A Santa Maria Valley, Calif., winery with strong Gulf Coast ties was seeking to introduce its brand to consumers in Louisiana, beginning with the culinary capital of the South, New Orleans. Presqu’ile Winery tapped markit360 to help introduce its wines and build relationships with key industry decision makers, culinary VIPs and consumers. As part of the strategy, markit360 identified a charitable partner fully supported by the local culinary and wine trade and helped establish a strong partnership that would create additional opportunities for exposure and relationships within the hospitality industry.
markit360 designed a brand strategy for Presqu’ile that not only introduced its wines, but also differentiated Presqu’ile from other family-owned, limited production wineries. markit360 developed a market launch plan that accentuated several key factors:
- The winemaker’s key attributes of family heritage, excellence and respect for the land
- The quality of the wines and the unique growing conditions of the Santa Maria Valley where the vineyards are located (see presquilewine.com)
- The story of Presqu’ile’s certified sustainably farmed vineyard
Blending the philanthropic interests of both the winemaker and prospective trade customers to establish and nurture new business relationships became the cornerstone of the marketing strategy. In New Orleans, markit360 helped to connect Presqu’ile and the Murphy family with Edible Schoolyard New Orleans (ESY NOLA), a progressive charter school program that incorporates an organic garden and kitchen to expose students to growing, from the garden to market. markit360 assisted in connecting and designing a series of events to simultaneously benefit the programs of ESY NOLA and engage targeted potential consumers of Presqu'ile. These included an industry trade luncheon at Chef John Besh's Restaurant August, a wine dinner at Emeril's Restaurant and special functions with Martin Wine Cellar, one of the city's top wine retailers.
markit360 coordinated trade and consumer events as well as planned pre- and post-event media strategies. In addition to supporting the launch of the Presqu'ile brand, these efforts resulted in sales and early adoption of the product by high-profile culinary VIPs such as Alice Waters, Emeril Lagasse and John Besh. As a result of the relationship reinforced by the initial introduction to ESY NOLA, Presqu'ile was invited to be a major sponsor and the exclusive provider of the wine served at the schools' largest annual fundraiser, "An Edible Evening," featuring more than 30 local restaurants and 800 guests.
As a result of these initiatives and their involvement with ESY NOLA, Presqu'ile also was able to establish a relationship with the Emeril Lagasse Foundation. Presqu'ile's long-term commitment to the New Orleans market was further fortified when they were selected as the exclusive wine served during the inaugural Boudin & Beer event, an added component of the Foundation's largest annual gala, Carnival du Vin, one of Wine Spectator magazine's Top 10 charity auctions. The following year, Presqu'ile was one of the participating wineries at Carnival du Vin. Extensive local media relations contributed to Presqu’ile’s exposure in food and wine interviews, television features and wine features in Gambit Weekly, Louisiana Cookin' and the Times Picyaune.