Why Wine?

Novellino all began as a twinkle in the eye of Vicente “Nonoy” Quimbo, a Filipino businessman with years of experience in the international beverage business. While travelling around the world, Quimbo took an interest in wine. Like so many around the world, it fascinated him. After all, wine is a drink that is so much more than a drink. For centuries, people have associated wine with such high regard; things like, culture, romance, and travel to name a few.

Nonoy dared to ask the question, if wine has such strong global appeal, why is wine consumption in the Philippines so low? Quimbo dedicated himself to unlocking this mystery. After careful examination and market research, Nonoy came to an answer: He attributed it to three key factors: Taste, Price, and Familiarity. Filipinos wanted to drink wine, but they didn’t like the taste of traditional dry wine, they assumed it was not within their budget, and they were often overwhelmed by the vast number of brands and varietals.

With this answer in mind, Nonoy set out to launch Novellino Wines. However, let it be clear that Nonoy Quimbo didn’t start Novellino Wines so that he could own a successful company, a successful company was simply the result of Novellino Wines fulfilling the (un-filled) aspirations of the Filipino people.

The Wine Business Then

  • Vineyard

    Chateau owns the vineyard.

  • Wine Making & Bottlling

    Chateau blends, bottles, and labels the wine.

  • Distribution

    Chateau distributes the wine.

Before we dive into what made Novellino successful, let us first take a look at the traditional wine business model. In order for Quimbo to address the three key factors of Taste, Price, and Familiarity, he knew he would need to adopt a structure more or less in line with the traditional “Chateau” structure. When wineries first started producing wine, their intention was to produce the wine for the taste preferences of the region where it was made. A traditional European Chateau would own the entire winery operation from the planting of the vineyard to the distribution to the merchant. This structure requires a tremendous amount of investment, which is why the wine business today is quite different than it was back in the olden days.

The Wine Business Today

  • Farmer

    Harvests the Grapes. Sells to the Winemaker and Juice maker.

  • Winemaker

    Makes the wine. Sells to the blender.

  • Blender

    Bottles and Labels the wine. Sells to the Distributor .

  • Distributor

    Non-exclusive. Sells multiple brands.

In this day of age, wine-making has become very specialized. Every major aspect of the business is independent of one another: The farmer sells his grapes to the winemaker, who makes the wine and sells it to a blender, who bottles and labels the wine and sells it to a distributor distributing a multitude of different brands.

Quimbo’s vision of an affordable & recognizable sweet wine in the Philippines required more control over his operations. He would need to own his production to justify his spend in advertising and he would need critical mass in volume to offer his wines at an affordable price for the Filipino people. As a brand new company with virtually no volume Quimbo needed to get creative…

The Novellino Way

  • Farmer

    Harvests the Grapes. Sells to the Winemaker and Juice maker.

  • Juice Maker

    Makes juice from grapes. Sells to Novellino.

  • Novellino Winemaking

    Novellino makes the wine.

  • Novellino Bottling

    Novellino bottles the wine

  • Novellino Distribution

    Novellino distributes the wine

In order for Quimbo to address the three key factors of Taste, Price, and Familiarity he knew he would need to control more aspects of his operations than the modern wine business would allow him. He also knew he would inevitably need to source the grapes outside of the Philippines since the tropical climate doesn’t make for good grape growing conditions. It didn’t take long for Quimbo to come to a great realization…

The modern day winemaker gets his grapes from the Farmer, but the winemaker isn’t the only customer of the Farmer.  The Juice maker also sources his grapes from the Farmer.  Quimbo found that by engaging the Juice maker, rather than the winemaker, he could control the rest of the operational model, from wine-making to distribution. This phenomenon we like to call “The Novellino Way”.

It’s been said that Novellino wines can be found all over the world, and that’s because Filipinos are everywhere and they’ve been known to bring Novellino wines with them wherever they go. Officially, meaning through distributor arrangements, Novellino is sold in Vietnam, Emirates, and yes, even in that great wine country California. So far, it’s been more than pretty good for Novellino these past 14 years and counting. That twinkle in Nonoy’s eye?  It is still there. It’s the star that Novellino has now become and all that it envisions its future to be.

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