Owning your own Wine Farm

Owning a winery is the dream of many a successful businessman. In South Africa, quite a few wineries are privately owned and operated. Not only is the beauty of the Cape Winelands enticing, but what could be more seductive than the thought of serving a wine complete with your own family name and crest? Take a look at this Napa Valley, California, video to get the picture.

But winemaking is a capital-intensive project, and slow on returns. When he went into it almost 30 years ago, Tim Hamilton Russell estimated that it would take 10 years to see a return on capital. The figure has not changed much since then especially now that imported equipment and wooden barrels have to be acquired with our weak rand. So it is rewarding to see South African money being invested in the Cape Winelands when it could so easily be exported for quicker and far better returns.

Relatively new to the industry is another IT man, Dave Lello. He brings a wealth of wine knowledge, having had a keen interest in the subject for most of his life. His enthusiasm for wine is matched by his love of Italy and Africa. And this shows in the name he has chosen for his wine venture, Stellakaya.

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Five Ways to Succeed at Marketing Automation

Many businesses have embraced the idea of marketing automation in hopes of gaining a larger customer base. In theory, marketing automation sounds like a great idea – personalize your pitch to your target audience in hopes of making a connection that leads to a sale.

However, there are many things to consider when executing a successful plan. If you plan to invest in a marketing automation program, you need to understand what is successful and what is not in order to see your efforts pay off.

It helps to begin with a strong concept of what marketing automation is. Marketing automation is a combination of software and marketing tactics that deliver personalized content to clients in order to gain their business. Consider a company like Amazon, which emails clients lists of products they may be interested in after making a purchase on the site.

Amazon tailors its home page based on the buyer’s interests and sends out surveys after a sale is complete. Amazon has proven success in marketing automation and is certainly a company to emulate. Here are five ways to implement a successful marketing automation program to watch your business succeed.

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Patrick Barrett on Great Work

Patrick Barrett is currently the Director of Product at TrendKit, a Public Relations analytics company. At TrendKite, Patrick focuses his efforts on making the product easy to use and visually appealing using his extensive UX knowledge to provide a visual analytics platform.

Prior to this, he worked at Spredfast on social media publishing for big agencies as the Director of Consumer Experiences. Additionally, Patrick has experience working in the fields of crowdfunding and social good at Greater Good Labs, and extensive experience in social commerce, e-commerce, and consumer-generated content at Bazaarvoice.

How do you define Great Work? 

Great Work is a combination of work that results in great products and personally rewarding work experience.

Great products for me, the ones I want to build, strike a balance between frivolity and utility that creates an engaged user base that will drive the metrics important to your business. Think of a stop sign as being a product of pure utility and Pokemon Go as one of pure frivolity…I want to build products that fall somewhere between the two.

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Walla Walla Wine Wine Time Time

Yes, I know, it’s a silly heading. Walla Walla actually uses that same tagline of repeating words to market their wine region. So I borrowed it.  We were fortunate enough to be able to experience the Walla Walla wine region not too long ago and, although we expected good things I don’t think we were quite prepared for what we got.

The wine being produced in Walla Walla is sensational. Even the juice that wasn’t great was still good. Walla Walla is located due South of Spokane, Washington in the Southeast corner of the state.  It’s about a 262-mile drive from Seattle and 158 miles from Spokane. This was our first time in Walla Walla and it was beautiful. We had great weather as the sun was out.

We were able to visit eleven wineries: Woodward Canyon Winery, L’Ecole No 41, Gifford Hirlinger, Beresan Winery, Balboa Winery, Basel Cellars, Trio Vintners, Kontos Cellars, Dunham Cellars, Cavu Cellars, and Waterbrook.

Our first stop was at Woodward Canyon where we were met by Kellie Berg, the tasting room manager, who was extremely friendly and nice to us. I tasted six of their wines with my favorites being their 2016 Burgundy styled Chardonnay, NV Columbia Red Wine (52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, and 14% Syrah), Artist Series #15 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon (which actually had a bit of Syrah and Merlot in it) and 2014 Estate Red.  The best value of the bunch was the NV Columbia Red Wine, which at $26 is a true bargain.

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Heritage Trail Vineyards

Location

Heritage Trail Vineyards is located on 38 rolling acres in the Quinebaug-Shetucket National Heritage Corridor, an area federally registered as one of America’ s most scenic destinations. In addition, the vineyard is close to many of Connecticut’s tourist attractions, including Mystic Seaport, the Mohegan Sun, and Foxwoods Resort Casino.

Heritage Trail Vineyards invites you to join them for light food, great wine, and a wonderful setting. In winter, warm your hands at the fire; in summer, stroll the property or admire the view from a sunny deck. They are looking forward to seeing you soon!

Hours

May through December, Heritage Trail is open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 11:00 to 5:00 p.m. and January through April, they are open by appointment. Please call the vineyard at (860) 376-0659 to arrange a tasting or to purchase wine.

How to get there

From New Haven, take I-95 North to I-395 North to exit 83A (Lisbon), then take a left onto Route 169. Heritage Trail Vineyards will be approximately three miles up the road on your left. From the Boston area, take I-395 South to Exit 87 to Route 12; go south on Route 12 to sign “Route 169” (about 4 miles); turn right on Butt’s Bridge Road and go to Route 169 (2 miles); take left onto Route 169. The winery is two miles down the road.

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Tips for Writing a Great Resume

Your resume is a compilation of credentials that lets potential employers know what you have achieved. Your cover letter tells them why your achievements are important and why you are a good fit for the position you are applying for. It acts as your spokesman and markets you to prospective employers.

A good cover letter should have three sections: a brief opening, middle and a closing. Each part contains crucial information and needs to be strongly worded.

The Opening Paragraph

It is here that you clearly identify the position you are applying for. Tell the reader how you learned about the job. If you are responding to an ad you saw or if a friend referred you, say so. More importantly, explain why you are interested in the job or in this company in particular. Make them believe you want to work at this company, in this position.

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Google Keyword Quota Exceeded – What’s Next?

Yesterday I posted a bunch of keywords to my account (about 70,000) but realized that I was being stupid and crazy, so today I tried to do some house-cleaning. I deleted the old campaign and created a new one. So when you have the Google Keyword Quota Exceeded – What’s Next?

This campaign has 63 ad groups and about 200 keywords per ad group.

I’m trying to make the campaign active and I get a message telling me “Keyword Quota Exceeded” … How can this be – Is Google still looking at my old keywords?”

When I hear reports of AdWords accounts with keywords numbering in the 10s of thousands, I have to gasp in amazement. I find it incredible that advertisers feel the need to create campaigns with so many keywords that AdWords has to cap their account.

Quite frankly, I’m amazed that people think such a large campaign can actually be managed properly. I can’t believe that any more than a small percentage of your keywords are actually making any money. (more…)

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Google Online Marketing Challenge

When I got into the business of digital marketing back in 2010, one of the Web’s promises to advertisers was that it could target messages to consumers in ways that television, radio, and print never could. So when you consider the Google Online Marketing Challenge – do it right!

I was never impressed with the way large advertisers used mass media to go after certain audience demographics without regard for context. The Web offered me a unique opportunity to show advertisers not only how to reach the right people, but how to reach them in the right place and at the right time.

A Mass Medium it Ain’t

Throughout my career as an online media planner, I’ve most admired the campaigns that have that magical combination of reaching the right people in the right place in the most appropriate manner. Yet as I surf the Web seventeen years after it has become a commercial medium, I find myself exposed to advertising messages that are irrelevant to my surfing habits and state of mind. This shows me that advertisers still don’t understand the Web’s unique targetability.

Why aren’t online advertisers taking advantage of the one-to-one marketing principles we’ve heard so much about over the past few years?

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Knipprath Cellars, Spokane

Knipprath Cellars Is Doing It Right

I recently had the pleasure of visiting one of Spokane, Washington’s most unique wineries, Knipprath Cellars. The winery is located in an old schoolhouse. It’s very quaint, though a bit chilly the day I visited. I was greeted at the top of the stairs by Sinay, who was manning (or in this case, womaning) the tasting room this particular day. See also this interview with Henning Knipprath of Knipprath Cellars. Knipprath is well-known for their Spiced Wine, Port, and some other pretty unique offerings. Knipprath is located in the Spokane Valley, at the historic Parkwater Schoolhouse.

I knew very little about Knipprath Cellars except that there WAS one, so I asked many questions and Sinay answered them one by one. I found out that Knipprath Cellars is a family-owned winery that just celebrated ten years of being a full-time winery. All in all, I tasted 13 different wines including Roussanne, Syrah, Tempranillo, Merlot and a whole slew of dessert wines, which seems to be their niche.

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Best American Wines

Let’s also take a look at a few more interesting American wines. California is around the world renown for its quality wines. Check out the following wines that are really standing out in a market that has the largest number of varieties of agricultural produce in the world: WINE!

2013 Petite Sirah “Lovett Vineyard”, Red Hills

Deeply saturated and inky in the glass – ruby purple with violet glints.  The aromas set the stage for this wine – quintessential Petite Sirah notes of blackberry jam, rhubarb pie, baking spices, and blueberries are buoyed by a set of savory aromatics of cigar box, wet gravel, espresso, and fine oak.  The palate mirrors the nose – rich, ripe berry and cherry notes with underpinnings of dark chocolate, and coffee and a hint of hoppy porter.

Generous fine-grained tannins provide a backbone to the long, lingering finish of cassis and bittersweet chocolate.   With this bottling, the richness and ripeness of fruit are perfectly matched by bright, youthful acidity, giving the wine freshness and balance in this early stage and promising the potential for longer-term cellaring over the next 5-7 years.  As the wine matures, the jammy notes will transform into plush, darker fruit while the tannins soften and become velvety on the palate, slowly transforming into a highly nuanced and elegant wine.

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