieved very high ratings. “Producing quality over quantity, will always reap rewards,” says Peter. “ME wines aren’t the cheapest, but though they are exclusive boutique wines, they are affordable and they taste better. You don’t have to be an expert to tell the difference.”
Asked if Manor Estate expects the rising sales trend to continue, Peter doesn’t hesitate: “The worldwide romance with bubbly isn’t going to slow down, and consumers are becoming more informed in their choices, so Manor Estate is well-positioned to continue winning hearts and minds both at home and abroad.”
For more information visit the Manor Estate Wines website or call their team of experts on (08) 8383 7300.