Off the beaten trail

by Eve Resnick on March 5, 2008

in General

American journalist Eric Asimov wrote in his blog about some “Wines off the beaten trail” he enjoyed: a Santorini wine, the 2006 Thalassitis from Gaia Estate; a 2005 Ribolla Gialla from Movia, a winery in Slovenia and a red Austrian wine, the 2006 Iby Classic zweigelt, from Burgenland. It is always a pleasure to taste unknown and very strange wines – especially if they are delicious as those presented by Eric Asimov.

Speaking of “wines off the beaten trail”, Asimov’s article brought back to my memory something I read on Thai wineries a few weeks ago. In 2005, Martin Roll published Asian Brand Strategy and started a blog on the subject, where he published an article on the branding strategy of Siam winery. Siam Winery is one of the most famous Asian wineries and its wines are now distributed in the US, in UK and Europe. The winery was founded in 1982 by Chalerm Yoovidhya with the ambition of creating an industry that would make Thais proud and of creating a great wine to pair with the exquisite Thai gastronomy. Siam winery developed a real branding strategy for its wines.

With the help of a French winemaker, Laurent Metge-Teppin, Siam winery launched several brands:

- The Moonsoon Valley wines were developed to complement the spicier dishes and are available in red, white and rosé.
- Spy Wine Cooler was introduced in Thailand in 1986. It is a small bottle, the size of a beer bottle, and is produced in pink, white, red and black. The sales of this fun little wine rose as women bought it as an alternative to beer.
- Sabai means chill in Thai. It is a cool and relaxing drink made from the white grape Malaga blanc and the hisbiscus flower or the pomegranate. This wine is also targeted to young and female urban consumers.

The branding strategy of Siam winery is very innovative and dynamic. In a little over 20 years, its founder made a name for his wines and has a wide distribution. As Martin Roll stated in his article, “In an industry where the French and Italian wines have ruled since centuries, a new brand from a least expected country has managed to make a mark within wine brands. With the right commitment towards innovation and product quality combined with a dedicated approach to build a strong brand, Siam Winery could end up as yet another emerging brand that customers would associate with the Kingdom of Thailand.”


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