The presentation is a little dry if you’re not in the biz, but I think Rick has some very interesting experience and he shares some truly outstanding numbers. In a time when everybody in California was hurting, St. Supery saw some impressive numbers, retaining their wine club members and increasing direct sales despite the fact that the economy is hurting. And without pitching the wine directly!
There’s also an interesting moment where Rick talks about catering to a client who didn’t like the bottle (way beyond the call of duty) and then it turns out that she’s a writer for the New York Times. While the story sort of enforces the idea that a traditional journalist is way more important than a normal consumer and he lucked out, there’s also this theme that you should treat everybody like an important journalist. Customer is king. And sometimes, it turns out they are actually secret journalists or Zeus disguised as a swan.
But beside the risk that every client is Zeus disguised as a swan, you just have to be nice to wine drinkers because they are people and you should be nice to everybody.
There’s another moment of VinoCamp Paris where Vicky Wine said something very nice about my wines (or about me).
She said that it is very important for winemakers to connect with wine drinkers. Because when she drinks a wine, she makes judgements about the winemaker or the label or other things that float around outside the bottle. And one of the reasons she likes my wine is because she knows all the stuff I’m doing online, and all the tastings I do, and (as somebody in the group quips) because we are buddies. But there is no shame in being buddies!
And I don’t have video of it, but Emmanuel Delmas said something to the same effect. It’s unavoidable that once he meets me or sees my videos online, my wine will have a sort of exuberant, energetic feeling. It’s a happy wine! And then we’re left wondering if the wine truly resembles the winemaker or if it’s just that we’re influenced by our perceptions of the artist. . . . interesting questions! And all arguments for the winemaker to make themselves visible online (when time permits).