New-look labels from AWH

AUSTRALIAN Wine Holdings Limited will launch its new-look Chestnut Grove and Hayshed Hill wine labels this week, forming the most visible part of the repositioning strategies for its recent winery acquisitions.

The new labels will increase label profiles and, as part of a larger marketing exercise, help bolster sales as the wine company looks towards further acquisitions.

The Hotham stable was rebranded under the name Alexandra Bridge when Hotham Wines became the publicly listed AWH.

While little will change for Alexandra Bridge, Chestnut Grove and Hayshed Hill have fresh looks and dedicated marketing pushes this year.

Its other acquisition, Bunker Bay, will undergo a similar process after the successful deployment of the Chestnut Grove and Hayshed Hill brands.

According to AWH executive chairman Mike Calneggia the new labels form part of a larger marketing effort aimed at generating word of mouth and increasing case sales.

“We want to make sure the wines get to all the wine forums and wine scribes and get them talked about,” Mr Calneggia said.

“Wine marketing is very much about word of mouth.”

AWH has recently employed a full-time marketing and public relations manager to help raise its wineries’ profile.

The company has invested between $50,000 and $60,000 on new looks for its Chestnut Grove labels, Hayshed Hill labels, and a new reserve Alexandra Bridge range, which were developed by local advertising agency BrainCELLS.

Chestnut Grove’s label has been stripped back to look cleaner and fresher while still incorporating the prominent chestnut tree. AWH has launched a second label, Tall Timber, out of a Chestnut Grove range.

The Tall Timber label joins Hayshed Hill’s second label, Pitchfork, as the most renovated brand.

“We think that Pitchfork and Tall Timber have the biggest growth potential. They are in the $15 to $18 bracket and it’s a market that is very visible but very crowded,” Mr Calneggia said.

Tall Timber is a new label created from the former Chestnut Grove vermilion and platinum ranges, which for the time being would incorporate elements of the Chestnut Grove brand.

“Because Chestnut Grove isn’t that well known we’re going to use the chestnut tree on the label as a point of reference, but at the end of the day that might drop off as people begin to recognise the brand,” Mr Calneggia said.

Dropped are the terms ‘platinum’ and ‘vermilion’ in favour of sauvingnon blanc semillon and cabernet shiraz. 

Pitchfork also loses the generic naming. The new look still keeps the brand young but will ensure its longevity, according to Mr Calneggia.

“With Pitchfork we wanted to replace the generic blends, the red, white and pink with varietal blends. We want the wine to still be fun but it needed to be more serious,” he said.

“It is a young label but the existing label was a bit too generic. It reminded me a little of the ready-to-drink market, which are comet brands. They burn very brightly but they disappear quickly.

“The demographic for pitchfork is the 25 to 45 year olds and those who still wish they were. It’s more lifestyle focused.

“We wanted the label to be modern but not too edgy. We wanted it to reflect rural Margaret River.”

Hayshed Hill and the Chestnut Grove brands have undergone more subtle changes. Marketing activities for those labels has a focus on wine shows and trade talk, Mr Calneggia said.

“We decided that the branding of Hayshed Hill was quite strong and people understood it. We’ve enhanced the label and we’re targeting the knowledgable drinker,” he said.

“That is why we produced new blends like a cabernet merlot, because people familiar to Margaret River wines expect to find these varieties coming out of the region.”

Mr Calneggia said there would be a greater focus on wine shows and gaining third party endorsement for both Hayshed Hill and Chestnut Grove wine labels. 

Promoting Chestnut Grove’s successes also would be a marketing focal point.

“It has a great reputation for merlot and verdelho. These wines have won numerous awards yet no-one knows about it. We are going to change that,” Mr Calneggia said.

The company also would market the Manjimup region as a premium wine growing area that produces distinctly different flavours to that of Margaret River, he said.

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