Dave Erickson wrote:I realize this is sort of O/T, but I figure it's worth a try:
In 1977, the Coca-Cola Company bought the New York State-based Taylor Wine Company, moved operations to California. According to business folklore (meaning I can't find a solid attribution), Coke's market research determined that the Taylor name was the most widely recognized in the U.S. wine business. The expectation was that Coke would turn Taylor into a brand that would compete successfully with the biggest California producers. Coke actually ran TV commercials in the '70s comparing Taylor wines to Gallo, Almaden, C.K. Mondavi, etc. Then in 1983, Coke sold Taylor and other wine properties to Seagram for $200+ million. (Seagram sold the business in 1987 for about the same amount). I'm trying to find out how much Coke paid for Taylor in the first place. I think there is a story here on how the marketing geniuses at Coke and Seagram's ended up basically wrecking the Taylor name. Maybe the story has already been written? All contributions gratefully accepted.
Dave Erickson wrote:Thanks Howie, thanks Thomas--I'll wait for your book!
PS: Recently spent some quality time with "Wine: The 8,000-year-old story of the wine trade." The chapters on the effects of the World Wars I found especially interesting. Also all the little vignettes about the business: I knew the reason for Beaujolais Nouveau was financial; but it was even better to learn why! The profile on Schoonmaker was also illuminating. I recognized the name, and knew he was an importer, but I had no idea of his importance, especially in California.
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