Case Study

Virginia Wine

Rebranding a wine region, from the dirt up.


Virginia is a wine region on the rise with exponential growth both in the quality of wine and number of wineries – from 107 in 2005 to nearly 300 today. Despite its evolution, Virginia Wine was struggling with an identity crisis, diluting its ability to connect with local and national consumers. The region needed a singular story to inspire winemakers, sellers and customers alike.


By visiting vineyards across the region (someone’s gotta do it!), the Joe Smith team got an up-close understanding of the opportunities facing Virginia Wine. And while many in the industry debated the signature Virginia grape, it became clear the region was too diverse to latch on to a singular variety or style.


Forget the grapes, lead with the grit – the people and places that make up the region are what elevate Virginia Wine. And, as great brands in every category have proved, you capture more imaginations with a good story than with product specifications.


We centered the brand strategy in the spirit of the land that makes Virginia wines so special – with a visual identity system that brings it to life. The collective Joe Smith and Padilla team then collaborated to activate the brand across numerous digital channels, video content, media outreach and immersive signature experiences.



Post-brand launch, Virginia Wine has seen its story reach more audiences than ever before – with significant press coverage and a 25 percent spike in subscribers across social media platforms. The launch of the Harvest Party signature experience generated 630,000 impressions. Best of all, the new brand has galvanized wineries across the Commonwealth with a renewed purpose and new tools to tell their stories.

What we've done.