Appellation Wine Blogging in Yountville Looks Ripe
If there was ever a type of wine organization that would benefit from instituting a blog to communicate their work and fulfill their mission, it's the appellation association. Such association are, ultimately, founded and run to promote the financial interests of the wineries and growers within the borders of the appellation. By raising the profile of the appellation, building the value of its grapes and wines and working to attract visitors to the region, the appellation association supports the efforts of the individual members (and non members) of the region's association.
Napa Valley's Yountville Appellation Association has begun using the blogging tool to do all these things and from what I can see from the new Yountville Appellation Blog, they know how to use the tool.
Though only a few posts old, and founded just in time to chronicle the 2009 Yountville-area harvest, the YAA blog seems to have hit its stride out the the gate. Short, readable, informative and authoritative posts rule the day here. Photos accompany the posts. Most of all there appears to be an early dedication to update this blog on a regular basis, a crucial element of success for any blog and something that many bloggers, both business and personal, often find very difficult to do.
One of the interesting questions that surrounds the idea of an appellation association blogging effort is, for whom is the blog written? The trade or the consumer? What I find very interesting about the Yountville effort is that it appears to be a blog aimed at educating the consumer, yet acts as a clarion for the trade, letting them know what is currently important in the Yountville appellation. Currently you will find some interesting posts on the course of the growing season that hold info that would indeed be of interest to the trade, but seem clearly written for the consumer. This is a tightrope walk that is currently being nicely navigated.
Of course the classic question remains: if no one is reading a blog, does it matter if it exists? My guess is only a few people are currently reading the Yountville Appellation Association blog. But let's give them a break. It's pretty darned new. Still, Tori Wilder, who manages the Yountville Association, writes the blog and has very deep PR experience, is in a good position to move the classic question off the board. If anyone has the chops to expand readership of this kind of blogging effort it's this woman.
Appellation Association blogging seems like a no-brainer to me. It's an affordable tool, its benefits match the mission of these kind of associations and the types of people that are involved in association management tend to have the background necessary to understand the blogging format and execute well.
The Yountville Appellation Association blog is an excellent effort and I suspect it's going to become even better and more vital over time. Other appellation associations would do well to watch it closely.