The Reason a New Zealand Winemaker Started With An American Audience

New Zealand boutique winemaker George Elworthy has taken a truly experimental track with his brand The Better Half, choosing to launch it in America before ramping up marketing efforts closer to home.

Elworthy, whose wife Jules Taylor is the driving force behind a brand bearing her name that is sold in the United States, said Marlborough wines had grown in popularity in the United States and were important with their business.

Elworthy’s company recently began enhancing its overseas marketing efforts, designing a new label and sending out communications to consumer-oriented wine writers to snag earned media opportunities.

READ MORE: The Better Half Releases 2021 Sauvignon Blanc with New Label Redesign

“We used to spend weeks in market, traveling to meet our customers in the US and like so many others, we have had to ‘pivot’ and change the way we do things,” Elworthy said. “These wines are not currently sold in Australia or New Zealand, but seeing the success of this brand in the US has given us confidence to launch in New Zealand and Australia in the near future.”

The wine’s name is a light-hearted joke — a shout out to a friendly rivalry with his wife — and American customers are getting the first sip.

“When we first launched The Better Half in the United States, it was at the request of some of our long-standing trade partners and it was really a bit of an experiment,” Elworthy explained. “We weren’t sure how it would go or how it would work alongside Jules’ wines. 

“However we have seen demand increase significantly since we launched these wines – they are made in a very popular style and hit an attractive price point. So I guess the time had come to take the plunge and tell our story with a little more confidence.”

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