By Laura Ness
It was a good problem to have, but one that required careful management. When Brecon Estate’s 2019 Albariño won Best of Show White at the 2020 Sunset Wine Competition, it was immediately decided that Brecon Club Members should have priority access to the small batch wine.
Says Damian Grindley, proud Welshman, founding winemaker and GM of Brecon Estate, “We certainly managed to successfully leaver the Sunset Best of Show win to generate more sales predominantly using email and social media campaigns. We had to be thoughtful how we did this so as to keep our existing members and customers on board. Consequently, Members were given first access, but limited to one or two bottles per member. Naturally folks, including Sunset readers, could easily become a member to access the wine.”
Brecon also made the wine more widely available as part of a summer six-pack, which included free ice packs for shipping. Says Grindley, “This indeed was one of our more successful online promotions of the year and the inclusion of the winning wine certainly helped, as I suspect did having a captive audience during Covid.”
Grindley attributes not just the reputation of Sunset as a magazine but also the considerable publicity generated around the top Wine Competition winners. He credits this for creating a halo effect, encouraging people to check out the Brecon lineup, even it they didn’t purchase the Best of Show white. “Sunset is one of the instantly recognizable and trusted brands with our customer demographic. That familiarity and trust carries a lot of kudos and needs little by the way of further explanation to customers.”
He’s gratified that people are now coming into the winery noting what a great year 2020 was in terms of awards garnered by Brecon. “Indeed, it was our most successful year to date,” notes Grindley. And they’re not planning to rest on any laurels.
For vintage 2020, Brecon was able to increase production of their Albariño to 307 cases, up 38% over the 2019 vintage, without having to compromise vineyard sourcing. And, he says, “Due to the general interest in our Albariño’s, we did add another wine to our lineup, called ‘Last Sandwich,’ an Albariño/Viognier blend. We intend to enter that in this year’s Sunset competition, along with our other Albariño’s.”
Brecon ages one of their Albariño’s in acacia wood for a richer, more California expression, while last year’s Best of Show was done strictly in stainless barrels.
It’s great to see success inspire even more creativity.
For more information about the SUNSET International Wine Competition click here: https://sunsetcompetitions.