Altia renews and strengthens its wine business

Press Release   •   May 22, 2014 09:00 GMT

Altia’s strengthened wine team works ambitiously to meet the increasing expectations of consumers, customers and partners. Madeleine Stenwreth, Swedish Master of Wines, cooperates closely with the wine team. The company has focused its wine production in the Rajamäki plant whose flexible technology facilitates various packaging methods for future needs. As a result of the work, Altia will launch several interesting wines in various price categories and packaging methods and renew the packaging of several wines already on sale.

Altia is one of the leading wine companies in the Nordics. Approximately half of the wines are imported by its subsidiaries, and half the company’s own trademarks. Several of the private label wines, such as Chill Out, Aussie, Luna Negra, El Tiempo and Caballo de Mendoza are people’s favourites with a long history in the market and an excellent price/quality ratio.

Altia has long-standing experience in packaging wines. For example, approximately 100 million litres of the Hungarian Magyar Feher Bor white wine has been packed by Altia since its launch in the Finnish market in 1935.

Bottling and packaging of wines is focused in the Rajamäki plant

Altia concentrated its wine bottling and packaging in its Rajamäki plant as of January 2014, with the proportion of wines and mulled wines being approximately 30% of production. The annual wine volume of the Rajamäki plant is approximately 20 million litres, of which some 70% is packaged in box packages, 24% in glass bottles and 6% in PET bottles made of recycled plastic. Flexible technology facilitates various packaging methods also for future needs. The majority of wines packaged in Rajamäki is exported to Sweden, where Chill Out is by far the most popular of Altia’s wine brands.

In Rajamäki, the original properties of the wine are maintained up to the consumer’s glass by way of premium technology and packaging materials, protecting the wine from oxidation, strict quality control and high-quality wine expertise. The total number of quality analyses made every year is approximately 15,000, and the wine laboratory due for completion at the end of May will offer even better facilities for this work.

Cooperation with international wine experts

Altia’s professionals continuously develop their wine expertise. Fertile cooperation with the international wine specialist Jacques Lurton has continued for years. Madeleine Stenwreth, Swedish Master of Wines, cooperates closely with Altia’s wine team. Altia’s Wine Quality Master is Juha Kahima, who has 25 years of experience in the quality control of alcoholic beverages, and the Wine Cellar Supervisor is Kari Sahlman, who has 40 years of experience behind him. Also, wine buyers are experienced professionals who work in close cooperation with wine producers. Altia’s wine expertise is also appreciated by other companies in the wine industry to which Altia offers its packaging services.  Constellation Wines, for example, chose Altia’s Rajamäki plant as their European packaging partner.

Even though the majority of wine bought in Finland belongs to the lowest price categories, consumers are curious and willing to experiment, and consumption is gradually shifting towards more expensive wines. Altia responds to the changing consumer demand by introducing new wines in different price categories in the Swedish and Finnish monopolies during the summer 2014 – bottles, box wines as well as bagged wine. The packaging of several products already on sale will also be renewed.

Altia is the leading wine and spirits company offering quality brands in the Nordic and Baltic countries. Altia produces, markets, sells, imports and exports alcoholic beverages in its market area. Altia serves its consumers, customers and partners close to markets with its wide production, sales and logistic set-up. Annual net sales amounts to approximately 480 million euro and the total number of personnel is approximately 1,000.

Altia’s own brands such as Blossa, Chill Out, Explorer, Grönstedts, Jaloviina, Koskenkorva, Larsen, O.P. Anderson, Renault, Skåne Akvavit, Xanté and Arsenitch have a strong market position and a long heritage to cherish. Altia’s partner brands represent both local and international brands from all over the world, such as Codorníu, Drosty-Hof, Hardy’s, Jack Daniel’s, Bowmore, Nederburg, Ravenswood and Robert Mondavi.