In 2018, Champagne Billecart-Salmon will celebrate its 200th anniversary by meeting champagne aficionados in five global capitals. Benson is proud to help this family-run company share its modern vision for the future. The year will be punctuated by a series of collaborative events and activities, including exclusive tasting events in New York and Los Angeles with rare cuvees and Michelin-starred chefs.
Benson’s New York and Lyon offices are growing with the addition of new professionals. Meryl Bouchier and Pauline Ben hamou have joined Benson’s Lyon office. Meryl’s previous roles included communications responsibilities at Domaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite) and a New York agency specializing in food and wine. Pauline joined the agency earlier this year, focusing on digital communications–creating and executing social media content and digital media campaigns.
Several new clients have joined the French roster as well, including Veuve Ambal, AOP Montlouis-sur-Loire, Wine Objectives, Château d’Antugnac and Gabriel Meffre.
In New York, PR specialist Emma Criswell brings experience to Benson from her previous role as PR manager at Maisons Marques & Domaines, the importing house of Champagne Louis Roederer and its properties. The agency is now better equipped to manage U.S. campaigns for new clients including Champagne Billecart-Salmon, Clos du Val Winery, Bread & Butter, Double Lariat, Reata and others.
WX Brands is one of the largest wine-producing companies in the U.S., with divisions in exclusive brands, contract production, and national brands. The forward-thinking company retained Benson to join its brand marketers on new promotions to raise awareness, trial and sales of its growing portfolio of national wine brands. In December 2017, WX Brands announced the addition of Jelly Jar to its national brands portfolio, which includes Bread & Butter, Double Lariat, Reata, Chronic Cellars, and Our Daily Wines, among others. The campaign will encompass digital marketing, social media, and Public Relations.
WX develops exclusive brands of wine, beer and spirits for retailers around the world, and offers a unique portfolio of proprietary wine brands that are sold globally. Products are sourced from 17 countries and sold in 12 countries resulting in over 6 million cases sold worldwide. www.wxbrands.com
One of Napa Valley’s benchmark wineries, Clos du Val is set to reimagine the Stags Leap District winery for the next generation. Spearheaded by a dynamic team of industry veterans including Steve Tamburelli (CEO), Ted Henry (winemaking), Jon-Mark Chappellet (production), Clos du Val retained Benson to help communicate its new approach.
2018 will be a busy year. The winery continues its transition to a focus on estate-based wines, and unveils a new visitor center and experience that will connect guests to its Stags Leap District home, Hirondelle Estate Vineyard.
As Steve Tamburelli says, “The history of great wineries aren’t written over a few vintages—they are written over decades and generations. They are captured in dusty bottles, and new vintages of wine aging in the finest French oak. As its stewards, we are writing Clos du Val’s next chapter. When we cut our Cabernet production in half to focus on estate wines, it was incredibly exciting. It said to people, more than anything, we care about making extraordinary wines.”
Benson’s portfolio of digital marketing clients expanded in May with the addition of Chile’s world-renowned winery, Montes S.A., as well as its sister winery in Argentina, Kaiken Winery. The agency will manage social media platforms and digital partnerships for the two brands.
Founded in 1987 by Aurelio Montes, Sr. and Douglas Murray, and later joined in 1988 by Alfredo Vidaurre and Pedro Grand, the founders’ dream was to produce Chilean wines a quantum-leap higher in quality than the standards of the time. Montes Winery continues to be an innovative, family-owned winery, whose wines are now available in 100 countries. The winery’s experiments in sustainable dry-farming, its ongoing support for community sustainability programs, and its Feng Shui designed winery – to pick three examples—have raised the bar for other Chilean producers. In April, the winery added a world-class experience for its visitors by opening the new Fuegos de Apalta restaurant, a partnership with internationally acclaimed chef Francis Mallmann.
Taking inspiration from the Caiquines geese that cross the Andes each year, Aurelio Montes, Sr. and his team crossed the Andes from Chile to pursue new horizons in Argentina. Kaiken winery was founded in 2001 by Aurelio Montes, Sr. and his son, Aurelio Montes, Jr., combining the exceptional conditions of the Mendoza region with the talents of professionals from Argentina and Chile. The winery’s imaginative team incorporates sustainability and biodynamic principles in its VistaFlores vineyard, produces an ultra-premium Cabernet Franc (unusual for Argentina) and continues to seek out new horizons in Argentine wine.
November 15, 2016, Napa, CA – Benson Marketing Group, a leading wine and spirits marketing agency, is expanding its U.S. and French team, and roster of clients.
In the U.S., Benson is now consulting with Accolade Wines North America. Activities include brand messaging, trade promotion, digital media and PR support for Geyser Peak Winery, among other wineries (www.accoladewinesna.com) Additionally, Benson was retained by Rutherford Wine Company, which produces and markets Rutherford Ranch, Scott Family Estates, Predator Old Vine Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon, Rhiannon Red Wine, Lander-Jenkins, and Round Hill California wines (www.rutherfordwine.com)
In France, Benson has begun working with Nomacorc on a special event focusing on the latest innovations in wine packaging.
In Benson’s Napa Valley office, Kamyn Asher joined the agency in July to contribute to digital marketing, social media and public relations campaigns. Previously, she worked with the Far Niente family of wineries. Kamyn’s background is in film/cinematography, and she holds a B.A. from Scripps College. Ben Palos has been promoted to senior account executive. Finally, Jeremy Benson, president, is now on the Board of Executives of the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science at UC Davis. http://robertmondaviinstitute.ucdavis.edu/
In Benson’s Lyon office, Mathilde Chevalier joined Benson full-time this month as attachée de presse; previously she was an intern. Marine Baron, stagiere, has been brought in last month to assist with client projects.
March 30, 2016, Napa, CA – Benson Marketing Group, a leading wine and spirits marketing agency with offices in Napa Valley, New York and Lyon, has added to its U.S. team and roster of clients in both the U.S. and France. “We are seeing a strong uptick in marketing investment that reflects the global competitiveness of our industry,” said Jeremy Benson, president. “More clients want a sharply defined brand story, and consumer campaigns that drive both DTC and 3-tier sales.”
In the U.S., Benson is now working with Terlato Wines. Activities include brand messaging and PR support for two wineries: Chimney Rock Winery (www.chimneyrock.com), one of the elite Cabernet Sauvignon specialists in the Stags Leap District of Napa Valley; and Sanford Winery (www.sanfordwinery.com), home to one of California’s most iconic vineyards, Sanford & Benedict, in the Santa Rita Hills AVA.
Last month, Benson began managing social media for the Napa Valley gem, Frank Family Vineyards, which just won its 7th consecutive annual “Bay Area A-List’s Best Napa Winery” award. www.frankfamilyvineyards.com Also last month, Benson created a launch campaign for Barton & Guestier’s Passeport Bordeaux by Laurent Prada, an elegant and affordable classic Bordeaux ($12) from this venerable French wine house. www.bartonguestier.com (Two additional new U.S. clients remain confidential.)
Additionally, Benson’s French office has begun working with Famille Fabre, a family-owned wine company dating back to 1605 which now includes four chateaux in Languedoc. Today, the new generation is proud to continue the story with a complete range of organic wines from AOP Corbières, AOP Corbières-Boutenac and IGP Pays. (www.famillefabre.com)
Finally, Benson added two new staff members in March: Megan Helphand and Alisa Langer in the agency’s Napa and New York offices, respectively. Megan brings public relations and trade events experience from Francis Ford Coppola Winery. Formerly with Ruder Finn PR in New York, Alisa’s experience includes L’Oreal Paris, McDonalds and Novartis.
July 14, 2015, Napa, CA –
Benson Marketing Group, a leading wine and spirits marketing agency with offices in Napa, New York and Lyon, has added to its team with the addition of $2 million in new projects and clients.
“Our clients’ sales figures best demonstrate our ability to integrate marketing and sales functions into cohesive campaigns,” said Jeremy Benson, president. “We believe the industry is increasingly recognizing that integrated campaigns help them break through the clutter.”
New client and projects starting this spring include:
- Gil Family Estates: One of Spain’s leading family-owned and operated wine companies hired Benson to promote its portfolio of nine bodegas ranging from their home base D.O. of Jumilla to Calatayud, Montsant, Rueda, Toro, and others. GFE’s strikingly modern packaging and amazing quality bode well for U.S. wine lovers.
- Vinho Verde: Benson has begun work on a new, 3-year sales and marketing campaign that complements its current U.S. campaign. The U.S. is Vinho Verde’s top export market. “Now that we have established a strong foundation in the U.S., we are committed to supporting our producers in the marketplace and strengthening the relationship we’ve built with consumers,” said Carla Cunha, Marketing Director of the Commissão de Viticultura da Região Vinhos Verde.
- Balletto Vineyards: A family-owned winery, and one of the few estate grown and bottled wines in Russian River Valley, Balletto Vineyards tapped Benson to help promote its twin specialties: Russian River Valley Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
- Domaine Yves Leccia: Benson’s team in Lyon is creating brand messaging and conducting a PR program in France for this Corsican winery, a reference point for AOP Patrimonio.
- Inter Beaujolais:Back in the U.S., Benson has begun an exciting sales education and trade activation campaign exclusively promoting AOP Beaujolais Villages.
- Les Dauphins: Benson is introducing these Rhône Valley wines in the U.S. after their successful European launch in 2012. Les Dauphins draws inspiration from the joie de vivre mood of Paris in the roaring 1920s, when wines of the Dauphiné region in the Rhône Valley became popular.
In March, Aleta La Borie joined Benson’s New York office. A specialist in trade programming, Aleta’s experience includes sales activations and brand management with Remy Cointreau, Diageo and WJ Deutsch & Sons. Prior to that she launched Napa Valley luxe winery, Darioush, as its GM, and managed design projects at HKA in San Francisco. Adrienne Stillman joined Benson’s Napa office last winter to work on social and digital campaigns as well as content marketing programs. Prior to joining Benson, Adrienne co-founded Dipsology, a guide to great cocktail drinking in New York. The agency continues to seek more talent, particularly in its New York office.
May 1, 2015, Lyon, France – Benson’s team in Lyon has been hired to create a brand messaging plan and to conduct PR in France for Corsica’s Domaine Yves Leccia. The winery, founded in 2004 by Yves and Sandrine Leccia, is a reference winery for AOP Patrimonio; it is the only winery producing from the extraordinary terroir of E Croce. Yves Leccia has been a winegrower in Corsica for the past 30 years, and the wines are imported into the U.S. by Kermit Lynch.
On April 20th, Benson’s Lyon team organized a professional tasting for members of Rhône Vignobles, a collective of winegrowers from France’s Rhône Valley, in the village of Touquet-Paris-Plage in the North of France. The winegrowers were there to present their current vintage to local trade.
Around a colorful buffet prepared by chef Fabrice Gardin of Le Picardy restaurant, wine professionals and journalists from Nord-Pas-De-Calais, Belgium and the UK tasted wines from the 14 winegrowers. It was a unique opportunity to share the wines of the Rhône Valley with restauranteurs, sommeliers and retail shop owners who are not often able to travel to the region themselves.