Cassegrain is a multi-award winning winemaking company based in Port Macquarie, NSW, which is growing its exports to Japan and China in response to high demand.
Cassegrain produces a large range of wines, doing everything from crushing the grapes through to bottling and distributing the wines.
Having established the business in 1984, Cassegrain started exporting in 1987 in response to specific demand from a Japanese buyer. Since then, the company has been successfully exporting its wines to Europe, UK, North America and Asia for a number of years. Japan remains its main export market, representing around three quarters of its export products.
Currently, exports represent 30 per cent of Cassegrain’s sales but the company is aiming to increase that to 70 per cent in five years’ time.
Faced with growing demand from buyers in Japan and China, Cassegrain was worried about matching product supply to the purchase orders it was receiving.
The wine industry has a significant lag phase, as the harvest cycle doesn’t necessarily align with demand for product and the lead time from production to supply can vary significantly. For the higher quality wines, the grapes mature in barrels prior to bottling and distribution, meaning a longer lead time on the product supply. This means that Cassegrain has to invest in manufacturing its wines before receiving orders, to have sufficient product to fulfil a contract when it comes in.
In order to realise its potential growth in Japan and China, Cassegrain needed working capital to pay suppliers and keep production running smoothly.