Stu Watson
April 20, 2015 | Stu Watson

Building the Naked brand in the NW corner of the country

Just before she headed out the door for a trip through Eastern Washington, Emma-Rose Stuart paused to share a few thoughts on the new challenge (for her) of expanding the reach of Naked Winery's wines in the state of Washington.

In February, Emma stepped into a new role, as Naked's Washington sales manager.

Isn't that a bit like taking coals to Newcastle, or selling ice cubes to Eskimos?

Washington, after all, is home to more than 850 wineries, and as Emma says, "they're all cool. It's not like they suck."

Undaunted by the prospect of going toe-to-toe with the heavyweights of Woodinville and Walla Walla, Emma sees the task of introducing Naked to the ... well, clothed denizens of the Evergreen State as "fun."

Why? "Because we have an exciting brand," she says. "We wouldn't still be around if we were making crappy wine."

Emma will build on the foundation created by distribution manager Carrie Coffin and distribution partners Big River Distributors in Vancouver, and Ambrosia Wine Group in Seattle.

Naked has good visibility in the Seattle and Vancouver areas, but Emma is hoping to increase opportunities for Naked's existing customers to find a bottle at their favorite store or restaurant. 

"We're hoping to have more of our wine in big box stores, like Total Wine & More," Emma says.

She's confident that once people get to know Naked, they'll appreciate the quality and pull a cork.

"The competition is stiff " she says, "but that's what's fun about it."

Spoken like a true Naked trooper.




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