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by Markus Stolz

Oenorama
2012

byMarkus Stolz
March 20, 2012, 1 Comment

Oenorama is the name of the largest Greek wine fair, which takes place every couple of years. It is a miracle that the organiser, Vinetum, was able to pull the event off this year, at the height of the financial crisis. Their passion and tireless work to succeed command respect. Please take a look at this list of exhibitors to get an idea of the colossal task involved. It speaks for itself that the support from so many wineries and companies was obtained at a time where any investments are scrutinized.

In general, the quality of the wines displayed indicates strongly that the “Greek wine revolution” continuous to gather steam. There were a number of gems to be found that are very exciting indeed. I also believe that the small wineries will play an increasingly important role in the years to come, a number of them craft wines that hit a sweet spot in terms of quality/price ratio and have the potential to appeal to the export markets.

Malagousia has become very trendy indeed and many wineries from all over the country have embraced this variety. The best samples are stunning wines that will make headway.

There were a number of winemakers who did not exhibit at Oenorama, but made the effort to visit the fair. Apart from networking purposes, their mission was to taste as many wines as possible. They are curious and open minded, keeping the finger on the pulse of any developments.

My final observation is about an extremely positive evolution, in my personal opinion: I had the chance to sit down with sister team Marina and Christina Boutari. They are pushing the family business into the modern age. A new range of entry level wines has been launched that use a hip branding strategy, storytelling will be built around them. A new Facebook page supports the effort, it is currently only available in Greek, but other languages will be added. The Greek website also accommodates the new branding. Take a look at the photographs below, daring and well executed, do you agree?

ΣΗΜΕΙΟ ΣΤΙΞΗΣ means “punctuation mark” (; = ?), this is simply followed by the colour of the wine (white, rosé, or red) and the Boutari logo. As a twist, all the three wines are blends, but the grape varieties are not mentioned anywhere on the label. The intrinsic message is that the enjoyment factor is all that counts.

 

 

 

 

There is also a new line of semi-sweet wines presented in 187 ml bottles, aimed for the younger crowds as an alternative to cocktails. Think bars, cafes, or even nightclubs at the beach in summertime Greece. The pink bottle has a bold design; the Romeo and Juliet range is offered under the Cambas brand.

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  1. SpyrosMarch 23, 2012, 2:20 pm

    I would add to your comments that branding and design is another, crucial element that is largely neglected in Greece. Having talked to quality winemakers in Greece, I’ve noticed their perception that a nice label, or even brand strategy would confuse their wine for aiming at the masses, being less good. Here in the UK this was happening in charities about 10 years ago – they thought that money were better spent elsewhere. However, we live in a world that is information rich and time poor. For a good product to succeed, effort must be put in creative use of comms, social media and image building. And some of it is cheaper now, yet differentiation is harder and won’t come from the ad agency no more.