Perspective on Wine Bloggers: Oregon Winemakers
In anticipation of the upcoming 2012 Wine Bloggers’ Conference later this week the editors at Palate Press: The online wine magazine have gathered several different perspectives on wine bloggers. This week we will be running those perspectives, and taking a look at how wine bloggers are viewed by the rest of the world. As the conference will take place in Portland, OR this year, we turned to winemakers from the Willamette Valley for their perspective on wine bloggers. Here is what three Willamette Valley vintners had to say.
What has been your experience with wine bloggers?
Trudy Kramer, Kramer Vineyards: Well, my daughter is engaged to one. And they got [a well known local writer] to notice us. It all began with a little dinner at our house.
Don Hagge, Vidon Vineyard: None that I remember.
Lynn Penner-Ash, Penner-Ash Wine Cellars: Minimal.
How do you feel wine bloggers have supported your business?
TK: The local ones come to some of our events. Some have worked harvest or other times here—like when you [Ryan Reichert] did the video of the sparkling disgorging. That was way cool! I enjoy having them come and experience the real work side of winemaking. There is so much to learn and share. And when they do come, they taste the wines. Not many of the old time reviewers actually come to the wineries. They just stay in their offices. I think that is a big mistake.
DH: Not at all that I’m aware of.
LPA: Positive comments are always nice.
Have you noticed any direct correlation in any wine sales, or increased visits to your winery/tasting room?
TK: Not sure about this. I think this whole area is so new. We are doing a survey in our tasting room (finding out how people came to be here) and wine blogger was not on the list so I just added it.
LPA: No, I’m not sure how we would be able to track that.
How do you feel wine bloggers compare with more traditional wine writers?
TK: They are definitely the younger generation with a refreshing viewpoint. I worry though that they don’t spit enough. Professionals always spit. Judges spit. I spit. If you don’t your analysis is flawed. You can’t taste or smell flaws in the wine.
LPA: I don’t think they do as thorough research on topics, a lot of time comments we’ve read have inaccuracies due to the spontaneity of the blog.
What, if anything, do you think would make working with wine bloggers more beneficial to your brand?
TK: Not sure about this because we don’t have wide distribution. Only in Oregon. And not many places even here. I have enjoyed getting to know the wine bloggers in this area and people who know them. It is like a little community of wine lovers which is really nice. We have made some friends and introduced people to our wines because of the internet connections, Twitter and Facebook are two areas that have been beneficial.
DH: Nothing I can think of.
LPA: Reaching a different demographic more tuned into the electronic and quick commentary.
If you are a winemaker in Oregon, or elsewhere, we invite you to leave your own replies to these questions in the comments for this post.