Archive: Marketing

Three Biggest Challenges Facing Small Wineries Today?

I think the real story in the Willamette Valley (and other small regions nationally) is that 75% of wineries produce fewer than 5,000 cases annually. It’s micro-production by any measure. They have survived because of so-called “Premiumization” and the recent fascination with their AVAs. What will happen when the next economic downturn occurs, as the distribution consolidation continues, and/or as vineyard and winery acquisitions accelerate (which they are doing now)? Are there business parallels between what is happening in Willamette Valley and other wine producing regions in the United States; and what about other burgeoning industries such as craft beer or high tech? Is large destined to win? How will small craft producers survive and thrive in the long run? […]

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Wine Label Branding: Stay True to Yourself

Imagine you’re a customer in a wine store, searching for your next bottle of wine. What would attract you beyond the style? Does a label displaying Jesus on the cross or an elderly Frenchman with a bulbous nose and colorful beret intrigue you enough to buy? Often, the consumer is casually browsing for something that catches their eye. Maybe they just traveled to a particular region of the world, drawing them to wine from that area. Perhaps a wine label triggered a pleasant holiday memory. Possibly it’s the color of the label that attracts them. Regardless, it takes about four seconds to make that first impression. Wine branding strategy has reached a point where marketing and merchandising play as important […]

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A Winery Roadmap for Data Capture

If you’re trying to sell your wines through direct channels, your customer database is the most valuable tool in your marketing arsenal. Most wineries understand the importance of a database, but few have a documented list for which consumer data points should be collected, and why. In any given business, different departments have different needs and will require certain customer data points. These needs can often be in conflict. It is common, for example, for senior management, marketing, accounting, and tasting room staffs to all prioritize different aspects of data collection. Without a list that is agreed upon by all departments of what customer data should be captured by whom and in what manner, consistent data capture simply won’t take […]

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MANAGEMENT OF VINE BALANCE FOR BETTER WINE, AND FOR PROFIT

This article will continue with the theme of the last one, that is vine balance. Here the emphasis will be on management of vine balance. The last article included my suggestion of how to measure vine balance at winter pruning by recording pruning mass. I have always previously termed this metric pruning weight, as Prof Nelson Shaulis taught me. I now understand that pruning mass is the preferred term.   Better Balance for Better Yield & Quality   At the one extreme of poor vine balance are over-vigorous vines typically with canopy shading. Such vines are characterised by large leaves, long shoots and many lateral shoots. Without remedial treatment such canopies have shaded fruit which affects berry competition and wine […]

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10 Tips for Making the Most out of Q4

As harvest wraps up, you should be ready to pounce on Q4. There are several reasons OND (October, November, December) is a crucial period for Direct to Consumer Sales. First, it in the high point between the summer slump, where it is often too hot to ship or consumers go for cold beers and cocktails over wine, and Q1 where New Years Resolutions have us grabbing electrolyte water and swearing to balance our budgets. Second, the reasons to remind our consumers about wine are too numerous to count. There are large family dinners in need of wine pairings, parties in need of hostess gifts, corporate and personal gifting in need of that classy yet universal item. And, thanks to Daylight […]

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Why Data Matters

    Imagine you are on the marketing team for a direct-to-consumer (DTC) winery, dutifully sending out emails to your newsletter lists and club members, updating posts across social media channels, maybe even sending print notices through the mail. And yet, there does not appear to be any increase in sales conversions or an uptick in club sign-ups. Perhaps there is even a sense of things going into decline. But no one can say why or understand what is contributing to the stagnation. This confusion is often the case when a new client comes to us, and asks for help. Our response usually starts with, “What does your data show?” To which we often receive a slightly blank or confused […]

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Exploring the Benefits of Custom Crush

Traditionally, aspiring winemakers needed to either purchase an existing winery and vineyard or invest substantial funds in starting from scratch. Custom crush lets you fulfill your dream of making wine without owning the necessary production equipment. It also allows you to preserve your start-up capital and focus your attention on marketing and promoting your brand. You provide the grapes and winemaking protocols, but the actual crush, fermentation, and bottling are outsourced. To help guide winemakers who are looking into the option of custom crush, The Grapevine Magazine spoke with five companies currently offering these services—including wineries that use custom crush as an additional income stream, and those that operate custom crush as their sole business. Rack & Riddle Based in […]

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What Wineries Need to Know about Refrigeration and Chillers

Wineries use refrigeration and chiller units for a wide variety of purposes, so it’s important to understand the types of products that get the job done right. Temperature is an incredibly important factor in wine-making, and interestingly, cooling units make up the bulk of energy consumption and costs in wineries. For new wineries or wineries looking to update out-of-date, energy deficient systems, when deciding what refrigeration or chiller unit is the right fit, vintners must familiarize themselves with the many aspects of these essential systems. Purpose and Types of Refrigeration in Wineries Cooled wine storage dates back centuries to underground caves in Europe. Certain caves provided ideal and consistent temperature conditions, allowing wine to age at an optimal rate. Few […]

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KEEPING THE “RELATIONSHIP” IN THE CENTER OF YOUR CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MARKETING STRATEGY

If you work in IT or operations you might think of the software that holds your company’s sales data. If you’re in the marketing department you might think of the reports you can (or can’t) pull from an interface. If you work in hospitality, you probably think of the annoying cash register or computer screen that forces you to input data before you can end a transaction. The truth is CRM is many things throughout the customer live-cycle, and is always evolving. Customer Relationship Management is an approach to understanding your customer by habitually and methodically capturing preferences and details about them at various touch points with the goal of improving service and sales. But, too often, we focus on […]

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Foley Family Wines Impressed by Thermaculture™ Trial Results

Results showed better yields, less pesticide use and better wine quality  Dateline: February 14, 2017. Napa, CA – Up in Napa and Sonoma counties, Mark Seifert of Foley Family Wines saw what he considered “amazing results” from Thermaculture trials conducted at two operations, Sebastiani and Foley Johnson in Rutherford. Seifert, who manages 8 vineyards for Foley Family Wines stated “We couldn’t be happier with the results we saw. Not only did we get higher fruit set and yields on our Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon, but we cut our pest control costs significantly from what was normally used in our vineyards. Finding sustainable solutions like Thermaculture is very important to our mission at Foley.” Al Wagner, Vice President of Vineyards at Foley Family Wines also shares […]

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