Vintage Wine Estates’ new Gaze Wine Cocktail is aimed at those wine enthusiasts who practice a lifestyle that includes fitness, yoga, meditation, outdoor activities, self-care, and other positive pursuits. According to Terry Wheatley, President of the Santa Rosa, Calif., wine company, “We wanted to appeal to them by combining wine with some of their favorite ingredients in a modern, fun, easy-to-enjoy wine cocktail.”
Gaze launched in June 2019 in Coconut Water Chardonnay Moscato and Blueberry Pomegranate Moscato varieties, which were recently joined by a Green Tea Wine Cocktail and a Kombucha Wine Cocktail. The effervescent beverages are lower in calories, have a 4.5% ABV content, and use natural ingredients. Says the company, Gaze Wine Cocktails’ dual mantras of “Stop and Gaze” and “Drink in the Moment” serve as reminders that we all need respite, relaxation, and a moment for mindfulness. It adds, “Gaze Wine Cocktails are a delicious new option for that mood and a desire to refresh mind and body.”
In developing the product and brand, Vintage Wine Estates Marketing Director Hilary Berkey says the company wanted to capitalize on the popularity of hard seltzers and the desire of consumers for alternatively-packaged alcohol beverage products. “As a fine wine company, we were interested in producing a cocktail that was wine-based and blended with ingredients appreciated by those practicing a healthy lifestyle,” she shares. “One of the keys was to develop a sleek, alternative package to capture those consumers looking for something more upscale than a malt-based hard seltzer.”
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The timeline for the new product and its packaging was aggressive, with development beginning in fall 2018 and the launch scheduled for just nine months later. Berkey says Vintage Wine Estates chose aluminum in order to stand out in the emerging category, but eschewed a traditional can format. “The idea of an aluminum bottle retains the quality packaging cues associated with wine, while the ability to reseal the bottle dovetails with the active lifestyle of our target consumer,” she says.
Trivium Packaging worked with Vintage Wine Estates throughout the entire process to select a bottle that met both the functional and aesthetic expectations of the winery. “It was essential that the aluminum bottle preserved all the flavors, light effervescence, and nuances of the product as well if not better than a traditional glass bottle,” shares Berkey. “Equally important was that the package looked gorgeous on the shelf, felt sleek and sophisticated in the hand, would be adaptable to a wide variety of use occasions from poolside to dance club, and project well on social media.”
The chosen design is a sleek, column-shaped aluminum bottle with rounded shoulders that holds 375 mL, or 2.5 servings, and is topped with an aluminum twist-off cap. Although the bottle is a stock design, Berkey says Trivium has given Vintage Wine Estates category-exclusive rights to the shape to ensure differentiation on shelf.
Graphics for the bottle were designed by Swig Studio. Shares Berkey, the creative brief asked for the aluminum bottle to be incorporated into a distinctive and memorable design, utilizing the full real estate of the bottle, calling out benefits, and visually communicating each flavor through the color and design—a request deftly handled by Swig. The bottles are indeed beautiful, with each having its own nature-inspired, 360-deg background pattern, printed in a variety-specific color that uses the silver of the bottle as part of the pattern. A block of silver on the front of the bottle holds the elegantly-styled Gaze logo, product copy, and a flavor-related icon. Trivium silk screen-prints the cans in three to four colors, depending on the variety.
All four varieties of Gaze are available nationally and direct-to-consumer through the brand’s website. Online, the drinks are sold in quantities of six for $36. Subscriptions are available for a 10% savings.