It’s Time We Joined Together—The Open Wine Consortium
It is most often the case that single individuals are the cause of change or the inspiration for change in (and the evolution of) the wine industry. This is not unique to the wine business.
However, it must also be noted that associations, organizations and, yes, CONSORTIUMS can and have pushed issues forward, and caused significant change in this industry. The California Wine Institute, Family Winemakers of California, Wine America, AWARE (for those of you who remember this group), Specialty Wine Retailers Association, Coalition for Free Trade and Free the Grapes all represent groups that bring together like-thinking people to pursue change and have been successful in their efforts.
There is a new organization that is in its infancy, but which I believe possesses the potential to also bring significant change to the wine industry.
THE OPEN WINE CONSORTIUM is bringing together folks who embrace the change that technology in particular has wrought within the wine business and that it will continue to bring. As with all significant changes, these tech-driven changes in the wine industry has caused something of a fragmentation among those who both embrace the change and those who have at best only dabbled with the possibilities that new technologies can bring to sales, communications, publishing, and marketing in the wine business.
The OPEN WINE CONSORTIUM aspires to be the group that funnels disparate interests and technologies and people into a more cohesive and activist agent that can consolidate the changes and technologies into tools we all can use and understand to make winemaking, wine consuming and the wine business more efficient and vital.
IF YOU ARE IN OR ALONGSIDE THE WINE BUSINESS, IF YOU USE NEW TECHNOLOGIES TO COMMUNICATE, SELL, MARKET OR PRODUCE WINE, IF YOU HAVE NOTICED THAT THE WINE INDUSTRY AND THE CONSUMERS IT SERVES ARE DABBLING IN SIGNIFICANT, TECHNOLOGY-DRIVEN TOOLS….
…THEN YOU SHOULD JOIN THE OPEN WINE CONSORTIUM.
Traditionally, organizations have embraced bureaucracy. The Open Wine Consortium will also, insofar as there will have to be directors, boards, committees and working groups to drive its initiatives. But understand too that just as the technology that drove this new Consortium into existence is in fact propelled by a 21st century notion of openness, so too will the Open Wine Consortium take on its chosen challenges with a philosophy of openness that is supported by the new technologies it hopes to harness for all to use and help further change the wine industry.
If this organization is successful, what we’ll find are the traditional, more established elements of the wine industry—its associations, symposiums, businesses, conferences and people—adopting and approaching new technologies and new ways of thinking that will lead to more intimate ties between producer and consumers, quicker integration of open standards for data configuration, quicker embrace of the newly minted and tech driven wine companies and a wine industry more willing to embrace the changes that the broader culture has already dove into face first.
JOIN THE OPEN WINE CONSORTIUM
Damn thing’s addictive.
Waaayyy better than MySpaceBook.
And while you’re there – if you’re a WSET student/alumnus, or just interested in their courses, join the group for WSET students! 🙂