New Inniskillin Campaign Celebrates the Winery as a “Maker of the Impossible”

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Inniskillin founders, Karl Kaiser (left) and Donald Ziraldo (right) faced countless challenges before winning the Grand Prix d’Honneur for their 1989 Vidal Icewine. (CNW Group/Arterra Wines Canada)

TORONTO, Jan. 10, 2020 /CNW/ – On July 31, 1975, Donald Ziraldo and Karl Kaiser made history when they were given the first winery license in Canada since Prohibition. The pair founded Inniskillin, Canada’s first estate winery, and despite countless challenges (including a harsh climate and even harsher critics), they prevailed. The pair had set out to make wine – but ultimately created an industry, putting Canadian wine on the map. A new integrated campaign celebrates the spirit of Inniskillin’s Canadian success story in a bold style, reimagining the brand almost a half-century after its founding.

“Inniskillin is for those who make the impossible, possible. That’s the legacy of our incredible founders, Donald Ziraldo and Karl Kaiser,” explained Andrea Hunt, Senior Vice President, Marketing, Arterra Wines Canada. “They faced unbelievable challenges – from the skepticism of the global wine community to the loss of their first crop of icewine grapes to hungry birds. But through it all, they persevered, and they did what no one believed could be done. They changed the way the world sees Canadian wine, and today, Inniskillin sits among the top 50 most admired wine brands in the world. We have a lot to be proud of.”

With Niagara’s Icewine Festival launching today, Inniskillin is proud to share a campaign that celebrates the winery’s pioneering spirit. It comes to life through a highly stylized, 60-second film that takes a cinematic approach to tell the story of its origins. The new campaign, developed by Bensimon Byrne, includes digital, broadcast, out-of-home and print components. All of the creative shares a bold tone that Hunt suspects may surprise people.

“We’re a Canadian winery, and so maybe it’s not unexpected that, historically, we’ve been somewhat humble about how we’ve told our story. But it’s time to give Inniskillin the swagger it deserves,” Hunt explains.

hero video (:60) tells of the founding of the brand, while a series of supporting :15 videos will each celebrate a moment in Inniskillin’s history. Chief among them is the singular event that thrust Inniskillin into prominence on the global stage: the winery’s 1991 win at Vinexpo, in France, at which Karl’s 1989 Vidal Icewine was awarded the Grand Prix d’Honneur. This win changed not only the way the world saw Inniskillin, but the way the world perceived the Canadian wine industry as a whole.

The campaign, which began in December and is running in Ontario and B.C., is just the beginning of a broader reintroduction of this brand. Although more announcements will follow in the new year, Hunt shares that visitors to Inniskillin’s Niagara Estate Winery can expect a new and enriched experience in 2020.

“In so many ways, Inniskillin was the original start-up,” Hunt concludes. “But instead of a garage in Silicon Valley, we have fields of grapes in Niagara. We’re excited to bring our bold reimagining of this brand home, to where it all began.”

Inniskillin (CNW Group/Arterra Wines Canada)

Media buying for the campaign was handled by DentsuX. Public relations is led by Craft Public Relations.

Inniskillin’s Niagara Estate is a proud partner of this year’s Niagara Icewine Festival running weekends from January 10 to January 26. Throughout the festival, guests are welcome to stop by the winery with their Discovery Pass to enjoy food and Icewine pairings, including delicious chicken and waffles, topped with Vidal hot sauce – paired perfectly with Inniskillin 2018 Sparkling Vidal Icewine.