Queensland wineries debut Vine and Shine Trail to boost regional engagement

Vine and Shine Trail immersive website, campaign and supporting influencer and events program of work all about lifting awareness of Queensland's wine regions

Raising local and international awareness of Queensland’s wine industry is the name of the game for the new ‘Vine and Shine Trail’ and campaign launching this month after three years in the making.  

The Queensland Wine Industry Association (QWIA) in partnership with Wine Australia and Tourism and Events Queensland has officially launched their first official wine tourism experience, encouraging local and international visitors to travel along the ‘Vine and Shine Trail’ and engage with 170 winemakers stretching from the state’s Granite Belt to Greater Brisbane, Scenic Rim, Burnett, Sunshine Coast, Bundaberg and Darling Downs / Western Queensland.  

The ‘Vine and Shine Trail’ is the centrepiece of a ‘Venture In’ concept and is being supported by an interactive experience website including map of the six participating regions encompassing 70 wineries. There’s also a campaign stretching from PR to social activation and in-flight advertising. The work has been created by Red Havas, H Commerce and Havas Blvd.  

QWIA outgoing president, viticulture expert, Australian winemaker of the year 2017 and consulting winemaker to Sirromet Wines, Mike Hayes, told CMO the Vine and Shine Trail was brought to life thanks to joint grants and funding from the Federal Government, which allocated $50 million to the Australian wine industry to support ventures into international wine tourism. This has been matched almost dollar for dollar by State Government contributions, as well as contributions from Queensland hoteliers, Griffith University, QWIA and one of the region’s biggest wineries, Sirromet.  

“We’re proud that, after a 160-year-long journey, Queensland wine has truly come of age and is finally being taken seriously on both a national and international level,” Hayes said.  

“This campaign is an excellent way to encourage visitors to our state, and to explore more of what we have to offer. We look forward to welcoming them to our regions; our wines have been a best kept secret for too long. It’s time for everyone to get a taste of excellence, right here in Queensland.”  

As Hayes explained, the whole region has a focus on emerging wine grapes, which make up less than 1 per cent of the national total. These include obscure varieties such as Saperavi from Georgia (by the Black Sea), Albarino from Spain, Vermentino from Italy and Petit Manseng from France. In total, 120 varieties are being grown.  

“We had come up with the idea that’s unique to Queensland wine and wanted to share the story and the wine, lifting our profile to global audiences, planning activities and introducing tourism to what Queensland is all about,” Hayes explained. “It’s about meeting the winemakers, going to the cellar door and trying varieties many normally have not tried or heard of.”

Credit: QWIA

 

Work on uniting the wineries first commenced in November 2018, Hayes said. A key initiative was inviting a group of international wines bloggers to tour the Granite Belt and Greater Brisbane areas, trying wines. In February, the region introduced the inaugural international emerging wine variety challenge it hopes to run as an annual event. This saw Queensland wine growers pitting their Nebbiolo wines against products from the original Italian region they’re from. The result: Queensland wineries won eight of the nine trophies.  

Stakeholder development and strategy was conducted by Red Havas in January and February, leading to the idea of the wine trail, before things hit a hiatus between March and August as COVID struck. Efforts were reignited in late September and the campaign rolled out in October and November.  

Hayes said one of the silver linings of the global pandemic has been strong intrastate interest and travel, lifting awareness and visitation to Queensland’s wine regions. A core target market, Hayes added, is the Millennial crowd, “but we’re happy to take the baby boomers too”.  

Red Havas Brisbane executive director, Yasmine Gray, said the focus was not just on encouraging visitors to travel inland off the Queensland coast, but also meet the people behind the wineries across the state.  

“It’s the many colourful characters, passionate about the industry, that truly bring this campaign to life,” Gray said. “We could not be prouder to have been chosen as the agency to bring this campaign to life. Our wine makers have been through so much during these last 12 months, from fires and droughts to global pandemics, so bringing them all together in a joint project, for the very first time, was extremely gratifying.”  

To create the campaign, the agency travelled to the wineries and gathered stills and video footage of all locations, developed the videos, developed the trail/maps, created a website and searchable amp, and put together the launch event for media, influencers and key stakeholders.  

The event was the first time all of the Queensland wine industry came together on a project - the event maps, collateral/brochures, website and social media were all unveiled and launched for the first time at the event, and influencer collaborations also kicked off at the launch. Influencers will continue to head out on the road to start delivering user-generated that will roll out into the new year.   

It’s also a good time to be launching the campaign given China’s recent boycott of Australian wines. According to figures for the year to September 2020, China represented nearly half of total exports ($1.26 billion of $2.99bn).  

Alongside the campaign, Red Havas is working on launching a member portal for the new Vine and Trail website and said it expected the first tranche of campaign results in January.  

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, follow our regular updates via CMO Australia's Linkedin company page, or join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia.

 

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