Oxford Landing Strategy
In the late 50s, Yalumba’s visionary winemaker, Wyndham “Wyndy” Hill Smith, and production manager, Norm Hankel, jumped in Wyndy’s Buick in search of the perfect patch of land to plant a vineyard. They found it an hour north of their Barossa home near Waikerie on the mighty River Murray.
Wyndy was immediately drawn to the rich soil, the drainage it provided, and the property’s proximity to water. The vineyard, then known as Yalumba River Estates, was planted in 1958, providing much-needed work for local residents and building a real sense of civic pride that is still evident today.
Fast forward 30 years, and Wyndy’s son, Robert, changed the Estate’s name to Oxford Landing and launched the eponymous wine brand of the same name.
Since then, Oxford Landing has grown to become one of Australia’s most successful wine exports. At one point, holding the position of #1 selling Australian Sauvignon Blanc in the UK and being directly responsible for growing demand for the varietal in the UK.
The UK was (and still is) an extremely important export market for Oxford Landing, with the brand doing its best to assimilate visually to the Brits. Rowing and the City of Oxford in the UK are inextricably linked and undoubtedly formed the inspiration behind the brand’s original identity, with oars and ropes adorning the brand and packaging.
South Australia’s Riverland was known for producing bulk wine rather than fine table wines, so any reference to the region was removed altogether. Oxford Landing, and Australia’s wine industry at the time, were slightly embarrassed by Riverland.
But, thirty years after the brand’s birth (circa 2020), the UK market looked vastly different. Sustainability, authenticity and provenance were all increasingly leading purchase decisions of wine consumers, and the competitive landscape was full of brands extolling these messages.
Sustainability has always been at the heart of the Oxford Landing story, with an acre of native bushland planted for every acre of vineyard planted since 2007.
Today, Oxford Landing’s vineyard is surrounded by over 215,000 native bushes and trees planted by the viticultural team. Combined with sustainable winemaking practices and bottled in recycled lightweight bottles, Oxford Landing’s sustainability story was and had always been, strong. It’s packaging just didn't show it.
So we set out to change this. Our strategy focused on removing all reference to English rowing traditions and instilling authenticity and provenance in the outward projection of the brand.
And that meant highlighting everything that makes South Australia’s Riverland the perfect location for producing some of the country’s most exciting and flavoursome wines and a beautiful part of the world in which to live and play.
The vast Australian sun and its effects on growing grapes was given an essential role in the rebrand, as was a colour palette derived from the landscape and native flora. A sense of place driving the new brand narrative.
Oxford Landing was ready to loudly and proudly proclaim its home—the Riverland.