Home Wine Business Editorial Sales & Marketing Wine Industry Network Announces Winners of the 1st Annual Marketing Awards

Wine Industry Network Announces Winners of the 1st Annual Marketing Awards

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The Wine Marketing Awards are meant to serve as an inspiration for professionals in the field, encouraging innovation and excellence in the marketing of wine.

Wine Industry Network’s Wine Marketing Awards celebrate excellence, innovation and creativity in the marketing of wines to consumers. These prestigious awards recognize the efforts of wineries, marketing agencies and wine professionals who successfully navigate the unique challenges of marketing wine in a hyper-competitive and highly regulated market.

Entrants were evaluated on their ability to effectively communicate their brand’s message, engage with their target audience and drive both brand awareness and sales. The awards also spotlight campaigns that showcase sustainability, diversity and community engagement within the wine industry. 

Winning a Wine Marketing Award not only honors the recipients for their outstanding marketing achievements but also sets a benchmark for creativity and excellence, enhancing their reputation in the wine industry and beyond. 

Winners will be presented their award at the Wine Sales Symposium on May 16, 2024.

Association Marketing – Michigan Wine Collaborative

The Michigan Wine Collaborative (MWC) is a nonprofit, member- and volunteer-based organization that supports the Michigan grape and wine industry. It focuses on marketing while serving as a conduit to research and education for Michigan’s cool climate grape growers and wine producers.

The MWC wrote a USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant to brand the Michigan wine industry with the Taste Michigan brand and the Cool is Hot campaign. It was a targeted campaign that hit Greater Grand Rapids and Metro Detroit. The intent was to ensure the competitiveness of Michigan grown winegrapes. As a result, more people bought Michigan wine, and Michigan growers saw incremental demand in 2022-2023 for their winegrapes.

See more details here.

Cause Marketing – Frank Family Vineyards

Frank Family Vineyards established the #FrankForACause giving campaign as a philanthropic avenue to contribute to the well-being of its Napa community and beyond. The winery annually selects a different national charity to support, covering a variety of causes, from health research to hunger relief to animal welfare. These efforts have garnered nearly $500,000 to benefit the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, Feeding America, Autism Speaks, the James Beard Foundation’s Open for Good Campaign, the Humane Society of the United States, the Arbor Day Foundation and, most recently, K9s For Warriors.

This is a 360 campaign that meets consumers where they are: in store, on social media and in-person. The latest campaign in partnership with K9s For Warriors, the nation’s largest provider of trained service dogs for military veterans, has been a two-year initiative that has raised more than $55,000 for this amazing organization.

See more details here.

Experiential Marketing – Flambeaux Wine & The Harris Gallery

Last year, Art Murray of Flambeaux Wine and his friend Alex Harris of The Harris Gallery Wine, both located in Sonoma County, Calif., were thinking about how to boost visitors in the traditionally slower months of the year. The two partnered to produce TOWN, a series of off-season, monthly wine, food, art and overnight stay experiences that took place November 2023 through March 2024. 

TOWN, which stands for “Traveling Off-Season for Wine Night,” featured a uniquely themed dinner at a different Sonoma County destination each month. The dinners attracted visitors and gained new fans of all that Sonoma has to offer during the “off-season.” 

Each event was held on a weeknight, encouraging visitors to stay for a long weekend. Dinners each featured a different guest winery and spotlighted Sonoma County chefs and hotel partners. Guests also received themed gifts, take-aways and the opportunity to visit participating wineries as special guests.

Not only were wines marketed, experienced and purchased, TOWN unified the wine, art, hospitality, entertainment, travel and accommodation segments of Sonoma County over the winter months.

The second annual TOWN Dinner Series will run from late 2024 to 2025.

See more details here.

AI / Website Marketing – Treasury Wine Estates 

In March 2023, Treasury Americas launched WineEvent.com – a flash-sale website for all its brands. To solve for limited bandwidth on the digital team, nearly all content in the creation of the site — as well as ongoing content necessary for the delivery of new products, emails, blog articles and advertising — have been created using Generative AI platforms such as ChatGPT and Gemini. The volume of content needs increased as the concept became about turning more than just holidays and special meals into wine occasions. 

To connect with more consumers, the motto became, “Whether it’s a special occasion or a random Tuesday night with take-out, every day can be a Wine Event!” This innovative site and content development method has successfully achieved business goals and continues to show how AI can create added bandwidth for marketing teams, support increased creativity and drive further innovation.

See more details here.

Wine Club Marketing – Firstleaf 

Firstleaf, a direct-to-consumer wine company that employs machine learning and complete vertical integration to create customized wines and provide risk-free wine exploration, launched its End of Endless Campaign in September 2023. A 360 campaign, it started with television and expanded out to all brand touchpoints. 

The campaign’s main character, Jennifer, is an average wine consumer navigating the often confusing and overwhelming wine store. Two television spots highlight the journey a typical wine drinker takes while in the store, underscoring the internal pressures individuals experience when attempting to choose a wine they’ll enjoy, showcasing the everlasting range of options and the intimidating and unconventional wine terminology to exert external pressure, all to settle on a suitable bottle.

Firstleaf’s goal is to take the guesswork out of wine exploration. Its exclusive AI-platform enables the company to provide personalization for every consumer, tailoring their wine selections to evolving preferences. As members rate wines, Firstleaf’s system refines their unique “Wineprint.” The outcome is a shipment of wines perfectly matched to each member’s distinct tastes.

See more details here.

Brand Marketing – Cliff Lede Vineyards

Drawing inspiration from the world of music, where classic songs can be remastered to create a more dynamic and authentic listening experience while still preserving their original essence, Cliff Lede Vineyards launched its brand video, “Cabernet Remastered.” The video features Jason Lede, Cliff Lede’s second-generation vintner and Napa Valley’s “resident DJ,” talking about how, by integrating nature and tradition with technology and innovation, the winery endeavors to create remastered renditions of the timeless Cabernet Sauvignon. 

With this guiding principle in mind, Cliff Lede Vineyards introduced two new additions to the winery’s offerings —2021 Cliff Lede “Rhythm” Cabernet Sauvignon, Stags Leap District (SRP $125) and 2021 Cliff Lede Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley (SRP $80). Together, these wines represent the fruits of many years of additional investments in the Napa Valley that the Lede family has prioritized over the last decade. 

See more details here.

Rebrand Marketing – Pedroncelli Winery

Pedroncelli Winery is the original Dry Creek Valley Estate Winery, founded in 1927 by Giovanni and Giulia Pedroncelli and now a four-generation family winery and vineyards. Its wines tell the story of longevity, craftsmanship and integrity. They tell the story of vintage and vineyard, one glass at a time.

Pedroncelli Winery is in the midst of a renaissance in its vineyards, winery and brand.  The winery has rolled out new packaging and a tighter portfolio focus over the past 18 months, culminating in the release of its new Single Vineyard and Single Vineyard Reserve wines.

The result of this strategic repositioning and rebranding has been growth in the face of declining industry trends. Sales grew in California 87% in 2023, with strong accounts and turns growth in all channels of distribution. It’s growing double digits nationally and in DTC as well.

See more details here.

Packaging Design – Makers & Allies / Tapestry

From the makers of Napa Valley’s iconic Beaulieu Vineyard, Tapestry is a celebration of the unique terroir of Paso Robles, brought to life through the art of the blend. Through custom illustrations and typography, its label design reflects just that. Flora and fauna native to the region seamlessly weave together the story of California’s Central Coast, while gracefully intertwining grape vines and leaves symbolize the harmonious blend of select grape varieties that compose the wine itself. Each element contributes to a visual and tactile tapestry that pays homage to the region’s captivating biodiversity.

As the brand prepared for its debut in the market, branding and design firm Makers & Allies devised a strategic social media plan, ensuring a clear vision for photo and video and a successful launch. In the studio, lush styling and high-end props highlight the artful nature and premium quality of the wine, embodying the brand’s ethos of “The Art of The Blend.” Outside of the studio, lifestyle content brings the brand to life by embodying its new tagline “Weave Your Story.” Ongoing monthly social media management elevates Tapestry’s presence for those seeking validation and plans to captivate new drinkers with brand awareness.

See more details here.

Packaging Design – Really Good Boxed Wines 

For the 97% of wine consumed within a year of purchase, the benefits of the box format make quality wine more affordable, accessible and sustainable for the modern drinker. Really Good Boxed Wine (RGBW) is the first U.S. winery dedicated solely to producing boxed fine wine. Its packaging represents an 84% lower carbon footprint and remains fresh for 6 weeks after opening. Thanks to a 90% reduction in packaging costs, RGBW wines are available for a 50% savings over the same quality in bottles.

In October 2023, RGBW released the first of its kind, single-vineyard, organic Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon in a box. The company’s 2019 Cabernet Reserve Oak Knoll District offered a $400 value of wine for $120 in 3L bag-in-box (BiB). 

While all of RGBW wines are vintage, varietal and premium-AVA, this release was a bold furtherance of the company’s continued mission of pushing the quality and attention of fine boxed wine in the United States. The wine was the first box to ever be reviewed by Jeb Dunnuck; it garnered press attention and sold more than 1,000 units within 90 days of release.

See more details here.

Packaging Design – Tiny Vineyards

The Tiny Vineyards Wine Company is a single employee, very micro, boutique winery in Sonoma, Calif., specializing in small lots of handcrafted ultra-premium wines. Founder, winemaker and five-time eclipse chaser Joseph Daniel decided to leverage the longest and most visible total solar eclipse in the United States in 100 years, which crossed much of the country on April 8, 2024, with a commemorative release. Two-and-a-half years ago, he decided to make a commemorative “Eclipse Malbec” to celebrate the celestial event.

In 2024, with the wine bottled and appropriately labeled with a time-lapse image of the 2019 total solar eclipse over the Andes Mountains in Argentina, he then decided the biggest market for the wine was likely the populace that lived in or nearby the path of totality. In classic low-cost, grassroots marketing, he built a list of every town in the 15 states that the eclipse would pass over, and every hometown newspaper still being published in print or online in those towns. Then he sent them a press release with lots of great photos and even a pre-written story if they didn’t want to do the work of writing their own. 

Newspapers all along the eclipse path picked up the story and, every time it was printed, he sold some wine. That, in turn, led to larger media, including a story in Forbes Magazine and an NPR interview. As a result, the wine sold out quickly.

See more details here.

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To learn more about the Wine Marketing Award winners, visit: winesalessymposium.com/wine-marketing-awards-winners.php

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