Engaging media can help you achieve press, which helps improve your visibility and increase consumer demand. But how do you maximize your recognition? If you’ve received a glowing review but don’t know what to do next, strengthen your coverage by following our five tips.
In our November newsletter, we propose a toast of thanks to our clients and share several tips to getting a jump start to your 2015 planning. Click here to read more.
In the grand puzzle of brand magnetism, your online presence is only a slice of the pie.
Brand magnetism is a combination of forces that a company produces to attract customers. It draws customers to you and the products or services you provide. This effort is not limited to having a “Sales” or “Distribution” plan – it’s a series of objectives used to increase your brand awareness.
Many of these objectives can be identified under the Trellis Growth Partners’ Brand Magnetism model such as: internal team commitment or management’s vision and strategy, the consumer experience or online presence. Each force has to work cohesively for maximum effectiveness.
A streamlined, organized website can be an effective avenue to introduce customers to your brand story and the products that you offer.
One of Washington’s largest AVAs, the Horse Heaven Hills is home to 25 percent of the state’s vineyard acreage. The region is coveted for its excellent growing conditions, which include ample sunshine and wind for even ripening and disease prevention, respectively. The growers who farm in the Horse Heaven Hills are a special bunch, and over the last decade they’ve produced four wines rated 100 points by Wine Spectator.
When the AVA’s Wine Growers Association approached us in February to support its public relations efforts, we were thrilled. As part of our strategy, we organized a press trip just prior to the organization’s annual July Trail Drive event. We invited a select group of regional media to explore the Horse Heaven Hills AVA with the goal of generating increased awareness and coverage.
This past weekend was my sixth Taste Washington weekend in Seattle. As usual, it was a fantastic event -- particularly the seminars which bring together top media and industry panelists, fabulous wines and the opportunity to taste in a more structured setting. The grand tasting was wonderful, too, given the breadth of exciting wines, chance to connect with clients and industry folk.
Below are my notes from the two seminars I attended; Janel will share hers in a future post:
Washington versus the World
This seminar paired five Washington wines with five wines from France, Australia and Napa. What a treat!
1999 Woodward Canyon Special Selection
Deep blackberry, black cherry, graphite, vanilla; chalky tannins. Some hints of rosemary and celery root. Still quite youthful; beautifully integrated. Smooth! Long life ahead of this wine...
2000 Leoville Las Cases
Dear God. A damn fine St. Julien. Cassis, blackberry, spice rack; subtle yet complex in the way a French wine can be; oregano, dried cherry and lots of depth in the palate. Mineral note at finish. Still pretty tight and much less fruit-forward compared to Washington. (At this point I was loving the tasting but also feeling odd comparing them because they are not really comparable -- it's like two amazing but very different musical scores. Doesn't matter which one is better because both are amazing. That's why you can ask for more than one glass at a table!)
2005 Quilceda Creek Cabernet Sauvignon
Very juicy black fruit with hi-toned cassis note. Quite round on the palate with good, chalky tannin. Youthful. Not my style of wine, actually.
2005 Cos d'Estournel
Coffee grinds, butterscotch, mocha. Not your typical Bordelaise approach. Silky with great, smooth, depth; some graphite at palate with chalkiness and long, tannic finish. This is complex and very special. Seems in between new and old world (I couldn't quite place this wine because even though I knew it was the Bordeaux, it didn't present that way.)
2005 Araju Eisele VIneyard Cabernet Sauvignon
Very concentrated black fruit, graphite, curing tobacco; ripe with silky tannins.
2010 Betz La Cote Patriarche
Youthful -- nearly felt like California even though I knew it was from Washington. Cinnamon, blackberry pie; big concentration -- just a baby; slight cured meat character but mostly hidden by youthful fruit. There is luscious weight here that just doesn't quit.
2009 The Standish
I don't have much experience with Aussie wines because I tend to find them to be huge fruit monsters and I prefer some complexity with other aromas and flavors. This wine was awesome. Super youthful with great depth; forest floor, black cherry, pepper; nice velvety palate.
2010 Avennia Syrah
Wow! Black cherry, concentrated pepper, hi toned graphite; silky with some exciting zippy acidity and good, prominent rich fruit. Integrated. Un peu d'animal -- makes me want more. Would love to see this wine again in 10 years. Palate weight is just wow. Damn. Will be thinking about this for awhile.
2006 M. Chapoutier Ermitage le Meal
I'm usually the Francophile who loves the "stank" of the old world. This wine had stewed tomato (too much), bay leaf, caramel, cured meats and lots of cherry. Nice complexity but just not my style -- definitely needed food -- like a very stinky cheese. Not sure if this is/was typical but seemed on its way out.
Yakima Valley 30th Anniversary
I've been to Yakima a few times to judge the Washington State Fair, but must admit I had no idea! Yakima is "the craddle of the Washington industry and has been growing grapes for over 100 years". It is also home to 12,000 acres of vineyards or about one third of the state's acreage, 75% of the hops produced in our country and the number one producer of mint.
This area is also home to the sub-appellations of Rattlesnake Hills, Red Mountain and Snipes Mountain. There are some incredible vineyards here including Boushey, Red Willow, Ciel du Cheval and more.
Domaine Ste. Michelle Brut Rose
DSM is the state's largest grower of Pinot Noir which is used in this wine. Lovely red apple, rose, cranberry and a nice, creamy palate. Heck of a value!
2010 Owen Roe Red Willow Blend
Inky blakcberry, black cherry pie, basil, a little toffee; smooth, bright with cocoa at palate -- it just feels good in the mouth; mouth-filling yet somehow balanced; rich with a little touch of brown sugar on the finish.
2010 Betz La Serenne Syrah
Little bit of an old world style. Black peppercorn, fresh oregano, white pepper and black fruit; more angular; very youthful and juicy but with balancing minerality; very focused nose -- if an aroma could have a texture, this would. Intriguing wine.
2010 Smasne Cellars Ancient Rocks Rhone Blend
Chalky, raspberry jam, dried cherry and nutmeg -- great aromas; really nice complexity on the palate with a velveteen texture; little mid-palate mineral and coffee note on the finish. Love it!
2009 DeLille Harrison Hill Red Blend
A Cabernet Sauvignon dominant wine with hi-toned blackberry, roasted red pepper, garlic butter and raspberry. Long finish with rich fruit throughout palate -- it just goes and goes. There is subtle slately character.
2010 Soos Creek Ciel du Cheval Red Blend
Blackberry puree, fresh leather and oregano, sweet black cherry; juicy and huge on palate; slately/mineral on mid-palate with clean finish. Delicious.
I recently had the pleasure of judging the San Diego International Wine Competition. In three tasting sessions over two days, nearly 150 wines passed through my palate (lots of spitting, of course) including Barbera, Merlot, Syrah, Zinfandel, Petit Syrah, Chardonnay, Viognier and white blends. I judged alongside Gary Eberle, the father of Paso Robles and owner of Eberle Winery, and Ed Moore, owner of Southern California's The 3rd Corner Wine Bar and Bistro. Gary's wine are beautiful -- consistent, balanced, and focused. I haven't yet been to one of Ed's three locations, but from speaking with other judges, I know I'd like his concept; he's one of the foremost wine experts in Southern California.
Judges are brought into panels to express their individual opinions about each of the wines we taste. We are tasked with finding the good in each wine, evaluating its overall structure, varietal characteristics (or lack there of) and making a decision as to its merit. We also need to be on the look out for flawed wines. And do all of this relatively quickly -- you'll see that my notes are more short-hand than full wine review.
So there is always lively discussion among panels. For the most part, the three of us were in sync; thankfully, when we weren't, the conversation remained respectful.
Below is a list of wines and tasting notes that appealed to me. These may or may not coincide with Gold medal winning wines.
Eberle 2011 Viognier, Mill Road Vineyard, Paso Robles, CA $20
Pretty tropical fruit with abundant peach; floral; very nice balance (Gold)
Frank Family 2011 Chardonnay, Napa Valley, California $35
Lemon-lime, fresh cut grass; good acid balance with tropical note at mid-palate; full finish.
Gary Farrell 2010 Chardonnay, Russian River, $35
Lemon-lime, oregano, crusty baguette; pretty oaky with a lasting finish; good for this style of Chardonnay.
Stinson 2011 Chardonnay, Monticello, Virginia, $19
Lemon, green apple; good mouthfeel with little lime note on finish; refreshing.
Wildhurst 2011 Chardonnay Reserve , Lake County, CA, $16
Barrel spice, red apple; good weight and acid balance.
Alexander Valley Vineyards 2011 Chardonnay, Alexander Valley, CA, $18
Butter, lemon lime basil and a little tropical fruit. Very pleasant.
Brazin 2010 Old Vine Zinfandel, Lodi, CA $20
Raspberry, dried cherry, herbal notes; juicy palate with nice, lengthy finish.
Green Truck 2009 Zinfandel, Mencodino, CA, $12
Mint, raspberry, juicy fruit; pleasant.
Redwood Creek 2010 Zinfandel, California, $8
Raspberry, cherry jam; little pepper on palate. Pleasant, especially for price.
Fetzer 2010 Valley Oaks Zinfandel, California, $9
Raspberry, tinge of herbal; good balance with some nice acidity to balance fruit.
Barefoot NV Zinfandel, California, $7
We taste blind, but this one is especially nice for the price. Blackberry, pepper, cherry; fruity and fun.
Chatom 2009 Syrah, Calaverus County, $23
Cougar Crest 2009 Syrah, Walla Walla, WA, $34
Sopressata, blackberry, forest floor and pepper. Loved this wine!
Calcareous Vineyard 2009 Syrah, Paso Robles, CA, $36
Raspberry, black cherry; juicy with little mineral and mint. Fabulous.
Double Crossing 2010 Petit Sirah, Dry Creek, CA, $29
Deep raspberry jam, fresh leather and tobacco box notes. Quite yummy.
Green Truck 2010 Petit Sirah, Mendocino, CA, $12
Raspberry, leather, baking spice, herbal notes and slight curing tobacco aromas; balanced.
Crooked Vine 2009 Petit Sirah, Livermore Valley, CA, $34
More subtle approach (there were some that were just monsters so this was a positive), blackberry and blueberry fruit with touch of herbal notes and balanced acidity.
Rodney Strong 2009 Merlot, Sonoma, CA, $18
Smoke, plum, cedar, eucalyptus; balanced with just a slight bitter quality that dissipates.
Bonterra 2010 Merlot, Mendocino, $16
Raspberry, plum, spice rack; juicy on palate with solid tannin structure.
Nello Olivo 2009 Barbera, El Dorado County, CA, $28
Juicy raspberry, black cherry, herbal with good acid lift.
Luna Rossa 2006 Barbera Reserve, Mimbres Valley, NM, $45
Plum, prune, mint and raspberry; finishes a little light but overall a very nice effort.
Eberle 2010 Barbera, Paso Robles, CA, $28
Deep cherry, hay, raspberry; nice balance and crushed floral component on finish. (This was our first wine so it was great to start off the tasting with something so well done.) Our panel voted silver but for the record, I had it as a gold plus and possibly platinum.
Lately, we have come across a few articles that discuss the benefits of using Facebook to communicate with customers and to build your brand awareness. While we agree with using Facebook as a tool to communicate with customers, we recommend integrating social media with email marketing.
Since my last blog post, I heard back from Santa via voicemail. His tone told me he was not too pleased with my inquiry about pricing. He stated that the invoice I'd received was correct -- that I'd actually been given a better deal, and he wasn't sure how that had happened. That I could call back.
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