August Sebastiani’s great-grandfather, Samuele (his dad’s dad’s dad), came to the United States from Tuscany in 1895, a stone mason who ended up living the American dream. He worked, saved his money, and started buying land in and around the burgeoning town of Sonoma, Calif. “The story goes that, after the 1906 earthquake, he made a killing quarrying stones in the hills north of Sonoma,” August says. “That’s when his investments started to grow, and he had a diverse range of holdings” that included a cannery, a skating rink, a bus depot, and Sebastiani Vineyards. It was the younger...Read More
Glass Act: In the wine industry, bottle and closure choices are an important part of brand messaging.
In a tradition-bound industry like wine, trendiness probably isn’t the most desirable trait. When it comes to the building blocks of winemaking, producers tend to revere Old-World techniques and styles—methods such as reductive fermentation, gravity-flow racking, and barrel aging—that leave little room for improvement. Even modern-day bottles adhere to centuries-old standards of shapes, sizes, and colors. “The wine market has historically been very conservative when it comes to packaging,” says Raul Parades, director of design for Owens-Illinois. “But that’s beginning to change. What it wants most is ways to make the familiar look new. “All beverage producers are looking...Read More
An effective website is imperative for any consumer-facing business. Today’s beverage marketers need to reach consumers in meaningful ways, and websites are fundamental for such a task. Multiple factors contribute to a great website, but it begins with three foundational principles: graphics that accurately portray the brand image, intuitive navigation, and optimized functionality. Because consumers are on the go, mobile optimization is critical, says Astra Digital Marketing CEO Ron Scharman. “More than 60 percent of people are accessing websites on mobile devices; 65 to 70 percent of people read their email on mobile.” This warrants a “mobile first” approach...Read More
Selling wines made from an unfamiliar grape isn’t easy. But when successful, the efforts can pay huge dividends for vintners and growers passionate enough to take the risks. The latest case in point is Tannat, a variety known for its dark color, juicy flavors, vibrant acidity, and chewy tannins. I’ll never forget the first time I tasted this intriguing grape variety, nearly 15 years ago in the underground wine cave at Tablas Creek Winery in Paso Robles, Calif., where winemaker Neil Collins had just started tinkering with it. Collins, who’s gone on to establish a solid reputation for crafting...Read More
You’ll never go thirsty in New York City. From the northernmost borough, the Bronx, down to the Financial District on the southern tip of Manhattan, you’ll find plenty of great drinks to try and the never-ending activity of one of the busiest, most exciting cities in the world. The entirety of NYC (never “The Big Apple” if you want to pass as a local) comprises five boroughs: Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and The Bronx. While all offer eating and drinking experiences worth seeking out, here are four can’t-miss areas for visitors where the drinking scene is especially vibrant....Read More
Last Call: Wassail (New York City)posted on May 1, 2017
Inside Social Marketing: Mind Your Social Media Messaging (Guest Column)posted on April 28, 2017