Last year, Yolo County-based Toasted Head winery traded in a booth at food and wine events to sample its chardonnays, cabs and merlots at beer and music festivals in three cities. This year it has expanded the tour to eight markets.
The brand’s 400-square-foot experience features a barrel-shaped tasting bar under an earth-toned tent as its centerpiece to play up its use of oak barrels, which, when toasted, add smoke, spice and vanilla notes to its wines. Smaller barrels are peppered throughout for décor, as well as a life-size rendition of its fire-breathing bear logo. Consumers can learn more about the brand and sign up to its Facebook page via iPads. They also walk away with branded magnets, pairing notes and a Warhol-style poster of the Toasted Head bear. Since the brand’s footprint is located in the VIP area at most events, it also provides wait service to consumers seated at tables.
“Trial that sticks is hard in the wine category because of its size and fragmentation. There really aren’t any single brands that have category share of any reasonable size like maybe what you see in coffee and other beverages,” Rebecca Hopkins, vp-public relations and national events at Constellation Wines, which owns Toasted Head, told Buzz. “These events give us the ability to put the product in consumers mouths and then tell them where they can find it.”
The brand totaled 7,200 samples at its first stop July 15-17 at the Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago. Next up: Wanderlust Festival in North Lake Tahoe, CA, July 28-31; Mammoth Festival Beers and Blues in Mammoth, CA, Aug. 5-7; Bend Brew Fest in Bend, OR, Aug. 18-20; Traverse City Microbrew & Music Festival, Traverse City, MI, Aug. 26-27; Brewmasters International Beer Festival, Galveston,TX, Sept. 2-5; Oktoberfest in Breckenridge, CO, Sept. 16-18; and Oktoberfest in Charlotte, NC, Oct. 8. Agency: Grand Central Marketing, New York City.