SAN FRANCISCO — Wine Institute’s California Wine Export Program has launched a new global brand campaign and business strategy, showcasing California wine as a leader in sustainable winegrowing, innovation, and winemaking advancements while promoting the commitment of generations of family farmers and winemakers to producing high-quality wines. The global campaign is part of a 10-year strategy to boost export sales of California wines across international markets. The first phase aims to grow awareness and appreciation for California wines through digital advertising and consumer-focused promotions to meet wine drinkers where they are most active in discovering and purchasing wine.
Timed to position California wineries for growth as global markets begin to ramp back up following the challenges of 2020, Wine Institute plans to invest more than $10 million over the next two years to support this new initiative. Starting with the introduction of a new look and logo for California wines, the “Golden State of Mind” campaign will roll out beginning in Spring 2021. Built around promoting ideas of optimism, innovation and advancements in California winemaking, key programs include a global digital advertising campaign highlighting the state’s commitment to sustainable winegrowing; an innovative California Wines Virtual Global Marketplace for importers and buyers; and a new comprehensive wine education course with a four-tier certification program.
California wineries are seeking new opportunities to connect with a broader audience of wine consumers. To support them, the new business strategy will reach both established and emerging wine drinkers in leading international markets including Canada, Denmark, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Mexico, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. The campaign will also reach expansion markets for California wines with programs planned in Australia, France, Israel, Spain, the United Arab Emirates, Ukraine and other Eastern European markets.
“The crises of 2020, felt both locally and globally, have underscored the importance of our enduring relationships with supporters of California wine around the world,” says California Wine Institute’s Vice President of International Marketing Honore Comfort. “We have an opportunity to forge a new path, to share California’s unique attributes, so that we continue to grow and evolve in the minds and glasses of our global audience and build a more robust sales channel for our wineries.”
Last year, Wine Institute launched the 2030 Plan – a 10-year strategy to increase U.S. wine exports, 95% from California, to over $2.5 billion. The three-pronged strategy aims to build sales momentum in current export markets, expand export activity into new markets, and introduce more California wines and wineries to international sales overall. While changes to international trade policy have made sales more challenging in some markets, wine drinkers around the world are eager to expand their choices and discover new wines.
The “Golden State of Mind” campaign includes a robust calendar of successful online programs – such as virtual winery tours for buyers and importers, educational webinars for consumers and trade, and virtual tastings. At the start of the pandemic, California Wines rapidly launched a series of virtual programs including the highly successful “Behind the Wines” series featuring Elaine Chukan Brown. The rapid growth of virtual programming in the spring of 2020 proved to be an effective test for the new business strategy and demonstrated how California wines could reach new customers and drive sales through digital communications.
All initiatives will bring California values to the fore by showcasing family-owned wineries, next-generation winemakers and farmers, and promoting the industry’s deep commitment to sustainability, diversity and inclusion.
“We have faced significant obstacles in recent months, from wildfires in California to the global pandemic,” said Joe Lange of LangeTwins Family Winery in Lodi, “This campaign offers a path to revitalize the industry and kick start the road to recovery at home and abroad. It will provide engagement for California wines while we plan for the day when we can once again invite international trade and media to the Golden State’s wine country.”
The Discover California Wines website features the “Golden State of Mind” video that introduces the new campaign and presents a cultural and historical journey about the spirit, innovation and principles of California’s winemakers in their quest to deliver wines of distinctive character and quality. A digital media kit includes examples of the new campaign and brand assets.
About Wine Institute’s California Wine Export Program
Established in 1934, Wine Institute is the administrator of the USDA Market Access Program (MAP) for California vintners who represent 80% of U.S. wine production and 95% of U.S. wine exports. More than 170 California wineries exporting to 142 countries participate in Wine Institute’s California Wine Export Program. The program has 15 California Wine Institute representatives in key export markets around the world who provide on-site support to wineries and help develop markets for California wines in 27 countries.
The California Wine Export Program, a public-private partnership supported by winery contributions and the MAP Program, features California as an aspirational location and environmental leader with beautiful landscapes, an iconic lifestyle and great wine and food. In addition to marketing and promoting California wine overseas, Wine Institute conducts a comprehensive International Public Policy program focused on regulatory cooperation, removing trade barriers and growing California wine exports. See: calwinexport.com or the consumer website: DiscoverCaliforniaWines.com.
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