So you have your business plan all sorted, know who your target audience is and think you have a product or service that they are going to love. But how do you make them even know you exist, never mind part with money to buy what you have? In part two of his series of articles on how to get on top of your marketing, Jeremy Thomson of the Common Collective, looks at the different marketing channels that are available and picks out the ones that are most likely to be relevant to you.
To show off its first five vintages of Quintus, Domaine Clarence Dillon (which owns Château Haut-Brion) asked Clove Club chef Isaac McHale and head sommelier Oliver Christie to devise a special French-influenced tasting menu that would complement the Saint-Émilion wines. McHale’s food has a reputation of being ‘food you want to eat’ and the Quintus wines, likewise, are customer-friendly, approachable Bordeaux that are clearly in their ascendancy. Peter Dean tasted the Quintus grand cru wines, the second and third wines, and then sat back in awe at one of the great wine-pairing lunches.
No matter how crowded the spirits market is there is always room for true innovation to find its place on the back bar. Which is what the founders of Aluna Coconut rum hope they have achieved with what they claim is one of the first authentic, all-natural toasted coconut blended rums, in this case sourced from Guatemala and the Caribbean. The Buyer catches up with one of the brains behind the new rum, Guy Ritchie, who explains why he thinks this can be a new breakthrough brand.
For the past 12 years Rollo Gabb has been running the 100 hectare Stellenbosch winery Journey’s End with innovation as one of the key drivers. As Rollo sets about rethinking his three tiers of wines – to make them reflect better the quirkiness of the brand – he talks to Peter Dean about how the 2019 vintage is shaping up after years of drought, how the weather in South Africa is challenging the winemaker in unexpected ways, how South African wine can take its place alongside other international premium wines, and why Journey’s End is still, in his mind, one of the most experimental wineries in South Africa today.
It is a mark of the impact E&J Gallo has had on the global wine market in recent years that its recent $1.7 billion deal to buy a large chunk of wines and spirits from Constellation Brands was seen as just the latest in a series of acquisitions by the Californian wine giant that has seen it spend $1 billion on fine wine deals in the last five years alone. But this is not a big corporate waving its cash, but still a 100% owned family wine business, however big it has become. Richard Siddle reports back from California on the impact Gallo’s strategy to grow by investing in largely premium to fine wine is having on the global branded wine market.
Everything but everything it seems has its own Awareness Day. #SauvBlancDay on May 3, for example, comes just after National Richter Scale Day and just before Donkey Awareness Week. Seriously. This year’s international celebration of the Sauvignon Blanc grape, however, has been given a new spin by having one foot in the Old World and one foot in the New – in a bid to show it off as a grape that has a sense of place and range of styles. #SauvBlancDay is different from previous years because, for the first time, New Zealand Winegrowers and two Loire Valley wine bodies are joining forces to broaden the message and the appeal. Peter Dean joined Jancis Robinson MW, Steven Spurrier and many more to hear Rebecca Gibb MW and Jamie Goode at last week’s official launch.
When Roberto Conterno parted with many millions to buy Nervi in Alto Piemonte a year ago, it confirmed what many in the trade had known for some time – that this ‘lesser’ Italian region was producing outstanding wines and a great region to explore ‘off the radar’ wines and winemakers. Its days as a forgotten gem are indeed over, as more and more people wise up to the region, says Geoffrey Dean, who travels to Alto Piemonte and picks out the best regions and winemakers that should indeed be on your radar, if they are not already.
When it comes to really understanding and being able to explain the differences and nuances in an emerging country’s wine styles, then it helps if you happen to have been born and bred there. Which is why Zsofi Kiss is so enjoying being able to share her experience and love of Hungarian wines, the country where she grew up, to the adventurous and inquisitive customers at 67 Pall Mall. Here she looks back on her career to date and her first year at London’s most prestigious private club for wine.
Ernst Storm and Gavin Chanin don’t actually make wine together – but you wouldn’t know it – at a recent London masterclass this hot duo from California’s Santa Barbara county seemed joined at the hip rather than come from rival wineries. What these friends share is a passion for old school Californian winemaking with minimal use of oak and sourcing prime fruit from some fantastic blocks in the Santa Maria and Santa Rita Hills. David Kermode tasted through their Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Syrah and was knocked ‘sideways’ by the wines as well as learning a thing or two about their shared winemaking philosophy.
It’s one thing tasting wine professionally it is quite another to go on an eating and tasting tour of top London restaurants to experience food and wine in the same way your customers do. Which is what The Buyer’s most recent restaurant tour was all about as we were able to introduce different styles of Vouvray wine to a tour of buyers covering wine merchants, sommeliers, importers, consultants and journalists. As we publish our full report from the event, Richard Siddle picks out the highlights.