This month I had the pleasure of judging the Washington State Fair wine competition held annually in Yakima. Wade Wolfe, noted winemaker who with his wife owns Thurnston Wolf, was my panel's head judge. Together, the six of us on the panel tasted about 150 wines including white blends, Bordeaux blends, Cabernet Sauvignon and dessert style.
Some of my top scoring wines are listed below. (Note that these are not necessarily the medals awarded by the competition.)
Coyote Canyon Horse Heaven Hill Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 - smoky raspberry with slight toffee note; nicely oaked with a herbal character. Good length.
Kiona Red Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon 2004 - raspberry, mocha, peat moss and graphite aromas with cedar, sweet curing tobacco notes; great structure and length.
Kiona Red Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 - blackberry, cedar, leather -- a deep, inviting notes with tea leaf notes; rich and ripe on the palate; nice structure and finish -- well integrated.
Maryhill Tudor/Gunkel Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 - inviting notes with cigar box, blackberry, tea leaf; cool herbal note at palate; good structure.
Windy Point Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 - mint, black cherry, boysenberry with a solid structure and pretty finish.
Cougar Crest Cougar Hills Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 - cedar, black fruit, graphite -- very pretty! A hint of a peppery note with a solid finish.
Vin du Lac Barrel Select Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 - cedar plank, blackberry, tea leaf with a hint of almond; good length.
Yesterday I had the honor and pleasure of presenting "Building a Winning Marketing and Sales Plan" to an enthusiastic audience at SOWine 2. I was impressed by the enthusiasm, energy and attendance at this second annual event held in Central Point targeting Southern Oregon producers. In fact, my mind is still racing with thoughts about the knowledge gained from thoughtful audience questions and my colleagues' presentations.
A terrific industry event starts with a strong vision and commitment to planning, organization and service. It follows through with strong presenters and like a good marketing plan, collects feedback and seeks continuous improvement. If its truly impressive, an event like this leaves attendees and presenters alike feeling energized, connected, educated and ready to take action.
Marilyn Hawkins of Hawkins & Company PR, a b2b PR firm based in Ashland, is the visionary behind SOWine and she gets it! Marilyn created this event to gather and educate Southern Oregon wine producers (she also owns a small winery there) and her abilities as an event organizer are downright impressive. This year, to enhance her inaugural program, she partnered with the fast-growingSouthern Oregon Wine Institute of Umpqua Community College, directed by the equally energetic Chris Lake.
Below are some of the highlights of my notes:
1. Good design is consistent, transferable, and projects extrinsic cues about the brand promise (the marketing value proposition) - Richard Roberts, Palazzo Creative
2. Don't just "build and blast". Best practice email marketing starts with a goal, list segmentation, and compelling contest. It includes testing and analysis, focuses on deliverability, and is compliant with CAN-SPAM laws. Terry Miller, CRM Group
3. Consider rotating your email signature to include great press quotes about your winery - Sheila Nicholas, Nicholas Communications
4. Your social media campaign needs to consider that over 80% of millenials sleep with their smart phones (myself included, although depending on what definition you use, I'm more likely a Gen Xer) - Jeffrey Kingman, Chalkboarder
5. Before you can build a successful marketing plan, you need to know who you are, to whom you're selling, what differentiates you, when and where you will sell and why anyone should care - moi,Trellis Wine Consulting
Unfortunately, I was unable to stay until the very end of the day, so I missed the late afternoon presentations. Given my experience at the beginning of the day, I'm confident that they were equally as interesting. This was a couple of days out of the office well worth taking.
About our blog
Commentary on all things marketing and more.