DaVinci Wines offered a unique twist this year on its interactive “Storyteller Experience” promotion on Facebook.
Now in its third year, the program recruits artists, writers, photographers and foodies to join the Italian wine brand for a trip to Tuscany to experience the people and place behind the wine.
This year, after a robust application process, DaVinci asked fans to vote for their favorite Storytellers from a pool of 16 talented finalists within four categories: Culinary Arts, Fine Arts, Photography, and Language Arts.
"The Storyteller Experience is a way for authentic storytellers -- from different backgrounds and disciplines -- to tell our story through their own artistic expressions," says Courtney O'Brien, director of marketing for DaVinci Wines, in a release. "By opening the selection process to all our fans this year, everyone had an opportunity to help shape the journey and send their favorite Storytellers to Italy."
The experiences of the winners are highlighted on the company’s Facebook page.
The 2013 DaVinci Storytellers include Karista Bennett, chosen in the Culinary Arts category. A chef, culinary instructor and food blogger at Karista's Kitchen, Bennett is based in the Pacific Northwest. Leela Cyd won the photography category. The photographer, writer and recipe enthusiast at Tea Cup Tea says she uses "my camera and notebook as my passport, golden ticket, and excuse to ask questions and be curious about the world around me."
Kristina Havens, who won in Fine Arts, has a blog (Studio 81) and a studio on Main Street in a small Georgia town. Havens tells stories through her art, remarking: "My paintings have a story behind them, but they do more than just tell a story. They invite others to share experiences and memories as well." Jim O'Donnell won in Language Arts. A travel writer and photographer at Around the World in Eighty Years who has been to 40 countries, five continents, and even dabbles in archaeology.
In October, the group traveled to Tuscany to experience harvest and meet the people behind the 50-year-old cooperative of growers that produces DaVinci's wines -- including Chianti, Chianti Riserva, Pinot Grigio and Brunello di Montalcino. From visits with an artisan cheese maker to guided tours of Vinci, Montalcino, and Florence, the Storytellers were given the chance to fully immerse in the vibrant world behind the brand.
The brand’s Facebook page now includes two digital wallpapers, featuring a photograph of the storybook town of Montlacino as well as an original oil painting that features the winery's beloved Chef Ana.
For foodies, DaVinci is also offering a download of Karista Bennett's recipe for Roasted Grape Crostini, inspired by several Tuscan dishes she tasted during the Storyteller Experience that she calls "mouthwateringly delicious.”