Consulting Center Client

Carneros Wine Alliance
MBA Consulting Center Project / Summer 2011

Student Team

Hilary Price (team lead), Alexandra Ames, Johannon Olson, Ryan Rake, Christopher Schraeder, Christian Vigeland

Field Study Advisor

Professor Emeritus Robert Smiley, UC Davis Graduate School of Management

The Company

The Carneros Wine Alliance is an association of wineries and growers in the Carneros AVA (American Viticulture Area). One of the most rural of wine regions, Carneros is known for its natural beauty, proximity to the San Francisco Bay Area, and commitment to community and environmental preservation. A cool climate appellation, Carneros has long been known for its chardonnays, pinot noirs, syrah, merlots, sparkling wines and new varietals now emerging throughout the winegrowing region.

The Project

The Carneros Wine Alliance sought to increase awareness of the Carneros wine region through a robust social media campaign. The MBA Consulting Center team was asked to develop a detailed grassroots marketing plan that would ultimately draw consumers to the region, and drive sales of Carneros wines.

Conclusions and Recommendations

The team started with an assessment of both the external challenges facing the alliance and the region, and how members and consumers perceived the alliance and the region. After thorough qualitative and quantitative research, including consumer and alliance member surveys, the team developed a plan that created the foundation for a cohesive brand identity, along with social media tools and tactics to increase member engagement while recognizing the immediate needs and current resources of the Carneros Wine Alliance.

The team included “Stage II” recommendations that would require additional investment, including a revamped website, an event in the region to anchor social media outreach back to Carneros as a place, and guidelines for adopting new social media tools.