Buccella winemaker Rebekah Wineburg sits down with the Weekly Wine Journal to talk about wine!
Buccella winemaker Rebekah Wineburg sits down with the Weekly Wine Journal to talk about wine!
50 years ago, on June 15th, 1963 a young couple with an Affinity for each other were married in Sierra Madre, California.
They had met by chance in the spring of 1960 while riding their bikes on a street in Woodside, near Palo Alto, California. He noticed her minding her own business, riding her bike, and at the next stop light he rode up next to her and said hi. She said hi back. They chatted for a moment and then the light changed and they continued on. To the next red light, where they talked a bit more. After a few more intersections he finally got the nerve to ask her to go for a coffee. There’s nothing like a refreshing cup of coffee after a bike ride! She agreed and that is how an Affinity, a deep affinity which has spanned 53 years, began.
She was attending Stanford studying communications and journalism. He was fresh out of a 4 year tour with the Coast Guard. His last year was spent on Annette island near Ketchikan, Alaska. After they married, they first moved to San Francisco where he began studying economics at San Francisco State University. By this time she had graduated from Stanford and was working for an advertising agency.
After he earned his BA in economics, they decided to move to Chicago so he could obtain his Masters at the University of Chicago Business School. He attended school all year round to avoid having to spend any more winters in Chicago, and by 1966 he had his MBA and they moved back to the San Francisco area once again.
In San Fransisco, she worked in public relations and eventually started her own PR firm in 1972. During this time he worked in marketing, real estate and asset management. One of the things they had enjoyed since before they were first married was visiting Napa Valley. They shared an Affinity for exploring the wine world and joined the San Francisco Vintner’s club. This is where they learned about fine wines and were exposed to Napa Valley “mountain wines” for the first time. They became intrigued with making mountain Cabernet Sauvignons.
Trying to find a way to become involved in Napa Valley, he began putting together investment groups to purchase vineyards in the 1970’s. At the time there were only about 7 or 8 wineries in the valley, quite different from the Napa Valley of today. Eventually a prime vineyard site became available on Mount Veeder. The land turned out to have a wine history dating back to 1874. He and a colleague organized an investment group to buy the site, with the vision of reviving it. In 1978 he successfully sold the property to Donald Hess of Switzerland and stayed on to help develop and manage the project. Eventually they renovated the old Christian Brothers Mont La Salle winery to process the fruit from the vineyard and start The Hess Collection winery. He then became general manager of the Hess Collection Winery.
During the early years on Mount Veeder, he would commute from San Francisco, but in 1980, their dream of of living in Napa Valley was finally realized when they moved into the then-quiet, small town of Napa with their six year old son, Bryan. During this time she continued to work as a PR consultant
In 1990, thanks to his efforts, the Mount Veeder Appellation received its own A.V.A. status and he went on to consult on Spring Mountain’s A.V.A. application. By 1990 the opportunity to start his own winery with friends from his Chicago MBA class presented itself and he left The Hess Collection. He aquired mountain vineyard sources and began making high-elevation Cabernet Sauvignons in 1992. 10 years later, in 2002, they built a state of the art winery and vineyard at the summit of Howell Mountain.
Who am I talking about? Robert “Bob” & Lynn Craig! I first met Bob at a wine event in Phoenix a few years ago, and then I met both of them in Napa in 2011. On June 14th, 2013 I was in Napa and visited them at their busy tasting room. While tasting some of the new releases I asked them many questions about the past. Robert Craig’s flagship Cabernet Sauvignon is named “Affinity” in case you didn’t know. This wine is one of the most affordable highly rated Cabernets that Napa Valley has to offer.
In our conversation I learned that they were celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary the next day, and while tasting “Affinity” and talking with them I realized their amazing affinity for each other.
Special thanks to Lynn Craig for providing all the photos and for proof reading!
Robert Craig Wine Website
Previous Weekly Wine Journal Articles on Robert Craig:
Affordable California Cult Wines – Part 5 – Robert Craig
How one Napa Valley producer has found success by focusing on Quality…
A video of me driving on Howell Mountain with the Craigs
See more photos on the Weekly Wine Journal’s Facebook Page
My summer 2013 tour of Napa Valley included a visit to Rutherford Grove Winery. The tasting room and winery is located on the St Helena Highway, just outside of St, Helena.
The first thing you’ll notice about Rutherford Grove Winery is the amazing landscaped property. You can’t see it from the road, but once you get up to the actual winery and tasting room you’ll notice all the flowers and gardens, and off to the side there is a huge grass field and picnic BBQ area that can accommodate hundreds of people.
On this visit I met tasting room manager Bonnie Zimmerman and wine-maker Alejandro Alfaro, and tasted through a wide variety of Rutherford Grove wines, as well as some of the Pestoni family wines.
The Pestoni family has been involved in wine making in Napa Valley for 5 generations, but current owner Bob Pestoni, didn’t immediately follow in the family footsteps. He started a disposal company first. And Napa Valley is very lucky that he did. Bob actually discovered a bacteria to help recycle all the organic waste in the wine making process. Every year he produces over 12,000 tons of organic compost fertilizer to be used in vineyards all over Napa Valley.
Alejandro Alfaro is now the head wine maker for both Rutherford Grove and Petsoni Family wines. He has an interesting background in wine making. While a lot of wine makers these days are graduates of U.C. Davis, Alejandro gained his knowledge and skills in wine making from hands on experience. Alejandro has been working in the business for over 18 years and has done it all from vineyard management to cellar work, to wine production, and retail sales to wine making. He joined Rutherford Grove and Pestoni in 2010 after working with an impressive list of small production high quality clients. The most striking thing about Alejandro is that he is a genuine, down to earth, friendly guy. Unassuming and humble. Which is interesting, because I really think that comes across in the wine style. All wines have their strong points and niches, and the impression I get from Alejandro’s wines is they are unassuming and humble. But they’re not boring.
The 2008 Pestoni Estate Reserve Cabernet from Howell Mountain is an amazing wine. It’s remarkably approachable for such a young mountain wine. This wine scored 94 points from Wine Enthusiast and won a gold medal at the San Francisco Chronicle wine competition in 2011. With only 350 cases produced and priced at only $65 a bottle it is quite a steal. The next day at the Taste of Howell Mountain I had a chance to taste the 09 vintage and it was perhaps even better! I also had a chance to taste the 2008 Estate Reserve Merlot, also from Howell Mountain. This is also a great value, with only 300 cases produced and priced at $50 a bottle. The wine was a gold medal winner at the 2012 San Francisco Chronicle wine competition and scored 92 points from Wine Enthusiast. It’s a Cabernet lovers Merlot, nice and big and bold.
Other stand-outs include the Rutherford Grove Estate Sauvignon Blanc and the Estate Sangiovese. The Sauvignon Blanc has a good citrus like acidity with an apricot aroma on the nose, making it a refreshing summer sipper. At only $18 and only 600 cases produced for the 2012 vintage this wine will probably go fast.
The Estate Sangiovese is only available through the wine club and tasting room. Only 300 cases were produced and it runs $35 a bottle. It’s a big bold and dense wine with the fine dusty tannins that the Rutherford area is so well known for.
If you’re taking a trip to Napa Valley, I would recommend stopping in at the Rutherford Grove winery to taste their wines. Reservations are not required to taste the wines, though you might want to contact them ahead of time if you want to meet Alejandro.
Contact Rutherford Grove Winery Here
If you’ve paid even a perfunctory attention to wine over the last 30-40 years you’ve noticed that wine is produced in Napa Valley and you’ve heard of Robert Mondavi. And if you’ve taken a liking to wine you might know a dozen or more wine names and you might have seen the movie “Sideways”. The more you interested you become the deeper you dig until eventually (hopefully) you discover the taste of Howell Mountain wines.
These mountain fruit wines are not for everyone. They’re big, they’re tannic, they need time to unwind, but given patience they can develop into something unique and mind blowing.
Throughout the year the Howell Mountain Vintners & Growers Association holds tasting events in the San Fransisco area. The main event, however, is held every June on the grounds of the historic Charles Krug Winery in St. Helena.
Guests pay $125 to sample wines from over 40 wineries, all of which have wines made from Howell Mountain fruit. $125 may seem like a lot, but when you consider than many of these wines cost $100-$200 a bottle, its actually a great deal. In fact, you’ll probably even sample wines that are just not for sale!
At this year’s event I visited as many of the participating wineries as possible, but just like Disneyland, it’s just not possible to experience it all in a day.
My first stop was Robert Craig’s table. I sampled the 2010 Howell Mountain Cabernet from his estate vineyard and the 2010 Howell Mountain Zinfandel which is made from fruit from the neighboring Black Sears Vineyard. Robert “Bob” was also pouring an unreleased Rose which was really amazing. The rose was dry and crisp with good floral aromatics.
I managed to get a quick video interview with Stephen Tebb, which you can see here. I also got to chat with Bob a little bit, which is always nice as he’s one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet. Check back for an upcoming article on Robert & Lynn Craig’s 50th wedding anniversary…
Next up was Robert Foley. I sampled the ’09 Howell Mountain Cabernet. “Bob” wasn’t in town, so new assistant wine-maker Eric Reichenbach and Bob’s wife,
Kelly Kehoe were on hand pouring the wine. Both were a little camera shy, so I couldn’t get them to agree to an outrageous YouTube interview about fine wine. But I picked up the vibe that they had something to say or announce, something to do with an upcoming new release perhaps? hmmm… There will be an article in the near future on my visit to the Robert Foley Estate on Howell Mountain.
On the other side of Robert Craig was Red Cap Vineyards. I’d heard about them through Instagram and noticed a number of people commenting on how great the wine was so I was eager to try it out. Owner and grower, Tom Altemus was on hand pouring wines and giving a brief history of Red Cap’s brief history. I sampled both the 2009 Howell Mountain Cab and 2011 Rutherford Sauvignon Blanc. Red Cap’s production levels are also low, even by Howell Mountain standards. Only 260 cases of the ’08 Cab were produced and only 150 cases of the ’11 Sauv Blanc were produced! $65 for the Cab and only $22 for Sauv blanc, you’d better get some shipped to you before its all gone!
I ran into wine maker for Rutherford Grove and Pestoni Family Wines, Alejandro Alfaro, whom I’d met the day before at the winery. I tried out the ’08 Pestoni Estate Reserve Howell Mountain Cab and was really pleasantly surprised. This is a REALLY nice wine. With only 350 cases made and $65, this wine also won’t last. I have to say Alejandro is also a very nice and friendly fellow, if ever you’re in Napa, stop by the Rutherford Grove (not to be confused with Rutherford Hill) tasting room and say hi. Future article on that visit also coming up…
During my happy wandering it was suggested to me that I head over to the Aloft table. I was filled in that there was quite a bit of buzz surround the new project. And when I arrived at the table I knew why. It was there I met and had a long conversation the Marc Mondavi. He explained that they wanted to create a new project of exceptional quality, and not have it associated with the Charles Krug brand in any way. So they went with a totally hands off approach. The grapes come from the 21 acre Cold Springs Vineyard, the Mondavi’s hired Jim Barbour as vineyard manager and Thomas Rivers Brown as wine-maker!
If you don’t know Thomas Rivers Brown, just consider this feat: In 2008 he scored two 100 point wines from the same vintage from Robert Parker and then in 2010 he scored another two 100 point wines from The Wine Spectator! He is the youngest wine maker to receive a 100 point rating and also the first American wine maker to receive 100 points from Wine Spectator. But wait, there’s more! He received 3 consecutive 100 point scores for both the Shrader CCS and Shrader “Old Sparky”. Ok, so the critics like him, what’s the wine like?Its remarkably approachable for a mountain wine. It’s definitely big, but exceptionally smooth and complex. Nice dark fruit and a hint of earth. That’s what I wrote down on the back of a business card. A third of a glass of wine is really not enough to give this or any of these wines a fair taste, I prefer bottle tasting.
Another highlight was when I spotted the elusive Randy Dunn! Dunn Vineyards has been producing exceptional Howell Mountain Cabernet since 1981. His wines are some of the most age worthy wines you’ll find in Napa. Randy was pouring his ’05 Howell Mountain Cab. This wine is still a baby and will evolve for many years to come. I asked Randy: “How did you have the foresight to make and save magnums from every vintage so that you..”
He finished my sentence: “So I could give them away to charity?”
“Heh” he answered and continued pouring.
Randy donates verticals from every vintage he’s released so far to be auctioned at the Taste of Howell mountain every year. This year he donated 18 magnums of his cab ’83 thru ’99 with a just a few years missing. In 2011 he donated an 18 year vertical ’89 thru ’07.
Randy’s son Mike has his own label – Retro Cellars. Mike’s wife Kara was on hand pouring and talking about the wines. I tried out their 09 Howell Mountain Petite Sirah, and it was amazing! Only 100 cases of this wine were produced, so this was a real treat for me to be able to try it out. Look out for this wine in the future I think they’re really going to make a name for themselves
With all the talking and sipping time really flew by at this years event. Before I knew it the clock struck 3 and the tasting wrapped up, and guests moved indoors, into the beautifully renovated upstairs dining room of the Charles Krug carriage house. The live auction of some really amazing wines, wine dinners, and private tastings helped raise a lot of money for Howell Mountain schools and charities. This year over $110,000 was raised with $73,000 of that coming from the live auction. Live auction highlights:
Lot#5 Outpost Wine,Dine and Dance. Table for 10 sold twice at $4000 each
Lot#9 Spence dinner and fine wine: 10 couples, $400/couple
Lot#15 18 Magnums of Dunn Vineyards wine: $7400 (assorted vintages ’83-’09)
All in all, this was a great event. It was nice to see more wineries and guests than in previous years. It was also nice to meet Samuel Peters, executive director of the Howell Mountain Vintners and Growers association who was kind enough to petition the board on my behalf and secure a media pass for me. (FCC disclaimer-I received a ticket to this event)
Next time you see a bottle of wine labelled Howell Mountain, give it a try!
See more photos from the event on the Weekly Wine Journal Facebook Page
In my first post (here) I explained that I have started to see more higher end wines in the wine department at Costco. I decided to give a couple of them a try and was blown away! The first wine I reviewed was Kapcsandy Family Vineyard’s “Endre”.
The second amazing blend comes from Anderson’s Conn Valley Vineyards, also in Napa. Conn Valley is located about 4 miles east of St Helena at the southern base of Howell Mountain in north eastern Napa Valley. Anderson’s 40 acre estate first vintage was in 1987 and over the years built a reputation for quality. They’ve also picked up a little bit of critical acclaim along the way. Robert Parker has rated their “Eloge” consistently between 95 and 98 points since the 2005 vintage
Anderson’s Conn Valley Vineyards 2008 Eloge, Napa Valley
This wine is a blend of 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Cabernet Franc, 10% Petit Verdot and 10% Merlot. In comparison to the Endre’s relatively light 13.5% the Eloge weighs in at a robust 14.6% alcohol.
This wine is quite different than the Endre. The nose is more searing, but not unpleasantly searing, just more. The nose also has a distinct smokey gaminess to it along with cedar and cassis. The palate is where this wine really shines, and even now (mid 2013) this wine really showed a lot more of itself after 24 hours of decanting. This is a big BIG, serious wine. This is not a wine for the faint of heart. But it’s not big as in big fruit bomb, or big oak bomb. Its big in intensity and complexity. Brawn and brains.
The retail price price on this wine is around $110 online, but I found it for $69 at Costco. Even at $110 its a pretty good deal, but for $69 its a steal. You just can’t find a wine from Napa rated 96-98 points by Robert Parker for anything close to that price, except Altamura. Not that I’m ALL about ratings, but they do have an effect on demand and price.
Having said that…Weekly Wine Journal Rating: 97 Points
This past January I attended a Robert Craig Winery wine tasting held at Garage Wine & Tap in Phoenix, Arizona. Mr Robert (Bob) Craig was on hand to talk with guests and answer their questions and show case the brand new release of his flagship wine the 2010 Affinity.
If you don’t know Robert Craig, then lets start with a little background:
Robert Craig is responsible for the Mount Veeder and Spring Mountain American Viticultural Areas (A.V.A’s) He is a Napa pioneer, and started out putting together real estate deals in Napa in the late 1960’s early 70’s. During this time he came across an offer he couldn’t refuse for some potential vineyard land which he later sold to Donald Hess and then stayed on as vineyard manager during the 1980’s. In 1992 Robert Craig started his own winery and in 2002 he built a state of the art winery and started a small vineyard on some prime land on the top of Howell Mountain situated right between Black Sears Vineyard and Outpost. An interesting factoid about Bob is that he was in the Coast Guard in the 1950’s and was stationed off the very southern panhandle of Alaska just a few hours from where I grew up as a kid. A while back I wrote a 5 part series on Affordable California Cult Wines, Robert Craig was one of them. Check out that post HERE.
SO! How was the wine you are probably asking. Very, very good. I started out with the only white wine made by Robert Craig, the 2010 Durel vineyard Chardonnay. This is a very nicely balanced Chardonnay, not too much oak, in-fact very little, and not overly buttery. This is a much more Euro style Chard than a California butter and oak pile-driver. I mingled with the guests and tried to gauge their “affinity” for the chard and even though most people were there for the reds, they actually were pleasantly surprised by this wine. I’ve had it before and new to expect good things, and I wasn’t disappointed. Next up was the ’09 Affinity followed by the brand new 2010 Affinity.
Both are stellar, and very approachable right now. Only minimal decanting might be required and certainly no extra again, although like most fine wines these will improve with age. I was eager to get into the mountain fruit and so I moved over to an additional tasting station near the back of the restaurant that was serving Robert Craig’s 2009 Black Sears Vineyard Howell mountain Zinfandel, and the ’08 and ’09 Howell Mountain Cabernets. Robert Parker gave the ’09 Howell mountain cab 96 points. Most Napa Valley Cabernets scoring 96+ points are in the $300 range. Compare that to Robert Craig’s price tag of $80 and you can easily see why I put him in the Affordable California Cult Wines series.
Near the end of the evening I sat on a bar stool next to Bob and a gentleman approached him and asked a very good question: “How do you make these wines so approachable at such a young age, especially the mountain fruit?”
Bob answered, it’s all about vineyard management. Picking the fruit at the right time and to a large extent only picking the fruit. Picking by hand, meticulously sorting out stems and substandard fruit, and also harvesting at the right time.
Currently the 2009 Affinity is at select Costco’s or you can order it online at RobertCraigWine.com
Visit Garage Wine & Tap, it’s a nice venue for tasting wine and its built inside of an old garage in central Phoenix
I have been drinking a lot of California Cabernets lately, and starting on New Year’s Eve, I started a little sidetrack into the wines of France, Margaux in particular. Well this couldn’t have been better timing for a sample of Amizetta Complexity to arrive.
Complexity’s blend is a “Bordeaux style”, and while it is not very similar to the wines of Bordeaux, it still represents a departure from the standard Napa Vally fare. Speaking of the blend, the wine consists of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, and 5% Cabernet Franc.
A little back story on the vineyard and winery:
The vineyard was founded in 1979 and located on the southern end of Howell Mountain (although not actually in the Howell Mountain AVA) the hillside vineyard sits at about 1,000 ft elevation. While perusing the Amizetta website I found some interesting information on hillside, or hill slope vineyards in Napa. In an effort to preserve mountain views, it has become extremely difficult to develop any new hillside vineyards. As such, the 40 acre Amizetta vineyard has become somewhat coveted, because of its size, elevation and that it faces south.
The winery was built in the middle of the vineyard in 1985, and Amizetta enlisted the help of a Mr. Justin Meyers. Justin is the founder and wine-maker at Silver Oak. The idea behind the winery was to make a “wine makers winery”.
Which brings us back to the 2010 Complexity. The fruit for this wine is estate grown, the wine was aged in French oak for 18 months, and only 1,250 cases were made. The wine retails for $45 a bottle
I decanted for 30 minutes prior to tasting. My first sip was extraordinarily rich and ripe, extracted, concentrated and jammy. However, it was only like this on the first few sips. With a few more minutes in the glass, and with my palate adjusting, the wine calmed down and the complexity started to shine through. The first thing to stand out were the tannins. The wine is remarkably mature for a 2010, yet the tannins are unmistakable, they are almost dust like in their texture. Fine, granular. The nose is nice, thanks to a hint of Cabernet Franc. As the wine opened up the elements of earth and tobacco mentioned in the winery’s tasting notes began to appear. At $45 a bottle this is a decent value for a relatively rare wine, and it should cellar well over the next 5-10 or more years. Luckily the winery shipped me 2 bottles, and if I am able to exercise any restraint I might be able to re-sample this wine in the future and see how its coming along!
Weekly Wine Journal rating: 93 points
Northern Arizona’s Stage Stop Vineyards is set to release their 2011 vintage this week with a first ever wine tasting at the owner’s house this coming Thursday night.
The release party is a private-invite only event hosted by Cullum homes and limited to 100 guests who will be joining vineyard owners Melinda, Earl Petznick and their wine maker Eric Glomski. The cuisine is being catered by Mark Tarbell.
Eric Glomski is the owner and wine maker of award winning Page Springs Cellars. He was brought in to make this extremely limited 2011 release of Stage Stop Vineyards Estate Grown “Red Barn Red”. Only 99 cases of this 75% Shiraz, 25% Mourvedre were produced. Both the ’09 and ’10 vintages are already sold out.
Stage Stop Vineyards is located about 10 miles from Sedona right next to Oak Creek in Northern Arizona’s Verde Valley. Owners Melinda and Earl Petznick purchased the historic Dancing Apache ranch back in 2002 and began planting in 2006. The Dancing Apache ranch dates back to the 1800’s and some of the original buildings still remain including the name sake Red Barn, an old school house and a Stage Coach respite house.
Stage Stop Vineyards website
Page Springs Cellars Website
I get quite a bit of email from wineries on the subject of Tweetups.
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
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!