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How O’Neill Vintners Saved $27,000 Using Tastry’s CompuBlend®

The Background

In 2004, Jeff O’Neill found­ed O’Neill Vint­ners and Dis­tillers with a pur­pose: to cre­ate unri­valed rela­tion­ships that suc­cess­ful­ly build brands and businesses. Since then, they’ve become a com­pa­ny that strives for con­tin­u­ous improve­ment and a cul­ture focused on team­work and problem-solving.

Today, they are one of the fastest-grow­ing winer­ies in Cal­i­for­nia and have a rep­u­ta­tion as one of the top pre­mi­um wine and spir­its pro­duc­ers in the industry.

As a com­pa­ny, they’ve pro­duced more than 15 mil­lion gal­lons of wine, crush­ing near­ly 200,000 tons of grapes a year. With more than 700 tanks of var­i­ous sizes and capa­bil­i­ties, includ­ing the Robert Hall win­ery in Paso Rob­les, they are focused on making the vari­ety and qual­i­ty of wines their cus­tomers want.

The Challenge

Winemakers are always challenged to develop the best qualities from the fruit they have and construct blends that both satisfy the consumer and meet financial targets. This is certainly the challenge for Steven DeCosta, Director of Winemaking at O’Neill Vintners and Distillers.

Steven was also facing a common challenge to innovation:

In California, many winemakers are sourcing wine from the same areas. How do you differentiate your blend from the others who are sourcing fruit from the same terroir? How do you quantify what extra element a competitor may have analytically that you can’t taste?

The Solution

Steven found a solution in Tastry’s CompuBlend®, which he now uses as his “guiding light” for winemaking. Using CompuBlend, he recently created a top-performing blend and reduced cost by $27,000.

CompuBlend analyzed thousands of possible combinations of tank samples to ultimately suggest a winning formula for a ’21 vintage Cabernet Sauvignon blend that not only tastes great but will also be top market performer. Steven had originally intended to use a more expensive blend until CompuBlend identified a novel approach. That insight illuminated a new potential he wouldn’t have considered otherwise. Additionally, the new recommended blend cost nine cents per gallon less to produce. This generated a $27,000 savings over the 300k gallon production.

At a Glance

Challenges

  • Market performance
  • Differentiation
  • Product optimization
  • Innovation
  • Revenue targets
  • Mitigating risk

Solutions

  • Tastry’s CompuBlend allowed O’Neill to create a top-performing blend that was $27,000 cheaper than the original blend candidate
  • Tastry affords O’Neill powerful insights into their wine chemistry and predictive market performance to make data-driven decisions

The Results

15%

of time saved

Steven estimates CompuBlend reduced man-hours for the blend by about 15%.

$27,000

in product costs saved

O’neill optimized based on both market performance and product cost.

Testimonial

“For me it [CompuBlend] means safety…a sense of knowing I’m going in the right direction. Looking at this ’21 vintage Cabernet, seeing cost per gallon, having our target; I have a way to spot check. There may be a sample I really like, but I’ve noticed that my palate is not necessarily representative of our consumers. So it pointed me away from a costly piece and that’s a big savings when you add up dollars per gallon.”

Steven DeCosta
Director of Winemaking
O'Neill Vintners & Distillers
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