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Last week’s Third Annual Wine and Weed Symposium attracted a huge group of wine and cannabis professionals to the Hyatt Regency Sonoma Wine Country in Santa Rosa to learn about emerging trends in consumer behavior, the impact on wine sales in states where recreational cannabis is legal, and how alcohol beverage companies can and do invest in cannabis. The continuing enthusiasm for this new frontier, this brazen opportunity, and the vast cross-marketing potential with the wine had attendees leaving on a high note.
The women on this Wine and Weed Symposium panel are unmistakably movers and shakers of the cannabis community. They approach the responsible marketing and consuming of cannabis as professionals, either migrating from the wine and related business to weed and adding this new frontier to their already busy wine life or transitioning completely.
As the wine world, like all business sectors, struggles to adapt and adopt emerging technologies in communicating messages to existing and potential customers, Professor Damien Wilson says the base root of the issue may be that we are not communicating the message that the consumer wants to hear.
As one gets to know Brown and follows her unconventional life to where it has lead her now – to the top of the wine writing heap – it becomes evident that this simple belief, or really practice, has been the reason her life has been an adventure. Not an adventure of extreme sports or pushing the limits, but an adventure of exploration. She chooses a path and excels, then may choose another path and give that avenue her full attention.
Many know Mick Schroeter’s talents in winemaking and his path from the big reds of Penfold’s to the delicate Russian River Valley Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs of his current gig as Head of Winemaking at Sonoma-Cutrer, as well as his entry to Sonoma County wines at Geyser Peak where their Sauvignon Blanc became the standard bearer for U.S. produced wines of this variety.
“The wine industry has been obfuscated by their data sources given the traditional three tier distribution system,” says Mabray. “Consumer behavior and the foundation of how consumers buy is not apparent to wineries, so we (Emetry) come in as kind of data miners, gather wells of data, clean them up, and put them in a data lake.”
To call DIAM a cork company is tells only part of the story. The technology they have developed relies on the efficiency of natural cork as a closure, but works to eliminate the inconsistencies in natural cork that can lead to flaws in wine.
The idea of Prosurix, a counterfeit detection software, came to long-time wine and spirits retailer Steve Glamuzina about four years ago when he heard about the counterfeiting of the famed Italian wine, Sassicaia, and rampant counterfeiting of other collectible and expensive wines.
A former winemaker, Bertaccini is driven to experiment with wine additives and the products he presents to his clients. To this end, in 2015, he received a ton of excess Pinot Noir grapes from Lodi that winemaker George Natsis donated for a bench trial. The trial would test several different tannin additives on one base wine, a control plus four batches treated with the different tannins, and then consistently taste the five samples throughout the year after bottling.
Lisa Mattson wasn’t home when the garage of her house in Fountaingrove burned during the October 2017 Sonoma County wildfires, but she returned from Spain to find a home so damaged that, although standing, she would not be able to live there for many months.
Good wine writers look for what appeals to their audience. Who is their reader and are they strictly looking for an examination of wine quality - or lack thereof - or are they seeking lifestyle pieces where the quirky winemaker and extravagant vintner steal the show? The wine is simply a player in the story.
At the Napa Valley Vintners, Associate Director of Labor Relations Michelle Novi is already thinking about next steps after achieving a measurable victory over antiquated “Tied House” rules in today’s environment of social media marketing and communication.
Eric Guerra is a man who understands that luxury brands must be marketed as such and has built his career in the wine industry by being one of the best at doing just that. When done right, the brand value becomes a constant, a given. There is little discussion of price; the wine is simply worth price you pay to buy it.
To say Cline Cellars Marketing Director Christine Lilienthal is thrilled about the new label design and packaging for the winery’s core Lodi Zinfandel would be an understatement. Her collaboration with Affinity Creative Group in repackaging this nationally distributed wine has meant a complete overhaul of the perception of this wine in the marketplace – and the sales numbers show it.
Establishing an American Viticultural Area, or AVA, is a slog. The effort it takes to gain recognition for a bit of the earth that allows grapes to grow with a distinction that should warrant a “stamp” that screams quality, uniqueness and, yes, a higher price tag takes time, money, paperwork and then more time.