The process for packaging cask wine was invented in South Australia, by Thomas Angove of Angove's in fact, in 1965. It wasn’t unpopular. Far from it. When Penfolds added a plastic, airtight tap to a metallised bladder, wine drinkers in Australia saw its advantages and sales surged. By the 80s it was the everyday way to drink wine.
Its only real problem was that the packaging form was mainly chosen by producers of less expensive wines as it is cheaper to produce and distribute than glass bottles. As everyday Australians became more sophisticated, the idea of drinking cask wine began to lose it gloss. Still, in 2009 cask wine represented 40% of all wine sold in Australia. It was also popular in Brazil, Sweden and Norway. It was only 18% of all wine sold in the US in 2009, but sales have been growing there since then.
Australians are becoming more discerning wine drinkers. They also have a lot more choice, both from local winemakers and access to imported wines, and are using their growing confidence to experiment more.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the first patent for cask wine. Magnum is using that opportunity to move cask wine up into premium territory. It’s an adventurous idea that just might work in the current climate.
Magnum is a 1.5 litre soft pack, the equivalent of two bottles. Inside are premium varietal wines that state both their region and vintage. The wine within stays fresh for for weeks, not days after being tapped.
Magnum general manager, Scott Bell, commented, “Our research shows there is enormous appeal in being able to enjoy the convenience of a single glass, without feeling compelled to finish or waste the rest of the bottle. Magnum’s convenient packaging provides the solution for this situation, giving consumers the flexibility to pour one glass at a time knowing it will be fresh for the next pour.”
Magnum is available nationally and across a range of popular brands such as Hardys, Houghton, South Island, Goundrey, Ta_Ku, Riddoch, Brookland Valley, Waipara Hills, Cat Amongst the Pigeons and Monkey Bay. Magnum will sit on shelf and in fridges beside thse brands’ glass bottle equivalents. This will elevate the status of the revived packaging form.
“Through the introduction of Magnum we aim to provide consumers with the opportunity to enjoy premium wines from some of Australia and New Zealand’s most famed wine regions from the Barossa to Marlborough, for those times when you just want one glass,” Bell concluded.