Fun and Balance

  • Will Stringent AG Rules in Napa Make it Untenable to Grow Grapes?

    Napa Ag Under Attack

    My newest piece for Wine Industry Advisor took me into a realm I haven't worked with before--the politics of agriculture. As a wine grape grower under contract, I should really pay more attention. As a hobby vineyard size however (still tons of work! No economies of scale), I follow the main tenants for Sonoma County and then let the hubby worry about it. Napa, however, is experiencing some interesting politicking on their AG front. An initiative to "protect" the oak woodland watershed is at the crux of the matter. Those “for” have had a lot of say, so this article was commissioned to present the “against” side. I found it quite interesting to do the research for it, and talk with the “against” people. It made me wonder just how far we could eventually go in Sonoma County. 

  • The Experience Economy

    In my newest article, Engaging Clients Digitally in the Experience Economy, I've talked about how an offering for the experience economay can be laid out. I think what Daniel Newman stated is critical; “We no longer simply make a purchase and walk away. Consumers seek—and often expect, whether we realize it or not—additional utility from the brands we patronize."  What I didn't discuss is what experiences might actually add value to your brand. I cited the example Dave Moser gave of a vineyard tour, which certainly can be appealing to clients. But what about other options? Blending seminars? Special food pairings? Critters of the Vineyard tour? Sniff It seminar? 

    Not in the wine industry? The same principals apply. Capitalize on what your location or business offers, think up something of interest to your current and potential clients, do your homework on costs, price it correctly for your region, and market it correctly. 

  • I Belong to Healdsburg Chamber of Commerce

    Here is a notice that members of the Healdsburg Chamber of Commerce have been asked to send out.  I believe this is all true, and we need to keep workers employed throughout the county, and work to solve our critical housing issue, made worse by the fire destruction.

    Our beloved Wine Country has endured an unimaginable tragedy and we are grieving for those who have lost lives, homes, and businesses. 

    As our brave firefighters continue to bring these wildfires to heel, stories of hope, generosity, and heroism will appear.

    While the fires impacted a portion of Sonoma County, our scenic beauty, rolling vineyards, amazing wine, and locally grown food remains intact.  Many Healdsburg workers have lost their homes or are displaced from their communities, but we are extremely fortunate that Healdsburg’s businesses remain unscathed and workers have a place of business to return to where we can focus on the efforts of rebuilding and moving forward.

     As we strive to take care of our community and our neighbors in surrounding communities, we are asking for your help to support Sonoma County wineries, breweries, cheese makers, farmers, and local artisans. Purchases of items that were bottled in, made in, grown in, brewed in or otherwise came from Sonoma County help local families recover economically.






  • Don't Ignore Millennials

    Here's my big line, ""If you're a winery that wants to be in business two years from now, you should be getting Millennials interested in you," says wine industry consultant Dawn Dolan."  

    Okay, so it's not that exiting that I had a 20 minute interview with Shannon Gupta from CNN Money and that is the one comment she chose. BUT! It is a very true comment. If you are a small family winery doing nothing to capture a new audience, you may be dead in a few years.  Boomers will age out, GenX-ers are a smaller group, and by ignoring the new biggest group out there, you could easily put yourself out of business.

    Stand up, take note, and read those articles that tell you how to engage with Millennials.  It may be a slow death if you don't.

    CNN Money One-liner HERE! :)