Getting Sucked In By Your Own Mythology
For the past four days we’ve been aggressivley promoting Clayhouse Wines at the inaugural Sunset SAVOR the Central Coast event. Receptions, tours, dinners and tastings have all been part of the fun. We went all out this year, to boost awareness of Clayhouse. Not just with consumers attending the event, but with wineries and all the restaurants that were participating. Nobody could really miss Clayhouse. By making sure that we’re familiar to all, we’ll get more referral business, and more promotional opportunities, because we’ll be a top-of-mind wine.
I had a conversation at the Rhone Rangers booth in the Main Event Marketplace; a conversation that brought me up short and made me think. Talking with two women, both reasonably wine knowledgeable, and one a local who had clearly been to many wine events, had visited many wineries, and was one of those people whose friends look to them for wine advice. For the sake of this post, let’s call her “Ella.” Her non-local but wine-knowledgeable friend is “Nan.” And I’m DAH.
NAN: What do you think are the best wines from around here? Not what your company wants you to say, or what the Rhone Rangers want you to say. What do you think?
DAH: So let’s set aside Clayhouse, the winery I work for.
ELLA: Oh, I like Clayhouse wines.
NAN: Me, too.
DAH: Thanks, we appreciate that. Setting aside Clayhouse, but taking the major wine critics into consideration, I’d have Saxum on my list of best local wineries.
ELLA: You mean Sextant?
DAH: No, Saxum. But Sextant makes some good wines, too.
NAN: I’ve never heard of that, “Saxum.”
ELLA: Me neither.
DAH: They’re really small, and you don’t see their wines around much. They don’t really go to tasting events. You have to get on a waiting list for their annual wine release.
ELLA: Who else?
DAH: Linne Calodo.
NAN: Where are they?
DAH: Vineyard Drive, just off 46 West, in Paso Robles.
ELLA: 46 West has lots of good wineries, but I’ve never heard of “Linne Calodo.”
NAN: We’ve had Denner, haven’t we?
ELLA: Yes, they have that “Ditch Digger” wine.
DAH: And “Dirt Worshipper.”
NAN: How about South County?
DAH: Alban wines are very good.
NAN: Never heard of them.
ELLA: Me neither.
OK. That should suffice. This exchange is intended as an example of believing our own mythology. In my world of Paso and SLO wine, I mentioned some of the “best” wineries. The wineries that define what’s “best” in our region. Yet these wineries aren’t even part of Nan and Ella’s world.
When we make winemaking and marketing choices based on a specific mythology, with certain gods on pedestals, it’s best to remember that a lot of our consuming customers may be worshipping different gods. Or may not be wine-religious at all.
DAH is David Anthony HanceShare on Facebook