In 2005, Hi Sang Lee purchased the former Livingston-Moffat winery in Rutherford, launching Dana Estates. He invested in the best - Howard Backen (architect), Philippe Melka (director of winemaking), Pete Richmond (Silverado Farming) – and brought CMC on board to tell the Dana Estates story.
In creating Dana Estates, Mr. Lee cut no corners, and, as a successful businessman, he expected to succeed in Napa. The winery’s inaugural vintage in 2005 was released at $275/per bottle, just under established cult wineries Bryant Family Vineyard and Colgin, and both the 2007 and 2010 Lotus Vineyard Cabernets received perfect 100 point scores from The Wine Advocate.
Within 10 months of the winery’s completion, CMC secured a seven page feature in Robb Report, as well as a multi-page feature in C. However, Charlotte Milan felt strongly that Mr. Lee’s story be told; he was not just another “rich guy” building a vanity brand.
Wellness in Wine Country
Domaine Carneros, Ladera Vineyards, Stony Hill Vineyard and Vineyard 29
Capitalizing on experiential and active travel trends, CMC concepted a ‘wellness in wine country’ round;up of healthy initiatives and programs at four client wineries. While the programs were developed for year-round promotion, a press push for shoulder season and annual themes like summer travel proved successful. Blending behind the scenes wine tasting experiences with a broad range of activities including al fresco yoga, biking, hiking and Pilates offered journalists something new to write about, and experience ﬁrst-hand, in wine country. CMC was able to target a broad range of publications, and tie-in with smart partners like Visit Napa Valley to host mini-retreats for press groups visiting Napa for annual events. CMC managed and styled photo shoots providing for photo-ready stories.
To date, CMC has secured placements in Wall Street Journal, The Telegraph, Travel & Leisure, Robb Report, Conde Nast Traveler, Vogue, Elle, New York Magazine, Marin Magazine, Epicure & Culture, Huffington Post, Well & Good and more.
The California Luxury Sauvignon Blanc Trend
Melka Wines, Dana Estates and Vineyard 29
Making noise in the crowded space of California’s Chardonnay and Cabernet has its media challenges. But when client and renowned winemaker, Philippe Melka, began blending Sauvignon Blanc for his own brand, Melka Wines, as well as Dana Estates and Vineyard 29 (both CMC and Melka clients), CMC knew they had a story to tell, especially as Screaming Eagle had recently released a Sauvignon Blanc for $250 a bottle. Journalists and wine lovers had grown accustomed to seeing steep prices for Napa’s luxury wines, but would the market support a high-end Sauvignon Blanc?
Identifying a trend, CMC provided writers with a round-up of top Napa Sauvignon Blanc producers using Philippe as the chief engineer in a new breed of wines from Napa Valley. The story provided journalists with the ‘what’s new, why now’ call to action that led to feature articles in top lifestyle publications including ForbesLife, Private Clubs, Garmany, and more.