The Doors Rebranding Opened for Passion Feet

Passion Feet’s brand is built around a story that celebrates strong women, focuses on social issues and promotes it as a value wine that co-owner Erica Paolicelli hopes people will confidently bring along to a dinner party.

Passion Feet’s identity has changed since it began as one of three wineries at Three Brothers Wineries & Estates in New York’s Finger Lakes. The three wineries, which also include Stony Point (which features the company’s flagship wines) and Bagg Dare (which is comprised of value-conscious wines that enjoy more widespread distribution), were originally modeled after each of the Mansfield brothers’ personalities, and Passion Feet was originally coquettish and light-hearted before pivoting to focus on its Women of Distinction series, which was part of its rebranding in 2018.

“As we’ve matured, the brands have had to mature too.” Paolicielli said. “Passion Feet is one of those. We took wines that were playful and a little childish to something women can bring to a dinner party and be proud of. 

“It wasn’t a challenge, really. It’s been a lot of fun. Our marketing is done in house with a heavy hand and we have a team of very creative people.”

The Women of Distinction wines tie in with fundraisers for various causes, donating $1 of each bottle sales to a specific cause associated with the wine.

Recent wines in the series include Bravey Rosé, a collaboration with Olympic runner and award-winning actor and writer Alexi Pappas, and Sisterhood, a carbonated Riesling that was featured in early September at the National Women’s Hall of Fame induction ceremony.

Collaborations such as those are something Paolicelli said her team has been pursuing in part to further the brand’s notoriety.

“We thought it would be a good fit,” she said of the partnership between the National Women’s Hall of Fame and Sisterhood. “We approached them. We had just come off another collaboration with the runner, and we wanted to see what we could do next. We try to do a few fundraisers a year as a company, and this fell into place with an induction ceremony that the National Women’s Hall of Fame hadn’t been able to hold in person for a couple of years.”

It certainly offered the opportunity for visibility, with inductees like former First Lady Michelle Obama among the inductees and a slew of in person events at which Three Brothers was able to promote its newest Riesling, which they felt was the best wine choice to showcase the Finger Lakes region.

“We kept it approachable for anyone who wanted to support the cause, but neutral so that people would go back and buy more,” Paolicelli said.

She said it was too soon to tell what, if any, short-term effect the campaign would have on advancing the brand, noting that many of the folks at the celebration were just now returning home.

It’s really about the long term, she added.

“We got some media coverage with the campaign, but it’s hard to tell what the response will be as far as purchasing and gifting,” Paolicelli said. “But we tie in the cause to make it bigger than just selling a bottle of wine. We try to support a cause we believe in and give our customers something to be proud of and support.

“And, it gives us the opportunity to do something bigger next time when folks see it’s successful and for them to take us seriously. It opens doors and allows us to reach out to people like Alexi who have a huge following, and that has a big impact.”

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