Summary: Our Naturally Enhanced Wines are a group of red wines that incorporate ingredients derived from grape skins so that the amount of resveratrol in the wine reaches a statistically significant level without impacting taste.
As we are merely adding additional parts of grape skins to our wine, there are no regulatory considerations- the ingredients list remains ‘grapes’- and we do not make any health claims.
We are currently seeking help to setup production and distribution by purchasing tanks and other winery equipment that will allow us to start providing our Naturally Enhanced Wines in the United States. Production will be located in California and Baja California.
We will initially be creating Naturally Enhanced Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, and Syrah.
Geographic Markets: Global, with an emphasis on Asia, Mexico
Targeted Audiences: Budget and New Wine Drinkers
Key Competitors: Baja, Mexico Wineries, Argentine Wineries, California Wineries, French Wineries, Chinese and Japanese wine importers
• Infrastructure and product development are ready to support global markets
• Industry innovator: Naturally Enhanced Wines, Boccadoro method of winemaking
• Quality / Price ratio is higher than competitors
When Fleurs de Gas moved from test vineyards in California in 2005 to
purchasing a production vineyard in Argentina in 2006, Malbec was in the early stages of becoming a
mass market favorite in the United States, Asia, and Europe. Riding the cusp of a trend, our Malbec
wines from Argentina became known for their value to retailers and wholesalers in Asia. As our
strategy in Argentina was not to sell more than a token amount domestically, we were received with
open arms by winery owners in Mendoza. If there was competition, it came in the form of brokers
that wanted new ideas and connections to apply to their own clients’ manufacturing efforts.
We gradually broached the idea that we might also establish a market presence in Buenos Aires so
that if tourists came to Argentina and wanted to find our wine, they could. This also was acceptable
to every winery that we spoke with. So we went and spoke to clubowners and businesses in Buenos
Aires, receiving several orders. Unfortunately, after purchasing a business in downtown Buenos Aires
and negotiating a lease with the landlord, all of our documentation and samples were stolen by a taxi
driver who drove off on the way to the airport. As our executive had 18 hours of flights ahead of him
that could not be rescheduled, he was not able to make the lease deadline with regards to recreating
and apostiling copies of documents that were stored in California and Mendoza, Argentina. The firm,
therefore lost a sizable deposit and pulled out of the purchase. Subsequent sales efforts have focused
on the export market.
For several years globally, there has been a wine glut. The EU has paid vineyard owners to produce
wine grapes and then converted their harvest in many locations to ethanol as there wasn’t a market
for their wine. Prince Charles of England even purchased a car that was optimized to run on ethanol
made from wine grapes. So it is no surprise that once we had our marketing agent for Japan establish
a solid sale opportunity that the information leaked out about the order and several French wineries
flew their representatives into Tokyo to try and convince the importer to switch to their labels. That
type of leak, which originated in San Diego, was forced out of management by ongoing litigation over
ownership of Fleurs de Gas and will not be repeated.
That level of competition is also present in California. At the MIT wine forum in La Jolla, we were
delighted to be allowed to present our wines in 2009 as one of the only foreign producers presenting.
Our opportunity was marred by threats of sabotage to the wine we planned to present and the show’s
coordinators suggested privately that we avoid storing our wine in the storage space that all other
wineries were storing their wine in for the show as they were convinced that something would
happen to it. As our wine shipment ended up being stolen in transit from Argentina, presenting at the
show never happened. We had a similar experience downtown in San Diego. Our CEO went there to
talk to a wine retailer and heard from the wine retailer that a group representing different labels had
showed up to sell wine. They had been boasting of how they had ‘destroyed’ our wine business by
sabotaging it. They then followed up with a sales pitch. The retailer told his story and then said, I
need wine from Mexico. When you have your Mexican wine available, let me know and I’ll buy some.
In late 2011, as we researched worldwide patents pending on a trade secret that we held regarding
Naturally Enhanced wine, using wi-fi in a public library in Mexico proved to be a problem as our internet activity was read
by hackers. They soon formed a group that was dedicated to trolling the world to look for our patent
pending so that they could challenge it and swoop in a file a counter claim based on the information
that they would learn from our patent application. When we took pains not to divulge that
information by placing a moratorium on internet searches having to do with patents overseas, we
were informed by investors that the group had searched the patent databases of several countries and
was continuing on. Shortly thereafter, as our president walked downtown in Rosarito, Mexico, a group
of men formed and told him, “That is our product”. Of course they did not have a patent or a product
to match. The lesson here is that if you compare the style of competition used by members of the
wine industry with that of people that are outside the industry and possibly looking for attention or
possibly trying to curry favor with people inside the industry, you will notice a distinct difference in
True competition in the Mexican marketplace currently comes from Mexican wine producers who, as
far back as 2007 created a Malbec and Cabernet blend after we had announced that we were going to
do so. The winery that created that blend also matched our price point and is currently selling 2007
and 2008 vintages at about $3.50 a bottle, which is close to the price that we would be charging
within Mexico. It is interesting to note that their other varietal wines all sell for over $6.50 a bottle.
Other Mexican wine producers learned of our promotional style, which was to feature a different
model every year on our wine label as a means of promoting the brand. They took to adding pictures
of female models to their winery trucks between 2009 and 2011 and made sure they dropped by our
office so that we could see them.
Chilean producers are also quite competitive in Mexico. From the moment our office opened in 2009,
they pushed into our office neighborhood with sales people leaving their wine displays in most local
convenience stores within a month.
Key Success Factors: As Fleurs de Gas will be the featured wine label in the Mexican micro-winery opened
by Maya Botticelli, it should have a strong chance of developing a following and a name within
Mexico. At first, the focus will be on providing wines created for the Mexican market at budget prices
that allow Mexican families that might otherwise drink beer an opportunity to try wine. The
marketing campaigns and positioning of the brand will continue to be key to its success outside of the
micro-winery setting. As the micro-winery grows, higher end Fleurs de Gas offerings will be imported
from Argentina and brought into the blend. As Mexico is primarily a beer-drinking country, promotion
and positioning will again be a key factor in its success. Continuing to innovate will also provide a
Risk: In Argentina, one risk that has been a large factor in the past has been theft. Several cases of
wine samples have been stolen en route to their destination and over a thousand Malbec vines were
stolen instead of planted after our executives left the planting in the hands of a contractor.
In Mexico, the threat of sabotage is always present. If offices are not consistently staffed, they are
broken into and both documents and tools are stolen. Vehicles are also fair game and two cars and
three bicycles have been erased from our corporate assets sheet.
In the United States, sabotage has been threatened on plenty of occasions, but there is not enough
experience in the marketplace to have it actually happen.
Have a question? If the above information does not help, contact the campaign author directly.