How did Rombauer brand themselves so well?

My shop sells a good amount of obscure stuff and small production wine, and has since the onset, but the most asked for wine I get is Rombauer Chardonnay.

I won’t carry it but why do you suppose the branding is so good? I can see other long-standing wines with name recognition that I don’t buy either (like Silver Oak, etc) … but that is decades of reputation.

What am I missing with Rombauer?

No idea…but they did it well…

Cakebread too.

Think they are branding themselves similar to Silver Oak and Rafanelli. Heavily restaurant allocated, fairly good quality, and generally a reasonable price. Happen to notice them on many lists in Northern California, and can only imagine that is your customers first exposure, they remember it, and naturally ask you if you have it in stock . . .

We didn’t carry Rombauer Chardonnay for the first few years
of being in business but after we had a minimun of a dozen or so
customers request it in one week, we decided it was to our benefit to carry it. It’s amazing how much of it sells and I don’t know why people like it so much.

If customers want it (apparently a lot of them want it…and they want a lot of it) I don’t know why retailers don’t carry it. As Carrie said…seems to be in the store’s best interest…money is money.

Out of curiosity, if you are asked for it so much, why won’t you carry it?

I realize, of course, that there are probably chains around who might be able to beat you on price, but if people are already in your shop and asking for it, maybe the convenience of buying it there and then is worth a couple extra bucks to them? (I don’t work for Rombauer or anyone related to Rombauer or anyone who sells Rombauer, FWIW)

Anyhow, I was told once how much they move in the SoCal area alone…more than the production of many [what would have to be considered] medium-sized wineries…somebody there did a brilliant job branding that stuff.

And the last time I tried a bottle (the 2007) I was expecting it to be much more over the top…it actually finished pretty well in the tasting it was in…I think maybe it gets a bit of a bad rap…

One of my retailers refused to carry Lego. It was available everywhere; and, low margin to boot. Eventually she gave in.

It seems that the Lego customer also bought other, more profitable items. [highfive.gif]

The “wine steward” at our local “gourmet” grocery says it’s the single biggest seller they have by a large margin. Go figure. It’s DNPIM for me.

We would be forced to bring in at least 2 of their reds to get the Chard and then several cases all together to get delivery. The classic ransom setup… maybe that has changed with our “new economy” but that is the way it was.

Aha. Makes sense.

Absolutely amazing to me, at the level I was told this wine [the Chard] is produced (which could have been total BS), that they can move it all with that model. Stupendous.


Don’t get upset about having to take to Rombauer reds. Their Zin and Cab are both very good and sell well. The merlot, for a CA merlot, does OK also.

The reason the chard does so well is that even though it is oaky (buttery) it does match well with many chicken and fish dishes. Remember guys man ypeople buy wine to pair with food!

Women take their tops off for the chance to buy Rombauer.

Just sayin’.

I’ll try again - I just posted but it didn’t take.

I was told by someone, sometime ago that Rombauer gained huge visibility because it was used so often in photo shoots. Not Rombauer ads, but in food/wine/lifestyle magazines. You could see the label sitting on a romantic table set for two, or alongside a fabulous spread of food and wine on a buffet table. Don’t know why it was used so often…maybe the color of the wine, or personal connections with someone at Rombauer? But I did notice it after that…might be something to it.

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You MUST be putting us on. The oak is exactly the reason it doesn’t pair well with food . . . unless you’re eating a 2x4. I’d love to know which fish dish you think would be complemented by this wine.

The grandmother, Irma, wrote The Joy of Cooking…
Irma Rombauer is also one of the characters in the new Julie and Julia movie.

Their wine club is called The Joy of Wine Club.

I heard on some podcast that Rombauer Chard is the “Cougar Wine.”

They have a pleasant tasting room which is on many of those Wine Limo tours.

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Kerner Rombauer is a REALLY fun guy…

i have heard “Cougar Juice” as well… [shrug.gif]

You are correct. Not only is Koerner Rombauer a really fun, nice, caring guy, and his wife Joan, who unfortunately passed away from Pancreatic Cancer a few years back, these are people who care more for the wine consumer than anyone else I have run into. I believe their son KR took over most of the sales aspect starting in 2000. I worked with them professionally in the late 90’s, and their enthusiasm far outweighed the level of butter in their Chard!

While I don’t drink the Chard anymore, I do really enjoy their reds, as they are balanced and well put together. I think Gregory Graham still makes their wines (correct me if I’m wrong) and he is a very talented, old school wine maker.

They’ve been around a long time, and when I sold their wines, they treated me and everyone around me like family. They’ve paid their dues…and deserve everything they get.

May not be the Chard for you… but they sure did get the recipe correct for sales!