Inspiring a whole spate of Twitter posts from enthusiastic audience members, Ernie gave a presentation on “The Art and Science of Selling Fine Wine” last week at FINE WINE 2010 in Aranda del Duero, Spain.
A few tidbits from his talk:
* There’s no magic powder we can sprinkle on a brand to make it instantly successful. There’s only the hard work of getting out there and selling it – showing the wine and telling the story every day, as often as possible.
* The story is the key to it all. Successful fine wines are those that have built a powerful brand image because they have a compelling story behind them.
* I’m a big believer in the importance of authenticity and the power of tradition. We all know that fashions come and go, but a wine estate has to stick to its fundamental philosophy of tradition and quality.
* You must be out there every day telling your story and selling the wine, one customer at a time. Small estates have to rely on a real person – an evangelist – some outspoken character who gets out there and spreads the word to the world.
* And then we have to consistently produce compelling wines that are true to their roots.
* There’s artistry in winemaking, of course, but also in the story telling, which requires a true passion for the magic of wine. It’s one of the great pleasures of this business that we get to share fine wine and food with people who have a similar passion. It’s what I call “marketing through the liver,” and we rely on it to make real, personal connections with our customers.
For more photos of FINE WINE 2010, see the event’s stream on Flickr.