When releasing a wine, what are the typical process flows? PR to media – check. Email to mailing list – check. Save the date card to mailing list – check. Tasting room party – check. Send dozens of wine writers some samples and have a tweet up? Desert Wind Winery recently released their 2009 Ora (white blend) and utilized relationship marketing to engage writers and influencers virtually. Not everyone had the capacity to go to their beautiful Prosser, WA tasting room, so Amber and Greg Fries send the wine to the people. The result, nearly 500 conversations between 77 people. “It’s a success in our eyes,” says marketing director, Amber Fries.
The Ora is the newest edition to the growing family of Desert Wind wines out of their estate vineyards in Wahluke Slope. The unique blend of Chardonnay, Semillon, Riesling and Gewurztraminer combine the rich mouth feel of Chardonnay and a crisp refreshing lemon lime flavor of Riesling and Gewurzt. The Semillon shines through with elegant underpinnings of nuts and vanilla. I applaud Desert Wind for integrating social media and relationship marketing into their overall release strategy. I look forward to following up with them to see how the minimal investment paid off in the long term. As part of the release, the Ora (pronounced like hoorah, but OH-rah) is currently on sale for only $12 per bottle out of their tasting room and online.
2009 Desert Wind Winery Ora
- The Stuff: 60% Chardonnay, 20% Riesling, 15% Semillon and 5% Gewurztraminer; 8% fermented in oak barrels, a touch of residual sugar at .36 g/100ml; 13.8%ABV; 316 cases produced
- The Swirl: Very golden yellow in the glass, makes me think of “drops of Jupiter” like a sun kissed golden blonde
- The Sniff: Very lively nose with immediate aromas of lychee, tropical fruit, and hints of vanilla, nuts and honey. Maybe this would be a good pairing with Post Honey Nut Oat Clusters for breakfast.
- The Sip: The Ora has a very full mouth feel that provides just a touch of sweetness without being sweet. The flavors are softer tropical and peach with a mild white pepper on the back end. The wine finishes with medium low acidity and a hint of a disjointed aftertaste. If you are a Chardonnay lover but sometimes crave something a little more crisp and tropical, think Ora.
- The Score: At $15 retail the wine is very enjoyable and paired very well on two different nights (first with Salmon and spicy potatoes and second with Carne Asada). We took a second bottle to enjoy at a friend’s house and shared it to rave reviews. The Ora leaves me saying hoorah and hoping I can find one more bottle before the end of summer. 3+/5