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Wine Marketing: Napa Valley Style

Under new leadership, Napa Valley’s legendary Clos Du Val winery began its current transformation in the vineyards four years ago, focusing on estate wines and production investments. The winery’s evolution continued this fall with the opening of a new visitor center, called the Hirondelle House, and a new set of guest experiences.

Hirondelle House is drop dead gorgeous. It welcomes guests into a chic setting adjacent to vineyards and winery production. The message is clear: Clos Du Val wants to connect guests emotionally to not only its wines, but also to its estate vineyards. The room is modern but cozy, providing conversational nooks, a variety of tasting options, and a seamless inside/outside design featuring a 60-foot sliding glass door and 3,000 square foot patio. You want to stay, wander around, and explore. Designed by Michael Guthrie & Co Architects, with interiors by Erin Martin Design, it’s the latest must-visit winery in the Napa Valley.

“Guest expectations have changed over the last decade, and wineries also need to evolve,” stated Clos Du Val President and CEO Steve Tamburelli, echoing a larger trend in retail away from a transactional point of view and toward an experience POV.  Over the past decade or so, onsite winery marketing in Napa Valley, and elsewhere, increasingly centers on creating an experience that connects guests emotionally with the winery and its wines, and the winery’s unique “sparkle” that makes it compelling.  Visitors are spending more time at each winery, which drives down the average wineries visited per day, but deepens the memories of each visit.

This trend is now prevalent with specialty retailers, too. For example, home furnishings retailer Restoration Hardware now has a restaurant in Napa Valley. For an interesting read on this trend, visit  https://www.adweek.com/brand-marketing/specialty-retailers-are-getting-into-the-restaurant-business/

Benson Adds Six New Clients, New Staff, in Q116

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.