Best Media Relations Campaign – Under $10,000

Winery looks outside the box with aging stunt

Working with agency JDA Frontline, Mira Winery attracted headlines with a clever stunt and a limited budget.

Aquaoir Ocean Aging Experiment- Logo

It’s tough for small wineries to get attention. More than half of the U.S. wine market is dominated by just three companies, so the little guys don’t get a lot of opportunities to break through.

One Napa Valley winery managed to turn quite a few eyeballs with a really smart stunt, and best of all, it pulled it off on a budget of just $7,000. Mira Winery and agency JDA Frontline worked together to test a brand-new method of aging wine. They submerged four cases of 2009 cabernet sauvignon in the ocean after seeing reports of wine found in sunken ships having a unique taste. They even came up with a name for it: “aquaoir.”

The winery’s clever idea earned it top honors in the Best Media Relations Campaign—Under $10,000 category of PR Daily’s 2013 Media Relations Awards.

JDA and Mira submerged the wine in February 2013, just off the coast of Charleston, S.C., home of company President Jim “Bear” Dyke. A videographer filmed the process and made a two-minute video of the retrieval in May. A sommelier compared the ocean-aged wine to the same wine aged on land. The taste test was broadcast to wine club members and the media via a conference call.

After going up for sale, the cases sold out in less than a day. Not only that, the experiment prompted 640 media placements and hundreds of mentions on Twitter. Traffic to the winery’s website tripled and the wine club’s enrollment rate doubled.

In the fall, Mira and JDA plan to submerge twice as much wine for twice as long. That phase will include a wine-tasting tour that will hit six cities.

Read more about the aquaoir here.

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