Wines of Germany is to target university students and pop music fans as part of a new strategy for 2008 designed to broaden the appeal of German wine.
The UK promotional body aims to widen the target audience for German wine by targeting under-25s and more mainstream consumers rather than the older connoisseurs it had previously focused on.
Starting this spring, young winemakers from Germany will tour UK universities, talking to students and holding tastings and events in conjunction with university wine clubs.
"Our research has showed that consumers under 25 have no baggage when it comes to German wine," said Nicky Forrest, UK MD, Wines of Germany. "This makes them a great target audience for us as they've no preconceptions."
The first tour will take the winemakers to Edinburgh, Oxford and Cambridge. A second, later in the year, will take in Leeds, Bristol, Manchester and Bath.
The body has also earmarked 20% more of its annual £450,000 budget for consumer marketing this year, with the majority of it going on consumer sampling.
"For the past three years the focus for our sampling campaign has been outdoor classical and jazz concerts but this summer we will be dropping classical events in favour of pop concerts and flower shows," said Forrest.
Retailer promotions are also a key part of the mix and this year Pinot Grigio will be a focus, along with Riesling and Pinot Noir. Price promotions will play a part and the board has been working with Tesco, Sainsbury's and Asda on in-store consumer sampling.
"Price promoting remains important for us as it removes barrier to trial," said Forrest.
The UK is Germany's largest export market but has struggled under the perception it produces only sweet Liebfraumilch-type wines. However, last year only 20% of the wines it exported were Liebfraumilch compared with 45% in 1975.