For the last 18 months now I have been hosting the monthly Sonoma Wine Meetup - a labor of love designed as a networking event to put the Social in Social Media. We have a Facebook Page where we post the events. This Thursday night from 530-730 is our latest meetup, in downtown Healdsburg.
In February I modified the format to be more of a combination Industry Open House and Meetup. This comes at an increased hosting cost to the winery, but the goal was to increase industry traffic, so we decided to waive the usual $10 cost, and eliminate all drink tickets, including for consumers, who are still invited.
It appears the new format was a resounding success, we had over 140 people come through Old World Winery last month.
So How Does This Work
The basic premise hasn’t changed; intermixing Industry, Media, Hospitality, Concierge and Consumers to network. Many have ‘met’ on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, but not always in person. The event is specifically NOT called a Tweetup. We are not spending the evening with our noses in our phones, but connecting, the old fashioned way, face to face, glass of vino in hand.
If you are industry there is no charge. If you are a consumer, or the guest of someone industry, the charge is $10, 100% of which goes to the winery to defray some of the costs of wine, catering, staff. That includes all food and wine that night (no more drink tickets.)
Where Are We Meeting?
This month we are at Vintage Wine Estates cozy new tasting room and lounge, right on the square in downtown Healdsburg. (308 B Center Street.) Vintage Wine Estates will be pouring bubbles. Vintage Wine Estates Sonoma Coast label was the winner of the Charlie Palmer Pig & Pinot Cup in 2008. They will be pouring:
- 2007 Sonoma Coast Vineyards Sea Fog Cuvee Blanc de Noir (bubbles!)
- 2009 Sonoma Coast Vineyards Gold Ridge Hills Chardonnay
- 2008 Sonoma Coast Vineyards Bodega Ridge Block Pinot Noir
- 2007 or 2008 Windsor Sonoma Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
- NV Windsor Vineyards Port
Also for consumers attending, and wish to purchase everyone is treated like Industry this night, so you may buy wine to take home at 30% discount.
Helena of Helena’s Kitchen will be catering again, as she did for Old World Winery.
Meet Fun People, Take Home Prizes
One of the highlights of the evening is the raffle prizes. Each person who comes in, drops of a business card to be entered. Winery staff who donate a bottle for the drawing, get an extra chance to win. Consumers who pre-pay, also get an extra chance.
We generally give away 6-12 bottles, so we have smiling faces at the end. Must be present to win.
This week, we also give away a pair of tickets to this Saturday’s inaugural Taste of Olivet Road event.
We generally get some out of town winos visiting and try and make them feel welcome. This month Suzie Linville, Wine blogger and PR person will be in town. (Suzie is interested in moving to CA from the east coast.) Her wine blog is RunningWineGirl or @SuzieLin on Twitter.
Also visiting is the Portland based team from IndieVinos Karin McKercher (@KarinMcKercher), Kim Fuller (@KimF_IndieVinos) and Dennis Powers. Also @IndieVinos.
IndieVinos is in town visiting and chatting with wineries in anticipation of their June soft-launch of their community-based social-commerce site that enables the purchase of artisan wines. Also part owner of Part owner, Deux Fen Estates, a small producer of Burgundian-style Oregon Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris.
Do say hi and show them some Sonoma hospitality!
Many people will hit the bars and restaurants of Healdsburg after, so it should be a fun night – see you there! Cheers and thanks for reading Simple Hedonisms Wine Blog !