Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery, Sold By Altria, Launches Largest Campaign Ever

Two weeks after tobacco giant Altria agreed to sell Chateau Ste. Michelle (CSM) for $1.2 billion to private equity firm Sycamore Partners, the winery has launched its largest marketing campaign ever, “Discover Your Chateau.”

The brand, Washington State’s oldest winery, is located on a French-style chateau from 1912. But it wants consumers to know that chateaus are more state-of-mind than actual locations.

In two 30-second spots inviting consumers to “Discover Your Chateau,” drinkers find their own “joy” with the brand’s Columbia Valley and Indian Wells wines in a personal lake house and outdoor theater.

The spots will run through the fall, with a concentration on its hometown market of Seattle and Houston, which CSM attributes to wine category growth in that market



The campaign, with creative and media executed by Team One, includes connected TV (Hulu, Roku and Sling with an additional layer of native retargeting); a YouTube TrueView placement offering user engagement; both video and static ads/pins on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest; and print via lifestyle publication Seattle Met.

“We set out to create a campaign that inspires people looking to take every moment, big or small, and make it more memorable and special. We want people to find that ‘chateau state of mind’ -- the one place where everything (your friends, your setting, your food and wine) falls into place,” said Jason Stinsmuehlenexecutive creative director, Team One.

The pending sale by Altria (set to close in the second half of 2021) won’t affect this current campaign, Francis Perrin, chief marketing officer at Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, told Marketing Daily. “We look forward to continuing our significant marketing investment into Chateau Ste. Michelle into the future. All stakeholders are committed to continuing to step up our brand building efforts, as we still see future growth opportunities behind our flagship brand.”

“Ste. Michelle and its talented employees have built an outstanding portfolio of premium wine brands, and we wish them future success,” said Billy Gifford, Altria’s chief executive officer, on announcing the St. Michelle sale. “We believe the transaction is an important step in Altria’s value creation for shareholders and allows our management team greater focus on the pursuit of our vision to responsibly transition adult smokers to a non-combustible future.”

As for the wine business, “We will be investing heavily in highly targeted media to make sure we expose our dynamic brand story to the widest possible audience of wine drinkers over the next two years,” said Perrin.

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