Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Private label project # 3

Sometimes it is good to stop and ask "Are we there yet?" With the FMS private label division gaining traction with a current project creating a premium tier champagne brand Mestari Vesi for import into South Africa, we can rightfully say that we are well on our way to making an impact not only in this category but also in changing the lives and destinies of our clients for the better.

As our clients grow so do we. Below outlines our current approach to deliver your brand on a turn-key basis.

Design – brand name generation, logo, front label, back label
Timeline: 4-6 weeks
Labels – printing

Front, back 
Timeline: 2-3 weeks
Screening search,
trade mark registration
Brand name, logo
Timeline: 1-2 weeks
Product – wine sourcing
Timeline: 1-2 weeks
Ocean freight / Cartage -
CIF any port
Timeline: 3 days SA
2-4 weeks int’l
Several of these tasks can run concurrently, therefore the whole project can be completed within 8-12 weeks.

In creating private label brands for clients, we see it as a long term project and negociate with specific cellars to constantly supply us so that the quality is consistent. FMS is working well with several wineries on a number of private label projects who produce excellent wines with a good quality-price ratio. The most popular wines are listed below and range from entry level to premium tier. (*: Screw cap)

Pinotage 2015: WO Darling
89% Pinotage, 11% Shiraz. Medium intense ruby red colour with purple tinge. Intense nose of strawberries and cherries, which is enhanced by a touch of cinnamon and cloves. This medium bodied wine with soft tannins has a concentrated pallet of ripe red fruit, plums and is well supported by spices and pepper. Maturation potential 5 years. Delicious with a braai, venison, bobotie, curry and slow-roasted Karoo lamb. 12.5% A/V. Integrity & Sustainability Certified. Serve at 16°C.

Pinotage Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon Cinsault 2012: WO Darling
A wine of inky concentration with an unparalleled richness in the mouth. The prime expression of low-yielding, dry land bush vines. Maturation potential up to 5 years. Comprises 45% Pinotage, 21% Shiraz, 18% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Cinsault. Suitable for pairing with spicy modern cuisine, or even as an aperitif in summer. Enjoy it with rosemary marinated lamb shank in buttered polenta. It will also pair well with cold meat plates or a grilled goat’s cheese salad. Serve at 16°C. 14.0% A/V. Integrity & Sustainability Certified.

Pinotage Shiraz 2014 *: WO Western Cape
This full red wine’s bouquet suggests ripe berries overlaid with green pepper and spicy flavours. There is excellent follow through onto the palate where the peppery flavours dominate. The well-integrated ripe tannins make for easy accessibility.

Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2013*: WO Western Cape
This is a supple, elegant and very appealing wine with the tannins well integrated, but prominent enough to need a year or two longer to show off the ripe, fleshy black-cherry, chocolate shadings to their best advantage.

Chenin Blanc Sauvignon Blanc 2015/16*: WO Western Cape
A straw appearance with excellent varietal expressions. Very nice aromas, which range from country hay, floral, tropical fruit and apricots to spice. Plenty of ripe fruit flavours. The hints of residual sugar are well balanced by acidity. It has a crisp, dry finish and a lingering aftertaste.

Pinotage 2015: WO Paarl
Medium bodied food friendly clean and fresh modern style with finesse. Fine structured with raspberry fruit and nuances of clove and plum. Drinking beautifully now and well through 5 years. Enjoy with venison or beef or simply with good company.

Shiraz 2014: WO Paarl
Fruity, medium bodied: Shiraz leads the way with layers of fruit and spiciness, Mouvedre brings a pervasive savouriness and Grenache rounds off the union with red berry fruit and refreshing acidity.

Shiraz Mourvedre Grenache 2014: WO Paarl
Fruity, medium bodied: Shiraz leads the way with layers of fruit and spiciness, Mouvedre brings a pervasive savouriness and Grenache rounds off the union with red berry fruit and refreshing acidity.

Cabernet Sauvignon Petit Verdot Malbec 2014: WO Paarl
Fruity, earthy, medium bodied: Cabernet Sauvignon guides the blend with its dusty nuances and nutty flavours. Petit Verdot brings a firm palate bursting with juicy cherry/red berry fruits. Malbec concludes with its colour intensity and juiced up choc-mint succulence.

Cabernet Franc Merlot 2010: W.O. Darling

This wine has a deep dark ruby red colour with an intense rich nose of blackberries, blueberries and dark cherries, well supported by well integrated French oak. This is a full bodied wine with intense berry flavours well supported by soft tannins. This wine is excellent with beef, lamb, grilled veal, game such as pheasant and poultry, such as turkey. The wine pairs well with dishes made with red wine and rich sauces. It’s also a great match with couscous, tandoori spices, bean dishes and hearty stews. Serve at 16°C. 14.0% A/V. Integrity & Sustainability Certified.

Apart from these wines listed we can also offer you a whole range of sparkling wines, as we created for Jacques Du Mont, off-dry white wine like we created for Adua and other varietals, blends or styles of your choice. As with Mestari Vesi, we can even create a private label champagne brand for you.

FMS uses a designer, Kelly from design guru, with a successful track record of designing a wide range of wine labels. The process is outlined below.
1.  Brand name generation.  (This excludes trademark search in class 32 and 33, which will need to be done by your or our preferred trademark attorney.)  When she develops a brand name, she does her own research to ensure that the name can be used or is not common, but this does not involve a thorough trademark search as an attorney would do.  She is able to generate a brand name if you require this.
2. Brand logo.
3. Front label design incorporating brand logo, across two - four SKU's.
4. Back label design across two-four SKU's.
5. Labels will be printed in SA/France.
6. Colour hierarchy must be advised for the labels.
7. Artwork design will incorporate branding and complement the entire overall look and feel of the product.
8.Timeline from hiring to hand-over of final artwork in print ready format to the various printing suppliers is 4- 6 weeks.

With FMS using JF Hillebrand as forwarder, we are able to quote you CIF any port of your choice on a LCL basis, or delivery per full pallet to any city in South Africa using Tri-Trade, a national cartage company specialising in wines.

There are several large IP companies in SA and we chose to work with Smit & van Wyk in Pretoria who provides FMS with the estimated costs for preparing and filing a trade mark application for your brand in this specific class (33 alcoholic beverages).

We recommend that you file the brand name as a word mark. This will give you as the client exclusive rights to the name regardless of the logo or label format that it is used in. As such, it will not be necessary to wait until the label is completed.

Beforehand a screening search for your brand name will be conducted in your chosen target markets to make sure that the name is available to be registered for wine. This search is costed per jurisdiction.

If we file the trade mark in one jurisdiction (e.g. South Africa) and we file the same trade mark in a further jurisdiction(s) within 6 months thereafter, then you can claim the first date as a priority date for the further jurisdiction(s). This way it will be as if the trade mark was filed in all further jurisdiction(s) on the first date.

Now let’s talk about popular wine varietals. International tourists always ask for Pinotage while Cabernet Sauvignon remains a favourite. Chenin blanc from SA is well renowned and Sauvignon blanc is usually favoured as well. 

Creating a new brand is a major decision but is very lucrative and a long term commitment in establishing your own identity in the market place. On our part, FMS will promote your brand through various platforms once launched. So let's talk to us and we will make it happen.

© Anton Blignault & Juliette Salmon, Cape Town.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

What really matters

Can you recall the last moment when you’ve suddenly experienced total bliss? When it feels like time is standing still and you want to stay in this moment forever? It normally happens few and far in between – for me at least.

What really matters to you? Is it the next promotion and that corner office, getting that big order, signing the deed of purchase for your own house, driving a sports car? The Porsche will come, but what really matters to me are those intimate moments with someone very special that I share a lot of time with every day.

You need to pay the rent and having wine on the table every day is a given, but what makes life exciting is discovering, pursuing and creating new things – be it clients, deals, ideas, products, places, trips and relationships. And all of this happens through interaction with people that you really like to spend time with.
With a client from China who is notorious for only letting you know he is in Cape Town once he has arrived and expects you to arrange a winelands visit to several cellars over the weekend, it certainly creates an adrenaline rush.  Fortunately the wineries are very accommodating, especially when Dollars are involved.

Then comes help from France in the person of Juliette, beautiful, poised, quiet and soft-spoken – so much so that when she talks everyone listens. It took me a full month, and asking nicely, before getting her to talk more freely. But was that absolutely worth it, tantamount to conquering a mountain.
After a boring week of month-end, export and logistics documentation for me and clients prospection for her comes a hectic Friday to fix an incorrect export certificate for a shipment that has already sailed to Japan when another such moment arises unexpectedly with no words necessary. It happened when stepping out of a blistery cold wind into the warmth of Villiera’s tasting room. No one is there except for the tasting room manager and a warm inviting fireplace. We edge onto a bench facing the heat, and I suddenly experience an inner calmness. Nothing else matters except us and these moments we share together, talking about what’s in the glass and other trivial stuff. It feels like a reward in itself, altogether worth as much or more as the financial success of the major deal concluded the week before.

Some things just fit perfectly together. Like a good quality cork into the neck of an elegant wine bottle, some people also match perfectly from the outset. So finally, what really matters for you? For me it is relationships with the special people in my life, as this is the stepping stone to build the future on…
 Photo credits: Cape Point, Franschhoek – Anton Blignault

© Anton Blignault, Cape Town