Anecoop Bodegas, a consortium of 1,000 winegrowers exporting 200 wines to 50 countries, has tapped Benson for a U.S. brand strategy project. Based in Valencia, Spain, the company operates out of three wineries and seeks to raise its profile and sales in the U.S. market. The company is backed by parent company, Anecoop, a $1 billion leader in fruit and vegetable growing, processing and exports.
Benson’s French office has been retained for a domestic PR campaign for the the BIVC, the Bureau Interprofessionnel des Vins du Centre-Loire. The program is designed to reinforce awareness of the Centre-Loire’s white wines – the birthplace of Sauvingon Blanc – as well as to encourage discovery of the “new” appellations and the region’s red and rosé wines.
Founded in 1994, the BIVC brings together 8 AOC and 2 IGP: Sancerre, Pouilly-Fumé and Pouilly-sur-Loire, Menetou-Salon, Quincy, Reuilly, Coteaux du Giennois, Châteaumeillant, Côtes de Charity, Coteaux de Tannay.
Freemark Abbey Winery and Benson are teaming up on a marketing communications campaign to drive awareness, visitors center traffic and sales for this iconic Napa Valley winery. The winery is lauded for crafting classically structured Cabernet Sauvignon from pedigreed vineyard sites, and is widely known for its Bosché and Sycamore single-vineyard Cabernets from Rutherford.
Freemark Abbey’s estate underwent a multi-million-dollar renovation that was completed in 2016. The redesign captures the winery’s historical significance while providing a welcoming, immersive and thoroughly modern consumer experience.
Freemark Abbey Winery is part of Jackson Family Wines, a family owned portfolio of wineries and vineyards spanning significant wine-growing regions across California, Oregon, France, Italy, Australia, Chile and South Africa. In each region, vineyard ownership remains key to exceptional quality and environmental stewardship for future generations. Founded in 1982 by wine pioneer Jess Jackson, the wine company is led by Chairman Barbara Banke and the Jackson family. www.jacksonfamilywines.com.
Continuing a decade-long relationship with the Conseil Interprofessionnel des Vins du Languedoc, Benson has been retained to execute trade focused programs for the region and its wines in the U.S. in 2019. These programs mix a focus on educating buyers about this fast growing category along with on and off premise sales promotions reaching consumers.
A highlight of this year’s activities will be the inaugural Languedoc Wines National Sommelier Challenge, established in recognition of the importance of education to the on-premise community, and its effect on sales and placements for the category. The Challenge will test knowledge of the region and its wines through a written exam and blind tasting portion. The events will also offer an opportunity to taste Languedoc AOC wines currently available in each market. Challenge events will take place in select U.S. cities in June (3-12), and culminate in an all-expenses paid trip to the region for the winners, to further their knowledge and connection to Languedoc, in September 2019. More information and registration can be found at https://languedocadventure.com/events/national-sommelier-challenge-2019/
Languedoc is the largest wine region in France offering an incredible diversity of wines and wine styles. The region is a leader in organic viticulture in France, accounting for over 30% of total production, as well as production of rosé wines. In fact, Languedoc surpasses Provence in volume of rosé wines produced. At the top end of the spectrum, the Crus du Languedoc wines represent the highest quality the region has to offer. Languedoc AOC wines have consistently shown exceptional growth in the U.S. market, further reinforcing the need for today’s sommeliers and buyers to have a strong understanding of this category.
To manage digital and PR projects in both Benson’s Napa and New York offices, the agency has hired three new professionals. All three will contribute to US-based campaigns for wine brands, regions, and spirits companies. Cristen Monty joined the agency’s New York office this month. Her PR expertise was honed in New York agencies including Rubenstein PR and JMG PR. Erin Mooshagian joined the Napa office with a background in technical and freelance wine writing for a variety of outlets, as well as wine education at Domaine Carneros winery Finally, Amanda Garren also joins the Napa office; her background focuses on in-bound marketing campaigns for SaaS companies outside the wine and spirits industry.
Benson has begun promotional work with Old Elk Distillery, supporting the company’s distribution expansion and helping to drive consumer awareness. The company was founded in 2013 by serial entrepreneur Curt Richardson. His desire to craft spirits that embody both innovation and legacy led him to create a distinctive house of brands out of Fort Collins, Colorado.
Today, legendary master distiller Greg Metze leads production:
- Old Elk Blended Straight Bourbon Whiskey: 4x times the malted barley as traditional mash bills, and a slow-cut proofing process for smoothness.
- Dry Town Gin: crisp citrus notes and Colorado sage jump out of the glass of this mixologist-friendly 92 proof spirit.
- Nooku Bourbon Cream: The TTB had to create a new “category of one” for Nooku because it’s just bourbon and dairy cream, that’s it.
Watch this company because they are doing things right: investing for the long-haul, adding legendary distiller Greg Metze to the team, building their own distillery, quickly building a distribution platform, and opening The Reserve, a restaurant/bar in old town Fort Collins that doubles as a test bed for new spirits innovations. And they grill a mean Elk burger.
For more information visit: www.oldelk.com
Appropriately, Benson France is one of the first companies to move into Lyon’s new gourmet landmark, l’Hôtel Dieu.
If you’ve been to Lyon in the past 4-5 years, you’ll recognize the rehabilitated, historic building along the Rhone. In 2019 the building will open the Cité de la Gastronomie, which will be dedicated to all things epicurean and healthy living. The landmark building is also home to a new 5-star hotel, a number of restaurants and shops, and modern office space for a wide range of companies dedicated to food, wine and technology. It’s the new hub of Lyon and an obvious move for us. We hope to see you soon at l’Hôtel Dieu!
Benson is pleased to start working with O.R.E. 118 Raw Vegan Gin, the first spirit of its kind in the U.S. and the only spirit to be allowed a Raw Vegan claim on its Certificate of Label Approval.
The gin was launched in time for National Gin Day on June 9. While there are other vegan gins – where no animal products or by-products are used in their distillation or filtration – O.R.E. 118 is the only raw gin available in the U.S. market. The gin is “raw” because throughout its entire fermentation and distillation process it is kept below 118 degrees Fahrenheit, the temperature above which many enzymes break down and foods and beverages are no longer considered raw.
This genre-defining spirit is the creation of founder Robert Elder. While dining at a raw vegan restaurant in Manhattan he requested a gin martini. Dismayed to discover that martinis were not served because there were no spirits that were both raw and vegan, he undertook to change that and established his family-run company, 118 + 1st, to produce hand-crafted, raw spirits. The name of Elder’s inaugural product, O.R.E. 118 Gin, has a double meaning: O.R.E. stands for “Original Raw Essence,” and the letters are also his father’s initials.
“You don’t have to be vegan to enjoy O.R.E. 118 Gin,” Elder says. “With its juniper, ginger and pepper notes, our gin is ideal for purists and cocktail enthusiasts alike. Still, it fills a need in the market for raw and vegan spirits. If gin is one of your favorite spirits, as it is mine, then you will love the depth of flavor and smooth finish O.R.E. 118 Gin offers, whether you are a vegan or an omnivore.”
O.R.E. 118 Gin can be found at well-known restaurants across New York City, including Nobu, Batard and Aquavit, and is currently featured on the cocktail lists at Candle 79 and Tribeca Grill. It is available for purchase at Crush Wine & Spirits and Mister Wright Fine Wine & Spirits, and is distributed by Opici Family Distributing.
Located in Pierry near Epernay La Maison Vollereaux has retained Benson’s Lyon office for a Brand Messaging Plan project to further refine its position in the French market. The project will be followed by a France-based PR campaign. The sixth generation at Champagne Vollereaux is lending its own perspective and creative to a long legacy of excellence. www.champagne-vollereaux.fr
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.