Archive for the Wine Production: Various levels Category Easy to use and provides helpful advice

Posted in Wine and Design, Wine Production: Various levels with tags , on May 11, 2010 by jponzi

With the company we have examined the initial stages, the set-up, the expertise and opinions of the founder, and the exclusive wines that are offered. Now we will look at more of the set up and how Designwine is able to effectively help its customers. On the site there is a scroll down menu where customers can select find the perfect gift, personal gifts and corporate gifts. We will first start with the perfect gift.

Here customers can first choose the gender of the reciever of their gift.Then customers can chose the relation that this person has with the giver for example:

Then customers can choose from a variety of personalities:

Then from a variety of occasions:

Then you can finally choose the price range:

For example I chose Female, Partner, Adventurous, Dinner and 50-100 euros and my results were as follows:This easy to use platform really allows consumers to take advice from the wine experts and see all the combinations that they can come up with. This innovative tool and design allows for consumers to interact with the wine experts without having a constant person available. The internet has truly opened the market for niche marketing/business and does just that.


Visit to Anfra and Interview with the owner

Posted in Wine and Design, Wine Production: Various levels with tags , , , on May 10, 2010 by jponzi

During this past spring break I took a visit to Pescara, Abruzzo to see my friend and interview him about his wine. I was able to go to the Anfra institution and see the vineyards, the machinery and the workers. Below are some pictures I took at Anfra:

One place where the magic happens inthe wine process

A view overlooking the vineyards of ANFRA

Wine Vines-Trebbiano D'Abruzzo

Me in the Anfra vineyard

First I asked Francesco Savini, the co-founder of Anfra how long has Anfra existed. He said it  was founded in 1970 as a farm and in 2003 he produced the first bottle of wine with the ANFRA label.

When asked why he started Anfra he said he and his brother had always a passion for wine and grapes from the Pineto area produce excellent wines.

The vineyards that I got to see were their newest vineyards, were planted in 2007 and the first harvet was in 2008, but the largest harvest was in 2009. Pertaining to a vineyards if the gardner/vine expert does a good job, in one year one can harvest the first grape. After 3 years you will have a great production. At Anfra the oldest vineyards are from 1968, being planted by Francesco’s grand parents and now are regarded as being medium aged for the world of wine.

Currently Anfra’s line includes 11 labels, divided into five types of grape.

In the 100% Montepulciano D’Abruzzo there are:

1. Reilla- Montepulciano d’Abruzzo DOCG Colline Teramane

2. The most popular- NERO DEI DUE MORI Montepulciano d’Abruzzo DOC

3. ANFRA Montepulciano D’Abruzzo DOC

4. Borgo Santa Maria Montepulciano d’Abruzzo DOC

Then there are 2 Montepulciano d’Abruzzo-Cerasuolo

1. ANFRA-Cerasuolo Montepulciano D’Abruzzo DOC

2. Borgo Santa Maria- Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Cerasuolo DOC

Then there are 2 Trebbiano d’Abruzzo

1. Borgo Santa Maria-Trebbiano d’Abruzzo DOC

2. Anfra- Trebbiano d’Abruzzo DOC

Then there are 2 Pecorino IGT

1. ANFRA- Pecorino IGT

2. Borgo Santa Maria-Pecorino igt

Finally there is one Passerina

1. ANFRA- Passerina IGT

When asked what the different stages that occur in a vineyard Francesco replied in saying that the various processes that take place in the vineyard, vary from year to year based on many factors. The main factor is climate, then there are seasons. In summary, all the tasks that are executed at a vineyard are: tillage, soil preparation, mulching herbs in excess, digging, cutting grass between the rows, anti-parasitic treatment plant, vine pruning, tying, picking/trying the fruits, and  thinning grapes. After all these steps the final step is the harvest.

Anfra wine is now sold in Italy, particularly in the Abruzzo region and also in some regions in Switzerland and throughout the U.S. specifically through some wine clubs online. And Yes! Anfra exports wine. Export practices usually involves the same importer. In the United States of America the wine must be registered with the Food and Drug Administration FDA and receive a code that identifies the company. All product shall be processed with a warning label, with its endorsement of the law.

Anfra has won multiple awards which include:

Gold Medal Award 2004 in the Abruzzo region Packaging of Two Black Moors;

Grand Mention Diploma of the International Wine Competition Vinitaly 2008 for the Two Black Moors 2005;

Silver Medal International Wine Competition 2009 for the Black Vinitaly the Two Moors 2006;

National finals in 2010 with the Black TreBicchieri Gamberorosso of the Two Moors 2006;

Award Best Value Gamberorosso on driving BereBene Lowcost 2010 for ANFRA Montepulciano d’Abruzzo DOC 2008;

Grand Mention Diploma of the International Wine Competition Vinitaly 2010 for the Two Black Moors 2007;

When asked about marketing and followers Savini replied that the new media are shifting more and more to social advertising. Anfra in this sense has been active on both Facebook and Twitter. It currently has more than 2,500 friends and 1,000 fans on Facebook. The numbers are growing constantly, as many people consider this channel as a form of being close to the company. In the coming periods Anfra intends to involve its customers, organizing contests, and interactive promotions.

When asked if there was a specific process used to produce his wine Francesco answered that the vinification techniques used are classical ones,  and there is not a special method that is not already in use elsewhere.

A look at an Italian Vineyard: ANFRA

Posted in Wine Production: Various levels with tags , , , on May 10, 2010 by jponzi

Anfra is a family owned winery and is in Teramo province in the hills of Lands of Cerrano, in the city of Pineto,  between the coast of the Adriatic sea and the slopes of the “great pebble” (Gran Sasso D’Italia). The detailed micro-climate of  territory allows for the production of high quality grapes imminent destiny of producing great wines.

In the Anfra vineyards one finds themselves  wrap in a climate that is considered ideal, where the medium temperature goes from the 53,6° F to the 60,8° F, with periods of minim from 32° F to 46,4° F.

Anfra stress in their philosophy that they want to remain earthly. Thanks to this company the magic of a time lives again. This company has the ability to mix the present with the past, thus to succeed and exalt the contemporary, to the life of the world of today. In an increasingly mass-concentrated society, Anfra feels that their products want to be clear expression of a earth and an ideology. Anfra’s earth is Abruzzo, the region of the parks, the green heart of Italy, the emerald of the Mediterranean.

Recently Anfra has been recieving a lot of hype. They have been criticed and sampled by a variety of different magazines, publications and events. In this year alone they were featured in Vini d’itlaia-gamebero rosso, DUEMILAVINI 2010, Guida al vino quotidiano 2010,VINIBUONI d’Italia 2010,and Vini d’Italia 2010-L’espresso.

Anfra is a major company based on tradition, earth and family. Here one of the owners Francesco Savini gives us a deeper look at Anfra:

Also their advertising is very interesting for example:This past easter Anfra used this ad to attract people to buy more wine during Easter, proclaiming that they needed more chocolate… as we all know Chocolate is important at Easter, not only in Italy where chocolate eggs are a tradition, but around the world.

With this ad they were trying to appeal to the patriotism of their American consumers as well as any Europeans who felt effected by the twin Towers. This is also very symbolic because Anfra’s major wine and best seller Nero dei due mori… because Anfra is owned and run by two brothers with the help of their families and co-workers. These two brothers are very close and are passionate about the success of their vineyard.

Innovation and low cost models

Posted in Wine and Design, Wine Production: Various levels with tags , , , on May 5, 2010 by jponzi

Crushpad, Michael Brill’s custom microcrush winery, recognizes that most people buy wines recommended to them by critics, wine experts, retailers, friends and even wineries. Therefore it started to offer samples of wines in TinyBottles, 50- and 100ml bottles at as little as 10% of the cost of a full bottle, to make it more practical for wineries to give customers a taste.

Brill, whose business is based in San Francisco with outposts in Napa and Bordeaux, points out the obvious: Boutique wineries are having a tough time. “I expect to see hundreds of boutique brands disappear in the next year or so,” he warns

The latest innovation from custom winemaking facility Crushpad is a new way to get their boutique wines into more hands. Their new TinyBottles come in sets of four, letting potential buyers taste several different wines for a LOWER COST, hopefully attracting those who might balk at spending $50 or more for an unfamiliar wine.

The new tasting kits are available on the site, a website that also includes videos and recommendations and sells wines from the various small vineyards. On Brixr a four bottle tasting pack sells for $29.95.

The bottles were developed for Crushpad customers but  Crushpad could also use the system for other wines include barrel samples or imports. Other applications include online tasting, retail or restaurant samples, in-flight wine tastings or review samples.

Crushpad can take wine from existing bottles or in bulk — even barrel samples or imports — and handles label modification and COLA approval as part of a package. Right now, it costs about $2.50 per bottle, but he expects this to drop by half during the next year, as volume builds. Shipping is typically $6 by UPS envelope

The wine can be offered in two-, four- or six-packs, allowing a winery to let wine club members and others taste before buying, or even try barrel samples for futures. The TinyBottles can be used for online, directed tastings. Some distributors are even considering them for retail and restaurant sampling; the present practice of opening 750ml bottles can be very wasteful. Airlines are also looking at them for in-flight wine tasting.

Magazines could sell packs of Top 10s to pair with their articles. Wineries also are looking at them to expand their samples for bloggers and others, though Brill acknowledges that the top reviewers will continue to want 750ml bottles. Brill emphasizes that the goal of the program is to help his customers who sell their wines through Crushpad Commerce, but he thinks the TinyBottles will be very popular.

Now that Crushpad has impletemented the use of Tiny bottles, a new company Tasting Room- has also recently unveiled their sample-sized wine bottle tasting kits. While Crushpad’s bottles are straight tubes the Tasting Room ones are mini wine bottles.

TastingRoom’s founder, Tim Bucher, says his format better preserves the wine and is more popular with consumers. His company spent a year developing the new, patent-pending T.A.S.T.E. Technology (Total Anaerobic Sample Transfer Environment) which preserves wine integrity. In this process wine is transferred from larger bottles into smaller bottles in a sealed, zero-oxygen chamber. It is anticipated that many other companies will follow this LOW COST model to not lose out on sales.

Design and Wine Carafes

Posted in Wine Production: Various levels with tags , , on May 4, 2010 by jponzi

So we all know the French produce the most wine in the world and are known to be the true wine experts.  The drinking process, especially for the French is even more enjoyable, if the wine is served in a classy and interesting decanter.

Etienne Meneau created many unique designed carafes. They resemble the veins system in the human body or the roots of a tree. However when the carafe is filled with red wine, it is more believable to think that it is a  representation of the network of human veins. Etienne’s carafes come in series, you can see all of them at his blog:

Now he has come out with a new line called the Big heart. Each of his designs are hand made. Etienne comments that Borosilicat glass is a very strong: chemically and thermically.

Anyone can wash the Decanter with very hot water. Consumers should rinse thoroughly the decanter/carafe with demineralized water or drinkable white alcohol. Then let drain the decanter 2 or 3 hours upside down on a towel folded, propped up well in a corner.

Interview with Tim O’Connell-Founder

Posted in Wine and Design, Wine Production: Various levels with tags , , on April 30, 2010 by jponzi

This morning I conducted a phone interview with Timothy O’Connell, who is the CEO and founder of He is an American born in Chicago. He has been living in Italy for 15 years working for a variety of Italian companies. Now his main focus is He started this company because he had many partners and colleagues that were designers and had an impact design industry. In addition these individuals were and are very passionate about wine and they wanted to integrate the two.

When asked how he will measure the success of his business, Mr. O’Connell replied, obviously the success of any business is somewhat determined by sales, but we are also looking for exposure. We want to be respected in the game of the wine industry and we greatly feel that we are already achieving this. We want to be as a well-known, prestigious firm that wine producers would like to partner with.

I asked Tim what other marketing tools he uses to promote his wine and he said Design wine not only has their own website but they are also present on


as well as Twitter:

He also commented that Design wine also participates in many offline events. DesignWine’s World Premiere was during Salone Internazionale del Mobile from April 13 to 16th in Zona Tortona, at Fuorisalone Officine Firentini. Over 1,000 people a day, including famous Designers such as Philippe Starck, enjoyed a glass of wine and toasted this newly-born adventure. Mr. O’Connell believed it was a great way to kick off Europe’s premium online wine boutique in style.

When I first found out about your site, it said Designwine was looking for international wines, now on the about page it is written only Italian wines. why did it change?

He commented that he changed because they first would like to establish credibility and dominate the market in Italy and then expand internationally. The site is both in Italian and in English so international consumers can buy wine. However, international producers do now have the chance yet to advertise their wine. Mr. O’Connell commented that he has a lot of contacts in other countries and are completely anticipating penetrating the international market in future years. He also commented that he considers small producers that do not have a lot of visibility but have a specialty product and Designwine  is here to help them become recognized.

When asked how does he justify that he is providing his customers with exclusive wine, he said to justify it is very hard but he does ensure that he is always trying to provide exclusivity to his customers. For example with the Brunello wine in South Tyrol he went there interviewed journalists and wine experts to find out which ones are considered the best. He also said that the wine selection process is very selective. He said there could be 5,000 great wines but his job is to choose the best.

When asked where he finds his suppliers he said to call or email us at We will be happy to schedule a meeting in your Showroom or at the DesignWine headquarters and discuss the commercial opportunities, present you our innovative business model and the terms of our partnership. DesignWine is a premium brand and the development strategy on the market follows very closely. Therefore any cooperation in line with our positioning is very welcome.

But also he said that they use professionals and journalists who know that particular area so they know the best wines. He said when they deceide to do an area/region of Italy they will select as many as 60 vineyards and will narrow it down to about 6 wines. He said it is of course a very competitive and complex process and they execute also bind tasting process.

I also commented that if I was a wine producer or knew a wine producer and wanted to be selected by Designwine what should I do. He said that they would not pick a person right on the spot. Anyone would need to propose their interest in being apart of Designwine and contact the company via email or phone. Designwine would then invite the producer to set up his wines and then they would evaluate his wine as well as the wine in the entire region .

designwine Headquarters
Via Roberto Ruffilli, n. 18/20
47030 San Mauro Pascoli (FC), Italia

Tel. +39 0541 810231
Fax +39 0541 1641060 The new and improved website

Posted in Wine and Design, Wine Production: Various levels with tags , , on April 30, 2010 by jponzi

So as stated in my previous post I found out about in my e-marketing class. When I first researched it, the website was still in the initial stage and the mission statement and contacts where the only information to be found. Now, the site has completely transformed. Here is the website:

In anticipation for Mothers Day the site now features the following ad.

For consumers there is also an ingenious guided search that asks the following questions in a 5 step process:

I  chose red wine, medium boiled, paired with beef, fruit flavors and the price range of 15-25 euros. The resulting suggestions are as follows:

The website also includes pages about acclaimed designers such as:

Roberto Palomba

Partner at Palomba Serafini Associati, PS+A. Internationally acclaimed architect and designer.

For every Designer’s Selection sold, 5 per cent of proceeds will go to the Design Wine Community, a fund established for Italian and International children’s charities. Donations will be made on Ammado, the interactive platform uniting the nonprofit sector, engaged individuals and socially involved companies. Visit the community at

“Wine as slivers of stolen emotions from around the world, caught through the lens of my inseparable partner… my Canon. Experimenting with the five senses.”-Robert Palomba.

His selections include: