So, according to this press release from Tuesday (Valentine's Day), Brian Carter, a well-known winemaker, has started a new winery: Brian Carter Cellars, located in Washington state. Congratulations!
But... No mention of his new winery's Web site in the press release. I made a reasonable guess (which is why The Winery Web Site Report recommends you have a "reasonable" domain name, possibly several of them), and looked up the WHOIS information on BrianCarterCellars.com. Sure enough, he owns it.
But... www.BrianCarterCellars.com presently returns a 403 error status - in other words, whatever's there, I'm not allowed to look at it (yet? ever? who knows?).
UPDATE: as of 04/01/2006, the Brian Carter Cellars site is operational. Nevertheless, my comments about missed opportunity still apply.
This is silly. In a business that is driven by lists of people interested in your wine, Mr. Carter is missing a great opportunity to put up an absolutely bare-bones Web page which simply says "Want to know more?" and has a space for visitors to submit their e-mail address (followed by the text of, or a link to, the press release). Nothing fancy. Heck, he's already got label art to spruce it up a bit.
Although I'm generally opposed to the "kid who lives next door" school of Web design, this is one of those instances where it would be better than a 403 error code. And the people he is missing are exactly those he wants to capture: people who are interested in the next great wine. After all, he went to the trouble of generating a press release about his new winery (and even spent some $$ to get special treatment for it on PRWEB.com).
Realistically, this isn't a fatal error, and I'm sure Brian Carter Cellars will thrive. But some of the effort that went into getting the word out was wasted.
Regardless, we've added Brian Carter Cellars of Bellevue, WA and its URL to our database of wineries (2,886 and counting). And if you're thinking of launching a winery, give me a call to talk about your Web site (1-888-WINERY-WEB). We don't build them, but we do know a lot about them (and it's the best way to make sure we know about you).
(BTW, the 403 error code means "Forbidden." Sound ominous? Actually, it just means the Web server is specifically disallowed from serving pages for that URL.)