By Michael McCarthy By Michael McCarthy | May 18, 2022 | Food & Drink
The Beach by Whispering Angel debuts as not only an exceptional rosé, but also as a bulwark to help save the world’s oceans and natural resources.
Rebranding is always a tricky proposition. There’s the issue of hitting the high notes for a desired audience, of course, plus the question of why refurbishing a brand is important in the first place. Paul Chevalier, global marketing director and vice president of Château d’Esclans at Moët Henness, thought about these dueling issues when meeting with his team about the brand’s respected rosé known as The Palm by Whispering Angel.
Team members from Château d’Esclans work with the Surfrider Foundation on a beach cleanup day in Santa Monica in April.
The new packaging for The Beach.
“We wanted to do something to change— and more than just creating a pretty label,” says Chevalier. “Our oceans and beaches are suffering. The coral reefs are dying. What are we as a brand going to do about it and have it resonate with millennials and Gen Z? We wanted to take a real stance and make a statement about sustainability.”
The Beach is a fruit-forward rosé with strong hints of summer strawberries.
The result is The Beach by Whispering Angel, which debuted in April with a massive volunteer beach cleanup in Malibu in collaboration with the Surfrider Foundation.
Chevalier says Château d’Esclans took two significant steps when putting actions behind the change. The first ensures that The Beach is produced sustainably in Provence; from there, efforts include using lightweight glass and recyclable paper at the point of sale. “We then dug a little deeper,” says Chevalier. “We reached out to the Surfrider Foundation with the idea of helping the organization—via a significant sponsorship—with its important mission. We also wanted a true partnership. It’s one of the first times that a larger wine brand has done anything like this.”
Rachel Cushing, partnership coordinator for the Surfrider Foundation, and Paul Chevalier.
The Surfrider Foundation, which was launched nearly 40 years ago to protect the world’s oceans, represents 50,000 members and 81 chapters around the planet. The organization believes that marine debris is an area where outreach, human-level solutions and grassroots activism can make a lasting impact. It also features a network of 1,000 ocean-friendly restaurants in the United States.
These venues are committed to cutting out wasteful single-use plastics. Chevalier says his team will work with Surfrider and many of these restaurants in the coming months on plans to roll out a lasting partnership including the availability of The Beach in these venues—identified with a QR code on the wine’s label linking customers to the Surfrider Foundation. “The evolution of The Beach is rooted in our desire to protect the world we live in,” he says.
The high-mindedness is commendable, but Chevalier is quick to note the wine itself makes the draw even more appealing. Hailing from the best vineyards of Côteaux d’Aix-en-Provence, The Beach is a blend of grenache, cinsault and syrah. “It’s a more full-bodied rosé and more fruit-forward, with strong hints of summer strawberries,” he says. “There are so many rosé taste profiles, and this is one that resonates strongly from a legendary region.” And now, The Beach possesses a high-minded raison d’etre in every sip.
Photography by: PHOTO COURTESY OF CHÂTEAU D’ESCLANS