I am getting excited because it’s almost travel season again. While some people think I must be slightly insane to be happy to leave California every January, February and March for the less than temperate climes of the Midwest, East or South, I am happy to do so.
Now I can’t say that I’m particularly thrilled to get on planes these days. It’s actually not the flights but everything you have to do to get to the flight. It’s worth it however because I love my work and am fascinated by the wineries from around North America and the people who run them. I just came back from the Pacific Northwest after spending a couple of days working with the wineries that make up the Woodinville Wine Country. I arrived the day the weather turned from beautiful and sunny to pouring down rain, though despite the rain the area is beautiful and welcoming.
I was able to visit wonderful wineries and taste excellent wines. While there are definitely some large wineries in the area, as in most areas, the majority of the wineries are small in size, production and number of people. As I’ve found throughout North America, these people are enthusiastic, passionate and work incredibly hard.
In the seminars we talked a lot about differentiation and how important it is to make individual wineries stand out from others. I know this is a topic I talk about a lot. I do so because it’s vital to every winery’s success and profitability to find ways to differentiate your winery from those around you. Remember it doesn’t have to be the wine – it can be any number of things including an owner or winemaker’s hobby, what you did before you owned a winery, history of the area, winery pets or the charitable causes to which you are devoted.
So keep thinking and add in the things that make you stand out. Remember too that high quality and good service are not differentiators for consumers, they are expectations.
A tip of the glass from me to you!