Misha’s Vineyard Marketing Update

An update from Misha

Andy & Misha Wilkinson
Andy & Misha Wilkinson

The pace of the past two months is just starting to slow – and it’s now the day before Christmas! During these two months Andy and I have hit some major milestones with the vineyard. Our 2009 Release events this year marked the start of producing commercial quantities of wine – at last! Last year when we launched our first wines we had “The Audition” Pinot Noir 2007 – of which only 100 cases were made primarily as a ‘trial’ along with tiny quantities of 3 aromatic varieties. It was great to get those first wines out for review by the trade and media but we needed to wait until this year before we could seriously look at distribution.

After a lot of hard work, we announced 4 distributors in November this year. In Asia we announced Jebsen Fine Wines in Hong Kong, Apurevu Trading in Japan and Rubicon Reserve Wines in Singapore. And for the New Zealand domestic market, we were very pleased to announce Negociants New Zealand. This announcement was made at our Auckland media lunch on the 18th November (an auspicious date as it ends in 8!). It was a great feeling knowing we had 4 distributors in place given the tough economic climate and the plethora of brands seeking distribution across the globe. I think we’ve been able to achieve this because we have held true to our philosophy of ‘no compromises’ from the very outset of what we call “vineyard project”. Over the past eight years, we have ensured that we don’t take shortcuts in the vineyard, in the winery, with our team and now, with the appointment of our partners who will take our wines to the market.

This year for our ’09 Releases, our Auckland event had a table of 20 media for lunch at one of Auckland’s very best restaurants, The Grove . The restaurant is run by Michael & Annette Dearth and it was the second year we had worked with Michael in trying to come up with a spectacular lunch menu that would work perfectly with our wines. We were very lucky to be working with Chef Ben Bayly who created an amazing selection of dishes that certainly impressed all. We have a great partnership with The Grove and look forward to holding our 2010 Release events there next November.

In Wellington, our ’09 Release lunch was held in the private room at the Boulcott St Bistro. Again we enjoyed fantastic food and the mood in the room was just perfect and made for a thoroughly enjoyable lunch. So far the media reviews from these events have been amazing.

As a relatively young vineyard, we know there’s a long way to go, but we know we’re doing things right. We have recruited a fantastic team over the latter half of this year as moved from contract vineyard crews to our own team and now have Rich leading that team, and the lovely Cassy running our admin and operations. Over the coming year there are more milestones to hit as we increase our distribution to another 4 markets but our focus will certainly be on supporting the markets in which we’ve announced new partnerships so that together we can build the Misha’s Vineyard brand.

We look forward to working hard again in 2010.