Updated 14 July 2020
**News Flash**. Thursday 23 July 2020 sees the launch of a brand new varietal day, Shiraz Wine Day to celebrate this iconic varietal.
Cabernet Day, Chardonnay Day, Malbec moments… it seems that wine marketers exploit any commercial opportunity that presents itself to sell more wine via varietal wine days. And yes, we’re guilty as charged, often working to mastermind ways for our clients, and the industry in general to tell their varietal stories on a global social media platform.
Mastermind has pioneered many of these varietal days over the last ten years, from the early days of Chardonnay and Cabernet Day in Australia, where we got regions involved in tweet ups across the country. Right through to generating the idea of a longer campaign with the Rosé Revolution and Three Days of Rosé. At the time industry colleagues like The Qwoff Boys (now Vinomofo), Spitbucket, Jayson Bryant, all joined together to help educate consumers about the varietals in our own backyard and showcase a diverse range of products to help educate consumers about the vast choices they had. The mouthpiece was social media, a new platform at the time. It was novel, fun to tell stories but importantly it gave a chance for brands to collaborate and collectively tell their stories with greater reach than they could ever have achieved alone.
The results were phenomenal!
At some events, twitterfalls of the commentary (yes Twitter was once the big thing!) were posted to the walls, live video broadcasts took place (De Bortoli generously hosting the first Rosé live event from their deck in the Yarra Valley), and Sydney’s Coast Restaurant was taken over by multiple winemakers with consumers lining up to taste the wines. It was exciting times (and the camaraderie and collaboration of those involved is something that I’ll remember as a key outcome!)
The idea for many of the varietal days started with Rick Bakas, who as social media director for St. Supery Winery in California dreamed up the idea of Chardonnay Day in May 2010, just before Memorial Day. This evolved to Cabernet Day, held traditionally on the last Thursday before Labor Day in USA. The concept of varietal days spread quickly and new days were added to the global digital calendar, with regions championing their most well known varietals and enjoying the added sales opportunity.
So whilst the momentum may have died down slightly from the early days, there’s no denying that these varietal days have a place on the marketing calendar for wineries, restaurants and other venues. We’ve seen incredible sales results from the wineries and restaurants that we’re working with on particular days of the year, so embrace the tactical opportunities to tell your stories.
TOP TIPS ON HOW TO LEVERAGE VARIETAL DAYS IN YOUR MARKETING:
- Plan ahead
Think about the outcome that you’re looking to drive from participating and plan your activity in advance. This might mean organising a tasting, a specific email marketing campaign, new product photography being captured, or convincing your winemaker or brand spokesperson to go live on social media and helping them refine your story (yes engaging directly in a two-way dialogue.)
Potentially there’s some back vintage releases that could be bundled together for your email lists to enjoy a specific limited offer, or you could write a blog post on your interpretation of the varietal like Brown Hill Estate in Margaret River has done in this blog piece to showcase the unique characteristics of your region.
- Get your consumers involved
Consumers love the chance to enjoy their favourite wines and in many instances it presents an opportunity for a tactical promotion, a chance to connect or to deepen the understanding of your brand. Live Tastings on Facebook, Instagram, or Youtube present a new and compelling way to connect and tell your story. Consumers can directly ask questions learning more about the wines you are showcasing.
Over the years we’ve found that promoting your event in advance means that you’re broadening awareness of your promotion, selling packs, offering a preview of what’s to come – it’s not rocket science, you’re inviting your customers to join in the festivities and potentially getting them to engage. This works particularly well for days like Open that Bottle Night (Last Saturday in February each year) where the wine lover can also gather like minded oenophiles to join in the fun.
- Be selective of what is relevant
Whilst the ‘Days of the Year’ calendar offers plenty of opportunities, not all will be relevant. Be strategic and determine which ones will best suit your brand. There may be an opportunity to work with other brands in your region to expand the reach, or join in bigger initiatives that may be occurring on a global level. The New Zealand wineries do a great job of leveraging days like Sauvignon Blanc Day, purely because it’s so relevant to their story.
- Track and measure your results
There’s plenty of tools available to determine your results and evaluate how you can optimise future performance. Google Analytics obviously is key to understanding website sales and performance, but don’t forget metrics like time on site for reading blog posts, engagement with live video or feedback regarding packs.
A LIST OF 2020 VARIETAL WINE DAYS TO ADD TO YOUR DIARY
- Open that Bottle Night – Last Saturday night in February each year – in 2020 this will be 29 February
- Malbec World Day – 17 April
- International Sauvignon Blanc Day – 1 May (first Friday in May)
- World Moscato Day – 9 May
- Chardonnay Day – Thursday before Memorial Day each year, which this year falls on 21 May
- Rosé Day – second Saturday in June (6 June) is National Rose Day in the USA, others also debate that the date is the 4th Friday in June (26 June), so pick what works or celebrate both
- Shiraz Wine Day – 23 July (Southern Hemisphere). A brand new addition to the calendar. #shirazwineday
- International Cabernet Day – This one varies depending on what you determine as the source. It used to be the last Thursday before Labour Day each year (in 2020 this falls on 3 September) or some refer specifically to the date each year being 30 August.
- International Grenache Day – 18 September #grenacheday
- Pinotage Day – 10 October
- Champagne Day – 16 October
- Carignan Day – 29 October
- Merlot Day – 7 November
- International Tempranillo Day – 12 November (2nd Thursday in November every year)
- National Zinfandel Day – 18 November
- Beaujolais Nouveau Day – 19 November (3rd Thursday in November every year)
- Carmenére Day – 24 November
- Cabernet Franc Day – 4 December
- Sangria Day – 20 December
Need some help in working out how to best leverage these sorts of opportunities as part of your marketing plan? Give our team and call and we’re happy to assist.