The Ti Marketing Monthly * March 2003


The Ti Marketing Monthly is an opt-in eNewsletter published the first week of every month for the wine industry. Please feel free to pass it on to colleagues. If you would like to be removed from this list, respond to this email with the subject heading "unsubscribe" or call us at (415) 357-2929


In This Issue:


Brits Love Their Wine, Too.
The UK is fast becoming the largest importer of wine in the world, according to industry studies. In 2001, per capita wine consumption by Brits increased to nearly 20% more than 1997 levels, reaching an estimated 21.8 liters per person. Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot account for about 80% of the total UK wine sales, with new world producers and supermarket specials driving the growth, although France continues to be the UK's largest source of wine by far.

Napa Did It; Santa Rosa's Doing It. Two recent articles in the SF Chronicle confirm the importance of regional brand building for wine sales. Downtown Napa has established itself as a tourist destination, with Copia and a number of other wine tasting venues offering easy access to its area's wines. Willi's Wine Bar in downtown Santa Rosa, likewise, is drawing tourist attention and attendance to the many surrounding wineries. Winery associations, likewise, can play a big role in putting their wineries on the consumer's map. Regular wine tastingsˇco-sponsored with your Chamber of Commerce/Convention & Visitors Bureau, or a good restaurant, a bed and breakfast, music event, art show, etc. ˇare great draws. Cooking classes with lessons on food-and-wine pairing, and seminars with experts are crowd pleasers. Give a call, if you'd like help organizing an annual program of events.

France Stance Upsets Politicos. Pennsylvania State Rep. Steve Barrar, a Republican from Delaware County outside Philadelphia, is threatening to introduce a resolution this month ordering the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board to prohibit state stores from carrying and selling French alcohol. He wants to ban state-owned liquor stores from selling imported French wine and spirits because he's "fed up with France's opposition to a possible U.S.-led war on Iraq." With 640 retail outlets, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board is the largest purchaser of wine and spirits in the United States, spending about $625 million on booze last year. U.S. Republican Congressman Dennis Hastert, proposed a ban Evian water, as well as a similar ban on French wine, suggesting that the U.S. put bright orange warning labels on French wine bottles as a warning that their contents may have been treated with powdered ox blood. Ox blood is a harmless food coloring agent that was banned by the EU for political reasons in 1998 following the outbreak of mad cow disease. The Wine Insitute's Joe Rollo firmly rejected Hastert's proposal, saying "We're trying to get people to try wine; the last thing we need is anyone suggesting wine contains unpleasant substances."

A Little Silliness. Upon learning of Walmart and E&J Gallo's partnership to produce a line of discount wines ($2-$5/bottle), Kathy Micken, Professor of Marketing at Roger Williams University in Bristol, RI, has come up with some wine brand names for the world's largest retail chain. Here are some of her entries: Chateau Traileur Parc, Big Red Gulp, Chef Boyardeaux, and I Can't Believe It's Not Vinegar. Top choice? Nasti Spumante.

Grapes Help Heal. Wine grapes could help women avoid the painful scarring often associated with breast cancer treatment. Doctors at the Institute of Cancer Research in London believe the antioxidants in grapes may protect against radiation fibrosis, which can cause painful scarring. While doctors do not know fully what causes radiation fibrosis, they suspect it may be caused by the continuous release of free radicals triggered by radiotherapy. Free radicals spread and can cause havoc in cells, even damaging DNA. Antioxidants contained within wine grapes appear to mop up these potentially damaging molecules.

Quick takes. Australia's chronic drought, which has led to some of the most severe bush fires ever seen, is likely to affect the 2003 wine harvest. Current estimates are that the crop may be reduced by as much as 10% to 1.45 million tons compared with the 1.61 million of 2002 Í El Nino storms have devastated 18,000 hectares of Argentinian wine crops. The vineyards were completely destroyed by hail, a loss equivalent to 11% of the annual grape production and amounting in a financial loss estimated at $11 million ... An estimated 9,000 people recently attended ZAP's 12th annual California Zinfandel tasting, with 291 wineries exhibiting ... The Wine Institute's efforts prevailed over the Center for Science and Public Interest's proposed warning label changes. The BATF determined "that an amendment to the current health warning statement regulations is unwarranted and unnecessary."

Quote of the Month. "This generation has grown up sipping Starbucks. To take someone from a double espresso to a big, beautiful Cabernet is not a stretch." — Joel Quigley, executive director of Wine Brats.

© Traversant, Inc. 2003 Traversant's Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) programs have helped wineries and wine suppliers develop and launch brands with highly effective sales materials, publicity programs, direct sales strategies, and integrated brand communications.

Charlotte Mills Seligman
Traversant Marketing Communications
665 Third Street, Suite 501
San Francisco, CA 94107

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