Wine and conversation are natural allies. The more one flows, the more the other grows. Wine is a social lubricant and connecting adhesive that brings parties to life and people together. For three hours on June 3, a little thing called Twitter brought thousands of wine lovers together for one purpose; celebrate Washington Wine. While #WAWine may not have been the largest of this year’s tasting events by volume of tweets or number of tweeters, it arguably propelled the largest amount of wineries and businesses into action.
Twitter events are still in their infancy and range from specialized single winery focused events on TasteLive.com to worldwide emphasis events like #Chardonnay hosted by Rick Bakas of St. Supery Winery. The May Chardonnay event established a benchmark with over 600 people contributing 2700 tweets. Our goal with Washington focused taste and tweets is to educate wineries on the benefits of using social media and to provide a collective state wide event leveraging the momentum of many to bring worldwide attention to Washington State wine. Each event widens the net of participation and awareness.
Success Is Consumer Participation
While big twitter numbers are fun to see, and is certainly an area to give greater focus in the future, the success of WAMerlot and WAWine is consumer participation AT the winery or event location. I like to evaluate each event by looking at the strengths and opportunities.
Strength in Numbers
- 105 wineries and 10-20 retail locations were involved at various levels for WAWine (one out of every six Washington Wineries)
- 370 people on Twitter and about 50 people on Facebook contributed 1850-2000 updates about WAWine.
- Between 1000-1500 (approx) people attended various events across the state
- WAWine was a trending topic in Seattle for most of the three hour event.
- Aggregating the number of followers by the main participants puts brand impressions over ONE MILLION.
For me the highlights that bring the most excitement were the collaborative events that were held by the Cascade Valley Wine Country in Wenatchee and Lake Chelan with 15 wineries representing these smaller areas and close to 100 people celebrating between both locations. The other highlight is how the Walla Walla community came together at Olives Café with 17 wineries hosting a crowd of over 100.
Opportunities for Future
WAMerlot was the beginning, WAWine was an expansion of the idea and a future event (probably in the fall) will provide many opportunities to enhance the idea and continue education. For WAWine we provided several resources to assist wineries in the promotion of the event (Press Release, Tasting Room flyer, video primer, blogger contact information, etc). For greater success of future events, we’ll focus on the following:
- More lead time communication with wineries
- More aggressive PR to media
- Wineries leveraging Facebook and Email lists to ‘promote’
- Collaborative community events (similar to Walla Walla and Cascade Valley Wine Country)
- More winery connection to wine bloggers
Was WAWine a success? Yes, in huge proportion! Considering that zero money was spent in marketing dollars and the use of Twitter, Facebook, Blogging and Email motivated potentially a few thousand people to drink Washington Wine for a night, the event was a phenomenal success. I believe we’re just scratching the surface.
WAWine Posts you Must See
- DecanterBanter.com enjoys a great time with Cascade Valley Wine Country (VIDEO)
- WildWallaWallaWineWoman.com – Walla Walla comes together at Olives Cafe (VIDEO)
- WineTonite tweets from the East!
- WineRocks in Seattle – 189 Pictures
- Oregon_Wine_Blog – WAWine 140 Characters at a Time
- Wine Peeps – WAWine – Oh What a Night
- Woodinville Wine Update – WAWine Woodinville Style
I want to give a huge thanks to my main partner in crime, Sean Sullivan from www.wawinereport.com and the event sponsors www.washingtontastingroom.com and www.washingtonwine.org. Events like this could not be successful without the collective support of the entire wine writing community across the state (and even some across the country). While support certainly went beyond the co-supporters, we couldn’t have done it without you!
|Washington Wine Writers|
|Josh Gana; Clive Pursehouse
- The Stuff: 100% Estate fruit from Seven Hills Vineyard with 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and 10% Cab Franc. Wine spent 22 months in a mix of new and used French oak. 14.5%abv; 1398 cases produced
- The Swirl: Dark crimson purple with a thick cloudy look. Presentation is about 90% opaque with beautiful jewel tones at the edges
- The Sniff: The Perigee is alive on the nose with rich cherry fruit and hints of clove, tobacco and vanilla.
- The Sip: This is a beautiful elegant wine with amazing balance of fruit, spice and structure. A slight sweetness grazes the front of your tongue as the dark cherry flavors wash across the middle of your tongue. Slight earthy leather, tobacco box, and cocoa prepare the finish for a smooth velvety wash.
- The Score: At $49, this wine may be out of reach for most people, but is certainly a wine I would recommend to anyone who has the opportunity to taste, buy or try. I can easily score this a 4 (out of 5). Get it down to $35 and buy a case!
*Wine provided as an industry sample with the intention to review