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Introducing Rockaway Cabernet

In a bold and prescient move, what I believe is a first for an allocated wine, Rockaway, a high-end $75 Cabernet release from Rodney Strong’s new winery-within-a-winery concept, is including select wine bloggers as a part of their release strategy. 

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Participating with me this week (and making history) in a coordinated announcement for the release of the brand on September 1st are the following bloggers:

Dr. Debs from Good Wine Under $20

Joe from 1WineDude

Megan from Wannabe Wino

Kori from Wine Peeps

Tim from

Renee from Feed Me / Drink Me

Arthur Black, Master Sommelier Candidate, Guest Blogging at Good Grape

It will be an exciting week with each of these bloggers taking their own unique perspective on the wine, the release and the story.  Keep an eye out for blog posts from each of these bloggers between Monday, August 18th to Thursday, August 21st.

I will have two posts up this week discussing the release—one a back-story and another will be a review.  Arthur Black will be posting on Good Grape on Monday, August 18th to kick off the week. 

Please join me in congratulating Rockaway on the pending release of their new wine and for being innovative visionaries in embracing wine bloggers as a part of their launch to market!  Check out their site and join the list for first crack at this luscious Cab.


Posted in, Free Run: Field Notes From a Wine Life. Permalink | Comments (5) |


On 08/20, ryan wrote:

How is this not allowing bloggers to be bought? Wineries should not use bloggers as tools to publicize, at least blatantly. If we want to be treated like real press then we should get samples like real press. This smells like a buy off to me.

On 08/20, Jeff wrote:

I’ll address your comments in my post tonight, Ryan.

After reading the post, if you have any questions about protocol or how the program is administered, please feel free to weigh in with an opinion that isn’t created in a vacuum, but right now, I’d say you don’t enough information to assert a “buy off.”


On 08/20, ryan wrote:

I’m not asserting a buy off just the possible appearance of one. I guess I should have worded it differently, but seriously if wine bloggers are important to the wine world due to their writing and quality criticism, then the story should not be about the fact a winery is giving them some wine to try.

We should be considered equals with the mainstream press or at least some of us, therefore would we publish a story, “Parker given samples buy winery x….”

In the end I think the wineries should do this more, though not expect us to make the fact they gave us the wine the story.


On 08/20, Jeff wrote:

Ryan, it’s a game of inches.  I think it’s notable that a well-tenured winery like Rodney Strong would choose to sample bloggers at the same time they sample WS and WA—for a new allocated brand no less.  That’s a story. I don’t think it has been done before.  You have to start somewhere.

Because of the immediacy of blogs, wine reviews of the wine, pre-release, pre-major publication review, will occur before major publications.

This is a coup for wine bloggers and it takes some stones for a winery selling $75 cab on allocation to do this.  I give them credit.

I’ll address this in a post tonight when I give full back story and transparency, but the program, which I led and organized, had no editorial restrictions whatsoever.  The proviso was to participate you had to write something in between 300 - 500 words +.  It could be bad, good, or indifferent, but you had to write. 

So, in that sense, it is journalistic integrity on the sampling, but because of the infinite nature of bits and bytes, there was the stipulation to write something.  Why else would Rockaway send out samples, to a fledgling medium?  They are betting that the wine is good and people will enjoy it.  If somebody didn’t care for it, and said so, then that is the risk the winery takes.

More later on ...


On 08/28, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) wrote:

Speaking to Ryan’s comment that bloggers should receive samples in the same fashion as traditional press - they too receive free samples.  The difference being that the samples are sometimes delivered per an editorial schedule, vs. a winery release schedule.  Hats off to Rockaway!


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