LCBO invites customers on a road trip across the golden state with 'California Style'

Month-long campaign showcases the world-famous lifestyle and wines of California

TORONTO, March 5, 2013 /CNW/ - Winter-weary wine enthusiasts in Ontario will be able to experience the sunny California lifestyle during LCBO's California Style promotion, taking place in 630 stores across the province throughout March. Sponsored by the Wine Institute of California, the promotion brings to life the lifestyle, along with the wines, that have made California famous.

California Style features more than 100 wines, including 22 new products, from a variety of well-known and new producers. In addition, VINTAGES, LCBO's fine wine and premium spirits business unit, is featuring two special releases of 35 premium and super-premium wines from Napa Valley, Sonoma County, Paso Robles and Santa Barbara, among other regions, in their March 2 and March 16 frontline releases.

"LCBO customers have shown they love California wines, as indicated by the strong sales performance," says Bob Downey, LCBO Senior Vice President, Sales & Marketing. "We are pleased to partner with the Wine Institute of California—to showcase this world-class wine making region and the high quality wines that are produced throughout California."

During the promotion, LCBO customers will be treated to colorful displays reflecting the laid-back California lifestyle, in-store tastings, a California-style cuisine take-away recipe booklet, a newspaper insert, online content at www.lcbo.com/californiastyle, and radio and billboard advertising. LCBO's spring issue of Food & Drink features two articles about California, revealing what's new, hot and happening in California wines, as well as restaurant recommendations and California-inspired recipes written by the magazine's food editor, Lucy Waverman.

Several California-themed events are taking place at LCBO stores and at other locations, including:

  • Friday, March 8th - Sonoma County-based celebrity chef, Duskie Estes of Zazu Restaurant in Santa Rosa, California and Top Chef fame, will be whipping up two of her signature recipes at a free event from 4-8 pm in the LCBO Summerhill event kitchen. A variety of perfectly paired California wines will be also available for tasting. Additional California mini wine fairs are being held at LCBO's event kitchen locations throughout the month. See www.lcbo.com/learn for more information.
  • Thursday, March 21st - VINTAGES "California Legends" tasting at the Royal Ontario Museum.
  • Monday, April 8th - Annual California Wine Fair at the Fairmont Royal York.

To add to the excitement, the Wine Institute of California is sponsoring a "Win a Trip for Two on the Ultimate Road Trip through Northern California" contest, which explores the Napa and Sonoma regions, visiting award-winning wineries with VIP tours at each stop. The winner will also receive a designer luggage set and executive class airfare to/from San Francisco. To enter, click on the "The Ultimate Napa and Sonoma Road Trip" contest link at www.lcbo.com/calicontest and follow the instructions.

"California is an aspirational place—its beautiful landscapes, iconic lifestyle, leadership in sustainability, and obviously great food and incredible wine make it a place to remember. The LCBO promotion captures all of this beautifully, " says Rick Slomka, Wine Institute's Canadian Director. "Ontario consumers continue to embrace California wines, making it the fastest growing wine region in this market by volume and value.  Much of the growth is coming from red blend brands, which have strong appeal to the younger generation of wine consumers.  At the same time, Canadian consumers continue to show interest in California wines at higher price points with sales of premium wines reaching higher levels than ever before. With the category appealing to such a diverse demographic, its no wonder why our sales are so strong here in Ontario and throughout Canada."

LCBO year-to-date sales of California wines (from April 1, 2012 to February 2, 2013) were $119.1 million, up 22.4 per cent. LCBO currently offers 65 California red wines (including 13 new products); nine rosés; six sparkling and 51 whites (including nine new products). In VINTAGES, sales of California white wines are $17 million, up 2.5 per cent, while sales of red wines are $57.1 million, up 7.4 per cent. There are some 400-500 California wines released over the course of a year in VINTAGES and 17 California wines in the VINTAGES Essentials program.

For more information about "California Style" and featured products and tastings, call the toll-free, bilingual helloLCBO at 1-800-ONT-LCBO (668-5226). In Toronto, call 416 365-5900 or visit your nearest LCBO store.  The TTY number for people who are deaf or hard of hearing is 416 864-6898 or 1-800-361-3291.

SOURCE: LCBO

For further information:

MEDIA CONTACTS:      

LCBO:
Trina Hendry, hendryPR
Tel: 647 403-8030; E-mail: trina@hendrypr.com   

Wine Institute of California: 
Paula Oreskovich, PRAXIS
Tel: 905 949-8255 ext. 223; Cell: 647 283-3693E-mail: paula@praxispr.ca


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