Our Personal Touch and the Internet, Together

We make no bones about it. We’re a modest-size winery and we like it that way. We don’t push out bottled wines by the truckloads. That’s a scale of business we do not seek nor wish to attain. We are a winery that believes handcrafted wines and friendly, attentive customer service offer you the most authentic wine experience possible. So don’t look for us to go “Hollywood” and get our wines into stores, restaurants, etc.
We don’t have enough wine to go around as it is.

What is “H-U-G-E” for us is sharing the joy of winemaking with others.

Nothing’s better than having some wine and cheese with our friends. Nothing beats seeing our customers and talking about wine and life. We could go on 24×7 but there’s the matter of getting some sleep. But we do have the means to stay in touch these days, to be accessible to our customers, our friends, when the spirit moves any of us. How? By using the communication tools of the 21st century over the Internet, that’s how.

We’re not suggesting if you want to have a conversation with us in the future that it’s “the Internet or bust.” Not at all; nothing beats in-person conversations. They are the best. But how often these days are we able to get together with our immediate family or treasured friends? Not so much, at least not with the frequency most of us want to. So how do we supplement this gap between what we want to do and what we’d like to do? We are choosing to use enabling technologies to text, to watch videos, and have phone conversations, or as Buzz Lightyear says, “to infinity and beyond” with them.

Yellow Farmhouse Vineyard & Winery is open on weekends, that’s it, and it’s likely to stay that way. At the same time, our thinking about winemaking goes on throughout the week. Apparently, a lot of our customers think this way, too. Really, as it is, we have the winery but we still purchase wine ourselves, especially when we we’re dining out. So the notion of consuming wine, talking about wine, and traveling to wine destinations is like the sound of bees pollinating our gardens. It’s the buzz we like listening to.

There’s no arguing that the Internet is the most ubiquitous communications highway ever. If there were ways of connecting high-speed cables to our brains there would be people, many people I suppose, who would want to be “always-on.” Well, let’s keep that idea at arm’s length shall we? At Yellow Farmhouse Vineyard & Winery we embrace the Internet and look for sensible, non-intrusive ways to keep in touch with you.

Here’s what’s clear to us. Some of us enjoy keeping it simple, and venturing beyond the land-line telephone is not happening for you. That’s OK. For others, eMail is your stretch embrace of computer technology. For others still, it’s text messaging, Facebook, Twitter, and other Internet-enabled conversation platforms. That’s OK, too. And yet, for others still, it’s all things iPhone, iPad, and Android-based devices, interactive gaming, … the choices are almost endless. What’s evident is unless we’re flexible in the ways to have conversations with family and friends we’re apt to be on the outside looking in at many conversations we’d like to be part of because we don’t use the very communications device they’re using.

So, the quandary before us is what kinds of customer service enabling technologies do we want to incorporate into Yellow Farmhouse Vineyard and Winery? We’ve made some choices and we’ll keep an open mind to adopting others down the road. Throughout 2011 you’ll see us unveiling our conversation channels for you, our customers, our friends. Here are the biggies:

  • Via Our Website
    This is #1 for us. Almost all of our customers use the Internet for search – for that movie you want to go see, the restaurant you want to dine at, of the flight arrival, etc. For us, outside of the face-to-face conversations that are most important to us, we will focus a major part of our extended conversation at 589.eea.myftpupload.com. It is the centerpiece of our always-on, always-available communication channels strategy.
  • Inside Our Website > Our Online Store
    We are introducing our online store in April 2011. It does some neat, service driven things for you. For example, all customers can easily purchase our wines for shipment or pickup. We have a real-time shipping calculator for UPS in place. That means you will be able to purchase wines, and know down to the penny what it will cost. We can handle special requests for how to prepare your purchase and delivery. Maybe you want a gift card and wrap. No problem. Our Wine Club members can go online, too, and purchase wines and your member pricing will be reflected in your purchase automatically.
  • Inside Our Website > Open-to-Everyone and Members-Only Content
    We enjoy producing articles on topics of interest to all customers. That will continue. In addition, we are developing an assortment of on-going articles on topics covering food & wine, wine education, and travel logs to wine destinations that will be available to our Wine Club members-only. As a member you will be able to “login” to our website and see content that is produced just for you. There will also be a forum, a place for members to have conversations on a variety of moderator-lead topics. We are also building a wine education library where members can go to research on topics across a spectrum of enological interests. We’re planning a number of video based briefings that will be accessible with the click of your mouse. Why do this? We want to have one of the best Wine Clubs in the U.S., period.
  • Via Our Newsletter and Permission-Based Marketing
    We’re excited with our readership of the Yellow Farmhouse newsletter. So look for even more articles and a new look in the months ahead. Also, because we have eCommerce at our website we can develop ways to help you signup for special events we host during the year. We’ll keep you up-to-date with the “buzz” around Yellow Farmhouse providing you with handy links in our newsletter taking you with a click of a mouse to details of the special events, and other offerings. As always, we’ll provide you with opportunities and you decide what you want to take a further look at.
  • Via the SmartPhone
    What makes the best possible experience using your cell phone’s data services to access a website? For starters, how about being able to look at a website adapted to an Apple iPhone or Google Android phone screen? Would being able to use the screen touch and gesture tools of these phones help you enjoy the experience? We think so. That’s why we are developing an iPhone, iPad, and Google Android enabled website for all of our customers. It’s on the drawing board. We think it’s necessary for delivering an ease-of-use to read our articles, news, visit our online store, and draw new customers to visit our winery.
  • Via Social Media > Facebook and Twitter
    Our website is already built for incorporating these social media services. Today, we have links to a variety of social media services following every one of our blog articles. We will be expanding our embrace of Facebook, Twitter, and other emerging social media channels so our customers can more effortlessly connect with us and their friends on matters they feel are relevant at our website.

That pretty much covers the 10,000 foot view of our plans.
We’ll keep you informed of developments with a newsletter announcement, and a blog article here and there.
Thanks for your interest in Yellow Farmhouse Vineyard & Winery.