Not being able to find a wine they could relate to, the team at Master of Ceremonies decided to create their own. Teaming up with world-renowned Hawke’s Bay winemakers, creators Mat Croad, Nick Marshall, and Jay and Anna Reeve embarked on a journey to create a wine that broke New Zealand winemaking traditions.
What is your company background, how did you start the business? Who are the owners (first and last names)?
“Master of Ceremonies came to market in 2016 with the vision of shaking up the wine industry which up until recently had been seen as somewhat contemporary and traditional, both in brand ethos and market activity. We realised there was a large portion of wine buyers who could not find a brand within the NZ market that they related to. We fell into this category ourselves and decided to work on a product range that focussed on having synergy between brand name, bottle aesthetics, brand alignments and trending varieties.”
“Following market trends, we launched with two SKU’s, a still rosé which retails for $19.99 and a sparkling rose which retails for $29.99. Both of which are made in Hawke’s Bay by Rod McDonald’s team. We’ve since expanded our range to include a 2016 Central Otago Pinot Noir and will be launching a 2018 Pinot Gris & 2018 sparkling rosé later this year too.”
What is the current product range and variants and how do these products stand out in the market? (Are they gluten-free? Do they utilise unique or new ingredients or techniques? Are they the only one of its kind?)
“We currently have a 2016 Central Otago Pinot Noir and 2018 Hawke’s Bay Rosé on the market. The design and branding are unique in that the front labels are screen printed. We also have the only 5L bottles of rosé which are the largest in the NZ market. These were a huge hit and are currently sold out, but, we’ll be making more later this year. We also produce a limited-edition sparkling rosé every year which is a collaboration with the iconic fashion brand, Stolen Girlfriends Club. This was an NZ first last year and also sold out in record time. We’ll be doing another collaboration this year, and the bottle branding will be completely different again.”
Has there been any recent company news? (i.e. New management, new product launches, new location, staff changes, or other news of this kind, awards?)
“Up until recently, we’ve only been focussed on rosé. We have now, however, launched a 2016 Central Otago Pinot Noir which came to market on the 20th of July. The feedback has been incredibly positive so far, in fact, it just scored a 93/100 review from Sam Kim at Wine Orbit. Our 2018 Hawke’s Bay Rosé will be hitting shelves in early August, and we’ll have a 2018 Pinot Gris later this year too. We also have other exciting products in the works so watch this space.”
What are the plans for the business moving forward, is there any expansion on the horizon?
“The MC team have ambitious expansion plans for the future and will continue to push boundaries not only on a brand and aesthetic level but also a product level too. We’re on track to grow by over 400 per cent this year, so the future is looking bright.”
Where are your products currently available to buy, and are you looking at or wanting to expand your availability? If so, where would you like to see the product situated?
“Our products are available in a number of bars and restaurants in Auckland and Mount Maunganui and there are huge opportunities for us to grow nationally within the On-Premise channels. They’re also sold in the North Island via a range of traditional liquor outlets including all Glengarry stores, selected New World, Pak ’N Save and Four Square’s and a few hospitality groups. You can also buy our products online at www.drink-mc.co.nz. We’d like to further expand into the grocery channel and start selling our products in the South Island. We also have plans for further expansion into export markets in 2019.”