Source: Incentive Magazine
By: Donna M. Airoldi
What's both prestigious and convenient? Having your own barrel of wine from an award-winning winery.
Algodon Wine Estates in Mendoza, Argentina's wine capital, now offers its varietals for purchase at the barrel level, allowing companies to offer a personalized appreciation gifts. Levest Electric Corp. and EZ Studios, each based in New York City, have purchased barrels and given their customized bottles of wine to employees and clients.
Barrels can be custom designed by type (French or American oak) and varietal (malbec, syrah, cabernet sauvignon, merlot, bonarda and chardonnay). Owners can work with Algodon's winemakers to produce their wine, or they can decide on their own the length of time their wine spends in its barrel, and may taste the wine at any time during the aging process.
Each barrel yields approximately 300 bottles of wine and may be filled up to three times, the second yield typically producing the highest quality of wine. The wine is then bottled and branded with an owner's personal label. Nine sample designs are available, or a company can create their own, incorporating their logo.
Prices range from $4,500 to $5,200 per barrel, depending on the type of oak selected, and include the barrel, wine, labor, bottling and labeling. Taxes and shipping (approximately $1,500 for the United States) are extra. The cost to refill a barrel is $2,600. The average per bottle cost comes to between $17 and $23.
Barrel owners also are entitled to a complimentary two-night stay (for up to two people) at Algodon Wine Estates or Finca Los Alamos
in order to taste the wine at the end of its first aging period. (Although not included in the barrel ownership program, Algodon is opening a new luxury suites property in Buenos Aires in January 2010. Read more about it here
Algodon Wine Estates is located in the hills of the Sierra Pintada Mountains at the base of the Andes, in San Rafael, Mendoza, and covers more than 2,050 acres of picturesque terrain. In addition to working vineyards, the estate includes a tasting room, award-winning restaurant and luxury lodge, along with fruit and olive orchards-black truffles will be added soon-championship golf, polo and tennis. Finca Los Alamos
is a historic estancia that originally served as a frontier fort in 1830. The property features works from famous Argentine artists including Jorge Luis Borges, Hector Basaldua and Raul Soldi.
For more information, visit www.algodonwines.com
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