Wine group to focus on consumer PR

The California Wine Institute is to switch the focus of its UK PR work from specialist wine titles to a broader consumer audience.

The CWI has hired Aurelia PR after a three-way pitch staged last month to handle an account that CWI's UK director John McLaren said had switched from 'predominantly trade to predominantly consumer lifestyle'.

The organisation - which brings together the resources of almost 900 Californian wineries to promote them generically - formerly retained Jervis Read Public Relations for three years until last December.

'We have a great advantage in that California is seen as a lifestyle destination. This gives us a head-start against places such as Chile,' said McLaren.

The CWI - which originally spoke to around ten agencies around the turn of the year - is supported by organisations ranging from major brands such as Ernest & Julio Gallo to boutique wineries.

Aurelia managing director Alix Robson said she heads a three-strong account team, which will increase in size depending on which events get the go-ahead.

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