|PIGEAGE: punching down the cap of fruit solids|
On a more intimate and local level, tasting venues like the wonderful Family Wineries Cooperative of Dry Creek Valley, or hip & sip LOCALS of Geyserville( with 9 local brands ) offer concept destinations that showcase the high quality wines produced by some of the North Coast's best small producers. Wine producers who go it alone try to create destinations where they can build those important relationships with commonly ecstatic consumers. Grower-producer and negociant wines can be made on their modest production sites or at a community cellar: think custom crush. While exploring Sonoma County, some of our favorites are the consistent quality of Christopher Creek, the passion of John at Viszlay Vineyards and the enthusiastic craziness tastily found at Mercury Wine in Geyserville.
For consumers there is an ocean of wine across price-points in the domestic marketplace, and naturally, small producers look for creative ways to get their products into the mouths of a thirsty public. In recent years there has been terrific growth in 'flash marketing' retail web sites. The sustained shake out has left a handful of players, notably: Wine Woot, Wines Til Sold Out, Last Call Wines, InVino, Cinderalla Wines & Lot 18, to compete in getting discounted wines directly to a growing consumer base. Having improved selections, streamlined direct shipping and discounts ranging from 21-53%, these virtual retailers are giving the small producer another important vehicle to get their wines in the hands of consumers.
In support of the next wine chapter, I have launched a professional consultancy, Your Wine Guy, and support it with a web site: www.Your_Wine_Guy.net. Ultimately, we have closed a foundation chapter, and moved further into the wonder that is a world of wine. A small step really, but it is expected to effect me in a big way. Maybe it really is about Bacchus, for the gods are a happy crew!