Wines & Vines Home
   
 
Welcome Guest
LOGIN |  CREATE ACCOUNT
 
ADVERTISEMENT
 
 
 
03.26.2009  
 

Reality Check in Vancouver

Authenticity is key to sustainable marketing

 
by Peter Mitham
 
 
Alternative text
 
"Authenticity" was a key word participants posted in their comments following a seminar in Vancouver, B.C., that addressed the challenges of marketing eco-friendly wines.
 
Vancouver, B.C. --  Get real: That was one of the key messages an international panel of wine professionals and aficionados told the opening seminar of the Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival yesterday afternoon.

The seminar, "Eco-friendly Wine: Over-hyped, Over-priced?" addressed the rising interest in sustainable viticulture and wine production, certification practices and consumer response. A lively interaction among panelists highlighted the need for the wine industry to go green, but diversity in how it's getting there.

Anthony Nicalo, principal of Farmstead Wines in Vancouver, which markets handmade, artisan wines primarily from Europe and Australia, said it ultimately doesn't matter what wineries do but how honest they are about what they're doing. Consumers will decide what's worth supporting. "Authenticity is key," he said.

Challenging what he termed "single-word reductionist solutions" to conventional viticultural and winemaking practices, Nicalo told the audience of producers, agents and trade media that a label is no guarantee of what actually goes on in a vineyard, because certification standards often differ between jurisdictions. What's organic in one state might not be compliant in another state.
"I think the wine industry has to be authentic, otherwise it is just greenwashing," Nicalo said, referring to the practice of positioning a practice as green, when in fact it isn't.

Owsley Brown III, president of the San Francisco-based Magnanimus Wine Group, said his wineries have focused on cultivating authenticity, because it's the best way to build relationships with potential customers. "Honesty seems to be the best way to do that," he said.

A lack of honesty, or transparency, is fatal to businesses in a world where social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and blogs play critical roles in the dissemination of information. "The social media that we have is allowing us to dig deeper," said Peter Williams, director of the Centre for Tourism Policy and Research at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, B.C., who has a special interest in wine tourism.

Social media are changing the marketing landscape and making authenticity key, he said. A vineyard or winery that's not living up to its claims can be debunked within minutes. "One thing people in the wine industry have to realize is: Hypocrisy kills," added Bill Tieleman, a Vancouver, B.C. political columnist who also runs the consumer-oriented blog site winebarbarian.ca. "It doesn't take much to poison the well."

To create the transparency consumers demand around vineyard practices, Farmstead Wines has an account on Twitter and posts videos of vineyard tours on its website. The short clips allow consumers to get to know the producers whose wines they're buying, and see for themselves what goes on in the vineyards they're supporting. Nicalo didn't see any reason why wineries and vineyards couldn't do something similar, given the ease with which a simple good-quality video can be made.

Nicalo's approach reflects the strategy advocatec by New Jersey wine retailer Gary Vaynerchuk, who has harnessed social media to develop his business. Speaking at a conference in New York this past January, Vaynerchuk said businesses need to be up-front about what they're doing and why they're doing it. Social media outlets provide the opportunity to spread the word, regardless of what the business is. Moreover, the nature of social media allows the word to pass along faster than ever before.

"You really need to hone in at what you rock at," he said. "You have the ability to prove it now, whatever that may be. … Give yourself the ability to get passed on."

Still, the fragmentation of the wine industry's sustainability initiatives makes it difficult for the industry as a whole to pass along a consistent, unified message. "What is the story we want to tell?" moderator Glenn Sigurdson asked the panel.

For panelist Tilman Hainle, winemaker and principal of Working Horse Winery in Peachland, B.C., the key message should be that the wine industry is taking care of the land its vineyards occupy.

"If we can tell that story with all the marketing tools we have at our disposal … I will be a very happy man," he said.
SHARE »
Close
LATEST READER COMMENTS
 
 
Posted on 03.27.2009 - 09:33:24 PST
 
There is a video project called "Straight from the Source" with the goal of bringing authentic content direct from the winery about their vineyard practices, winemaking styles, etc. AmericanWinery.com sends wineries a small video camera, the winery records footage, and in turn sends the camera back. The lightly edited clip is posted on video.americanwinery.com and on various video sharing sites. Authentic content is the driving factor behind this program.
 
bobsha
 
Walla Walla, WA USA
 
 
CURRENT NEWS INDEX »


 
Wines & Vines Home
 
866.453.9701 | 415.453.9700 | Fax: 415.453.2517
65 Mitchell Blvd., Ste. A San Rafael, CA 94903
info@winesandvines.com
Wine Industry Metrics
 
Off-Premise Sales » Month   12 Months  
November 2014 $708 million
5%
$7,844 million
6%
November 2013 $673 million $7,428 million
     
Direct-to-Consumer Shipments » Month   12 Months  
November 2014 $274 million
21%
$1,799 million
16%
November 2013 $225 million $1,558 million
     
Winery Job Index » Month   12 Months  
November 2014 127
-5%
226
15%
November 2013 134 196
     
 
MORE » Released on 12.15.2014
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 

FEATURES
 

Practical Winery & Vineyard Library
 
Search the PWV archive »
 
 

Direct To Consumer
Wine Shipping Report
2014
 
Download full report »
 
 

CALENDAR
  • January 7
     
    Putting Your Brand to Work
     
  • January 9-18
     
    Icewine Festival
     
  • January 13-16
     
    VinCO
     
  • January 15
     
    WineFlavor 101B
     
  • MORE »
 

READER COMMENTS
 
Article: Grape Industry Lukewarm on Immigration Act »
 
A band-aid it may be but instead of the negative tone of this article which...
Reader: Guest
 
Article: Oregon Wine Institute Plans for the Future »
 
When Mark is involved, things are going to work out just great! We miss the...
Reader: Peter Bell
 
Article: Spanish Cooper Sells Chinese Oak »
 
I would love to find Us wineries using the Chinese oak barrels. Do you know...
Reader: Guest
 
Article: Prohibition Laws Linger 81 Years Later »
 
Trader Joe's (Union Square) and Whole Foods (Upper West Side) both have wine shops attached...
Reader: Guest
 
Article: Prohibition Laws Linger 81 Years Later »
 
Maybe the economy could use another boost by repealing the post-prohibitionary laws too. Make it...
Reader: csm noble
 
 


Directory/Buyer's Guide — Your Wine Industry Marketplace
 
 
WINERY SEARCH
 
 
Advanced Search »
SUPPLIER SEARCH
   by Product
 by Company Name or Brand
 
Browse by Category »
2015 Directory/Buyer's Guide
The Wines & Vines Directory and Buyer's Guide
 
 
EXPANDED ONLINE SEARCH INCLUDED WITH PURCHASE
 
ORDER NOW »
 
LEARN MORE »
 
 
Wines & Vines Magazine
 
 
LEARN MORE »
 
SUBSCRIBE »
 
Digital Edition Now Available!
Wines & Vines Digital Edition Now Available
 
LEARN MORE »
 
ORDER NOW »
 
 
The Wines & Vines Online Marketing System
 
The Industry Standard winery marketing application
 
FREE LIVE DEMO »
 
VIEW VIDEO »
 
 
 
 
Latest Job Listings
 Skilled Cellar Worker ...
 Santa Rosa, CA
Winemaking and Production
 Public Relations Accou...
 San Francisco, CA
Sales and Marketing
 Portfolio Marketing Ma...
 White Plains, NY
Sales and Marketing
 Midwest Regional Sales...
 Midwest Usa, IL
Sales and Marketing
 Vineyard Manager
 St. Helena, CA
Vineyards
 International Marketin...
 St. Helena, CA
Sales and Marketing
 Sales Representatives
 North And South, CA
Sales and Marketing
 On-Call Chef
 Rutherford, CA
General Administration and
 Winery Estate Gardens ...
 Rutherford, CA
General Administration and
 Administrative Assista...
 Calistoga, CA
General Administration and
 
More Job Listings >>
Follow Us On:
 
 





Home  |  About Us  |  Editors  |  Subscribe  |  Print Edition  |  Digital Edition

Advertise  |  Site Map  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy
 
 
Copyright © 2001-2014 by Wine Communications Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
No material may be reproduced without written permission of the Publisher.
Wines&Vines does not assume any responsibility for any unsolicited manuscripts or materials.