Just Sayin’ – thoughts on samples

As I sit here staring at my box of 10 Chilean Sauvignon Blancs that I received for the next Wines of Chile Blogger tasting it got me thinking about a conversation last week at DLW10. I was having lunch with the VA wine mafia and honorary member Lenn, and we were talking about receiving samples. I think Lenn asked about Virginia wine samples and to his surprise I think we all said that we’ve never gotten a wine sample from Virginia. That’s not to say I haven’t gotten a comp bottle here and there, but not to the extent that I receive samples and press kits for wines from other states and countries.

When I sit back and think about it, I do feel it’s weird that wineries in the state that I live in and write about the most don’t reach out to myself or the multitude of bloggers here in the Commonwealth. Not sure why this is the case. Is it lack of production levels so they can’t afford a sample program? Lack of knowledge about social media, and the impact of blogging? I’m not sure about the answer and I guess I’m looking for a response from wineries here.

Please don’t take this post as a request for wines! I get plenty through my day job and am not requesting an onslaught of VA wines at my door. It is more of an observation.

Let me know your thoughts.


Categories: wine industry issues | Tags: , | 5 Comments

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5 thoughts on “Just Sayin’ – thoughts on samples

  1. John – Excellent post. (welcome back). First, I would like to mention that I have received samples for a recent tasting – Colorado vs. Virginia red taste off I participated last month. Keswick Vineyards sent out a sample for the taste off, and two other wineries offered.

    For the most part, I don’t think most Virginia wineries ‘get it’ (as I’ve written about)… but they are clearly starting to catch on. Give ’em time.

  2. I completely agree with this. I’ve often wondered why VA wineries don’t have a sample program. Maybe it’s a lack of a PR firm like Chile seems to have, but they could certainly benefit from seeing the benefit in social media and bloggers.

  3. if you do happen to get samples of VA wines, I know a NC gal who’d love to write about them. 🙂 kidding, mostly.

    I agree. I don’t hear a lot about it from NC wine bloggers either. Unless we happen to think the wine is bad.

  4. I think Frank hit the nail on the head, we just don’t “get it” for the most part. I can only speak for myself of course, but I have also met other people like me who have picked up doing the social media for their family’s winery but don’t know a whole lot about how the wine world works (yet). That’s why articles like this and Franks social media series are so helpful!

    I am happy to send samples of our wines when I see Franks post about looking for VA wines for the Colorado tasting, or when the WineGuys wrote me on facebook with where to send our wines if we want them reviewed- but honestly, until reading this, it has never even crossed my mind to send wines out to people to review unsolicited. I read alot of the VA wine blogs, but I guess I just assumed the wines that are reviewed are ones that they found at the tasting room or requested. It hadn’t crossed my mind to ask someone to review our wines. Although we do the same thing when we send wines to competitions or the wine spectator, so it makes sense. It’s definitely a great idea, especially when we have new releases and such- it’s be great to see what people think of them.

    It’s true most of us have a small production, so we couldn’t send samples out to everyone, but a bottle of wine reviewed by a well read wine blogger probably reaches alot more people than that same bottle poured in the tasting room…

    Definitely something to think about!

  5. This is an area where I think wineries are so busy with growing grapes and making the wine that these kinds of things get forgotten unless prompted. That’s where our office can help. We plan to develop a list of VA Wine Bloggers and send the list out to wineries to add to their regular media lists. I think over time you will see a change in samples as well as other information. I promise not to have them Inundate you all at once…

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