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Michael Mondavi on the trip that inspired a global wine business

Believe it or not, when Michael Mondavi first traveled the country promoting Robert Mondavi Winery in the 1960s, he was commonly asked, “Robert who?” followed by “Is that a Chinese restaurant?” I had to chuckle – even big names like this start somewhere. I’ve always been in awe of entrepreneurs, no matter what their line […]

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A rising tide raises all boats: The wine tourism industry gets a wake up call from Michael Mondavi

Last month I went to the first Wine Tourism Conference –  a major contrast from what I’m usually doing mid November: learning from the travel industry’s heavy hitters and the hottest startups at the PhoCusWright Conference.  For those of you that know PCW, the WTC couldn’t be more opposite. Thank goodness the wine tourism industry […]

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The other biggest opportunity in the wine business

Marketing tips for wineries in the hospitality business The US Travel Association estimates that 27 million* Americans travel each year for the purposes of culinary or wine-related tourism.  This is a big number, and it’s certainly big enough for many wineries to realize the opportunity and decide whether some fine-tuning is needed in their marketing […]

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Is Rioja ready for wine tourism?

After visiting the Rioja wine region in Spain this week, and as a follow up to my previous post about whether or not the wine industry is ready for tourism, there appears to be a number of challenges this region faces, and perhaps some things other regions can learn from. Rioja is an extremely impressive […]

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Who’s doing what? Refresher on private sales & group buying for the travel category

Hot on the tail of a $40 million round of funding last week, Bloomspot have now started a new email called “Bloomspot Travel”. Even I am having a hard time keeping up with who is doing what in the private sales and group buying space in this category. Here is a refresher on some of […]

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Groupon Getaways: What luxury hotels need to know about group buying sites

Groupon knows what it’s doing.  It’s no surprise they partnered with Expedia to create Groupon Getaways.  I do wonder though, how the industry is faring with this.  The hotels featured in these offers are surprisingly good for the consumer, and the hotels involved may fill rooms, but I also wonder if they thought about maintaining […]

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My back story: Creating the life you want

The highest compliment you can get is for someone to say that you inspired them to make a change and take the steps to create the life they want.  Mandy Gresh and I worked together for 4 years.  She was one of the people I interviewed with in 2005, and ironically she was the one […]

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Wine tourism is increasingly being sought out by travelers. But, is the wine industry ready?

When you combine tourism with wine, what do you get?  Well, it’s called “wine tourism”, “vinotourism” or “oenotourism”. It’s an opportunity for both the tourism and wine industries to connect. For this to happen, much of the wine industry may need to think about their businesses differently, as not only producers of wine but how […]

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Never Say Never: Why Justin Bieber is the perfect marketing example for startups

A year or so ago noone knew who this guy was. How did a 14 year old from a small town in Canada become a massive global brand in only a few years? I finally gave in a few weeks ago and watched his movie, Never Say Never. I have to say, I was impressed. […]

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Ripening in the wine e-commerce industry: Will the VC graveyard turn around?

In the last few years, technology has changed the way America buys things. Yesterday’s New York Times article about Groupon’s success, Funny or Die: Groupon’s Fate Hinges on Words, once again highlights how tech companies are changing the way America buys. In only a few years, Google, Facebook, Groupon, Gilt Groupe and thousands of clones […]

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