Branding is an important component for companies. Wine is no exception. When you hear the name Screaming Eagle or Opus One even casual wine drinkers have knowledge and a perception of these wines. Concha Y Toro is another example of a wine producer who has achieved name recognition through branding.
I know nothing of corporate branding strategies, so I sought the expertise of Melanie Ofenloch, CEO of Ofenloch Consulting with 20+ years of marketing and brand experience, and Dallas Wine Chick to provide additional insight on branding:
How does this work? How can brands differentiate themselves from tailoring products to the needs to different customer segments?
It becomes a good, better, best strategy that focuses on giving customers the ability to purchase the item that most closely fits their needs and their budget. Look at Lexus and Toyota. It is all about positioning and having a unique selling proposition.
The first step in accomplishing this is to truly understand the combination of products, the unique attributes they share and how they are distinctive. Wine is not atypical. Clearly, Concho Y Toro has figured out the art of appealing to different consumers at different price points with very different products.
Now that we all have a basic understanding of branding from Melanie, let’s explore the many faces of Concha Y Toro. Founded in 1883 by Don Melchor in Santiago, Chile, Cocha Y Toro is the largest producer of wines in South America and one of the three largest wine producers in the world. Don Melchor introduced French Bordeaux grapes to Chile by planting clippings of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Carmenere, to name a few. Their wine portfolio includes a wide variety of labels at every price point, making them one of the most recognized wine brands in the world.
I would like to share with you three of their labels today; chances are you are familiar with at least some of these wines. We will begin with Frontera. After 30+ years as a perennial best-selling entry level wine from Chile, Frontera has become Frontera After Dark, seeking to reach the millennials who’s “day starts to come alive at night.” At a $6 price point these are easy drinking wines perfect for parties, small gatherings, book clubs, art and wine parties, etc.
2016 Concha Y Toro Frontera Moonlight White Blend ($6): Moscato based blend; clear, pale lemon; clean medium intensity aromas of fresh picked white flowers, stone fruit, tropical fruit, cherry cream, and caramel; the palate is off-dry with medium acidity, light body and a medium finish; it is crisp, clean and refreshing with a slight effervescence.
2015 Concha Y Toro Frontera After Dark Red Blend ($6): Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah with a small amount of Merlot; clear deep ruby with clean medium aromas of dark red cherries, blackberries, plums, currants, warm baking spice, dried tobacco, vanilla and toasted oak; dry medium acidity and medium+ tannins in a full body wine with a long, smooth finish; rich with a touch of sweetness thought not at all a sweet wine; bold with a silky mouth-feel.
The Marques de Casa Concha is a collection of single vineyard wines crafted by winemaker Marcelo Papa. Each wine is made with hand-picked fruit, with the terroir chosen to maximize the fullest expression of each varietal. However, these high quality wines come with a highly affordable price tag that allows for everyday enjoyment, yet elegant enough to serve at dinner parties and special occasions.
2014 Marques de Casa Concha Chardonnay Limari Valley Chile ($22): 100% Chardonnay; clear medium lemon with clean medium+ aromas of orchard fruit, stone fruit, tropical fruit, distinct toasted oak, hazelnut, vanilla, and minerality; dry high acidity wine with full, opulent body and a long finish; bold and creamy in texture balanced with penetrating acidity, definite oaky notes lay alongside firm minerality that lends a salinity to this wine.
2014 Marques de Casa Concha Carmenere Rapel Valley Chile ($25): 95% Carmenere, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon; clear deep garnet; clean pronounced aromas of black cherries, blackberries, plums, currants, sweet baking spice notes, tobacco, black pepper, toasted hazelnut and forest floor; dry medium+ acidity with high tannins in a full body wine; warm climate gives wine silky mouth-feel and a lingering, bold finish.
2014 Marques de Casa Concha Cabernet Sauvignon Maipo Valley Chile ($25): 93% Cabernet Sauvingon, 3% Malbec, 2% Cabernet Franc; clear deep garnet; clean pronounced aromas of dark cherries, blackberries, black raspberries, red plums, herbaceous, sweet spice notes, black pepper, licorice, dark chocolate, leather and vanilla; dry high acidity and high tannins in a full body wine with a long finish; robust and round on the palate, long and penetrating.
Finally, Don Melchor stands in a class by itself. It is a world class wine, being awarded a Wine Spectator Top 100 wine 6 times. This iconic Chilean Cabernet taught the world to not only take Chilean wines seriously but that Chile has the capacity to produce Cabernet to rival those of Napa Valley and Bordeaux in their own, unique style. Winemaker Enrique Tirado is assisted by his dedicated team of over 20 employees whose single focus is to create this wine. Don Melchor honors its French origins, with its roots literally from a cutting of Bordeaux Cabernet Sauvignon in 1890. Puente Alto Vineyard is home to Don Melchor. It has an elevation of 2145 feet above sea level on the north bank of the Maipo River at the foot of the Andes Mountains, perfect for producing stressed vines that create this beautiful wine.
2013 Concha Y Toro Don Melchor Cabernet Sauvignon Puente Alto Chile ($125): 91% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Cabernet Franc; clear medium+ garnet with ruby hues; clean pronounced aromas of cherries, blackberries, plums, sweet baking spices, herbaceous, white pepper, dark chocolate, cassis, roasted espresso beans, damp tobacco leaves, smoke, dusty earth and minerality; dry medium acidity and high tannins on the palate, concentrated with layers of flavors and texture that envelope the palate in pure pleasure, though tannins are high they are silky smooth and lush creating a full body wine with a long, dazzling finish.
Concha Y Toro has done a tremendous job in branding themselves as the “go to” producer of Chilean wines. Whether you are looking for an easy drinking, crowd pleasing wine of Frontera, a more elegant single vineyard wine of Marques de Casa Concha or the iconic Don Melchor, Concha Y Toro can meet all of your wine needs. It seems unusual for a company to reach and be respected by such a wide consumer base. As Melanie Ofenloch explained earlier, through thoughtful products made with intention at every price level Concha Y Toro has achieved this goal. Head to your favorite local wine retailer or online to discover the many faces of Concha Y Toro for yourself. Cheers!