With New Zealand’s wines continuing to increase in popularity with U.S. consumers, Villa Maria Wines has launched a new campaign designed to help seize that momentum. Entitled Open Another World™, the campaign invites consumers to experience the innovative and uncompromising spirit of the winery’s legendary founder Sir George Fistonich, who still leads the company today.
“New Zealand’s wines are at the forefront of consumers’ minds, creating a unique opportunity for Villa Maria to distinguish itself in the category,” said Richard Thomas, Chief Operations Officer for Villa Maria. “The Open Another World™ campaign invites people to step into our world and experience the unique story behind our founding and the tenacious and unrelenting pursuit of quality that has and continues to drive Villa Maria to its position today as New Zealand’s most awarded winery,” Thomas continued.
The campaign kicked off with a tour that started in Los Angeles on Jun. 7 and will be on several cities through Aug. 2. In keeping with the brand’s history of marching to the beat of their own drum (for example, Villa Maria was the first major New Zealand winery to convert entirely to screwcap closures in 2001) the tour is not a typical wine tasting.
The winery retained a troupe of improvisational actors to tell the story of Villa Maria and founder Sir George Fistonich’s rise from a one man operation to a global brand in just five decades. The theatrical performance, “Of Grapes & Grit: The Not Completely Apocryphal Story of Sir George Fistonich, Villa Maria and the New Zealand Wine Industry,” highlights the milestones in the winery’s history and its contributions to the New Zealand wine industry overall, for which Sir George received a knighthood in 2009. The performance, which includes audience participation, creatively explores key events such as when the winery went into receivership during the mid-1980s due to price wars and the actions taken by Sir George and his employees to save the winery, to the unique and sometimes quirky personalities behind the wine, including a winemaker who serenades Villa Maria’s vines.
In keeping with the brand’s entrepreneurial history, the events are being held at WeWork’s co-working community spaces, hubs for innovation and inspiration across a multitude of industries. Open Another World™ theatrical tour started with a great evening at the Gas Tower in DTLA on Jun. 7, which will be repeated Jul. 12 in Dallas, TX; Jul. 19 in Chicago, IL; Jul. 26 in Atlanta, GA; and Aug. 2 in Miami, FL. All events are being produced by GenArt, whose mission is nurture and inspire future generations of creators and doers.
In addition to the events, the Open Another World™ campaign includes digital and social media, a new advertising campaign, and a consumer sweepstakes featuring a trip for two to New Zealand for 7-days and 6-nights featuring tours of Villa Maria’s wineries in Auckland and in Marlborough.
Learn more about Villa Maria and the Open Another World™ campaign and upcoming summer events at villamariawine.com.