Gemtree Wines was established in 1998 as an extension to the Buttery family’s grape growing business, which had supplied grapes to wineries in South Australia’s McLaren Vale district since 1980.
A family-owned business, Gemtree has a strong focus on sustainability and has evolved into a successful wine brand that grows varieties including shiraz, tempranillo, sangiovese, merlot, cabernet sauvignon and chardonnay.
Along with producing organic wines from its own grapes, Gemtree also sources grapes from other vineyards within the South Australian region to produce bottled and bulk wine.
An ongoing export opportunity
Gemtree has an arrangement with a US wine company, based in California’s Napa Valley, to supply around 900,000 litres of South Australian wine each year for a popular US brand.
The US wine company is engaged in winemaking, design and packaging, and provides wine and finished case goods to retailers, wineries, restaurants and start-up brands.
All wine supplied by Gemtree under this contract is sourced from premium wine regions in South Australia.
A need for financing
In order to meet the US company’s monthly distribution schedule, Gemtree has to make and source enough wine to fulfil the entire year’s order upfront, which increases pressure on its working capital.
Gemtree’s overseas bank provided working capital support for the vintages delivered in 2013 and 2014, however tightening credit conditions made it more difficult for its bank to approve bank guarantees for foreign companies.
When Gemtree’s Australian bank was unable to provide the finance it needed, due to a limited risk appetite, it referred Gemtree to us for help.