In the video below, Daniel Speck shares a behind-the-scenes look at the incredibly successful launch of the wine brand Sibling Rivalry. How can you use consumer package goods marketing to such a fragmented, quirky and artisanal category like wine?

In 1984, many people thought that the Speck family in Niagara was crazy when they ripped out their Concord grapes at their own expense and instead planted Chardonnay, Riesling and Cabernet Sauvignon. Today, they’re considered prescient for having been one of the first wineries in the region to make the leap to premium grapes and wine.


Three Speck brothers above now run the winery: Paul, the president, Daniel, sales and marketing, and Matt, the winemaker. Daniel joins me today to talk about the winery’s latest initiative in launching new brands:

Sibling Rivalry is not a critter label, but it is a marketing concept wine. What’s the idea behind it and why did you go this route?

What nice does it fill? Who is it aimed at? Did you do marketing research for the launch?

In hindsight, what mistakes did you make and how did you correct them since?

How have sales been for this brand?

How does it support the flagship brand? Flanker brand? Fill out portfolio?

Sibling Rivalry Red, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario
A mocha, black plum wine with a tasty, smooth, medium-bodied texture and weight. This is a blend of cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc and merlot. Awesome price. Pair with: hamburgers on the barbeque, pasta with meat sauce. Drink: 2012-2015.  126151  13.50%  D  750 mL  $13.95  Score: 87/100.

Sibling Rivalry Pink, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario
Pretty perfumed aromas of ripely sweet field strawberries and sun-kissed small raspberries. Mouth-watering and refreshing. Pair with: planked salmon, seared tuna. Drink: 2010-2013.  171033  11.80%  MS  750 mL  $13.95  Score: 88/100.

 

 

 

Sibling Rivalry White, Niagara, Ontario
Such a pretty wine! Lovely aromas of white flowers, peach and pear. Great aperitif or partner to salads, seafood, roast chicken and pork. Incredibly great price. Produced by Henry of Pelham Winery. Drink: 2011-2013.  126144  12%  XD  750 mL  $13.95  Score: 88/100.

 

2009 Henry of Pelham Estate Winery Pinot Noir, Niagara Peninsula, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario
Plush and sexy with a satin-smooth texture. Gorgeous aromas of smokey cherries. Medium-bodied and mouth-watering. How did they did it so right for this price? Pair with: pork liver pates, tuna, grilled salmon, roasted chicken, duck and other game birds.. Drink: 2012-2015.  13904  13%  D  750 mL  $16.95  Score: 90/100.

2010 Henry of Pelham Estate Winery Cabernet Franc Icewine, Short Hills Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario
Liquid loveliness! Life is a glassful of fleshy ripe cherries. Perfect for dessert. Pair with: cheesecake, with (or drizzled over) strawberry-rhubarb crisp, filling in homemade chocolates. Drink: 2010-2016.  672402  9.80%  S  200 mL  $39.95  Score: 90/100.

2010 Henry of Pelham Estate Winery Baco Noir, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario
Juicy and mouth-watering with full-bodied flavours of purple plums and vibrant blueberries. Loaded with berry flavour. Full-bodied and smooth. Pair with: aged cheddar, game meats, beef with horseradish or mustard, spicy food or the startling yet remarkably harmonious pairing of strawberries with black pepper. Drink: 2012-2017.  270926  12.80%  D  750 mL  $13.95  Score: 86/100.

2007 Henry of Pelham Estate Winery Pinot Noir Reserve, Niagara Escarpment, Ontario
Gorgeous depth with black cherry and smoky aromas. Supple, plush and medium-bodied. Worthy of a sonnet. Pair with: pork liver pates, tuna, grilled salmon, roasted chicken, duck and other game birds. Drink: 2011-2014.  268391  13.70%  D  750 mL  $24.95  Score: 90/100.

You can see more reviews of Henry of Pelham Wines here.

You may also enjoy these video chats:

Rex Pickett, mega-hit book/movie Sideways: Why did pinot noir sales skyrocket and merlot plummet after the movie? How did the author learn about wine to write the book?

Biodynamic and organic wines: do they taste better? Healthier? We chat with winemaker Ann Sperling, Southbrook Vineyards

Price of wines: how are they set? Is expensive always better? John Skinner, Painted Rock Winery

See all wine video chats here.

Is there someone else with a fascinating wine story whom you think I should interview? Please e-mail me: natdecants@nataliemaclean.com.