"Quality boxed wines find increasing favor with the American consumer'

By The Editor's Vineyard

Dramatic changes are taking place in the wine industry. A more casual style in wine brand names and labels, the increased interest in twist cap bottles by many vintners and the move to quality for boxed wines.

We learned just how dramatic the growth in boxed quality wines first hand after an interview with Ryan Sproule, president of Black Box Wines. Ryan Sproule moved from the computer industry in 2003 to start Black Box wines with the idea of providing, not just convenience and price, but quality as well. The results have been dramatic not only for Black Box but for this segment of the industry as a whole. To show just how much growth boxed wines have experienced, last year twist cap bottled wines increased by 25 per cent. But boxed wines showed a dazzling 50 per cent increase in sales.

Black Box Wines come in three liter packages, equal to four 750 ML bottles, and now offers seven varietals. With emphasis on quality vintages include a 2005 Napa Valley Chardonnay, a Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon and Sonoma Merlot. Imports as well including an Italian Pinot Grigio and an Australian Shiraz.

Ryan Sproule founded Black Box after a trip to Europe where he observed the number of boxed wines enjoyed by Europeans on a daily basis. He explains the success of Black Box with the buying and life-style habits of today's consumers. These handy boxes are perfect for the wine drinker who enjoys one or two glasses of wine with lunch or dinner on a daily basis. The wine stays fresh for weeks after opening and when including the quality there is real value as well. They have also proved to be a big success with people who enjoy sports and the outdoors.

They have proved to be perfect for boating parties and tailgate gatherings and my own son endorses them heartily for his surfing safaris.

A recent study revealed that fully one third of the growth in boxed wines came, not from existing wine drinkers, but from new consumers.

This Writer was impressed with the quality of the two Black Box wines we tasted, the 2005 Napa Valley Chardonnay and the 2004 Merlot. The chardonnay offers much fruit in aroma and palate and a good finish, the Merlot with the classic soft tannins and flavors of this varietal.

Summing up we concluded that Ryan Sproule and his Black Box Wines is a true success story in the industry. The wines are now distributed nationally and imported to Canada.

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Last Update:6/10/07

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