Marketing Day 2019: Focus on Quality & Origin

On Wednesday 16 January the Austrian Wine Marketing Board (AWMB) invited members of the wine community to a special edition of their annual marketing day at Austria Center Vienna. Willi Klinger, who is due to depart from the AWMB at the end of 2019, summarised the current state of things and urged the approximately 450 winegrowers and industry professionals in attendance to maintain the present successful strategy of quality & origins. Renowned guest speakers Gaia Gaja and Jens Beckert struck the same tone in their individual presentations.

A picture shows the panel discussion "Higher Price-positioning through Closely Focussed Origins", f.l.t.r.: Jens Beckert, Willi Klinger, Gaia Gaja, Michael Moosbrugger, © AWMB/Sebastian Philipp.
Panel discussion "Higher Price-positioning through Closely Focussed Origins"; f.l.t.r.: Jens Beckert, Willi Klinger, Gaia Gaja, Michael Moosbrugger, © AWMB/Sebastian Philipp

Klinger: We should stay on the successful path we have chosen

In giving his keynote speech, the AWMB’s Managing Director Willi Klinger – by far the longest-serving (thirteen years) individual in the position – provided some background concerning his orderly departure at the end of this year, while clarifying rather emotionally that he would remain closely connected with Austrian wine even afterward. At the same time, he warned against any departure from the successful strategy that has been consistently pursued since the days of the 1980s wine scandal, which has given rise to laboriously established but consistently profitable export markets that show annual growth rates of more than ten per cent.

Klinger reaffirmed this: “Thanks to decades of pursuing a successful quality strategy, Austrian wine has achieved an international breakthrough. I therefore argue in favour of maintaining this basic orientation, although every vintage will naturally require a certain flexibility with respect to marketing activities. Ten more years of this marketing spirit will furnish Austria with the necessary export volume to sell even extremely abundant vintages such as 2018 without difficulty, while maintaining good average prices.”

AWMB: activities for 2019

After providing a summary of the year 2018, with its highlights such as the record-setting VieVinum, the AWMB presented its marketing activity plans for 2019. Moving forward, communication with the target groups will be even more highly segmented and more relevant; to this end, the technical infrastructure of the organisation will be professionalised in the first half of the year.

Looking at the markets, the AWMB will make its extremely important appearance at ProWein in Düsseldorf even more attractive by presenting workshops on a daily basis. The increasing relevance of Asian markets will be acknowledged by the AWMB, among other ways with a comprehensive Austrian tasting in Tokyo and extensive participation at ProWein China.

One major project that has already involved several years of work will be continued throughout 2019: the registration and description of all Austrian vineyard sites (Rieden) and places of origin in a digital system. The results should be available in 2021, at riedenkarten.at; Austria would then be the first country in the world with comprehensive digital vineyard maps, and having legal substantiation behind them.

Presentation: How do I find a distributor?

One key business question for every wine estate involves the acquisition of new marketing partners, to which Michael Zimmermann, AWMB Division Manager for Markets, presented applicable approaches and potential answers. In addition to a call to the winegrowers to proactively address their search for a sales partner, he stressed the importance of creating a tangible presence for one’s estate, by means of unique stories and individual experiences.

Guest presentations by Gaia Gaja and Jens Beckert

For decades, the Piedmontese cult wine estate Gaja has stood for a consistent quality strategy. The winery has striven to meet the challenges of climate change, working in close cooperation with university researchers, as Gaia Gaja explained in her talk. All vineyard work and biodiversity must be optimised carefully to render the vines more resistant to extremes of weather and threats of disease. By doing this, a wine producer can ensure the high quality of the grapes and thus of its wines for the long term.

The mystique of expensive wines – Gaja, for example – was subsequently addressed by Jens Beckert from the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies in Cologne. Like no other product in the realm of foodstuffs, wine is charged with symbolic values and therefore highly desirable as an expression of culture. This also manifests itself particularly on a geographic and physical level: wines of certain terroirs benefit immensely from the reputation of their origins.

Panel discussion: higher price-positioning through closely focussed origins

To round up Marketing Day, Gaia Gaja, Jens Beckert and Michael Moosbrugger, chairman of the Österreichische Traditionsweingüter, discussed the marketing potential of closely-focussed origins in a panel discussion moderated by Willi Klinger. The path taken in Austria toward protected DAC origins was confirmed unanimously: targeted image-building of a specific place of origin serves all wine producers in the region over the long term. An enhanced reputation for the region also aids in attaining higher added value for Ortswein (villages wine) and Riedenwein (single vineyard wine). Positioning within the defined system of origin (or declining to do so) is at the discretion of each individual estate.

Facts

Keynote Speech, Willi Klinger

  • Maintaining the current strategies will continue to drive Austria’s wine industry forward over the long term
  • Some flexibility of marketing activities necessary depending on the vintage
 

AWMB activities for 2019

  • More detailed segmentation in the communication strategy
  • Markets: focus on ProWein and Asia
  • Development of digital vineyard maps, planned project conclusion in 2021
 

Presentation: acquiring a distribution partner

  • Appeal to winegrowers: act proactively, rather than reacting
  • Make your own estate visible and tangible
 

Guest presentation: Gaia Gaja

  • Addressing climate change by increasing biodiversity and the resilience of the vines
 

Guest presentation: Jens Beckert

  • The mystique of expensive wines lies, among other factors, in the way they have acquired symbolic value, for example, in terroir
  • Wines benefit from the reputation of their origin
 

Panel discussion: higher price-positioning through focussedorigins

  • Targeted image structure of provenance necessary
  • The enhanced image of an origin serves all estates in the region
  • Austria is on the right track with the developments in DAC
 

 

Marketing Day in Pictures

Downloads

Press photo

Press release

Austrian Wine Marketing Board

Ms. Sabine Bauer-Wolf
Weinakademikerin
Division Manager Communication

Mr. Georg Schullian
Head of Department Press, PR & Corporate Design

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