Delamere Case

Topics: Wine, Chardonnay, Pinot noir Pages: 7 (2565 words) Published: March 18, 2013
Executive Summary—An eccentric pioneer in winemaking, Richard Richardson, owner of Delamere Vineyard, wants to improve his final product however he is uncertain on how to proceed. He has narrowed down his options to three projects, but can only pursue one project at a time. Root Cause(s) --- Delamere Vineyard has two main root causes. The first is the quality of the Pinot Noir wine. The second is creating a sustainable cash flow. While Mr. Richardson has full confidence that he will solve both problems, his emotional attachment to the operation clouds his judgment on the best way to how to improve his wine quality and attract more customers to his vineyard. This paper’s goal is to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of each proposed project and provide Mr. Richardson with enough data to make a sound decision on how to proceed. Both of the above mentioned issues will be addressed during the analysis of the proposed projects. Analysis---Delamere Vineyard is a small boutique vineyard on the island of Tasmania. It caters to Australians with limited selections of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Mr. Richardson has built the vineyard into a business that can support his family; however he recognizes that within the five stages of creating wine there is room for improvement. The two areas he must focus on are fermentation and maturation the processes. The three projects under consideration will analyze these two stages. The first project will evaluate maturation. Mr. Richardson allows oxygen to develop naturally in each of his barrels and does not minimize it. He believes it adds to the personality and character of the wine. Oxygen is often seen as the enemy of the winemaker as it single handedly ruins a crop. Mr. Richardson had already experienced this disaster more than once and is awkwardly familiar with its dire consequences. As the Pinot Noir accounts for 85% of his sales, the loss of a crop due to oxidation is catastrophic. So the first project under consideration is to identify an effective measure to limit oxidation of the wine while it matures in the oak barrels. Introducing oxygen to the oak barrels while the wine is maturing is a risky process. Until recently Mr. Richardson used the sulfur dioxide (SO2) method on a limited basis to eliminate oxidation. He believes the oxidation that occurs naturally adds personality to his wine. A recent wine judge and some customers’ comments seem to suggest otherwise. Mr. Richardson has three options to consider should he choose to change the maturation process of his wines. He can continue with his present solution and change nothing. This solution will not add to the quality to the wine, nor will it attract new customers. Because of these two outcomes, it will not be considered for further analysis. The second option is to increase the SO2 in each barrel to better control the process and produce a more appealing wine. The third option will consider a series of trials to discover the exact amount of SO2 to add so that his wine maintained the desired personality but reduced the “prematurely aged” taste that had lost awards and customers. Options two and three can produce results to aid in the root causes of quality and cash flow so both of these options will be compared to determine the best recommended path to take. The second project is to deepen the color of the Pinot Noir wine as his main customers in Australia have stated they prefer the darker red color and see that as a sign of a high quality wine. Mr. Richardson has stated that he is not interested in darkening the color of his wine, even if it would attract new customers. His concern is that the fermenter that would be required to darken the color will give his wine a “hollow” flavor even thou they are used at other wineries with excellent results in improving not only color, but flavors as well. However; he also realizes that a fermenter will allow him to produce more volume than

he has the capacity for currently....
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