Wednesday, June 23, 2010

EWBC: European Wine Bloggers Conf event hosted by Austrian Wine Marketing Board

Thanks to Gabriella and Ryan Opaz for organizing a wonderful evening of tasting Austrian wines and promoting the European Wine Blogger's Conference which is being hosted by the Austrian Wine Marketing Board in Vienna Oct. 22-24 this year.

The Opaz's have been a driving force for both the EWBC and the American Wine Blogger's Conference which takes place this week in Walla Walla WA.  Constance Chamberlain and I will be in WA and I'll also be attending the EWBC.

For those of you involved in Social Media Marketing, these events represent rare opportunities to meet and talk with many of the folks we're all communicating with digitally...but it's much more fun to taste wine together physically.

Participating wineries at last night's event included Darcy and Huber Selections with an incredible array of Gemischter Satz (field blend) wines from Vienna.   D and H will also be hosting the first ever Field Blend seminar at the EWBC.  One of the wines we tasted was grown on the grounds of the Schonbrunn!

Klaus Wittauer of KW selections sampled us on Anton Bauer and Hillinger wines from his portfolio, and Anna Micic Viducic of Monika Caha Selections contributed their range of wines including the Neumeister Sauvignon Blanc. Sphere: Related Content

Thursday, June 17, 2010


We just got back from Peru visiting with Johnny Schuler and Brent Kallop of Pisco Porton.  They are on a mission to make Pisco a significant category and Pisco Porton a significant brand in the U.S. spirits market.

For those of you unfamiliar with it Pisco has a long's the oldest spirit in the Americas dating back to the days of the Conquistadors and the missionaries who accompanied them.  Pisco was a major spirit category in the US and was the base spirit for a number of the most popular cocktails including the Pisco Sour and the Pisco Punch prior to Prohibition.
(l to r) Steve Raye, Sue Ritter, Brent Kallop, Johnny Schuler, Jeff Grindrod
Pisco is the native spirit of Peru, where it is traditionally distilled in alembic or pot stills which allows the master distiller to create a product with a very individual  style.  Chile also produces a product they call Pisco, but generally at lower prices, lower quality and via a continuous still process.  Peru's claim of Pisco's authenticity rests on the eponymous name of the town where it was born and the long history of production and association of the name Pisco with the vessels in which it was traditionally transported...also called Piscos.

Most of the Pisco produced in Peru come from the Ica Valley, an emerging region with aspirations of becoming Peru's Napa Valley.   Ica and in fact the town of Pisco itself, was the epicenter of an earthquake two years ago which caused widespread destruction of the region where many of the buildings are made of adobe.

Peru has emerged from a dark period of bad government decisions and the breakup of large landholdings.  It's only recently that larger farm operations have become possible and the country is really just re-emerging on the world stage.  It is not uncommon to still see donkeys pulling carts beside signs for the local John Deere dealer. 

More to come on this subject...but I thought you'd enjoy seeing some of the pix from the trip. In addition to visiting the vineyards and distilleries, we also got a chance to fly over the Nazca lines and wonder just why they were made.
        Nazca lines "astronaut"                   Tasting Pisco Porton from the resting tank

Below, the Hacienda la Caravedo vineyards with the Andes in the background.  It's  not uncommon to see donkeys, and bottom right kiln from the 1600's used to fire the "botijas"or Piscos in which the spirit was transported.

Sphere: Related Content

Thursday, June 3, 2010

What U.S. importers expect from prospective post on BATblog Sphere: Related Content

What U.S. Importers Expect from Prospective Suppliers

     One of the things we get asked for is help for foreign suppliers to find U.S. importers.  More often than not the supplier doesn't have an accurate understanding of the U.S. Drinks market and the radically different situation that exists here vs. many other countries.  We may be one of the biggest markets in the world, but we're one of the most complicated to navigate.
     It's not as simple as the supplier asking "here's my bottle, how many containers will you take?", but rather you need to answer the importer's questions of "What's in it for me and what kind of support will you provide?"
    Here's a list of some of the more common things a U.S. importer expects a prospective supplier to bring to the table.
1.  Product for tasting in a package ready for submission to TTB
2.  Background literature in English
3.  Proposed price structure for the U.S. market three tier system
4.  Brand performance history (sales and marketing support) in key reference markets like the UK and Western Europe.
5.  Marketing Support plans including:
    -Marketing strategy and objectives
    -Budget in sufficient detail (e.g. media budget for consumer and trade, POS, PR, Online, Price support, supplier support i.e. US representative of brand ambassadors for intro year and following years based on anticipated volume
   -Brand positioning:  creative in the form of a piece of trade and consumer sales literature; and description of product key point of difference, value proposition for the consumer and identified competitive set of brands or catgory
   -Market research results validating the brand's potential in the U.S. market
   -Anticipated introductory and expansion markets and rationale for why they were chosen.

The more you are able to anticipate and answer the importer's needs and questions, the more likely you'll be able to find someone who's interested in taking on the brand. Sphere: Related Content