See how Long Island’s first winery is using social media to connect to customers and wine lovers. The goal of this series is to connect with wineries and wine business that use Social Media (Twitter and Facebook) effectively. These interviews can serve as a catalyst to help other wineries and wine businesses to see the benefits (and pitfalls) of joining the social revolution. See all sixteen interviews here.
On the Web – On Twitter @borghesewine – On Facebook
Interview completed by Jen Ramsay, Borghese Coordinator for Social Networking and Electronic Marketing
How long have you been using Twitter?
We’re newbies! We’ve only been on Twitter a couple of months now. We’re very excited to be a part of a new community, though – we’ve been making some great connections rather quickly and look forward to continuing to build such connections with other wine professionals and wine lovers.
What prompted you to dive in?
We love finding new ways to connect and building relationships with our customers, wine lovers, and other professionals in the wine industry. Being on Twitter helps us do so in a very “now” manner – it’s helping us connect to a very savvy, very cutting edge, and very spontaneous group of people, and we’re loving that. It’s really helping us keep our finger on the pulse of wine conversations happening in the virtual world.
We strive for a few things with our content: 1.) To be consistent (we try to post several things every day!), 2.) To follow people who post good content so that we can RT that good content, 3.) To provide relevant content that also shows our personality. The Borghese Vineyard personality (or brand) is about being refined and classy while at the same time having fun with wine. We try to communicate that in all that we post. One practical strategy we use, too, is to subscribe to Google Alerts relevant to the wine world – if we see an interesting link or story there, we post it on Twitter. We try to balance posting about happenings at our vineyard with happenings in the wine world – we don’t want to limit our presence to only telling people about ourselves, because we are truly looking to build community and be a part of the bigger conversation on wine.
What have been the benefits of using Twitter/Facebook? (increased traffic, increased brand awareness, customer connection, etc)
We have seen some increase in our website traffic since delving into social media outlets. We are really hoping, though, that it will start to drive more foot traffic in to the vineyard. We LOVE our established customers and are so grateful that they return week after week, event after event, and season after season, but we also want to bring in new folks to the vineyard. We feel we have a lot to offer and want people to come get a taste of it.
Is there a single success story that you can point to with using Twitter/Facebook?
We really enjoyed being part of #Cabernet Day! Big thanks to Rick Bakas and the St. Supery team for sparking the flame and fanning the fire on that one, as well as to Lindsay Ronga at Cork’d and Kristen Murphy at Wine Library for coordinating details with us to have Borghese Wine at their tasting event in NYC. The people who tasted our Cabs both at the vineyard and at the NYC event had some great things to say about our wine, and everyone who participated that day got to see that. We definitely mark that as an initial success and we look forward to continuing to participate in other events / collaborations like this!
What do you think is the single biggest barrier to why we don’t see more wineries actively using Social Media tools?
It’s still unfamiliar territory to a lot of people – particularly to a lot of people who are used to doing “business as usual, the way it’s always been done.” There are whole different sets of rules and etiquette to learn and understand and play by in the virtual world and that can feel scary and daunting to people who haven’t yet jumped in. Social Media tools change so quickly – a lot of people probably think, “what’s the point” in learning a new tool, because they think it will be obsolete soon enough. A lot of people still see Social Media as a trend or a fad that will pass. Really, though, Social Media almost presents a sort of “changing of the guard” so to speak when it comes to correspondence. That said, people (like us!) are continuing to see the benefits and are taking the time to learn what the differences are all about and how to leverage the differences, and we’re beginning to see that the conversation will happen with or without us, so we are choosing to be a part of it. Also, a lot of people think that if you join Twitter or Facebook (or any Social Media outlet, for that matter) today, that you will see a revenue increase tomorrow. It’s just not the case. You need to be patient, you need to slowly build, and you need to realize it’s not a magic pill. You have to work just as hard in social media marketing as you did / do with “feet on the street” marketing. It’s not a replacement – it’s a supplement, and it’s not magic – it still takes hard work.
What advice would you give to wineries joining the stream or getting back into the stream?
Jump in. Don’t be afraid. You will stumble as you learn, but you WILL learn. Be genuine, be yourself. Communicate your brand authentically. Reach out to people in the Social Media stream – everyone who we’ve reached out to has been so helpful, so willing to help, and so generous – all of them have welcomed us with open arms. Social Media can seem like an endless sea (which it is!), but take it one stroke at a time – you’ll get there!
Briefly tell us about your winery, a new release, or something unique about you?
We were Long Island’s first established vineyard and winery in 1973 (under the name Hargrave), and we are currently owned and operated by Marco and Ann Marie Borghese – two hardworking and amazingly generous people. We’re located on Long Island’s North Fork, right in the heart of Wine Country, in a town called Cutchogue (which, research has shown, is the sunniest three miles in all of NY State!). We are situated on about 80 acres, only 25 of which are under vine, so we are a small producer of high quality wines. Our signature wines are Sauvignon Blanc (made from the very first vines planted on LI), Pinot Noir (one of only 3 producers of Pinot on LI), and Meritage (a beautiful Bordeaux-style blend). Our wines have won many medals – most recently, our 09 Chard, 09 Sauv Blanc, and 08 Fleurette Rose took home Silver Medals at the NY Wine and Food Classic, and our 06 Cab Franc and 05 Merlot took home Bronze Medals at the same competition.
Something exciting for us in terms of new things happening is that are in the process of officially launching a Wine Club for the first time in about 5 years! We hope that people will check it out: http://castellodiborghese.com/shopsite_sc/store/html/index.html. More details and the ability to purchase memberships will be coming soon on our website, too!
What is your favorite rock band and why?
Ok, for this one, I had to default to asking co-owner Ann Marie Borghese. Here was her answer: “Nirvana. God, I loved Kurt Cobain. And the Rolling Stones. Who doesn’t love the Rolling Stones?”
CASTELLO di BORGHESE VINEYARD
- 17150 County Road 48, Cutchogue, NY 11935
- 631-734-5111 / firstname.lastname@example.org
- Owners: Marco and Ann Marie Borghese
- Established: 1973, as Hargrave Vineyard (Long Island’s first)
Tags: Social Media