Month: July 2010

Wineries and Tweetups: How to

I get quite a bit of email from wineries on the subject of Tweetups.

Imagine a Tweetup this big!

I wrote a guest article for Gary Vaynerchuk’s Corkd.com on the subject to touch on the benefits. See the article HERE.  This resulted in a whole bunch more emails with specific questions about the nuts and bolts, the details of how to do the Tweetup thing.  So I put together a quick little reference specifically for wineries based on the email help I provided this weekend.

Participate in every #varietal tweetup #cabernet #merlot #shiraz ect.  Varietal Tweetups promote wine in general and a specific varietal.  Successful examples are @rickbakas ‘s #calicabs which featured California Cabernet’s.  Josh Wade’s ( @nectarwine) #WAMerlot featured Merlot from Washington State.  Shannon Casey (@michbythebottle) put together Tweet and Taste Michigan and used the #hashtag #TTMI so that people could follow along in real time on twitter.

So step one would be to participate in every #varietal tweetup.  The next BIG BIG event is #Cabernet.  This event is being hosted by Rick Bakas and many well known wineries will be participating.  Wineries like Duckhorn, Cakebread and St Supery.  If Cabernet Sauvignon is (or whatever the next varietal tweetup is)  a wine that you make and have in stock then host a tweetup at the winery.  These events are almost always on a Thursday night, and if your winery is a long way for people to travel don’t expect much more than a few locals to attend, but be sure to email, phone and visit people to promote the fact that you are participating and fun will be going on at your winery or tasting room on that night.  Promote the tweetup on Twitter, Facebook, on your website, on Localwineevents.com and Meetup.com
If the winery does not have the particular varietal you can still participate just by yourself by going to another winery in the area who does make/carry that varietal and tweet from there.  Or you can have a private party and people can bring their own wine to taste and tweet about.

For tweetups intended to promote your specific brand I suggest contacting  via Direct Message (DM)   Twitter “influencers” and invite them to your tweetup. Or get their contact emails from their blogs.  Most prominent Twitter personalities have a blog.  Tell them that their tasting fee will be waived and there will be some complimentary food for them.  In order to be considered an influencer I would suggest a minimum 1,000 followers and a ratio of pretty close to 1:1  People who follow 10,000 people but only have 1,000 followers are not very influential. Also suggest some local accommodations incase they want to stay over night. Then come up with a hashtag# to identify the event and DM the influencers with the hashtag a few weeks in advance.  Do a soft launch tweeting information about the event with the #hashtag.  Then begin to actively promote the event about 2 to 3 weeks in advance. I believe that you don’t want to be tweeting about the event every day for months before it happens, it will be overkill and people will tune it out.  I would send out a tweet several times a week leading up to the event and then just before it I would step it up and then the day before and the day of the event tweet more as the event draws closer and tweet often when the event starts. Tweet about who is at the event, what people are drinking, how many people are there, how much fun it is ect.  ENGAGE with others, don’t just blast out your information.  Thank people for retweeting your message ask them if they will be attending, ask who else will be attending, be enthusiastic!  According to Dan Zarrella most Retweets happen between 10am and 12 midnight on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.  This is apparently Eastern Standard Time, but I believe the same is true no matter what time zone you are in.
Getting back to hosting a tweetup to promote your winery. I would pick 2 or 3 influencers offer them a free tasting and food.  I would also put out a general tweet to all other Twitters and offer some other kind of discount, possibly complimentary cheese plates.  I would do the same on facebook, wineevents and meetup.com. Then when people show up and mention the discount you will be able to track how people heard about the wine tasting and see which form of media is most effective.
another great way to promote events is thru Eventbrite.com

During the Tweetup I would take lots of pictures for your Facebook Page, and videos for your Youtube Channel which you can embed to your website/blog.  I would limit the length of each video to 1-3 minutes maximum.  People have short attention spans.  If you visit my Youtube channel you will see that I don’t always follow the time limit rule, it’s mainly because I don’t feel like it!

One more useful event to participate in on a regular basis is #WIYG.  Barbara Evans @Seattlewinegal came up with the idea.  It stands for Whats In Your Glass.  Most Friday and Saturday nights if you sent her an @ message with the hashtag #WIYG and a photo of what you are drinking, she will Retweet it.

Please email me any questions or feel free to contact the references below:

Josh Wade @nectarwine Drinknectar.com

Rick Bakas @RickBakas RickBakas.com #Cabernet information

Barbara Evans @Seattlewinegal Barbaraevans.wordpress.com

Shannon Casey @michbythebottle Michiganbythebottle.com

Brian Solis’s post analyzing Dan Zarrella’s information

The Great Arizona Grape Stomp Marathon, 2010

The Great Arizona Grape Stomp is a collection of four different 5k fun runs that will take place across the state with proceeds benefiting the Arizona Wine Growers Association. What a fun way to make a tour across Arizona enjoying the fresh air, beautiful unique landscape and tasting some fabulous wines! You’ll make your choice of Arizona’s three wine producing regions – Sonoita/Elgin, the Verde Valley and Willcox – with a celebration run in Phoenix on October 30th, the kick-off of our unofficial Arizona wine week. Or attend all four and be designated a “Grape Stomp Connoisseur”! A special gift awaits you!
All races are on a Saturday, starting at 8AM. At the end of the race, receive a special wine glass entitling you to special discounts throughout wine country. Winners will receive special prizes.
First “Stomp” – Sonoita Elgin July 24th. Run down Sonita’s Winery Row!

Second “Stomp” – Verde Valley August 28th.

Third “Stomp” – Willcox/Sulphur Springs Valley September 18th.

Last & Final “Stomp” – Downtown Phoenix October 30th.

To sign up just print this entry form HERE

Interview with John McLoughlin, winemaker Bitter Creek Winery

I recently made the trip from Phoenix up to Jerome to meet with Jon McLoughlin, winemaker at Bitter Creek Winery.  It was nice to get away from the summer heat, and up into the mountains.  Jerome is built on the side of a mountain and is situated at 5,246 feet.  I emailed John some questions and he responded, and I also interviewed him on camera,  First the emails:

Weekly Wine Journal:  How has the weather been so far this year and how is the 2010 crop doing.

John McLoughlin:  So far luck is with Dragoon Mountain Vineyard!  Early in 2010, we had two days of a late freeze!   Not good when the vines are just starting to “push”.  Many of the vineyards in the State were hard hit.  Dragoon Mountain Vineyard was fortunate, our land is pretty flat, and that allows the air to move across the vineyard.  When there are depressions in the contour of the ground, the cold air will settle in the low points and that is when frost can occur.

Weekly Wine Journal: Which varieties are doing the best.

John McLoughlin: Right now the Big Reds are doing very well!

Here is the video:

More Videos at the Weekly Wine Journal’s YOUTUBE Channel

Bitter Creek Winery, Tarot labels by Rick Wyckoff

On July 9th, 2010 Bitter Creek Winery released the first 9 of a possible 26 wines centered around the Tarot deck.  Each wine has a Tarot card for the label. Bitter Creek Winery is located in Arizona.  Winemaker John McLoughlin says about 99% of his work is done down in South Eastern Arizona, and about 1% in Jerome, Arizona.  Jerome is not far from Verde Valley where Popular Verde Valley artist Rick Wyckoff calls home.  Rick is the artist who was commissioned by John to create the labels.  Rick  is not only known as a tattoo artist, but a craftsman of many mediums. His art career began in 1988 at the art center of Tucson, which led to the completion of his degree in production art and design. During his college years, he became involved in metal art and blade smithing, which he still enjoys today. Upon leaving college he sought employment as a commercial artist. However, his youth would not allow him a sedentary life of an office worker. So into the military he went! Shortly after leaving the military, he returned to blade smithing and the Renaissance fair circuit, where he discovered tattooing. 18 years later he is still on the quest!

Since opening his first shop in 2002 in Jerome Az, he has expanded his range of mediums to wood sculpture, painting, illustration and furniture making. His intent being the introduction of art and beauty into as many aspects of life as possible, and sharing that passion for evoking emotion with as many people as possible.

Drawing his inspiration from nature, history and cultural traditions from all over the world. His hope is to continuously reinvent and transform not only his art, but art perspective in general. Which is why his primary focus is on tattooing and it’s inherent transformational qualities.

It is his hope that his art brings inspiration, illumination and joy to all who come in contact with it!

Arizona Wine Tasting: Scottsdale, July 22nd 2010 at 5th and Wine

On Thursday, July 22nd from 6:30 to 8:30 PM, join Jim Wiskerchen aka @mywinehelper at 5th & Wine for a blind tasting of 4 of some of the best Arizona wines. There will be plenty of great food served buffet style, all for only $25.00/person. You will also have the chance to win a gift certificate to 5th & Wine if you guess all four varietal wines correctly. After the wines are revealed you will be able to purchase these wines by the glass.  5th & Wine is a great place to hang after working all day and to escape the heat. So join Jim in supporting local wines and this great local wine bar. This event is limited to 40 people so get your spot reserved HERE
5th & Wine
7051 E. 5th Ave.
Scottsdale, AZ 85251
480-699-8001

5th & Wine WEBSITE