Rascallion Wines is a premium négociant business based in Stellenbosch, South Africa. Owned by Ross Sleet and David Kretzmar, Rascallion was established in 2017 and provides a platform for dynamic brand expression, finely crafted wine blends, and an engaging consumer platform.
Rascallion will pursue commercial opportunities in the USA, Northern Europe, China and Japan over the next three years. The UK remains an interesting market opportunity if the right partnership can be forged. Africa and South Africa, of course, remain a focus.
Rascallion is focussing its efforts on engaging with Millennials and Generation X consumers. These broad-based consumer groupings engage with brands in a direct, knowledge based manner, relying on their peer groups and sourced brand encounters to purchase products. With regards to premium wine, they are spending more than other consumer groups, and targeting premium brands that they have encountered in order to satisfy their curiosity about the wine category.
Rascallion’s brand messaging
Rascallion presents a clear message to these consumer group. It looks to avoid arcane “wine speak” such as terroir, history, estates and award-winning winemakers, in favour of robust, bold brand imagery, irreverent and thought-provoking messaging, and wines that have been crafted to be drunk by the glass, bottle and with food.
Its strapline, “Change the conversation” encapsulates this approach.
It robustly want to change the conversation with consumers from terroir, history and award-winning winemakers, to how do you enjoy wine, who do you drink it with, and when, and what food do you the consumer, serve with it?
Rascallion’s wine philosophy
Rascallion focuses on crafting wine blends, aromatic varietals and expressions, shying away from single, bold varietal expression. Its guidelines are: good acidity to deliver backbone to the wine; bright fruit expression to deliver a pleasant mouth feel; aromatic expression on the nose and mid palate; a smooth finish to encourage consumers to have another glass (responsibly!); and wherever possible, lower alcohol than one would expect from South Africa.
Our wines are presented in Collections to allow us commercial and production flexibility. Our current collections are:
- The Word Collection – a premium range of two white and red blends bottled under screwcap and corkmouth
- The Vinyl Collection – a pair of aromatic white and red blends from Piekernierskloof region of the Swartland
- The Arthouse Collection – two accessible blends from the Swartland, Chenin Blanc and Shiraz based
- The Floral Collection – an entry plus level Grenache Rosé and Pinot Grigio.
Buyers own label or exclusive label
The nature of Rascallion’s business model allows it to create exclusive labels if commercial considerations can be met such as pricing and volume commitments. Should customers wish to work with Rascallion on such a product(s), it would be happy to do so.
Rascallion has partnered with Johan Joubert Wines to curate the Word and Vinyl Collection wine ranges. Johan is a member of the Cape Winemakers’ Guild and has over 25 years’ experience of making award winning wines. Rascallion will make use of additional well-respected winemakers during the course of crafting additional wines.