Delivering award-winning, premium NZ wine to the world
5 MIN READ
Born in the Crown Range, Crown Range Cellar started from humble beginnings by an unlikely duo — Jing Song and Grant Taylor, a former accountant and a veteran winemaker, respectively. After three years experimenting with different parcels of land, winemaking techniques and after plenty of mistakes, they finally felt ready to show the fruits of their labor to the world. In 2015 they entered the International Wine and Spirits Competition in London for the first time and won the Trophy for Best Pinot Noir, out competing thousands of wine entries from 90 different countries.
“It has been quite amazing. It’s huge on an international basis — and not just for the brand.”
Every year since then they have collaborated with top wine makers to produce limited volumes of these exclusive wines. The latest collaboration is with Patrick Léon, the world famous winemaker who worked with Baron Phillipe de Rothschild from 1985 until 2000. Today he is making a limited run of Syrah for Crown Range Cellar. And in late 2017, they started an exclusive import partnership with Weinetc, a German wine distributor.
We believe that as land carries on, we do not, so we never really own anything beyond our skills and the work of our hands. In our opinion, the “best” wine is the one you enjoy the most. Our “world’s best” accolades serve only as a guide to show we are on the right path.
In the earlier days, Crown Range has found success mostly in traditional markets of the U.S., Europe and Australia, but as of late, it has started seeing exponential growth in the emerging Chinese market. Drawing inspiration from Jing’s Chinese roots and her love for David Bowie, she and her team’s latest collaboration with Sir Michael Hill led to the creation of China Girl — part commercial enterprise, part art installation. For the launch, Sir Michael produced a 15-liter wine bottle made from gold mined near the vines on Chinaman’s Terrace, filled with Jing’s pinot noir.
Bread and Butter: Crown Range produces fine wines, ranging from their famed Pinot Noir to Pinot Gris.
Operations: They are based in Parnell, Auckland
Customers: They have customers all around the world
Phone Setup: They were using a traditional deskphones and landline to talk to customers. Some employees were also using their personal cellphone.
When we first spoke Tom in 2017 about his phone requirements, he wanted a a system that he could take calls on anywhere and still be connected to their main office in Parnell.
We had also created a voice menu that could help direct callers to the appropriate team member and got everyone set up with a Cradle mobile app. Everything seemed to be working great until we encountered some call quality hiccups. After doing a series of network tests under several different call environments, we determined that their network connection may have had been causing some of their calls on mobile to be quite unreliable.
We have learned the hard way over the years to determine that the quality of your network connectivity is biggest culprit to your call jitters (crackling noise) and packet losses (delay). Of course, the best solution is to get high speed fiber but we have discovered a nifty device that can dramatically improve the general speed and reliability — something that we have started to recommend to every new prospect that is interested in using Cradle.
At the time, Tom and his team were not too pleased with the inconsistent call quality (we wouldn’t be either), so we decided to go into their office and see if installing a wireless access point would make any difference. Right away, they saw an increase in their general internet connection speed — “These pages are loading faster!” — and more importantly, the call quality seemed to improve immediately. However, we still needed to make sure that the access point could reliably handle their Cradle call, even when we weren’t there in spirit (nature has a funny way of making things work serendipitously). So we went away for a week and let them have a go at it, one last time.
With a small team working across time-zones, it is important that we are available to our clients wherever we are in the world and 24 hours per day. Cradle allows us to maintain a stable fixed-line number whilst giving us the flexibility to travel and adapt as the business changes.
We checked in with them initially after a week and then a few more times subsequently and to our delight the general consensus had been fairly positive. Calls sounded more crisp and they were coming through reliably.
As their team started to expand their global presence, they have also needed to easily call certain areas (i.e. Pacific Islands) that are not always the easiest to reach (some of these countries have a high density of numbers that are blacklisted). We were able to work with our provider to enable them to call these countries so that their sales team could continue to do their job smoothly.
The user interface is very straightforward and as team members move on or into different roles it is very easy to switch roles and ensure that all calls go to the right places.
On going challenges with the wide-range of Android devices on the market are an issue — occasional glitches and compatibility issues. We don’t have a phone policy at work, everybody uses their preferred device, which means there is no one-size fits all solution.
Very good experience. James and Gary are patient and articulate tutors offering good practical advice and responding quickly to our requests. After a few teething problems the quality of the service is now consistently very high, offering better than land-line quality calls at a fraction of the cost of traditional infrastructure.
Tom and his team have been incredibly patient and supportive throughout this journey. Like a long and fruitful relationship, there has had time where one of us wanted to call it quits. But to such relationship, we have learned quite a bit from troubleshooting their technical issues to coming up with a permanent solution that has made their lives a little easier. Toast to more years to come!