Posted by: Thomson Vineyards | June 3, 2010

Buy Grapes Get Free Marketing

You Thought I Was Joking?Last year I ran a show special for winemakers and wineries who bought fruit from Thomson Vineyards. It was called, “Buy Grapes, Get Free Marketing.” Everyone can use a little help now and then right?

Before wineries can be on their way to free marketing, let me break it down for you. Typically the very first question a winemaker asks me is, “Well, who’s making wine from your grapes?” I happily rattle off our resume. It’s a 30 second elevator pitch really over the dim roar of a tractor, Carneros wind, or while commuting on an SFMTA MUNI Bus. I figure once they get through that and sign on for amazing Napa Carneros Chardonnay or Pinot Noir and I add them to my pitch, the least I can do is help them get their wine out the door, right?

I think you’ll find most of our wineries very happy to have a top notch Millennial MarCom Wizard not charging an additional consulting fee to get them some free press. Yesterday, I was contacted by a well known Los Angeles Radio DJ who wondered if I would supply him with some samples and in return he’d run some promo spots on air free of charge. Here’s the thing people, let me be loud and clear:

Thomson Vineyards does not currently sell its own wine*. We grow and sell grapes to wineries that make fermented grape juice into wine and sell to consumers.

This morning I had a good laugh on my way to work, imagining the Radio Pop Star running a radio spot that went something like this, “Drop it like it’s hot! Get good, clean, premium Napa Carneros Chardonnay or Pinot Noir from The Rockstar Farmer and Daughter at Napa’s Thomson Vineyards for the low, low, price of…” so I decided I should put it back out there again:

2010 Chardonnay and Pinot Noir wine grapes for sale. Buy some grapes, get some free marketing.

I haven’t decided which winery I should hand off this Radio Pop Star to yet.  Black Sheep Finds, already in the LA market? Kelham Vineyards and Winery who is solely direct to consumer through the tasting room and wine club? Maybe the sleeper winery, Bravium? White Cottage Ranch is a Napa Valley Pop Star Winery in its own right, maybe that’s a good match…

Meanwhile, back at the ranch. You should know I’ve got companies breathing down my neck, attempting to lure me away from my desk job. And even though The Farmer gets media training, free ghostwriting, elevator pitches on his behalf, personal shopping and wardrobe consulting because he’s my Dad, I really don’t understand why more wineries aren’t taking advantage of this incredible show special? I mean honestly, if you’re on the market for good, clean, premium fruit we’ve got Napa wine grapes for sale and I’ll throw in some free marketing. It’s as simple as that. Who doesn’t want something for free? If you are interested, I also suggest you read up on the article published in The Drinks Business today:

What Under 34 Looks Like

Wine Intelligence investigates Generation Wine…We all know that people under 34 are skilled at watching TV, listening to music and updating their Facebook status all at the same time. But what about their attitudes towards wine?

I just read the above article and think it’s spot on, I’m listening to Gypsy by Shakira, Tweeting, doing my best to stay out of the fray on Facebook, checking three email accounts (sometimes four), reading and booking a SCUBA trip to Mexico and ski lodge for my birthday – all while writing this. I can’t promise that I won’t build a consulting fee into Thomson Vineyards grape purchase agreements one day. But if you don’t read the above article and make the connection between what under 34 year old people want in a wine and then think to yourself, “I must work with Thomson Vineyards this year so that I can tap into and capitalize on this new market intelligence and insight.” You may in fact be better off working with a different vineyard, ’cause winery/grower integration is where it’s at. Drop it like it’s hot!

*The Farmer for all intensive purposes is pushing me to vertically integrate i.e. Thomson Vineyards grow its own fruit and make and sell its own wine. It you’d like to sign up on my futures presale list send me an email. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if you are able to buy Thomson Vineyards wine in the next 3-5 years. And that’s a modest time frame.

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