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Posted by: Carl Jul 12 2001, 10:44 PM

Can anyone explain why it is that some liquor chains can sell wines for less than winery cellar door? Surely going direct to manufacturer (winery) cuts out so many costs (transport & delivery, packing, insurance, retail markup, plus GST on all that), yet many cellar door prices are still much more than retail. To me it's such a discouragemnt from actually bothering to visit some wineries!

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Posted by: dwongl Jul 12 2001, 10:51 PM

Visiting the cellar door is much more than getting a good deal on prices - it is about the wine tasting experience and also finding gems you would otherwise not find.

Sure, if you are after the stock standard commercial stuff - Rosemount Diamond Label, Lindermans etc - wine retailers are cheaper. However, nothing beats going and experiencing the wines that you otherwise not find.

Also cellar door has other costs you should factor in:
- no economies of scale when selling direct
- cellar staff and administration costs
- cellar door facility set-up
- mailing list and mail-out costs
- cellaring costs of keeping stock at winery (instead of at wine shop)

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Posted by: Mark D Jul 13 2001, 08:39 AM

I have found that in many smaller and limited production wineries (eg, Yarra Yering, Cullen, Turkey Flat, Rockford, Bowen, you name it) the callar door prices are much lower, and often the only source of supply.

The commerical wine companies generally have distribution agreements with the main chains meaning that they will not under-cut the distributors. Thus the CD price of often the recommended price, not a chain store price.

While I note the previous comment about costs of the cellar door, this is really not the main issue. The chains have buying power and would not be pleased to see the producer undercutting them. Its commercial reality vs small winery support for CD and mailing list customers. An example is Rockford. They could sell the BP SHiraz at 2-3 times the price if they wanted to (if you don't believe me, check auction prices and note that they asked Robert Parker NOT to rate their wines after he really liked them).

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Posted by: TimTam Jul 13 2001, 10:29 AM

Good responses here - simply a acse of buyer beware and do ur homework! I got stung once from mt Langi selling their Shiraz CD for $45 but could have got it for $38 from kemenys and 2 other retailers who had it for %$40. On a case that's a potential saving of over $60-84!!!!!!

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Posted by: Andre Jul 13 2001, 04:23 PM

I do remember a Winestate article (sometime back); which gave the breakdown on the cost of a bottle of wine - at retail. And if we assume that the printed figures in Winestate are correct - the winery makes around $2 per bottle. And the biggest price mark-ups are at the retailers.
I do figure that Cellar Door sales are a means of winery survival in todays' market, and I would not hesitate to pay that little extra for services I could only get at the cellar door.

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Posted by: Jeff Jul 13 2001, 05:04 PM

Friends from Brisbane got burnt.
On a visit to the Barossa they bought some very tastey stuff only to find cheaper at Dan Murphy's. The only reason I say they got burnt is because they bought commercially available wine stock at the cellar door and forwent the younger non commercially available cellar stock cause it wasn't right to drink ---yet.
12 months on I'm surprising them with this younger stock that, now a bit more mature, is better than the commercial stuff they bought.
Buying at the cellar door is a learning experience. If you pay a bit more so what . WHAT PRICE EDUCATION.

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