Tragically Hip, vintage 1992

The iconic Canadian band is launching a wine alongside Niagara-based Stoney Ridge to promote its re-released album.
the hip

Is music like a fine wine? Does it only get better with age?

The Tragically Hip have partnered with Stoney Ridge to release a limited edition bottle of wine to promote the band’s re-released 1992 album Fully Completely ahead of its 2015 tour.

The band, which is from Kingston, originally looked to partner with a vineyard in the Prince Edward County region, says Barry Katzman, president of Stoney Ridge. However the vineyards local to that region weren’t able to create enough volume for what the Hip had in mind. As a result, he says the band looked towards the Niagara on the Lake region, landing on Stoney Ridge based on Katzman’s own history of launching successful celebrity wines (while at Creekside Winery, he launched the Mike Weir and Wayne Gretzky lines).

Tragically Hip was looking for a unique way to engage its “passionate” fan base, Katzman says, adding that the bottles are available online and will be distributed in a limited 1,000 bottle run (though he says they’re currently exploring an expanded distribution, which could include shelf-space at the LCBO). Since the boys in the band were wine lovers, Katzman says the fit was natural. Each bottle recreates the famous album cover.

The brand is relying on social media, PR and influencer marketing (largely based on the Hip’s fan base) to get the word out, and despite having launched yesterday, Katzman says demand has been high, and he expects they will sell out before the Christmas holidays.

As for the winery, Katzman says these types of opportunities are great for Stoney Ridge, but also the region as a whole.

“First and foremost, we’re still [a] pretty new [region] by industry standards,” he says. “So any time people that have the notoriety of the Tragically Hip with a passionate fan base, it elevates the entire industry, creates awareness, brings people into the Niagara wine industry that might not have experienced it in the past.”