Let’s talk wine…how to sell your wine?

Again, I have stumbled upon the situation mentioned in my first article – how to reach your clients. The discussion started from a completely different product but still a product which demands a consumption and buying culture.Wine! For me it is a passion for this product, although I do not drink alcoholic beverages apart from wine and in very moderate quantities. I think I got this passion from my father and developed it in the past 5-6 years during my travels.Turning the page from this sentimental attachment to wine let us talk about the main subject.

Romania is an important producer of wine in the world and this is my personal view. There are a lot of smaller producers with aromatic, full-bodied and just plain beautiful wines with no imagination, creativity or sales skills – and this is our first step to overcome this stage.

– I would like to say that this is my own, personal view on things and I might be wrong. For you, while reading this, if you have any other ideas I am always willing to learn and gain new views on subjects I write about…please tell me.

So… our situation will be the following – you are a small producer of wines from Romania who has the product but needs a little push in sales and marketing…

We will not get into the business of producing the wine and how to organize or arrange this side ….concentrating only on the marketing and sales of your product.

I have just decided… I will respond to these questions and situations with an example :

Winegut Familie Rieder – Poysdorf , Austria

I had the pleasure of meeting Mr Rieder during a trip to Austria last year.We had a long discussion while visiting his restaurant and wine cellar in the center of Poysdorf . He started by saying that he is a small producer…only 200.000 bottles a year.

His production consists of : Gruner Veltliner, Welschriesling, Sauvignon Blac, Riesling, Chardonnay, Traminer, Blauburger and Zweigelt – I love the Zweigelt!

It is a family business. He works together with his wife and 3 daughters . His cellar is an impressive one and his passion is radiating while he talks about his business-his life. *this is one of the steps to change for our Romanian producer – no matter what the client says or how he tries to find a negative point for your wine , your passion should prevail.

We won’t describe Poysdorf or develop the subject now; I will only say that it is a mesmerizing village , especially at 6 am in Hotel Veltlin overlooking the vineyard on the left and golf course opposite the hotel.

Back to our friend , Mr. Rieder , he was telling me that the whole region was underdeveloped and it was considered the poorest region of Austria and it all changed a few years ago when the Mayor of Poysdorf along with the wine producers in the area joint forces and accessed EU funds and invested in marketing and tourist attracting methods .

*the first reaction while reading will be … “Of course, it works in Austria, the mayor did something – in Romania it will never work, everyone will want to gain something… please overcome your Romanian instinct and give this discussion a chance. Anywhere you go in the world the locals will have someone to blame and some gossip about who took what and how. Pinch yourself and realize that the main “weapon” and “bullet proof vest” is you! You have the chance and opportunity to start, control and develop anything…then do so! Regardless of what your mind tells you , just try the other way!

They started by investing in presentation websites and tourist maps – the maps made by my friends from Schubert&Franzke – and these 2 steps made wonders for them.

Allocating budget for participation at different wine fairs, not the French/Italian ones where the investment would have been enormous, but at fairs in Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary – Mr. Rieder exports 80% of his production mainly in Poland.(Poland is known for the beer drinking…not that popular among its citizens when it comes to wine.

– An article from the Telegraph from UK in 2010 tells the story of polish people giving up vodka in favor of wine. – it can be done!

Next step was involving the local business in this initiative as they would also benefit from the tourists in the long run. It was not an easy “ride” but it worked and happened.

The next step is very important and it involves the local and regional authorities 100%…this is a tricky one!

Investing in the development of the historical and cultural attractions on a 30-50km radius. Wine appreciation and consumption is linked directly to a high cultural and historical awareness and hunger.The consumer is built this way and we have to understand and embrace this.

Let’s stop here with the example and just say that it can be done…but it needs a little bit of work.

Smaller and simpler steps can be done before jumping into the above mentioned strategy. The past couple of years have been very active in the wine business and tens or even hundreds of blogs, specialized wine websites and businesses have developed. Use them! Read them, visit them, choose and then approach them with an interesting collaboration offering that would benefit both of you. If you cannot afford a distributor , do it yourself! Visit popular locations and talk to the owners. Visit a location several times to see what people drink and make a realistic and profitable proposal.

Offer your property as a scenery for corporate trainings and presentation. Talk to trainers and lure them to using your location to do their presentations.

You cannot afford to pay for a leaflet, business card or catalog desing…no problem! Approach your nearest design and art collage or university (participants have to be over 18!) and use the fresh minds to generate your image with a prize consisting of a visit at your facility and , off course… WINE!

Be creative and try to think from a different perspective than the wine engineer, producer or owner!

I would like to end this by saying that anyone and everyone can or could be a consumer from your point of view depending on how you look at it! There is someone right now wishing for a glass of a perfect wine for the mood he/she is in and it might just be your wine!

That’s about it for now… maybe we will discuss this again from a different perspective in the near future. I will write more about it as it seems I love the wine business and wines more and more… so open a bottle of red wine and loose yourself in its story!

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