Positioning A Cult Napa Valley Wine Brand
On the North slope of the Silverado Trail, Hourglass Vineyards occupies a very unique and special six acres of planted vines that form the shape much like an hourglass. The hillside vineyard lay precisely at the “pinch,” or narrowest point: a bedrock outcropping of the Mayacamas Mountain Range that protrudes out to the middle of the valley thus creating the pinch. That little bedrock toe, with its unique geography, microclimate, Hambright soils, and hillside slope, provided a site unlike any other in Napa.
Vineyard Owner Jeff Smith enlisted family friend—and former rock band cohort—Bob Foley as winemaker for the new venture. Like so many aspiring guitarists, Bob had kept his day job over the years, making wine and garnering countless accolades and rock-star status for such labels as Robert Foley Vineyards, Switchback Ridge, Pride Mountain, School House and Paloma.
With the success and notoriety of Hourglass, a new winery project developed on the north end of the Silverado Trail, led by the principals of Hourglass Vineyards. While much work had been done towards the development of the wine, key branding issues remained, principally relating to the name, brand strategy, and launch plan for the new wine.
Hourglass hired brandadvisors to advise on the positioning and naming strategy for the new property, that ultimately bore the name Hourglass Blueline Vineyards, named after the two streams that are the source of its magical soils. Over thousands of years, the gravel-strewn riverbeds created the rocky, alluvial character of the soils that underpin the Blueline Vineyard.The wine has garnered critical acclaim, as has the design of the winery by noted modernist architect T. Olle Lundberg, which received Interior Design Magazine’s design award in 2010.