How to Pitch the Media About Your Wine Brand

Hear the answer to this question at 11:08 minutes

Getting a story about your wine brand published in a trade publication is about more than just having a great story. That was the consensus opinion of four wine industry experts – W.R. Tish of Beverage Media Group, David Ransom of The Tasting Panel and The SOMM Journal, Gregg Glaser of Modern Distillery Age, and Felicity Carter of Meininger’s Wine Business International who recently gathered for a media panel at the 2016 USA Trade Testing Conference.

As Tish points out, it’s important to have your media assets ready at any time. That means, for example, if you have a portfolio of 12 products, you also have a portfolio of high-resolution and low-resolution images of these products. It also helps, he says, to personalize your pitch to the specific publication. If you know what the publication is all about, and if you seem to know the role and position of your wine within a specific category, this is a real advantage. It’s even better, he says, if you can provide people at the winery to talk to, as well as an media-ready images.

Glaser agrees, pointing out that one easy step wine brands can take is to pay more attention to the press release they are sending out. At the very least, he says, invest in an in-house team or agency that can “write a professional press release.” This will ensure that your pitch is not immediately discarded.

But you have to do more than just come up with a great story – you also have to be able to bring some added value to the topic. As Ransom points out, you need to go far beyond just pitching with something like, “I’m a new winery trying to enter the U.S. market” or “My winery has been making wines for decades.” You need to show some new depth to the topic or genre, as well as something that’s new or novel.

Felicity Carter notes that it’s important to show that “you know how the world works.” That means being able to pull out a key trend, and show how you are a trend leader. If you can show evidence of being a brand that’s in sync with current events and trends, then people from a media publication will take time to understand how your brand is put together and why you are trying to enter the U.S. market.


When all these pieces come together at the same time, says Ransom, you’d be surprised at how good the final product can be. He specifically notes the example of St. Francis Winery (in California’s Sonoma County), which worked with his magazine to produce a very content-rich piece that included sidebars about why restaurant owners loved St. Francis wines, and why the family history of the wine mattered so much.

Thus, if you’re reaching out to the media with a pitch, be sure to tailor it to the needs of the publication. That means personalizing it as best as possible, as well as customizing the pitch with enough details and depth to show why you are unique, novel and worthy of media coverage.

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