Sarica Niculitel - The Making of a New Kind of Winery
Sarica Niculitel is actually an old winery, founded 62 years ago, in Dobrogea, Romania. Having gone through almost 50 years of Communism which meant producing large quantities of low-quality wine, left the brand with a poor reputation and even poorer wine making capabilities. So how to reinvent this winery brand?
Under a new management, Sarica Niculitel was completely modernized from equipment all the way to new grapevines. Now, 2014 is the first year the new vines yielded a proper crop, therefore it was a threshold moment for the winery - their first wines would hit the market. But what kind of wines would these be?
Paradoxically, Romania is a country with big wine consumption, yet no wine education. The producers on the market do nothing to advance this education, being still stuck in "castle & terroir" language. As a result, we have a large class of low income people drinking poor wine and a very small niche of wine connoisseurs drinking good wine. So where should Sarica Niculitel go?
The answer lies in addressing a new class of drinkers, with spending power: Millennials - currently into beer, spirits and mixes. This target audience was completely neglected by wine makers, though they have the money, will to learn and desire to experiment.
The brand purpose became clear in an instant: re-position the winery as Millennials' map and journey to a richer, better life. Why? Because Sarica Niculitel believes wine is personal. Wine is about what you like, what you taste and your experience with wine and friends. Wine is about pleasure, not about memorizing vintages and obscure shippers. And naturally, if you learn to enjoy wine, you'll have a better, richer life, at least in terms of drinking :)
To embrace this new brand purpose, the winery identity was changed, from a traditional identity mirroring French Chateaus to a modern, minimalist identity, featuring droplets of water that form into a grape cluster. The water is very relevant to Sarica Niculitel because it sits just near the Danube Delta in the North and the Black Sea in the West, conditions which create a perfect climate for wine growing.
This philosophy will inform the entire brand platform, from tone of voice, imagery and wine brand architecture. So stay tuned, will update this project soon enough!
In the meantime, grab a glass of wine, taste it and make up your mind. Cheers!