Vision and strategy
To produce 1 million bottles of premium wines based on the two thousand year old Dalmatian wine tradition with sustainability as a natural choice.
Branding and sales
Establish a brand combining Dalmatia’s two thousand year old wine tradition with modern tastes and design. All wine will be sold under the company’s own brand “Testament to the rich wine growing past.” and at a price reflecting the wine’s excellent quality.
Initial focus on Croatia’s larger cities Dubrovnik, Split and Zagreb and in parallel establish export markets. Direct sales at the winery and in mobile stores along the tourist roads are important as it enables sales at very attractive margins. The booming tourist industry is an important customer category. The number of overnights in Split increased by 30 per cent last year. At the same time, the new generation of Croatians steadily increases its demand of modern yet local wines.
Sustainability will always be the natural choice both in the vineyard and in the winery. Zhoda’s vineyard in Šibenik is certified as organic in accordance with EU standards, and the green leaf symbol is therefore placed on the wine bottles as evidence of this.
In order to reach 1 million bottles, Zhoda will invest in equipment and new technology. The Testament wine shall be made by Dalmatia’s leading enologists. Juraj Sladic and Igor Radovanovic have been recruited to the company.
Croatia’s leading wine architect Otto Baric is designing a new winery for Zhoda in Šibenik. The new winery, that will include wine tasting in an environment embedded by the vineyard, will make a strong impact on the Dalmatian wine map and become an integrated part of the brand.
Zhoda will scale up production in Smokvica in a cost-efficient way by upgrading the current building and equipment.
Dalmatia’s grapes and Testament wines
Dalmatia’s indigenous varieties shall be the base in the winemaking. Red wines based on the Babic grape and white wines made from the posip grape in Smokvica complement each other well.
New wines will be introduced to the portfolio. In 2017 the company made its first rosé. With time we will also produce sparkling wines, dessert wines and vintage wines.
Harvests from the company’s own vineyard are expected to reach a yearly production of about 200,000 bottles.
To secure grapes for the expansion, the company will plant new vineyards, seek acquisitions of other vineyards and acquire grapes from selected suppliers.
Experiences, accommodation and wine tastings
The winery in Šibenik is located on a beautiful hill with a breathtaking view of Dalmatia’s characteristic mountains in one direction, and the crystal blue Adriatic Sea in the other. The planned new winery will give visitors a wine experience to be remembered.
The company is already reconstructing a building for wine tasting and local sales. With time the company sees several opportunities to widen the business model based on visitors and experiences to develop new revenue streams.
The vineyard has excellent locations for exquisite villas. There are proven concepts where other vineyards with strong profitability have rented out or sold parts of the vineyard to wine lovers wanting to combine living and recreation with a winery and vineyard.
Cost control, EU subsidies and debt financing
Operational efficiency and cost control are two cornerstones of our business.
Zhoda shall benefit from the EU subsidy programs directly targeting the Croatian wine industry. These are open now but Zhoda expects this window to close after a few years, giving companies that are active now, such as Zhoda, an opportunity to enter the market at favorable terms compared to competitors. Several of the investments in the new winery and equipment are expected to be financed by EU subsidies by as much as 50 per cent.
Zhoda will also apply for the special debt facilities with favorable terms directed to the wine sector.