October 3 2008
I like Dry Creek Vineyard. I like their wines, I like their labels, I like their tasting room and their “wine personality.” I’ve been a fan for just about a decade. And, I also like that they seem to “get” technology and are willing to take a couple of risks.
This is in the point in the post where I give the obligatory blogging disclaimer: “I normally ignore press releases, but this was interesting.”
When I received word from DCV Communications Director, Bill Smart, that Dry Creek was incorporating user reviews on their web site, I agreed with the refreshingly non-fluffy press release that noted,
“This is cutting edge stuff for wineries,” says second generation owner and Vice President, Kim Stare Wallace. “Most of our brethren wait around for the latest, greatest review in order to sell their wine. With customer testimonials, it’s the real deal. We’re posting first hand experiences with our wines. We might be extending our necks a bit for some potential criticism, but we’re willing to take that risk. We’re confident that our wines will win out.”
The fact is that peer reviews are predominant on the Internet. Heck, I won’t buy a book on Amazon.com if it gets panned by one or two people. Yelp.com can break a restaurant opening in San Francisco. I have skipped hotels based on reviews at Tripadvisor.com. Scads of people are using wine review sites like CellarTracker and some of the plentiful social networks. Why not a winery?
Kudos to Dry Creek for embracing the opportunity—the good, the bad and the potentially ugly. And, the real kudos goes to them for being proactive and risky—that’s a characteristic that is uncommon amongst wineries and a bit of fresh air; their Chenin Blanc is pretty fresh, as well. 4 out of 5 stars on the user reviews, too.