Southbrook Vineyards, a Niagara-based organic and biodynamic winery, has hired The Siren Group to raise its profile and promote the Ontario wine industry.
“I was working at the Brickworks organic market in Toronto, and when I’d ask people if they’d ever heard of Southbrook, 85% were still saying no,” said Bill Redelmeier, co-owner of Southbrook Vineyards, which was founded in 2005. “We have just a wonderful bunch of stories that we can tell and I realized that me trying to do it all by myself just didn’t work.”
The Siren Group is developing a comprehensive PR program for the winery, including product publicity and placement, special events, consumer and trade shows, media relations, influencer and media tours, sponsorship, philanthropic activity, speaking engagements and a robust social media campaign.
The agency will also create a program to support Southbrook’s Bioflavia, an innovative health product that contains high levels of antioxidants, that’s made from the dried and crushed skins of red grapes from organic vineyards in Niagara.
The focus of the message is the company’s commitment to utilize methods and grapes that are all-natural, organic and sustainably grown. Redelmeier said the main objective is raising brand awareness, but he also thinks the PR initiatives will benefit the Ontario wine industry as a whole.
“The Ontario wine industry is so under-appreciated and under-utilized, which is wonderful, because if you’re in France and 98% of the wine that’s drunk in France in French, how do you grow the business?” he said. “But if you’re in Ontario and 7% of what’s purchased at the LCBO is Ontario wine, what a great opportunity to grow, so let’s work together and build brand awareness, not only for Southbrook but for the Ontario wine business.”
Susan Willemsen, president of The Siren Group, said Redelmeier is a natural storyteller and an advocate for the organic and biodynamic movement. (Biodynamics emphasizes the balance and interrelationship of a farm’s soil, plants and animals to grow low-impact, vibrant crops).
“He gets inundated with sponsorship requests, pouring requests and requests for product, but he will never be at an event where he can’t pour the wine himself,” she said. “He will only say yes if there is an opportunity for him personally to tell the organic and biodynamic story.”