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'Roots Run Deep'—the New Branding for Sonoma Valley

Focusing on the birth of California wine country here, the Vintners and Growers Alliance aims to make Sonoma a star on the map.

Sonoma Valley Vintners & Growers Alliance has unveiled a new multi-faceted marketing program called “Roots Run Deep.” The campaign creates a platform for sharing the Sonoma Valley story in a way that is memorable, motivating, differentiating and engaging to target consumers, according to a news release.

More than 200 Sonoma Valley vintners and growers gathered at The Lodge at Sonoma on Jan. 17 for the 2013 Alliance's Annual Meeting, to hear about the new brand identity, which is the result of a two-year marketing initiative.

The message is: "As the birthplace of world class California wine, Sonoma Valley provides the most fulfilling connection to our rich history and to a deeply rooted community of spirited vintners and growers who invite you to engage your heart, your mind and your palate."

Sonoma Valley Vintners & Growers Alliance Executive Director Maureen Cottingham kicked off the event announcing that the day marked an exciting moment in Sonoma Valley marketing history. Paul J. Hoffman of Hoffman Family Cellars, and incoming Alliance Board President, reflected on the process that began with a survey that asked, “What can we do to promote membership? How can we market Sonoma Valley Wines and Sonoma Valley Grapes, increase awareness and really be a star on the map?”

The answer was to work through a process of several phases, overseen by a marketing team of grape, wine and tourism industry leaders. The first phase began with BHC Consulting which helped define the brand essence and target audience for Sonoma Valley as it relates to grapes, wine and tourism. The brand essence then guided the development of the "brand mark" or logo created by strategic design firm Swig Studio in the second phase.  Finally, the development of the Roots Run Deep messaging and identity were developed by The Idea Cooperative in phase three.

The resulting brand, created by Alliance members and key stakeholders, conveys both a generational and deeply historic message, while clearly and simply reflecting the embracing, authentic and passionate character of the entire Sonoma Valley. Alliance members, vineyards and wineries, rather than models or stock photos, are used in the campaign which showcases the people, vineyards, wineries and bounty of the region.

“We knew that we wanted to unite our members and the valley by developing a message that we could own," Cottingham said. "As the members begin to use the elements of this campaign, our task at the SVVGA will be to exercise leadership and passionately manage the brand for pinpoint relevance and absolute consistency of delivery as it is used."

The new logo features “Sonoma Valley Wine – Est. 1857” as well as iconic Sonoma Valley symbols: a bear and a crescent moon. The tag line, “In Sonoma Valley The Roots Run Deep,” holds multiple meanings and serves as an umbrella for sub-messages of the campaign such as:

•             The birthplace of California fine winemaking keeps improving with age.

There is a warm, embracing hospitality of the people, so happy to share a depth of knowledge grown over six generations of family winemaking.

•             A place for people fascinated by wine.

The region has endless diversity, both in climate and geography. It’s as if nature brought together the very best elements for winegrowing and assembled them all in one place.

•             History in the making.

Visitors can be immersed in the history of California winemaking, but they will also enjoy the region’s true legacy in the revolutionary approach to winemaking that was born and still flourishes. It’s in the passion and spirit of a family-first approach to farming.

•             Well grounded.

The region has such strong agricultural roots; food and wine was, and still is, for sharing openly.

•             Spice of Life.

In bringing together four very distinct AVA’s, Sonoma Valley, Bennett Valley, Sonoma Mountain and Carneros, Sonoma Valley wines radiate the region’s remarkable natural diversity and Sonoma Valley vintners craft an equally remarkable and diverse range of varietals and styles.

•             Delve Deeper.

With the world-class wines, the inspiring natural environment and the embracing community of caring people, Sonoma Valley is a destination for those who thirst for something a little deeper.

Cottingham also announced that Rabobank, N.A. has committed to sponsor the new SVVGA Sonoma Valley marketing initiative for 2013.

About Sonoma Valley Vintners & Growers Alliance and Foundation

The Sonoma Valley Vintners & Growers Alliance (SVVGA) is a non-profit trade organization serving over 500 members who share a mission to promote awareness of Sonoma Valley’s grapes, wine, and history as the birthplace of the California wine industry. The Sonoma Valley Vintners and Growers Foundation (SVVGF) is a non-profit 501c.3 organization that has raised over $8,000,000 for local Sonoma charities. For more information on the SVVGA and SVVGF, visit www.SonomaValleyWine.com.

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