With nearly 1,000 hits, my piece about the V. Sattui Winery 125th anniversary celebration lunch at the North Beach Restaurant in San Francisco, near where the winery started, is one of my more popular pieces of writing.

V. Sattui Winery has very loyal customers, selling all of their wine directly to consumers either at their Napa Valley winery or through direct shipment (where legal). Wine buying is not a passive, pick it up at the market sort of activity, but an act of intention on the part of a consumer. V. Sattui enjoys a unique relationship with their customers, who often see themselves involved in a relationship with the winery.

V. Sattui Winery, aware of the perception of relationship, has been active in Social Media Marketing (SSM) efforts, built upon proto-SSM telephone and direct mail marketing efforts.

Today, I approved another comment to my blog, from a V. Sattui fan, Shey Robinson:

I love V Sattuiā€™s Port!

I was just there yesterday and bought a couple of Madeira and of course the 12year commemorative port that they have. It was awesome.

I envy you for getting to meet these wonderful people who make wonderful experiences possible.

Cheers!

What led me back to write about V. Sattui Winery and their Social Media Marketing efforts? I just received a shipment of wine samples from the winery, packaged with cheeses from the deli co-located at the winery, along with a wonderfully written letter from V. Sattui Winery winemaker Brooks Painter.

I receive a considerable number of wine samples, but I was impressed by the attention to detail, the extra effort, the attempt to positively impact, perhaps influence, what I might write in the future. Any review I write will include a disclosure that the wine tasted was received as a sample, at no cost to me; but it is likely that the recommended wine and cheese pairings will lead to greater enjoyment of each wine – everybody wins.

I am grateful for the information provided, for the thoughtful wine and cheese pairing recommendations, and for the personal touch conveyed in the letter from Brooks.

I consult to wineries, help them in their Social Media Marketing efforts, and recently shared with V. Sattui Winery’s publicist Julie Ann Kodmur how impressed I have been by V. Sattui, after some initial SSM hiccups, how they have adapted, learned, improved, and seem to be firing on all cylinders.

I have seen Social Media Marketing managers, hired by wine companies, who tweet and retweet their own personal hair appointments on the winery site, as if anyone cares. I have seen another SSM hire, at a prominent wine company, who declared online at the company’s expense that the his job was to increase his own personal brand awareness – as opposed to increasing the brand awareness of his employer’s wine labels.

Treating a sample wine shipment to wine writers as a Social Media Marketing opportunity is just the latest example of V. Sattui Winery’s dedication to making sure that there is actually marketing in their Social Media Marketing efforts, and a welcome counterbalance to the less than stellar efforts of other more social, less marketing, endeavors from other wineries..

I have just sent off multiple copies of what appears to be a high impact, graphic rich newsletter, but is actually a uniquely formatted cover letter and resume, to officers at a wine company, asking to be their new Social Media Marketing manager. I would like to have the consumers of the brands I would represent feel as passionately, and as involved in a relationship, as the customers of V. Sattui Winery.