“If we make it, they will come” (to paraphrase a line from the movie, Field of Dreams) is a concept that seems to have been internalized by newer and older wineries in all parts of the wine world. Much as I would love that to be true, it isn’t. There is too much really good wine to be found throughout North America and the rest of the world, for the mere making of wine to entice people into your winery.
Believing that once you have made wine people will miraculously appear to buy it goes hand in hand with the belief that making better wine is a viable Unique Selling Proposition. Unless you follow that up with strong marketing and promotion you will find yourself sitting in an empty tasting room wondering where the visitors are. You might as well relax and have a drink – after all you have plenty of wine.
There are wineries that seem to have been amazingly successful because they make better wine, though in most cases these wineries have had a strong PR company or publicist behind them. Yes there are cult wineries, but it takes a lot of work, patience and guerrilla marketing to get there.
By all means put in place the grapes, winemaker and equipment that will allow you to make outstanding wine, however save some money for marketing and sales. I know most people don’t get into the wine business because they have an overwhelming desire to sell something, but shake a leg, it’s all part of the process. If you don’t want to market, promote and sell you products, hire someone who will.
As Louis Pasteur said, “Chance favors the prepared mind.” So be prepared for success and chances are you’ll get there.