Inspired by a product seen abroad, the eagerly anticipated Pierre Jourdan Wine Popsicles, or ‘PJ Pops’ as they are referred to, are the brainchild of Natasha Alomia and Jon-Marc De Carvalho, founders and directors of JML Consulting (Pty) Ltd, a company that specialises in the launch of new health, wellness and lifestyle brands.
Alcohol-based popsicles have already proven a runaway success in major overseas markets, and the launch of the PJ Pops marks the first time a home-grown, wine-based popsicle product has landed on local shelves. The PJ Pops will launch 1 September 2016, with two deliciously eye-catching offerings made from the Pierre Jourdan Brut, a Cap Classique, and Pierre Jourdan Tranquille, a still wine made from a blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Both wines are from acclaimed Franschhoek cellar Haute Cabrière.
With her global background in strategic marketing, Alomia’s sharp eye for branding and business is matched by the entrepreneurial savvy of De Carvalho.
“Between us we bring a collective 20 years of finance, marketing and business strategy experience to the development of this product,” says Alomia. “Pierre Jourdan is an outstanding brand, whose wines are synonymous with sharing and enjoyment. The wines taste delicious, and the brand has a strong track record of being a pioneer in the South African wine industry. It is for all these reasons and more, that we felt Pierre Jourdan was the perfect brand partner for our product.”
Haute Cabrière was the first South African wine farm to exclusively produce Cap Classique from the noble cultivars of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, so it is certainly fitting that the wines of their Pierre Jourdan range were selected by Alomia and De Carvalho to launch South Africa’s first Wine Popsicles.
Set on the mountain slopes above the winelands town of Franschhoek, Haute Cabrière was founded over 30 years ago by Achim von Arnim, one of the pioneers of Cap Classique in South Africa. Today it is his son Takuan who holds the keys as cellar master, upholding Haute Cabrière’s terroir-driven philosophy that great wines are grown in the vineyard.
“We take our wine seriously, but we also want people to have fun with wine, to be enthusiastic about wine, and we see the PJ Pops as a fantastic way to do that,” says Takuan von Arnim.
“We are thrilled to partner with JML Consulting on the innovative PJ Pops,” adds Riaan van Niekerk, Managing Director of Haute Cabrière. “The pioneering spirit of Pierre Jourdan, the French Huguenot who arrived here from the French town of Cabrière in 1694, is still truly alive at Haute Cabrière!”
With Pierre Jourdan Brut and Pierre Jourdan Tranquille celebrating their 30th and 15th anniversaries, respectively, this year, Alomia and De Carvalho have worked closely with von Arnim to ensure the Popsicles remain true to the spirit of these much-loved wines. In producing the Popsicles the wines are slightly sweetened with natural fructose to ensure a more decadent dessert experience, yet all the acidity and complexity of the elegant Brut, and the gentle blush and beguiling bouquet of the Pinot Noir-driven Tranquille, remain.
“We’ve used a younger vintage of the Cap Classique to maintain freshness in the PJ Brut Popsicle, while the more prominent fruit flavours from the Pinot Noir in the Tranquille make it ideal for those looking for something a little sweeter,” adds von Arnim.
For those who don’t yet know their Chardonnay from their Pinot Noir, the PJ Pops is set to be an accessible yet elegant introduction to the world of wine.
“The Popsicles are a huge step forward in finding new ways to enjoy wine, and the ideal stepping stone for people to discover the wines of Haute Cabrière,” says von Arnim.
“We don’t want the popsicles to detract from the bottled product at all; this is just a natural progression,” comments De Carvalho. “What we’ve done is to take all of the flavours that you enjoy in the bottle, and position it in a form that is contemporary and stays true to the Pierre Jourdan wines that we all know and love.”
“It’s a product to be shared and enjoyed at any time of the day,” adds Alomia. “The PJ Pops are not only ideal additions to a braai or picnic, but also as a refreshing treat at the end of a long day. Having a dinner party? They work beautifully as an aperitif or palate cleanser. They are even great as an alternative dessert.”
Key to the appeal of the PJ Pops is the stylish packaging mirroring the elegance of the wines: dark-green for the Brut, a rosy blush for the Tranquille, all presented in a sophisticated, fully-recyclable popsicle tube with a 100% aluminium foil top-seal that allows for fuss-free enjoyment anywhere, anytime.
Enormous effort and investment has gone into the Popsicle production process, with a state-of-the-art factory line flash-freezing the Popsicles in minutes to ensure the delicate sorbet texture. And if they melt slightly? Simply pop them back in the freezer to re-freeze within 24 hours.
Despite the distinctly upmarket appeal of the PJ Pops, they are competitively priced to be both aspirational and accessible.
“We’ve already had enormous interest in the PJ Pops, and after launch they will be available at selected upmarket bars, hotels, restaurants and late-night venues in both Gauteng and the Western Cape,” says De Carvalho. “The PJ Pops will also be available at select wine festivals and lifestyle events around the country.”
From a retail perspective, the PJ Pops will launch exclusively in select Pick n Pay Liquor and Grocery outlets across Gauteng and the Western Cape from 1 September. Recommended Retail Price is R25.00 (inclusive of VAT) per PJ Pop.