Blog Update #72 A Tale of Biodynamics, Feiring and the Death of the Chronicle
The power of the bio-dynamic wine movement first revealed itself as I witnessed a surge in my social network connections that can only be described as unprecedented. On the 1st of May, I was leisurely working away on my latest business plan, content but far from satisfied at my less than 200 followers at twitter, where I go by the “handle” of Chambertin. I made a decision that day to get serious about the business plan, motivated in part by the untimely announcement that my dear wife, too, had fallen victim to this current economy. With both of us now out of work, it was definitely time to ramp up my efforts.
Those who know me, those who’ve read a blog post or newsletter from the past decade or so know: when I write, I have a LOT to say. Writing, composing my thoughts, requires time. And when I decide to share my ideas, ideals and passions through the written word, the pages begin to pile. Lucky for me, that’s precisely the sort of handicap that works in one’s favor when composing a serious business plan. The more expertise, devotion and research apparent between the covers, the better. And I had just reached the section devoted to our product selection criteria.
This was when everything began to change for our new business venture.
I took to composing my views on the products we will carry with the same passion I had always tried to convey in our previous wine shop. The full list of product selection criteria, known to us as our Mission Statement, may be viewed at the blog under the Philosophies tab (https://cepagenoir.wordpress.com/philosophies/). Our aim with our new direct to the consumer business is to offer to the market these wonderful organic and bio-dynamic wines we’ve discovered over the years, direct from the wineries, with no middleman. But first, I needed to describe in great detail, for the eventual readers of the business plan, precisely WHAT our wines would be. That Philosophies section was born from the pages of the business plan. So, too, was my next step.
I decided to begin searching the Internet for like-minded folk; authors, bloggers, wine-makers, wine-drinkers, basically anyone who shared with us this passion for the bio-dynamic world. I began with one of my vinous heroes, Alice Feiring, naturally, for it was her book, “The Battle for Wine and Love” that convinced me in the first place that I wasn’t alone in this quest. I began to link her updates to my twitter page, along with any others mentioning the bio-dynamic world. The results were like nothing I could have ever anticipated in my wildest dreams.
Today is the 6th of May and I am taking a short break from the business plan to compose this brief blog post. Not only to compose this post, but to announce that in this short span of a few days, while I have busily worked on the plan and posted bio-dynamic oriented newsletters and such to my twitter page, my followers have jumped from less than 200 to MORE THAN 1,000! The bio-dynamic brother/sister-hood is one of the most active, real and tangible movements in the wine world today. For anyone who remains a skeptic, you are truly missing the train!
Oh, and as for the Death of the Chronicle thing, I was referring to the local paper.
Through the research and development phase of this business plan we’re in, one point has become increasingly clear: Bordeaux is dead. The vast majority of the wine buyers today, the people who actually drive the industry, the people who truly fill the shopping carts and DRINK wine, are affectionately referred to as the “emerging” consumers. Emerging consumers, according to studies we’ve read in articles by Forbes, WineBusiness and Silicon Valley Bank, simply don’t care about the $50 and up price point where the vast majority of Classified Bordeaux hangs it hat. And the bio-dynamic world, so far as WE’VE found, hasn’t made a dent in this section of France (I’m open for corrections if anyone has any).
So it was with a chuckle that I opened my weekly Chronicle (Houston) to see yet another article written by the local wine writer on behalf of the behemoth local liquor chain. In this article, the paper interviews the giant liquor chain, asking them their advice on Bordeaux futures. I literally laughed out loud. The advice quoted was worthless, so 1990s, completely out of touch with reality and the prices quoted SO over-priced (please, someone tell these guys about wine-searcher.com) that to even consider the piece anything other than “fluff” would render the reader numb.
Dear Chronicle, R.I.P.
As I re-engage the business plan today, and begin anew the building of this bio-brother/sister-hood, I reconfirm our dedication to YOU, the intelligent, serious, curious, emerging wine buyers of America. We will soon emerge from the cocoon of required re-birth. And when we do, the beauty of the world’s most unique wines will once again be yours for the asking.
All the best in wine and life,
Diplome D’Honneur de Sommelier