The Sonoma County Harvest Fair is a big event, and the winners of the wine judging are always eagerly awaited. Although the Fair proper doesn't start until next weekend (it runs September 30 - October 2), the winners of the Sweepstakes Red/White competitions were announced Saturday night at the awards dinner:
- Red: Wilson Winery & Vineyards, 2003 Zinfandel, Dry Creek Valley, Sawyer Vineyard
- White: White Oak Vineyard & Winery, 2004 Sauvignon Blanc, Russian River Valley
Alas, no mention on either of these Web sites of their award (as of Monday, about noon). I've got to believe that Web traffic is up on both these sites in the wake of the awards, so both these wineries are missing an opportunity to start relationships with people who've heard about these wines because of the awards. At the very least, a brief note about the award, and what you should do if you're interested in purchasing the award winning wine. That's what I'd want to know if I read about the awards.
Oh, and don't forget the press release (with your Web address in it). Small wineries depend on media coverage and direct sales (according to our database, Wilson produces ~3,500 cases a year, White Oak ~20,000). I hope that both these wineries (and all the wineries taking home Gold Medals from the Fair, as well) will update their home pages in the next week to take greater advantage of this recognition.
In thinking about making your Web site "visitor effective", you must have the ability to address breaking news. Blogs can be good for this, but you need to be able to quickly add a link to your home page ("We just won Best of Class at the Sonoma County Harvest Festival! Read more about our award winning wine!") as well as the information that link points to (which might be a blog entry).
If you're a winner, and you've posted informationabout it on your site, please add a comment and a link (and congratulations!).
A minor note: The Harvest Fair winners must use only Sonoma County grapes. Wilson Winery & Vineyards is located in Sonoma County (Healdsburg, CA), while Wilson Vineyards is located not (Clarksburg, CA). While name confusion/similarity is not common among wineries, it does occur.