Penfolds, a 170-year-old Australian winery that’s part of the Treasure Wine Estate, knew that to make inroads in the U.S. market it needed to educate not just consumers but also industry professionals about its portfolio of wines. And it had to do so in a way that didn’t just tell but also showed its audience just how respected, innovative, and luxurious its wines are. To that end, Penfolds and agency All Terrain created The Penfolds House, which paid homage to the winery’s heritage in an au courant way.
Manhattan’s Villard Mansion, a landmark building dating back to 1884, doubled for The Penfolds House, establishing the appropriate upscale tone. Wine and fine-dining industry leaders, media members, and oenophiles were hand-delivered luxurious boxes containing custom-made invitations designed to resemble skeleton keys.
The two-day event included seminars, tastings, recorking clinics, an exhibit detailing the history of Penfolds, and the U.S. launch of the internationally top-rated 2010 Grange wine. Partnerships with complementary brands provided additional credibility. For instance, Christie’s Auctions authenticated vintage bottles of Penfolds, and glassware company Riedel conducted glass-wine pairing sessions. Penfolds also teamed with GQ magazine on The Best-Dressed Somm, a competition to award the most dapper sommeliers in the country.
Touchscreens connected to RFID technology allowed Penfolds to capture information about guests’ needs and preferences so that it could provide them with personalized content. The data also enabled Penfolds to collect data for future sales and marketing efforts.
More than 550 wine-industry influencers visited The Penfolds House, which generated 7.4 million impressions. Following the event, brand perception, intent to purchase, and intent to recommend rose at least 10% among attendees, and the company saw second-quarter sales rise an impressive 115%.