Grape dreams on cool California nights
Cool nights and lengthy warm days work their magic on the Napa Valley vineyards that are the backbone of the Levendi Winery.
The Greek toast “Levendi,” states the winery’s website, “Acknowledges a hard day’s labor and achievement.
“It celebrates the fields, the rain and the sun that nurture the special grapes. Essentially, it’s a toast to celebrate life.”
And no matter the fickle whims of Mother Nature or the challenges of the past years, Levendi Winery has sprouted new business growth, maintained excellence, and planned for more celebrations as it attracts and acquires a growing customer base and builds a brick-and-mortar footprint in Napa Valley.
In this week’s Q&A with Boxerbrand blog Recipe for Success, Vice President Rick Brown offers a glimpse into the business that sparkles in each glass of Chardonnay, Cabernets, and a new Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc.
Boxerbrand: Tell me about the new Levindi Wines storefront in Napa Valley.
Rick Brown: We recognized that direct-to-consumer sales are the best way to drive sales and help us establish new skews of the brand. So we decided to open a beachfront tasting room in downtown Napa Valley with a wow-factor so intriguing it would pull in new customers who drive or walk by.
Our goal was to welcome people into an environment where they could relax, enjoy life, and sample our wine by the glass. We wanted to attract people who would pop in impulsively, and then be drawn in by the beautifully handcrafted wood and immaculate details of our bar and environment.
Boxerbrand: Did you meet your goal with the new beachfront store?
Rick Brown: Yes! The first thing we did was to create a room that is so beautiful we achieved a kind of wow-factor. When a guest first enters, the first things they might notice are our gleaming tables made from wine barrels, and a large topographical map of Napa Valley, where all the peaks of our vineyards are shown. The design of the space feels luxurious and approachable. There are spaces designed to feel like the inside of a wine barrel, and yet, we also feel like a place for family and relaxed, joyful gatherings.
Boxerbrand: How have you acquired new customers?
Rick Brown: There’s a tremendous amount of drive-by traffic, so we put a lot into our signage and window display to attract customers. We also invested in social media campaigns with Facebook and Instagram that were very successful in representing the atmosphere of our experience. Our print advertising wasn’t effective.
Another important facet of our customer-acquisition strategy was a partnership we developed with the Napa Valley Wine Trolley. There’s an effective tourism tool called the Napa Wine Train that helps publicize our winery. We were able to place fliers on these trains, and be added to the tour guide’s repertoire. We also spoke with the concierges at nearby hotels, and they were only too happy to include a mention of us to their customers.
Boxerbrand: How did your menu covers fit your customer-acquisition plan?
Rick Brown: With Boxerbrand we wanted to present our stamp of excellence in a visual way with the finest menu cover product we could find. We have a long, proud heritage, which began in the spirit of Greek winemaking traditions in our founder’s family history, and we were able to convey this sense of history and pride in our black leather menu covers embossed with gold. They are another fine detail that adds to the overall experience of our tasting room.
Boxerbrand: How do you maintain excellence in your product?
Rick Brown: Our grapes and our winemaker Alison Doran are tremendously important to the craftsmanship of our wines. Alison has been in the business for 45 years. She’s known worldwide for her expertise in cultivating Napa grapes with her magic and experience. Her pallet is amazing and she has an incredible talent for mixing grapes. I’ll give you an example of what I mean.
In 2020 we had major fires out here that strongly impacted wineries. We had some great grapes, but they had a slight tint of a taste resulting from the fires. Alison was able to flush it out and our wine turned out great.
Boxerbrand: What wines best exemplify Levindi Winery?
Rick Brown: Our legacy wine is a cabernet grown from Stagecoach Vineyards. This is one of our power-hitters. We’re also developing a new Merlot and just introduced a new Sauvignon Blanc from grapes grown at Sweet Valley Ranch. These are our workhorse varietals that are very popular with our customers.
Boxerbrand: What are your goals in the new year?
Rick Brown: Our goals are to open more wine tasting rooms. Our Napa Valley location has worked so well in reaching the consumer directly that we hope to model this effort in many more tasting rooms to come. — Levendi Winery uses Boxerbrand Classic Leather menu covers in its table presentation. Thank you!