Since the day she acquired Avignonesi in 2009, Virginie Saverys has made it her goal to produce wines that communicate the complexity and beauty of the Montepulciano terroir in every glass. But she has also implemented significant structural changes. She encouraged the conversion of all vineyards to organic viticulture and set us on the path to obtaining organic certification. She has implemented biodynamic agricultural practices - not an easy task since the number of vineyards has grown to 140 hectares between the Montepulciano DOCG and Cortona DOC appellations. To handle the day-to-day running of the vineyard Virginie has put together a skilled international team of resident enologists and winemakers supported by an experienced field crew and top-notch consultants. A savvy sales and export crew is in charge of handling the world markets.
But perhaps her most courageous decision so far has been to initiate a complete rebranding of Avignonesi, starting with an extensive market survey to get a precise idea of the status of the Avignonesi image and reputation among our core consumer groups. The results were very reassuring. Our core consumer sees us as being a historic, high quality Tuscan producer. We received confirmation that our roots, our history, and our dedication to always doing better, as well as the unique character of our territory, all work together to shape our identity.
For this reason, rebranding a historic winery like Avignonesi is a delicate process, but also a necessary one, especially if we want our brand identity to truthfully and openly reflect what Avignonesi is today. We appointed the Belgian agency Duval Guillaume to help us in this task, and together with our own marketing team, headed by Lene Bucelli, have worked indefatigably on this huge project. Our first decision was to move away from the Avignonesi coat of arms on our logo, which belonged to the founding family, and design a new logo which conveys our belief in the earth and the soil as being the treasure of our brand: a golden wreath of vines from which the letters AV emerge.
Branding concerns everything visible about a product: logo, labels, boxes, catalogues, the website, the works. We are constantly updating all our branding materials to reflect the communication philosophy of Avignonesi today. We want to tell our story in a transparent, direct and continuous manner, and to make the Avignonesi universe open and available to anyone who wishes to join us. This new website and our blog stories are perfect examples of the direction we wish to take. You may have noticed that only some of our labels have been rebranded. Virginie decided to launch the new labels of the wines with the 2010 vintage of each wine - the first vintage she was personally in charge of. This means that some of the wines have already been re-dressed, and some will don their new labels next year, including the much-anticipated Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 2010. Rebranding also includes an honest examination of our portfolio. To this end, we will be resuscitating the GRIFI label - 60% Sangiovese and 40% Cabernet, a historic Avignonesi wine which many of our consumers will remember.
The shift in our perspective has not gone unnoticed: Rebrand, the world’s leading brand transformation and rebranding resource, awarded first place to Avignonesi from 100 brands selected for its 100 Global Awards. Read about the award here. Other winners included Cooper Vision, an American company that produces contact lenses; One, a British bottled water company that donates its profits to making sure African people get drinking water; and the Cantos Music Foundation, which has devoted its energies to the realm of music in Canada.
Avigonesi has a distinct, easily recognizable identity that we are proud of, and our goal is to ensure that our customers will continue to associate us with positive values worth following because they enjoy our wines and because they feel that our winery offers a coherent, inviting and living brand experience. From the label to the glass. From the blog to bottle.