It seems rather appropriate that ‘crafted by hand and heart’ was the motto of ILNAM Estate, given the Carool cellar door is now the home of 8 Kangaroos. This novel marsupial-shaped bottle of wine must be filled by hand and took more than a little heart to develop.
The brains behind the iconic roo-shaped bottle is ILNAM founder and chief winemaker Mark Quinn. 61-year-old Mark had been looking for a way to diversify the ILNAM vineyard for several years when the idea for 8 Kangaroos came to mind.
8 Kangaroos by ILNAM Estate was born out of our need to create a point of difference between our product and other wines,” Quinn tells Kochie’s Business Builders.
The Quinn’s had been operating ILNAM Estate (coined from the initials of each family member’s first names) for almost two decades before they decided to change tack and focus on making wine for the tourist industry.
“We operated our small boutique winery from 1998 and grew very quickly but also plateaued quite quickly,” says Mark.
Faced with flatlining sales Mark and wife Andrea made the decision to scale back the family’s cellar door and look for different ways to scale up.
Mark says he had been toying with the idea of a novelty bottle of wine for some time but it took almost half a decade of research and development to get the design just right. It was 2017 before he hit upon the exact elements and was able to turn out a design that was a marketable product.
The winemaker says all raw materials were chosen for the bottle for their ability to be recycled.
“While the unique shape makes it unlikely that it will be discarded after the initial use but instead reused as a decanter or water bottle.”
Aimed unashamedly at international tourists and the duty-free market the new venture has proved a huge success for ILNAM. And while the bottle may be a novelty, Mark assures KBB that the wine inside is a fine drop. The first cab off the rank is a full-bodied 2016 McLaren Vale Shiraz and it’s been selling like hotcakes.
8 Kangaroos, once only available through the ILNAM cellar door is now sold all over Australia thanks to a partnership with Dan Murphys and you need only head to the ILNAM website to catch a glimpse of the reviews and photos from 100s of happy customers. It seems not only is the design scoring accolades but the wine is winning friends too.
While the ILNAM name has an auspicious history, Mark says the 8 Kangaroos moniker was equally well thought out.
“We created 8 Kangaroos to have a point of difference between our bottle of wine and all others. The 8 is to attract our largest tourist market, the Chinese, and the Kangaroo is unmistakably Australian.”
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