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California wine gets export push with $10m campaign

Published:  02 February, 2021

The California Wine Institute (CWI) is to launch a new global brand campaign called the “Golden State of Mind” to promote its wines internationally and boost export sales. 

The Wine Institute’s California Wine Export Program said it has been timed to position California wineries for growth as global markets begin to ramp back up following the challenges of 2020. 

The campaign, which will roll out at the beginning of Spring 2021, is part of a 10-year strategy to boost export sales of California wines across international markets, with $10m being invested in the first two years. 

It will showcase California wine as a leader in sustainable winegrowing, innovation, and winemaking advancements while promoting the commitment of generations of family farmers and winemakers to producing high-quality wines. 

The CWI said it would focus on leading international markets including the UK, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Mexico andSweden, while also reaching expanding markets for California wines with programmess planned in Australia, France, Israel, Spain, the United Arab Emirates, Ukraine and other Eastern European markets. 

The first phase aims to grow awareness and appreciation for California wines through digital advertising and consumer-focused promotions to meet wine drinkers where they are most active in discovering and purchasing wine. 

A number of key programs are planned including a global digital advertising campaign highlighting the state’s commitment to sustainable winegrowing; a California Wines Virtual Global Marketplace for importers and buyers and a new wine education course with a four-tier certification program. 

As part of the campaign there will be a new look and logo for California wines.

 “The crises of 2020, felt both locally and globally, have underscored the importance of our enduring relationships with supporters of California wine around the world,” said the CWI Vice President of international marketing Honore Comfort. 

“We have an opportunity to forge a new path, to share California’s unique attributes, so that we continue to grow and evolve in the minds and glasses of our global audience and build a more robust sales channel for our wineries.” 

Last year, the CWI launched the 2030 Plan – a 10-year strategy to increase US wine exports, 95% from California, to over $2.5bn. The three-pronged strategy aims to build sales momentum in current export markets, expand export activity into new markets, and introduce more California wines and wineries to international sales overall. 

Last year California was ravaged by wildfires. In October 2020 the CWI confirmed that fewer than 20 of the 4,200 wineries in the wine country reported physical fire damage as a result of 2020 wildfires.