Montana rebrands?to focus on heritage

New Zealand’s Montana wine brand is changing its name to Brancott Estate in a bid to tap into consumers’ increasing interest in wines’ provenance and heritage.

The new name refers to the vineyard where the brand first grew Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc in 1973. The change will take effect globally from October to coincide with the roll-out of the 2010 vintage.

The decision to change the name of the number two New Zealand brand in the UK was “strongly endorsed by extensive global consumer insight and research”, said Simon Thomas, Pernod Ricard UK’s deputy managing director for wines.

The move will be supported by a doubling of marketing investment in the brand, including a continuation of its TV ad campaign, which first referred to the name Brancott in March.

Thomas said: “Brancott Estate allows us to take the brand back to its New Zealand roots in a way that emphasises its heritage, provenance and authenticity – something we haven’t previously fully leveraged and yet is highly appealing to consumers.”?The wine itself will remain unchanged. A gradual transition of packaging will retain the label design and imagery of gold mountains to keep current customers on board while recruiting new ones.

The Montana reference at the base of the bottle will remain until consumers are familiar with Brancott Estate.

Along with TV and digital advertising, Brancott will be an official sponsor of the rugby union World Cup when it is held in New Zealand in 2011. There will also be in-store activity and consumer promotions.

Montana is already known as Brancott in the US, although this will change to Brancott Estate to create a global brand.

The brand’s Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2009 won a gold medal at this year’s International Wine Challenge.