Business Week has an article on the impact of the Supreme Court decision which starts out sounding pretty optimistic about the impact on small wineries (I've used the title of the article for this post), but ends up doing a good job of presenting a balanced look at the possible outcomes as states revise their laws to conform to the decision.
The article focuses on smaller wineries:
"Small wineries basically live on tasting-room sales, restaurants, wine lists, and being in some fine wine shops," says Paul Kronenberg, president of the Family Winemakers of California, a Sacramento-based organization that represents some 640 small, family wineries. "What this means for them is another very clear direct-sales channel that allows them to sell to people who have tasted or read about their wine. The last thing you want to do in business is to have somebody visit, touch, and taste your product but not be able to buy it."
The enjoyment of wine (which leads to wine sales, remember?) requires that people be able to physically experience the product. This is why reviews are so important to the sales of wine - they (a) substitute for direct experience, and (b) filter the enormous number of choices available. It's the same reasons small wineries pour their wines at events, and why the tasting room is so important.
What sort of Purple Cow could clever wineries devise with regard to letting people taste their wines? Most importantly, the Supreme Court decision means change, and change is an opportunity for those willing to re-examine how things are done. One of the reasons that Web sites are important is that they let people find out about your remarkable Purple Cow and spread the word (i.e. turn it into an idea virus).
Most winery Web sites are pretty unremarkable (we should know - we've looked at over 2,000 of them in the past few months). After all, this is a business where the hot new marketing thang (imported from Australia) is animals on labels (even K-J is into it).
If you know of a winery that's hatched a Purple Cow of some sort, let me know!
(PS - Kendall-Jackson owns the domains doghousewine.com and doghousewines.com, so I expect a Web site is forthcoming...)