We've recently purchased land in Knights Valley and need to sell this year's crop. I would very much appreciate any advice on how best to do this, as I am new to the wine business. We have contacted two of the larger brokerages: Ciatti and Turrentine, as well as other large local wineries. We have 25 acres of Cabernet, 12 of Chardonnay and 5 [of] Sauvignon Blanc, all of very high quality.
Any of my readers care to offer this person the benefit of their experience?
I did the same search, and was pleased to see my post is the #4 result. What's even more interesting is that Whitehall Lane (and Kim) are the focus of this small-business profile from Apple (PDF), which gives some insight into the technology underpinnings of a small winery. Worth a read.
The Apple case study also hints at a new venture from the Leonardini family: Leonardini Family Winery (www.leonardinifamilywinery.com doesn't have anything on it yet, although it is registered to Whitehall Lane). What's up, Kim?
OK, I'm overstating it, but please check out the great comments on my previous post regarding wine.woot! and the newly-launched RadCru, including comments direct from the heads of woot! and RadCru. Tim Elliot of winecast provides some terrific economic analysis, and Paul Mabry of Inertia hopes to see a thousand flowers bloom.
Thanks to everyone who has commented thus far for adding substantially to my original post.
StartupJournal.com (part of The Wall St. Journal, but no subscription required) interviews Bill Harlan of Harlan Estate (an interesting Web site, since they sell all of their wine to their list. Why have a Web site? Because it's still important for people to be able to find out about your winery, even if they can't buy your wines, and it's an opportunity to tell people what you're about).
YouTube lets you post videos you've created (for free). As you can see from this one, the production values need not be "broadcast quality." But if you're someone interested in how Stormhoek thinks about their wines, you'll be more than willing to sit through this seven-minute video, despite its flaws.
So, take the handycam along the next time people tour your winery, and film a minute or two of the tour guide (hopefully the cute, engaging one). Post it on YouTube, see what happens. If you're really daring (heavens!) you'll add a little voice over at the end with a special offer (free shipping?) for people who watch the video all the way through. And then come back and let us know what happened.
The term "w00t" is a slang interjection used to express happiness or excitement, usually over the Internet.
The site woot.com has become famous for offering "cool stuff cheap." Every day at midnight, a new item goes on sale (typically a nifty gadget which the manufacturer is clearing out of inventory). However many there are, when they run out, that's it for the day (even if that's at 12:01 AM). Here's a longer story about woot! from the Wall St. Journal.
Of course, now there really is "Woot for Wine" at wine.woot!
One of my favorite parts of the original woot! is the whimsical description of each day's offering. I am happy to say that wine.woot! carries on that tradition. It will be interesting to see RadCru's take on this (they launch this coming Sunday, July 10 - right now, the home page is just a signup).
Plus, wine.woot! offers you instant customer feedback (see this example for this MacRostie 2004 Paso Robles Syrah Quartet, including real-time sales information). This is hugely valuable to a winery marketer.
Even if you are pretty fat and happy with your sales, I strongly urge you to allocate some product to investigating the response from RadCru and wine.woot! ASAP. This may not be something you want to do for your wines, but you should definitely have a first-hand understanding about how this type of offering is changing the game. And with Intertia Beverage Group involved with the RadCru offering, I expect them to be active in talking to the marketplace (starting with their own customer base).
This is a handy free tool which will tell you how compact (and therefore, how fast) pages on your Web site will load over various connections: WebPageAnalyzer.com
To use it on your home page, just type the full address of your Web site (e.g. http://www.InmanFamilyWines.com) in to the box labeled Enter URL to diagnose (sounds appetizing, doesn't it?) and click the Submit Query button.
Note that you can input the address (URL) of any page on your Web site (for example, the most-frequent entry page and the most popular page in addition to your home page).