Ten Reasons To Explain The Success of Family Flam

02/10/2008
Flam Winery has come from nowhere to be ranked the number three winery in Israel by both Rogov?s Guide To Israeli Wines and Hugh Johnson?s Pocket Wine Book, the main domestic & international wine guides. It is now Israel?s leading winery, which produces non kosher wines. more »

Ten Reasons To Explain The Success of Family Flam

Flam Winery has come from nowhere to be ranked the number three winery in Israel by both Rogov?s Guide To Israeli Wines and Hugh Johnson?s Pocket Wine Book, the main domestic & international wine guides. It is now Israel?s leading winery, which produces non kosher wines. In Tom Stevenson?s Wine Report 2004, Flam Winery had no less than three wines ranked in the ?100 Most Exciting Wine Finds?: Flam Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2000, Flam Merlot Reserve 2000, & Flam Classico 2001.

How have family Flam managed it? They have been smart, savvy yet also careful & modest. They have progressed in a quietly confident way without the self importance and complacency of so many of Israel?s new boutique wineries. They have grown step by step rather than overreaching like many of their competitors.

Ten reasons to explain their success of the Flam Winery:

1. Family. It is a family affair without outside partners, investors etc. Golan Flam is the winemaker, who studied in Italy and has work experience in Australia. His brother Gilad, a trained lawyer, is responsible for the marketing & sister Gefen, takes care of sales to the premium accounts. Their mother Kami, guards the finances jealously and they all have the help of Israel Flam, who has over 30 vintages under his belt as chief winemaker of Carmel. (How many winemakers in the world have experience of producing 30 million bottles a year?) Each complements the other without responsibilities overlapping and without outside interference.

2. Steady growth rather than over production. The Flam brothers have been clever to grow steadily & carefully unlike many boutique wineries that have increased production too fast at the expense of quality & without the prospect of increasing sales at the same rate. The Flams have appreciated that for business, quality & sales reasons, a cautious, modest approach is more sensible.

3. Wine style. The style of Flam?s wines is European, rather than the high alcohol fruit bombs with lashings of oak, which are popular amongst so many new Israeli wineries. This restrained style is more subtle.

4. Complementary import business. They have their own company, Hagefen, importing good value wines mainly from Italy. This means they are self reliant. They have a financial buffer and the range they provide only complements their own wines. It is reminiscent of another winery which has a similar back up to his winemaking activities ? Gaja from Italy also imports & distributes wines to subsidize his own winemaking activities.

5. Attractive pricing. They were smart enough not to be greedy about price ? unlike many boutique wineries. Their Flam Classico was the first reasonably priced, value for money wine from an Israeli boutique winery. As a result Flam wines managed to create a niche for themselves in the quality restaurant market. They were smart enough to do this from the beginning. Since then other smaller wineries have followed their lead.

6. Quality before real estate. They have just moved to their new winery in the Judean Hills. However they were clever to establish their wine quality & style first before concentrating on building a stylish winery. Many small wineries have done the opposite: invested a great deal of money to create a beautiful shell of a winery ? whilst the wine fails to match up to its surroundings. The Flams built their reputation without the distraction of building plans & raising funds ? and only then turned their attention to designing & building. The choice of priorities was correct.

7. Minimum number of wines. Initially they only produced red wines. Now they have added whites, but they have been sensible to produce only a small quantity, realizing that white wines are more and more difficult to sell. Also they have been prudent to keep the number of different wines they produce at a minimum. It is ridiculous how many different wines some wineries produce.

8. White wine style ? again they have gone against the trend by producing fresh, fruity unoaked white wines. This again is against the trend for fat, over oaked white wines which are difficult to sell and don?t match easily to food.

9. Attention to detail. The winery shows great attention to detail in all aspects of their work. In terms of the winemaking, everyone knows that attention to detail is critical. However the Flams have great attention to detail in every part of their winery – whether in the areas of winemaking, business or marketing. They have the same approach for the presentation of the wines, written material and their brand new winery.

10. Presentation. Gilad Flam has a flair for the stylish. Only the Flams go to the trouble of having labels designed in Italy to reach the unique quality they pursue. This is another more visual example of their creativity and stylishness.

The whole operation is marked by a pursuit of quality and professionalism. An example to the industry of an intelligent way to build a brand and a business.

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