What’s it take to bring a storied but aging vineyard into a new era of wine? Respect for the land, the craft, and zero tolerance for pretense.
An industry’s big changing of the guard
Heitz Cellar, renowned for setting the standard for Napa cabernets, began to see significant shifts in the wine market. Their target customer was aging out, while upstart natural and organic wines were on the rise with younger generations, which traditional winemakers had overlooked. With new leadership under master someilie, Carlton McCoy, the company faced a huge pivoting point in the industry and in the social and purchasing values of a new gen of wine drinker. It was a ripe moment to bring a storied winemaking tradition forward.
Insight & Idea
Fine wine is fine. But only if it’s good.
Through consumer research we uncovered a sweet spot for Brendel. The wine industry either turned a stuffy blind eye to the 25-40 market or they came on way too strong and the consumer could feel it (White Girl Rose). We positioned Brendel as a high-craft wine devoid of both — none of the “wine culture” pretense (including the absurd tasting notes) or cheap pandering. And at a price point that validated the quality of the winemaking. Good wine made well was just what this audience was looking for. The brand took up the cause with a dry, deadpan delivery that undercut tasting notes and fancy terms on one hand, and tik tok internet speak on the other. Visually, Brendel embraced the art of craft and textures of the land. We wanted people to feel the vines and dirt through the imagery. The launch campaign introduced the world to a new side of Napa they’d never seen (or at least forgotten), driving audiences to a DTC e-comm site, wine club and subscription included.
Consulting & Strategy
Discovery and Insights Mining, Strategy Workshop, Brand Strategy, Brand Architecture
Brand & Content
Naming, Visual Identity, Verbal Identity, Packaging Design, Brand Guidelines, Launch Campaign
Digital & Product
E-commerce Design, Website Development and QA
Awwwards, Site of the Day Honorable Mention, Web Design
Brendel, The 'Good Wine,' Takes Snootiness Out Of Wine Marketing, MediapostLearn more
Brendel Is A Good Wine With Great Packaging, DielineLearn more
The Simplicity of the Design Showcases the Simplicity of the Wine, Dieline TiktokLearn more
How This Master Sommelier Became a Game-Changing Napa Valley CEO, Robb Reportlearn more
Brendel Wines Is Making Napa Valley a More Approachable Place, Vinepairlearn more