Friday, September 26, 2008

NY outlines October promotions

Having written about this New York Wine & Grape Foundation initiatives a couple weeks back, here are some more details on what the state body has planned for October.
The fall has arrived, and with it the annual grape harvest and crush in New York’s wine country. Tons of ripe grapes of many varieties and colors are picked and delivered to wineries in all regions—Long Island, the Hudson Valley, Finger Lakes, Niagara Escarpment, Lake Erie, and Thousand Islands. There’s no better time to celebrate New York’s bounty of fine wine than October.

Throughout the month, more than 115 restaurants and 150 wine stores throughout New York State will be celebrating New York Wine Month by offering their customers hundreds of fine New York wines from over 30 wineries.

“October is the perfect month for celebrating New York wines,” said Jim Trezise, President of the New York Wine & Grape Foundation which is orchestrating the month-long promotion. “The 2007 vintage was the best in many years, and most of the wines are now available. It’s also prime time to visit wine country, combining the excitement of the harvest and crush with the beautiful fall colors.”

The promotion extends throughout the state except in New York City, where a separate “New York Wines & Dines” promotion is taking place. The major markets include Long Island, the Hudson Valley and greater Albany area, Syracuse and Utica, Rochester, Buffalo, North Country and the southern tier (Ithaca, Corning, Elmira).

“We are very grateful to our wholesaler partners, and to the hundreds of restaurants and fine wine stores working with us,” said Trezise. “There is a national ‘locavore’ trend toward buying local products, and the enthusiasm we have seen indicates that it’s popular right here in New York. In the case of wine, some call it ‘locapour’.”

For the October promotion, an entirely new web site ( was developed to guide consumers to nearby restaurants and wine stores wherever they live, as well as provide information about participating wineries. The web site lists all of the participating wineries, restaurants and stores. The site is searchable by region to make it convenient for consumers.

The Foundation is also supporting the promotion with radio and print advertising in every market, a customized wine list for restaurants, point of sale materials, and a public relations campaign.

The radio campaign describes the promotion and directs listeners to the web site. The companion print campaign, targeted mostly at lifestyle publications, actually lists the participating stores and restaurants, while also highlighting the web site.

A unique feature of the campaign is customized wine lists for the participating restaurants made possible by modern technology and a pURL—a personal URL. Basically, a standard template exists for an attractive wine list, including an introduction and a back-cover description of the New York wine industry. When the restaurant has selected the wines it will feature, it enters those (and their descriptions) into the pURL for a customized wine list that is then printed and shipped to the restaurant.

“New York Wine—Class by the Glass” point of sale materials have been created for wine stores and restaurants, including a large sign to hang over the New York wine section, case cards, and menu cards. These materials, along with the rest of the campaign, have been developed by Mason Selkowitz Marketing of Penfield.

The Foundation has also developed an additional, special series of point of sale materials, “New York’s Great Grapes”, that is on its main web site ( ready to be downloaded and printed by wholesalers, retailers and restaurants. The series includes the 18 most common varietal wines with photographs of the grapes, the wine in the glass, and some recommended foods to accompany it. Each of the items—such as shelf talkers, table tents, and case cards—also includes space for including information about individual wineries and wines being featured by restaurants and stores. The series was designed by artist Book Marshall, with photography by Randall Tagg.

The public relations campaign includes radio and television interviews in various markets to promote New York Wine Month, and to encourage consumers to patronize the businesses supporting local products.

"When we buy New York, we build New York,” said Trezise. “The wineries, restaurants and wine shops are all New York businesses which provide New York jobs and pay New York taxes. It just makes sense that we all work together.”

No comments: