In the last few columns I have been telling you about the 2013 vintage along with other events and people in the wine industry I find interesting. It may have only been six weeks since the frantic 2013 grape harvest finished but the first sauvignon blanc sample of the year was delivered to me this week and my email inbox has been filling up announcing the new releases and kicking off the next phase in the winemaking calendar – selling it.
I have always said it is easy to make wine, it just takes a lot of investment, hard work in the vineyards, the cooperation of Mother Nature and not mucking it up in the winery but selling wine is a whole other ball game.
In small wineries the person who grows the grapes and makes the wine can often be the same person who sells it while large corporate producers have a marketing division as well as a sales team on the ground in cities around the world. Others rely on wine distributors to get their product on the shelves and restaurant wine lists; most use a mix of doing it themselves and using a distributor.
With a degree in Wine Marketing from Adelaide University Anna Seifried’s primary role is the NZ sales & marketing for Seifried Estate but she is also responsible for planning and delivering everything Seifried Estates does to ensure their wines continue to be sold in about 21 countries. When I had a chat with Anna about her role in the business in her usual understated way she told me everyone in the family is involved in selling wine she only plans it and makes sure it happens.
Seifried’s employ three people in the United States and one in the UK who understand the family business and who tell their story however they learned many years ago that customers and distributors really value someone from the Seifried family visiting them, talking with buyers and attending tastings and trade shows in various countries and that means one thing – travel and lots of it.
Last week Anna was in Christchurch and Dunedin, she had a day at home on Monday and spent the rest of this week in the lower North Island, next week she is off to the Bay of Plenty and Auckland before heading to Australia in August.
While seeing many different countries and cities every year may seem like a great way to earn a living Anna says she mainly sees the inside of hotel rooms, function centres, the back of another seat in an aircraft, and many hours driving – the family travel to work not sightsee.
So what does Anna do? While Anna is quick to reiterate sales and marketing involves the whole family and they all travel widely she manages the company’s key accounts, dealing with supermarket head offices, manages the Australian sales team, North American distribution and marketing wherever it is needed – the UK, Asia, North America and of course New Zealand.
She deals with everything from working with designers on packaging, labels, marketing material and retail displays to making sure orders are filled and despatched on time as well as talking to people like me and making sure we get to taste new release wines and are supplied with all the information we need about each wine so we can write about them and hopefully encourage you to pick up a bottle with a Seifried label next time you are shopping for wine.