USA: 30 Year-Old Allied Domecq Brand Undergoes a Major Makeover

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Callaway Winery, Southern California's largest wine producer, is assuming a new identity and expanding its operations to the Central Coast of the state.

"We are shifting our main source for grapes to the Central Coastal regions of California in order to keep up with consumer demand for Callaway wines," said Mike Jellison, President of Allied Domecq Wines, USA, Callaway's parent company. "The Temecula Valley has been our home for the past 30 years, but in order to stay competitive in the exploding premium- and super-premium wine market, we need to expand our reach for high-quality grapes."

Citing pressures of commercial and residential growth and the loss of grape production in Temecula Valley due to Pierce's Disease, the winery has become a major purchaser of grapes grown in the cool coastal regions of Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo and Monterey Counties.

"This is not a simple wine brand line extension, but a complete brand reincarnation," says John Calmeyer, Vice President of Marketing for Allied Domecq Wines, USA. "Grape sourcing is only one part of the equation. In addition to a more contemporary taste profile, we have wrapped these Coastal wines in a sexy, hip new package that conveys the casual spirit of coastal living."

Callaway wines have indeed undergone a major taste profile shift, in which the Chardonnay fruit flavors are lightly enhanced with oak barrel aging, a technique consumers identify with super-premium wines. The wines have also taken on a major directional change in package redesign, including the adaptation of a new name -- Callaway Coastal. With several wines using the term "coastal" now on the market, the industry is witnessing the birth of a new wine category. These wines are sourced from the cool coastal regions of California and are made in an approachable, food-friendly style for the everyday consumer. Pricing is in the $8 to $12 price range.

Callaway Coastal will produce wines in two tiers: Coastal, for everyday enjoyment, and limited production Coastal Reserve wines for those special occasions where just the right bottle of wine is required. The new Coastal wines feature Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc and Chenin Blanc. The Coastal Reserves consist of Viognier, Chardonnay and Merlot.

In support of the launch of Callaway Coastal, will be a $4 million advertising campaign created by Laguna Beach, California-based Open Minds/The Ponzi Group, and promotional material designed by Half Moon Bay, California-based Earley & Earley. Open Minds is the award-winning creative force behind the hugely successful Budweiser "frog" television campaign.

A Callaway Coastal advertising campaign featuring radio, newspapers, magazines and TV, is set for October and November, a key holiday selling period. Point-of-sale materials depart from the traditional food and wine photography, utilizing black and white lifestyle images focusing in on the promotional tagline "Coastal Standard Time(TM)" A series of "fresh, light and easy" recipes and entertaining tips have been created by Callaway Lifestyle & Culinary Advisor Lori Lyn Narlock. The recipes will be featured in a four-color booklet available in supermarkets during the holidays and on bottleneckers. A new website will be online September 1, 2000.

"Callaway Coastal wines make a statement about taking wine off its pedestal," adds Calmeyer. "Callaway Coastal wines can be an enjoyable part of an everyday healthy, engaged, active lifestyle, whether you live in Phoenix or near the Great Lakes. And, it goes without saying, Callaway Coastal wines have a place in your life if you live in Southern California, Long Island or along the Gulf of Mexico."

Callaway Coastal wines will be on the shelves as early as September 1, 2000, and will be available in distribution throughout the United States and Canada.

Companies: Allied Domecq

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