Thursday, November 5, 2009

While sitting on our beautiful deck I was speaking to a new contact this morning – Craig at

He had called me because a wine lover in the USA had approached him through one of Craig's Twitter posts. The gentleman from the USA was planning a trip to New Zealand and was asking Craig about what sorts of wine experiences were available in Martinborough. Of course we could offer to help – as one of the regions oldest vineyards, we have a strong interest in wine tourism, and can offer visitors unique, in-depth tours, barrel caves visits, accommodation, and dining are just some of the options. The restaurant has just been totally redecorated, and for those who love good food, it is well worth planning a visit to check out the new menu.

You may also meet our very photogenic vineyard dog, Pepper!!

Over the years, we have received very positive feedback from visitors from all over the world, and no other winery in Martinborough can offer the combination of wine and food related activities Murdoch James Estate can.

But that was not what prompted me to draft this blog update. What actually got me typing were two other things. First, the round-about way this potential visitor will have found out about us through social networks. And, second, the conversation that followed during Craig’s call. We discussed the rise of social networking, how consumers now sought their information and made buying decisions, and the need for credible communications.

It all tied into several discussions I have been having with traditional media (radio and magazines) about advertising options. Often these are expensive and not as targeted as one would like, particularly for a smaller winery with limited distribution, such as Murdoch James Estate.

It makes much more sense to think through how to communicate directly with existing or potential customers. And at the same time, not to annoy them (for example, with large numbers of promotional emails) which I suspect we now do. Craig also made several other important points that made me decide to spend some time reflecting on how we invest our meagre promotional budget.

While we set this blog up to track our wines as they evolve through the year, it may well also become a bit of a record of how a 60 year old comes to grips with Twitter!!

If you have any comments on this or any of our blog posting, feel free to phone or email us.