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  
October 2014 $570 million
6%
$7,775 million
6%
October 2013 $539 million $7,342 million
     
Direct-to-Consumer Shipments » Month   12 Months  
October 2014 $284 million
18%
$1,751 million
13%
October 2013 $240 million $1,556 million
     
Winery Job Index » Month   12 Months  
October 2014 139
6%
226
18%
October 2013 131 192
     
 
MORE » Released on 11.13.2014
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 

Practical Winery & Vineyard Library
 
Search the PWV archive »
 
 

Direct To Consumer
Wine Shipping Report
2014
 
Download full report »
 
 

CALENDAR
  • November 24-25
     
    World Bulk Wine Exhibition
     
  • December 2-4
     
    Vinitech Sifel in Bordeaux
     
  • December 3
     
    Sustainable/Organic Wine Production Seminar
     
  • December 4
     
    North Coast Wine Industry Expo
     
  • MORE »
 

READER COMMENTS
 
Article: Kluge Saga Continues in Virginia »
 
Not everybody likes Pat Kluge, but she and Moses built a first class winery /...
Reader: Josh Moser
 
Article: Canada Adapts to Kegged Wines »
 
I am a wine agent in Manitoba & there certainly are kegs of cider here....
Reader: Guest
 
Article: What's Your Winery's IP Worth? »
 
If you would like more information on this seminar please visit The Seminar Group's website....
Reader: Danielle Bingham
 
Article: DtC Is Lifeblood of Wineries, Banker Says »
 
Seems like another locical option would be to have more small niche distrbutors. Consolidation of...
Reader: Guest
 
Article: Tasting Wine From PD-Resistant Grapes »
 
Congratulations Andy! Lots of grapebreeders and southern growers will be looking through the catalogs. i...
Reader: Guest
 
 


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
 Tasting Room Position
 Sonoma, CA
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Texas Area Manager
 Dallas, TX
Sales and Marketing
 Domaine Chandon On Cal...
 Yountville, CA
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Cellar Worker Iii
 Yountville, CA
Winemaking and Production
 Wine Club & Dtc Manage...
 Glen Ellen, CA
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Tasting Room/Events Ma...
 Placerville, CA
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Bookkeeper
 Calistoga, CA
Finance
 Experienced Sales Mana...
 Fresno/Bakersfield Area, CA
Sales and Marketing
 Winemaker
 Oakville, CA
Winemaking and Production
 Accounts Payable/Accou...
 Napa, CA
Finance
 
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.