Casella toasts billionth Yellow Tail
Casella Wines will pump out the billionth bottle of its export wine phenomenon Yellow Tail on Wednesday.
Derided by some critics as the epitome of all that is wrong with Australia's wine industry, earning it the "cheap and cheerful" moniker, Yellow Tail has gone from an idea after the Sydney Olympics to the biggest imported wine in the US market.
Chief executive John Casella said Yellow Tail had its best year this year, with volumes up 8 per cent.
Supplier Amcor Glass will present a commemorative bottle when the billionth bottle comes off the production line.
Pumping out about 12 million cases a year, nearly 96 per cent of Yellow Tail wine is exported - mostly to an American audience who just can't get enough of the bottle with a leaping yellow kangaroo.
Casella slumped to its first loss in 20 years last year when the strong Australian dollar tarnished its accounts, forcing it to push through heavy write-downs and trigger a breach of its banking covenants.
"The issue with that loss was that it was never a trading loss," Mr Casella said.
"It was a write-down, we have always travelled OK, we haven't really operationally lost money and it was just a matter of clearing up our books."