Proof of quality for Signature Wines brand

From an idea to an internationally recognised brand, Signature Wines has built its success on the concept of a premium quality product and a personal approach.

The family-owned business offers a range of hand-crafted wines from the Adelaide Hills, Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale to a local, domestic and international audience.

Senior Executive Daniel Khouzam said his family was born and bred in the Barossa Valley and had generations of family involvement in the industry.

“Growing up surrounded by vines and working in every aspect of wine making has given us a deep-seated appreciation of the hands-on approach,” he said.

Signature Wines has gone through a recent expansion to keep pace with demand for its range of award-winning products, particularly in the Reserve and Sparkling ranges.

The head office and storage facility was relocated to Norwood in 2013 to offer time-poor guests the opportunity to experience the three signature wine regions without spending an hour in the car to reach one at a time.

“We made the decision to relocate to Norwood because it put us closer to customers and allowed us to better provide the customer service that is so important to us,” said Khouzam.

“Being right in the city, we can offer same day delivery, individual training sessions and private functions, delivering those award-winning wines true to each of these signature South Australian wine-growing regions.”

The new facility created a space where Signature Wines could host international guests for private tastings, where staff training could be delivered for the hotels that the company supplies, and with additional storage space for the expanding business.

Pressing into Asia

Signature Wines has worked to establish links with industry partners locally and internationally, which has been one of the keys to their success in delivering an extensive portfolio of world-class wines from South Australia to people around the world.

Khouzam said that China and Asia were where the business is focusing its attention but that expansion to the USA market was being considered for the future.

“We actually began Signature Wines as predominantly an export company and thanks to the EMDG scheme we have been given further opportunity to expand our international presence dramatically,” he said.

“We are drawn to the huge potential of China and the Asian market and have seen enormous growth there, particularly within the middle class.”

Signature Wines’ interest in the North Asia market has also benefited from the Free Trade Agreement negotiated between Australia and China, which came into force in 2015.

China’s appetite for importing wine is continuing to grow, and the reduction in tariffs for Australian exporters is proving to be a great help, Khouzam said.

“The Free Trade Agreements have been of huge assistance, putting us in a much more competitive price category, and we continue to see the benefits,” he said.

All the while, Signature Wines continues to work on its quality range, winning medals at the 2016 Great Australian Shiraz Challenge, the 2015 National Cool Climate Wine Show, and the 2014 International Wine Challenge London, among others.

Fortifying the future

During the past few years, Austrade assistance has helped Signature Wines to identify and expand to new markets, providing access to assistance from Austrade for inbound buyers and outbound trade missions.

Khouzam said it was at an Austrade event that he first learned about the Export Market Development Grants (EMDG) scheme, and that it had enabled them to accelerate the company’s expansion overseas.

“The funding offered us an initial support to tap into markets we were already supplying to a greater capacity,” he said.

“These were markets where we were already confident we would be successful but the assistance offered further opportunity for a more rapid growth that we were ready for.”

Working through an EMDG consultant, who managed the claim process on behalf of the company, Signature Wines has twice been a grant recipient.

“There is no doubt that with the assistance of EDMG, Signature Wine as a brand has completely transformed, with opportunities for significant growth at a much more accelerated rate.”

Khouzam said the company would continue to evolve, aiming for expansion into different countries and worldwide recognition.

“Signature Wines will continue as a brand that is known for great quality and service, showcasing the highly sought after Australian wine regions,” he said.

“We take pride in delivering a premium product while maintaining a high standard of customer service, and that’s always going to be at the centre of everything we do.”

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Daniel Khouzam and Rebecca Warden bring their personal approach and passion for wine to Signature Wines clients.

Photographer: Dan Schultz, Sweet Lime Photo