Hawke's Bay Winegrowers has embarked on a determined drive to further raise the national and international profile of the region's wines, with the announcement of new branding launched in Napier last night.

The announcement of the new logo and wording came at an appropriate time, with the 2015 vintage being acknowledged and toasted as the third "great" one in a row.

Hawke's Bay Winegrowers chairman Michael Henley and executive officer James Medina rolled out the new-look campaign before about 60 guests at the Art Deco Masonic and what had been created appeared to get a unified thumbs-up.

"It is about telling the Hawke's Bay story," Mr Medina said. "And this gives us a great platform to build on."


He said while the region had carried the branding of "Hawke's Bay - Wine Country" for several years, it dissolved in 2011.

Last September the winegrowers board approved going ahead with the development of a new "central" brand.

"An umbrella brand that all Hawke's Bay wineries can come under," Mr Henley said.

Mr Medina said the design journey into the brand work which the company Flavour came up with was all about looking to answer the question of "who are we?" and of the region's varying contrasts of mountain and coasts, sky and soil, old and new (its winemaking heritage), its violence and elegance of terrain and its potency and beauty.

"It came down to one thing which is at the heart of our industry - the rivers," Mr Medina said.

The new branding is of five rivers within a circle - representing the Tukituki, Tutaekuri, Ngaruroro, Esk and the Mohaka.

The coloured branding shows green rivers morphing to purple - the colours of the grapes produced.

It is simply worded Hawke's Bay Wine - New Zealand.

"It is a very strong visual identity and all our members can pick it up and use it," Mr Medina said.

It will feature on everything from social websites, to promotional banners, letterheads, T-shirts and, as a team of winegrowers in China recently revealed, temporary tattoos, which proved very popular.

Alwyn Corban from Ngatarawa described what had been created as a "great brand" and in China he had seen how positively it was received there.

"The people we saw and spoke to understood the story of it."

Through 2015, Hawke's Bay wineries will be represented at 21 events in seven Chinese cities, while there will be between 30 and 40 wine events in the Bay aimed at the international wine trade and media.

Mr Henley said the international market was the future, and the branding would give Hawke's Bay a strong identity.

He said while the Bay could not compete with other regions around the world in terms of volume and price, it had shown it could compete strongly on quality.

"We are creating wines here which are very exciting."