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Finding new and unusual ways of putting a client’s portfolio in an engaging context is the essence of a PR agency’s job.  Our client Domaines Paul Mas produce, among their many different wine styles, a great selection of sparkling wines from the Limoux region of Southern France.  It is widely thought that sparkling wine was actually first created in the region, and while it may not be as famous as Champagne, its wines are of exceptional quality.

We wanted to reach an audience of food-focused writers. So Freerun teamed up with Eric Lanlard,  well-known patissier and veteran of The Great British Bake Off and Masterchef:The Professionals, to challenge a group of writers to produce a cupcake ‘bake’ which matched a top sparkling wine from Domaines Paul Mas. A very enticing prize was promised – a trip to visit the Domaines and to eat at Cote Mas, the signature restaurant in Montagnac devoted to wine-friendly cuisine.

Invitees were quick to snap up the chance to learn from Eric and to learn more about Sparkling wines into the bargain.  Each contestant was sent a bottle of Chateau Martinolles Rose in advance, so that they could reflect on the flavours it showed, and think what they might do in the baking stage. The venue for the “bake off” was Eric Lanlard’s own cookery school / cafe, “Cake Boy“, which is modern and eye-catching in its decor.

On the night, winemaker Jean-Claude Mas welcomed the guests and introduced the Domaines, and then they were quickly down to the task. A wide variety of baking skills were on display, but everyone really enjoyed themselves learning top tips from Eric Lanlard and then putting them into practice adding a wide variety of flavours. Whilst the precious cakes were baking, Jean-Claude Mas took the guests through 6 of his top sparkling wines.

Finally, it was time to judge, and Eric and Jean-Claude deliberated at length to find the winning bake.

Prizes were also offered for the best images posted to social media and the best post about the competition.

The event was fun, informal and really engaging. It generated some excellent live coverage on Instagram and follow up stories online.