Has sustainability sold more wine?

ViewCraft has been working with Benziger Family Winery since they were certified as a Sonoma Green Business back in 1997.  Over the years we have helped them work with their growers to expand sustainable, organic and Biodynamic farming practices through the development of their “Farming for Flavors” program, and also to improve the resource efficiency of their administration, production and hospitality departments. In the past few years Benziger has received significant media attention for their sustainable practices – a feature on ABC News, a spotlight on the Sundance Channel’s “Big Ideas for a Small Planet,” and a June 2007 cover story “Wine Goes Green” in the Wine Spectator, to name a few. Back in 2008 John was meeting with the Marketing Director and asked her what it would have cost them to pay for all of the free advertising that they had received for their sustainability efforts up to that point. She hadn’t thought about this but gave him permission to inquire with their media-tracking firm that provided them with their annual “Eyes on the Brand” report. When we showed her that the amount of free advertising was worth over $800,000 she was shocked. This free news coverage, which no one in the company was accounting for, exceeded their entire annual marketing budget!