Background and Goals
The client is a prestigious cooperative representing some of the world’s finest Bordeaux from the famed French winemaking region. Balzac Communications & Marketing has represented this group for nearly a decade. Our role as their Public Relations agency each year has been to raise the level of awareness and image of Bordeaux wines among the trade and press in the US market. These wines are widely recognized for their quality and character, but each year we must give opinion leaders and market influencers an opportunity to taste the wines and meet the wine producers who made them. We want to ensure that Bordeaux remains one of the top quality wine-producing regions of the world.
To do this effectively, Balzac helps with the organization of trade tastings in key markets throughout the country. Traditionally focusing on the largest markets in America (New York, Chicago, and California) the tastings have also occasionally added a second-tier market such as Boston, Miami, Atlanta or Dallas. For each tasting event, we set goals to the number of people we want to attend and we conduct an aggressive outreach campaign to get them there, including sending out a number of electronic transmissions as well as conducting personal phone calls to each and every key trade identified on our list. Our database is quite extensive and it continues to grow each year.
The organization of these tastings is critical. We must attract the very top level of the trade, from importers and distributors to retailers, restaurateurs, wine media and wine educators. Equally important, we must execute these tastings at a quality level that meets or exceeds the image of the wines of Bordeaux itself. They must be elegant, stylish, and logistically flawless.
The journalists and key trade gatekeepers we are targeting have many other wine regions and brands competing for their attention. We must meet the challenge with both enthusiasm and professionalism.
As part of our efforts, we create a tasting book which includes all participating chateaux as well as areas for guests to take notes. In addition, we create a beautiful, tasteful and formal invitation that gets mailed by postal service to all invited guests one month prior to the event.
Each year, we meet or exceed our attendance goal. In the larger markets, we attract 800 people with the smaller venues attracting nearly 400. All events are organized smoothly and flawlessly and attendees look forward to attending this event every year. We have generated coverage across various media channels including hits in key national publications like Bloomberg and Business Week, reviews in blogs like Wine Curmudgeon and regional newspapers like San Francisco Examiner and Chicago Tribune. We also strive to help the chateaux gain greater distribution in the United States and gain greater revenue from their sales than in previous years.