Sunday, January 08, 2012

Visionaries & Heartbreak

The first few weeks of January in this biz is full of finalizing strategy, confirming calendar dates and taking a few very deep breaths to gear up for a full year ahead.  

Direct to Consumer Big Leagues

2012 is already full of exciting opportunities to help wineries with their direct to consumer business on Wine.Woot! and Rue La La.   Both sites are very unique sales channels that wineries utilize to expose their brand and sell cases of wine to a National audience.  I've learned so much over the past 12 months while working with the great team behind it all - Wine Country Connect - this is a recent article  published in the Press Democrat explaining the beginnings and current success of this smart Sonoma, California based team.  Both Wine.Woot! and Rue La La are presenting new features to highlight and strengthen their effectiveness for wineries in 2012...which will be a ton of fun for online wine shoppers.  Wineries - please reach out to me anytime to talk about working with us, it's simple and fun, no market-visits required!

Farm to Table

The year also brings a unique new beginning for Brack Mountain Wine Co., I'm helping them grow their 3-tier wine business as well as developing their eCommerce and messaging to the world.  In 2011, we seriously couldn't keep wines in stock - demand for these wines in major US cities were stronger than the winery's release schedule! 

Getting to know the team behind Brack Mountain Wine Co. back in 2010 was such a blessing, rarely does one meet a winery comprised of both incredible winemaking skills & business acumen. Don't take your eyes off of Brack Mountain this year - they are just getting started and I'm very honored to be on the ground-floor.  Stay tuned...

Family Heartbreak 

Many of you have asked "what's going on with Pellegrini?".  In brief,  "it's complicated". Wine sales in Texas are still breaking records (big thanks to Favorite Brands!) and will continue until we hear from the winery that they are out of wine.  It's no secret that the Pellegrini's have been in one of the worst family battles on the West Coast.  Their beloved Cloverdale Ranch vineyards were sold, 100% of their oldest claim to fame - Olivet Lane Vineyard Pinot Noir grapes were sold the last 2 harvests to other winemakers and fruit was left on the vines of their popular Eight Cousins RRV Zinfandel.  

It's all quite shocking, I won't go into any further details, but it's such a sad situation, professionally and personally I am left extremely heartbroken for Ida Pellegrini, the matriarch who has witnessed such a nasty battle among her children.   Who knows what the future will bring for Pellegrini Family Vineyards, anyone who has 10 million dollars laying around or so could make their "owning-a-winery" dreams come true this year I'm sure. 

So a big year ahead for TexaCali Ali - thank you for your faithful readership, fantastic that the TexaCali Wine Trail is turning 8 years old in May.  So many adventures past, present and to come!  Cheers and Happy New Year everyone, Ali

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