Biltmore Wines Taps Benson

Biltmore, the estate in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Asheville, N.C. was the family home of George Vanderbilt in the late 1800s.  Originally 125,000 acres, the property’s estate sits on 8,000 acres and was a well-known gathering place for artists and scientists entertained in grand style.

George Vanderbilt introduced the pleasures of wine to Biltmore through his legendary hospitality, but it was his grandson, William Amherst Vanderbilt Cecil, who had the vision and determination to take Biltmore’s agricultural tradition and re-imagine it as vineyards and a winery. A winery seemed like a natural extension of Biltmore’s agricultural legacy as well as a viable means of diversifying Biltmore’s revenue-generating possibilities. Viticultural experiments began in the 1970s and, in 1983, Biltmore Estate Wine Company was launched.

Today, Biltmore produces a custom portfolio of wines. Its grapes are sourced from estate vineyards, and select grape growers in North Carolina and California. Crafted by winemaker Sharon Fenchak (pictured), Biltmore wines are sold throughout the property’s restaurants and tasting bars, in many states at retail and direct to consumer.

Benson is working with Biltmore Wines on a messaging and communications campaign to highlight the brand’s unique history and range of offerings.

Whitney Sawle Joins Benson

Whitney Sawle has joined Benson’s Napa Valley office, bringing direct-to-consumer sales, social media, and digital marketing experience to the team. Prior to joining the team, Whitney worked in marketing for Napa Valley’s HALL Family Wines, focusing on marketing strategy, email marketing, and social media campaigns for the company’s three brands. Her experience also includes marketing roles with Ghirardelli Chocolate and WineAccess.

Tara Randall

Tara Randall Joins Benson

Tara Randall, formerly digital marketing director at Scheid Vineyards, has joined Benson’s Napa Valley office.

Tara will work with the Benson team in Napa and New York on strategy and execution for the agency’s social media and digital marketing campaigns for winery and spirits clients. The agency provides full-scope social media services as well as digital advertising promoting both DTC and 3-tier retail sales. Prior to joining Benson, Tara ran digital marketing for the brands produced by Scheid Vineyards in California’s Central Coast. She focused on content creation, advertising, web management and SEO. Prior to that she ran her own SEO consultancy.

Alban Debeaulieu, Abbott Claim Angela Vineyards

New Beck Family Estates Portfolio Joins Benson

Launched in 2019, Beck Family Estates represents singular wineries in the upper tier of their categories, which also support the company’s broader mission of sustainability. The company is the exclusive importer for two South African wineries, the acclaimed, méthode champenoise house Graham Beck, as well as Steenberg Vineyards, the oldest registered farm in South Africa’s Western Cape. The company’s two Oregon wineries are located in Willamette Valley’s Yamhill Carlton AVA and include Angela Estate, an ultra-premium winery sourcing Pinot Noir from organic and sustainably-farmed vineyards, and the forthcoming Abbott Claim, which will launch in 2020.

In 2019, Beck Family Estates announced its formation and the appointment of Clay W. Farmer, V.P., Sales, and Kristin Marchesi, V.P. Winery Operations in the U.S.  In January 2020, the company announced new sales managers, Jack Chase, Regional Sales Manager West; John Davids, Regional Sales Manager Midwest; and Nicholas Abuabara, Regional Sales Manager Northeast.

Benson and the new team are working together on communications strategy and execution. (Pictured: Alban Debeaulieu, winemaker, Angela Estate)

Marie Christina Batich

Batich Joins Benson NYC

Building out Benson’s ability to connect clients to New York press, the agency has added Marie Christina Batich to its team. Prior to Benson, Marie Christina worked for importers such as Kobrand and Remy Cointreau, and agencies including Sopexa and Bullfrog & Baum. Her brand experience includes top tier Champagne Houses, Ketel One Vodka (and the launch of Ketel One Botanical), Gérard Bertrand Winery, as well as a bevy of French & Italian wine trade councils including Cognac, Loire Valley, Burgundy and Brachetto d’Acqui.

Achaval Ferrer

Achaval Ferrer, Arinzano Join Client Roster

Argentina’s iconic Achaval Ferrer, as well as emerging Spanish gem, Arinzano, have retained Benson for a U.S. PR campaign to raise awareness of both brands, which are imported and distributed by Stoli Group. Achaval Ferrer’s single vineyard “Finca” wines spotlight three stellar Malbec plots, while red blend Quimera, and the Mendoza line of Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, round out its focused portfolio.

Arinzano is the first winery in northern Spain to be awarded Vino de Pago status, and one of only 17 in all of Spain. Located in Navarra, Arinzano’s Pago designation recognizes not only an estate-based winery, but a unique microclimate, geology, and resulting quality winemaking.

Alexzandria Parker

Alexzandria Parker Joins Benson

We are very pleased to add Alexzandria Parker to our team of professionals. Alex joins our New York office with a background in PR, social media marketing and event management, most recently with amfAR, the Foundation for AIDS Research. Prior to that, she interned at Nike Communications.

Iconic Cakebread Cellars Taps Benson

Founded by Jack and Dolores Cakebread in 1973, Cakebread Cellars is renowned for its acclaimed wines and gracious hospitality. The Napa Valley-based winery has retained Benson for a comprehensive social media program to engage current and new consumers. And there’s plenty of news to share including launching a new visitor experience later this year, and ongoing innovations in the vineyard and cellar. But after 46 years, some things won’t change, such as the Cakebreads’ dedication to crafting quality wines.

Anecoop Bodegas Teams with Benson

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 France Retained by BIVC

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.