Move Over Football Widows

Wine Widow. I had never heard the term until yesterday when a friend stopped me in the grocery store and asked if I was a “wine widow” these days. I abruptly asked, “huh?”

It's a fitting term and one that applies to hordes of winery personnel who are involved in the national sales and marketing of their products. Ever since the Great R (read: RECESSION) began, we've had to step up our presence in the marketplace. That's marketing speak for getting out there and working in a region to help physically sell the product. Distributors used to love this. Who wouldn't want the owner of Chateau Such and Such actually making sales calls, popping corks, and telling the romantic stories and features and benefits of their particular wine? And, as a general rule, market visits were viewed as a gracious and supportive gesture from the winery that distributors anxiously awaited.  (At DCV, we've spent decades doing this.)  

But it's different nowadays. Times are tough. And being a winery owner is not all that unusual anymore. What's different is the sheer volume of wine available and the reduced capacity of many accounts to increase wine sales with consumers spending less on dining out, etc. So, what's a struggling winery owner to do?

Buck up. Hit the highways and byways. Live out of a suitcase. Get aggressive. Devise special programs that mimic other industries. I'm still trying to figure out how we can offer a 60 day money back guarantee like GM's new campaign to spur auto sales.  (Somehow I don't think the ABC would like this.) We've had to employ some pretty bold tactics lately without jeopardizing our price/positioning. It has definitely been trying.

Which is why my friend asked if I was a “wine widow.” The Husband has been traveling nonstop with only a couple of days between trips. Usually we try to share this duty but because of the kids, he's been shouldering the brunt of it.

In between dragging a sample bag around and pitching the persnickety buyer, we did get to meet up for a business dinner at the home of one of our biggest customers. Sure it had a business purpose. But it also served as a brief re-connection during a very hectic time for us.

Thankfully it seems to be paying off. Sales through November have already surpassed last year. We had our biggest day of the year last Friday. And, the holidays are just around the corner. AND, EVERYONE KNOWS THAT'S A GREAT TIME TO DRINK DRY CREEK VINEYARD WINES, THE REGION'S PREMIER FAMILY OWNED WINERY.  

I told you I was getting aggressive!

| | Comments (4)


Bill Smart said:
November 13, 2009 4:10 PM

Hopefully once December rolls around, Don can be at home. No one in the trade wants to see a winery owner, rep, or anyone else for that matter during the busy holiday period.

Kim (aka Wilma) Author Profile Page said:
November 16, 2009 12:21 PM

I'm not sure they want to see us now either, but as you know, the squeeky wheel gets heard!

Leslie Author Profile Page said:
November 17, 2009 10:17 AM

I know how hard it is to not be around your husband. Mine was in Afghanistan all last year and it was a hard time for me. I had a great family support group though. On a happier note, I finally got a hold of some of your wines! I bought the Chenin blanc and the Fume blanc and I'm eyeing the cabernet for The Husband for christmas. Now I just need to figure out what to cook to pair with them!

Kim (aka Wilma) Author Profile Page said:
November 20, 2009 10:25 AM

I hope you hubby is safely home--I can't imagine how hard that must have been for the two of you. Definitely something worth celebrating over a bottle (or two) of wine! And, I'm happy to hear you finally found some of our wines at your base. See if you can track down a bottle of the Old Vine will absolutely love it at Xmas time.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Kim published on November 13, 2009 3:22 PM.

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