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Online Wine Commerce Seminar at the EWBC 2010

–This is part of an ongoing series about the European Wine Bloggers’ Conference

The European Wine Bloggers’ Conference is full of really cool panels and seminars. SO many that you have to make some tough choices about which to see. I opted toward seeing panels that were not being filmed figuring I’d be able to enjoy the more mainstream ones from the comfort of my computer chair. And I got a wonderful surprise!

The online wine commerce seminar had three people talking about some of the different ways to monetize wine on the web.  Evelyn Resnick, author of Wine Brands and wearer of the technicolor dreamcoat, Andre from Adegga, and Rowan from Naked Wines.

The nice surprise is that O’Vineyards was mentioned multiple times by multiple panelists!  So this post is going to be a little narcissistic and personal, but you can watch the video and form your own nerdy academic impressions this time.  Instead, I’m focusing this post on my emotional rollercoaster and the birth of a humorous comic book rivalry between me and another winemaker!

Yes, you heard right, this exciting post will reveal the secret origins of The Winemaker.

Evelyn talked about how few wineries try to communicate directly with their clients with the Internet.  But she did include a slide about some winemakers who are doing it right and O’Vineyards was on the top of the list.  What a nice surprise. :)  Very good to see Evelyn recognize my family’s work as she’s a point man (point person?) for wine branding.

And then Andre got up and talked about different solutions he’s found to monetize his wine-based social network, Adegga.  I was enjoying hearing about some of the cool projects underway in Portugal.  Adegga is doing event promotion and finding ways to feature wines on the site in a way that is a lot more engaging than a banner ad.  And just as I was coming down from the high of being mentioned by Evelyn, Andre starts talking about AVIN codes.

Now I think AVIN codes are awesome.  They’re like an ISBN number for wines.  The dorky librarian in me thinks this is great and even indispensable for the cataloging of wine.  One day, we will not understand how wines went so long without having numeric codes.  And Andre mentions some wineries that have AVIN codes on their labels, and BOOM, O’Vineyards get mentioned there too.  Look at that!  You cannot talk about wine commerce online without mentioning O’Vineyards.  Pretty flattering!

Now I see Rowan get up and I think to myself… oh boy… my importer.. I’m gonna get a hat trick.  I’m going to get three references in a row on the same panel.  I feel it in my bones.  Rowan’s progressing through his slides, explaining his amazing business model.  Naked Wines is devoted to real innovation.  They constantly try out new ideas, they embrace their clients’ opinions, and they aren’t afraid to stumble now and then on their sprint down the road to greatness.  And they have cultivated a clientelle that understands the way the company works.  It’s all very cool to be a part of it.  And then Rowan gets to it.  A slide where he explains how Naked puts wine lovers (photo of pretty wine drinkers pops up) in touch with wine makers (DRUMROLL AS I AWAIT MY GLORIOUS PORTRAIT TO APPEAR)… JOCK HARVEY?!   YOU’LL RUE THE DAY YOU CROSSED ME, JOCK HARVEY!!

haha, okay so Jock is a Naked Wines star.  And he deserves it.  I tasted three of his wines while touring the UK and he makes some really interesting wine with a sort of exuberance and joie de vivre that is typically new world.  But I’m getting distracted…this post is about our newly born rivalry!  The best kind of rivalry, one where the other person doesn’t even know I exist!  Bwahahaha

In the coming weeks, events would unfold to fan the flames of this one-sided rivalry.  But I don’t want to spoil it all at once.  Part 2 in the saga will come soon enough.

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  1. Rowan Says:

    I feel awful Ryan…I will make it up to you, I promise!


  2. mroconnell Says:

    Don’t worry, Rowan! I love that I can pretend Jock beats me at every turn. It’s very Peter Parker / Clark Kent. ;D


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