The Most Successful Wineries in Slovenia
The most popular wine producers in Slovenia are small family companies, which promote this type of product to the market due to their reputation. However, when it comes to sales, big deals are made elsewhere.
According to bizi.si, in 2015, the wine companies-successors of cooperatives rather than the family wineries still remain the annual income ranking leaders. Of course, only a few families produce for sale over 100 thousand bottles of wine per year, whereas workers of the large wine cellars annually fill and sell several million bottles.
Klet Brda, the leader of sales profitability in 2013 and 2014, is considered the largest wine cellar in Slovenia with regard to both bottling and volume of sales. On average, this company sells around 5 million litres of wine per year. Last year Klet Brda showed more than 13 million euros of revenue. Its earnings as compared to the year before last increased more than twice.
Klet Brda sells more than 40% of wine in Italy
“The reason for that is good wine. What else can it be?” the winery director Silvan Peršolja humorously commented this fact and then went on with a more serious tone, “We responded to the crisis immediately and found a consensus with all the owners (there are about 400 of them), which, of course, was not easy. We decided to reduce all costs, except for investments in wine and marketing in the foreign markets.”
Strengthening exports, according to Silvan Peršolja, was the right strategy. “The result, which is evident today, is a consequence of the decision to get rid of the predominant reliance on domestic market. Now the share of revenues from wine sales in foreign markets is 40%,” he noted.
The essence is the wine brands that are affordable for almost any buyer
The bestselling brand of the Klet Brda wine cellar is “Quercus”, which, according to Silvan Peršolja, is within the price range above average. “The price range from 5 to 7 euros. These are not luxury wines that people can usually afford once a year. This “democratic” segment offers excellent wines at affordable prices. Quality at a reasonable price has been their creed and market success factor for a long time,” the director of Klet Brda adds.
Radgonske Gorice manages to sell classic wine brands
The second place in the profitability ranking belongs to Radgonske Gorice, which last year showed almost 10 million euros of revenue and substantial profits of more than 1 million euros. The Radgona representatives believe that for their success they should mainly thank their predecessors who created the wine cellar and its best-known brands, which are sold best as well, such as “Zlata radgonska penina”, “Srebrna radgonska penina”, “Janževec” — the Traminer semi-sweet wine with a black label.
We often sent to the market new sorts, something that is in demand among customers, as well as strengthen our well-established brand names, some of them were first produced more than 160 years ago,” Sandi Brumen, the head of the commercial department of the Radgonske Gorice Company, said having in mind the sort of “Zlato radgonsko penino”. This brand of wine, though under a different name, was invented in 1852 by the founder of the wine cellar in Radgona — Alojz Klenovšek.
A million of “Srebrne radgonske penine” bottles per year
However, the best-selling brand of wine of the Radgona Company is not “Zlata”, but the “Srebrna radgonska penina”. As evidenced by the data, this semi-dry wine most suits the tastes of buyers. About 1 million bottles of “Srebrne” and from 300 thousand bottles of “Zlate radgonske penine” are sold each year. Janževec is the leader according to the number of wine bottles among the well sold brands with 1.8 million (1-litre) bottles sold per year.
In general, the Radgoni Company sells 3.5 million litres of wine a year, but, unlike Kleti Brda, most of the products are sold on the domestic market — about 95%. “We aim to increase the share of sales abroad,” Brumen notes. “In the next 5 years, we will focus our main efforts on the markets of the former Yugoslavia, that is, on Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Montenegro.”
Right now, they have a surprisingly effective cooperation with Mexico, are present on the markets of Austria, Germany, Switzerland, and Canada. “In China, we sell an average of 2 containers per year. This is a small amount. However, for small winemakers this is a solid figure,” Brumen explained.