Franschhoek Uncorked

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The Franschhoek Wine Valley will be holding their inaugural Franschhoek Uncorked this year from Friday, 31 August until Sunday, 2 September. 

More information.

Franschhoek Wine Valley Tourist Association.

What wines do Americans drink?

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What does the “average” Amercian drink when it comes to wine?

Winemetrics LLC conducted a survey of 10,000 restaurants across 20 States and came up with some pretty amazing results.

The top 100 brands represented on American wine lists actually include 15 French wines, 7 Italian, 2 Australian, and 1 Chilean.

The survey goes on to report that the largest number of wines consumed in restaurants cost between $25 and $39.

Americans drink twice as much red wine as white, with Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir being the two top choices, trailed by Merlot in a close third. The top white wine is Chardonnay.

Sources: &

By Mike Carter.

Who is buying wine online?

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The growth of US wineries has risen from less than 1500 over twenty years ago to almost 6000 in 2006.  A recent estimate is there are now approximately 10,000 total US wine brands. With all of these brands who is buying online?

The Wine Tasting Network has commissioned ongoing research into US buying trends and patterns, and compiled market research from a variety of sources, some from the Inertia Beverage Group, some from Merrill Research and some high level pieces from research they commissioned through WineOpinions.

Download: Who is buying wine online?

By Mike Carter.

Considering re-vamping your wine brand? Then start by reading this article from Fast Company, July 2007. This will convince even the skeptics that packaging is Very Important. Extracts below:

Branding consists of a range of different but strongly interconnected activities that are all geared towards creating a lasting, positive impression in the minds of consumers that will ultimately be good for business. Branding experts like Richard Bates, Senior Partner and Executive Creative Director of the Brand Integration Group (BIG) at Ogilvy & Mather, stress that the branding process is like telling a story, and absolutely everything contributes to the narrative.

Product packaging, though just one part of the process, is considered the most important by many. “Packaging is the number one medium to communicate the brand,” states Laurent Hainaut, founder of design agency, Raison Pure. “You need to pay attention to this area in your branding strategy because it is the first thing someone sees, touches, and essentially buys. Packaging is often more than a medium — it can be part of the product.”

The branding experts who talked to Fast Company seem to unanimously agree that companies that want people to pay a premium for their products need to package them accordingly. But repackaging does not necessarily imply addition or enhancement: “Sometimes it’s about stripping away the layers to discover why a product was successful in the first place, about finding the core element and unleashing it from the burdens of some of its marketing initiatives,” explains Bates.

“Good packaging is the result of good collaboration between marketing, advertising, design, the supply chain and other teams. It is a very complex process that involves several teams and levels of people,” states Hainaut.

“There are several questions that have to be asked,” he adds. “Is the packaging telling the story we need it to tell? Is it telling the right story for the particular category it falls into? Are we using the right language for that category? How can we expect to differentiate our product but also stay true to our brand? How can we differentiate between different products within our own brand? There are various levels of communication, multiple analyses of the kind of messages we want to deliver and the point at which we want to deliver them. These are derived from research, ethnography, qualitative studies, and industry experts.”

By Saabira Chaudhuri.

Growing Your Wine Club

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The tasting room is a great opportunity for beginning an ongoing relationship with future customers.

When you think about it, some of your best “future customers” are walking through those doors every day. The tasting room is a great opportunity for developing an ongoing relationship with these prospects. Are you taking full advantage?

  1. Do you provide easily accessible flyers outlining the benefits of membership?
  2. Do your tasting room staff enthusiastically promote the club?
  3. Have your member benefits been well thought out and are they consistent with your brand image?  Some common member benefits include:
    1. volume-based discounts
    2. limited time discounts on re-orders of the wines included in a recent shipment
    3. pre-release notification
    4. member events
    5. winemaker dinners
    6. members only area on premises


Do you use the opportunity for building your mailing list? Because there is no financial commitment involved, a prospect who is not ready to sign up for your club today may be more than happy to sign up for your mailing list if given the proper incentive. Some examples might include:

  1. a discount on wines purchased that day
  2. complimentary tasting
  3. notices of new releases and special events
  4. a fun and informative newsletter


Do you immediately follow up with recent tasting room visitors? Frequent communication is key to keeping members and subscribers current and engaged and may provide the inspiration you need to turn subscribers into members and members into lifelong advocates of your brand.

Source: eWinery Solutions

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