Hungarian Wine: Back with a Vengeance
The Hungarian Consulate in New York asked Wine & Co. to coordinate and execute a tasting for the wines of Hungary from across the country with a special focus on the dry wines of Tokaj.
The tasting was held at the Hungarian Consulate of New York and included a trade seminar, a trade walk-around tasting, and a consumer event on the terrace of the consulate. The consumer tasting included.
This was the first-ever tasting for Hungary of its kind and was the largest Hungarian tasting in the United States.
- Plan, execute, and manage the four-part tasting
- Acted as agent for funds from Hungary
- Coordinate seminar including recruitment of speaker
- Coordinating with importers with wines currently in the New York market to participate, provide wine for, and pour at the event
- Coordinating with all vendors & wine importers
- Development of materials for tasting booklet & invitation including logo
- Coordinate with third parties for event invites to targeted consumers
- Compile report including all attendees, wines, importers, lessons learned, and more.
- Coordinate tasting logistics and ensure all ran smoothly that day
The tasting was a great success with over 300 trade RSVP’s (150 attendees), and 250 consumer attendees. The seminar, which was set for 60 people, saw over 75 attendees with standing room only.
We received very positive feedback from several attendees of the seminar on the speaker’s content as well as for the quality and presentation for the wines. Many of the trade attendees hadn’t yet had the opportunity to taste Hungarian wines in such a large and focused capacity.
Consumers, who were already interested in Hungarian wine and/or had never had exposure to a Hungarian wine, felt largely the same. The consumer portion included a Hungarian jazz band as well as several passed bites and over 20 wines to taste.
Austrian Wine Marketing Board
Following a scandal in the 1980’s, Austrian wine was, for the most part, a blank slate. Some of the great producers remained on the market, but the grapes were unknown to the masses and words like “Grüner Veltliner” and “Blaufränkisch” that contained the “scary” umlaut were sent to no man’s land.
In 2009, the Austrian Wine Marketing Board decided to turn a focus to the U.S. market with a strategy of simultaneously promoting the country, its people, and the unique varieties that defined its winemaking style of dry, high acid, food-friendly wines from varying regions.
The strategy we developed built on the AWMB’s evolved to focus on social media, public relations, strategy development for the US, copywriting, event planning, and more. Working closely with the Austrian Trade Commission on several projects, the project developed organically as new outlets were necessary to effectively achieve communication.
Elements of the plan have included:
- Press/blogger outreach and media monitoring
- Social media creation and management
- Creation and management of a dedicated website
- Monthly and quarterly newsletters
- Event creation and management on large and small scales online and live
- Acting as an unofficial brand ambassador for Austrian wine
- Recruitment of trade to attend events in Austria
- Organization, attendance, and management of consumer event programs such as Wine Riot and Bottlenotes 80 Sip’s
We quickly solidified that Austrian wine was a relatively new concept to most wine drinkers both in the trade and especially in consumer sectors. Had an individual tried an Austrian wine, it was quite often the liter example of Gruner Veltliner and, therefore, many believed that all Austrian wines were cheap and uncomplicated. Our challenges were both to reeducate those who thought they were educated and educate those who knew nothing at all.
By telling a series of simple stories to press, enabling trade and consumers to taste the wines, inserting Austrian wine as a brand in conversations, and creating enough “buzz” to gain attention, Imports of Austrian wine has significantly grown over the past six years in US surpassing the importance of other export countries and increasing in value.
We’ve now come to the point where “Grüner Veltliner” is considered a staple wine for any serious wine list and a household name. As awareness of Austrian wine has increased, our focus has expanded to other indigenous varieties and the red wines gaining fast attention.