It’s that time of year. All along the highways and byways and cross roads grapes are ripening. Trucks are rumbling. Crews are assembling. Harvest is starting!
Hats off to the St. Helena Star for tracking the news week by week, appellation by appellation: here’s the first installment.
We’ve shared some pointers about how to turn harvest into PR “gold” in the past, but here are a few quick reminders.
- Images. Snapshots. Video glimpses. However you can capture this very exciting and very visual time of year, do so!
- Tell the world. Everyone’s interested, whether your tasting room guests or club members or distributors in Dubuque or website readers or Facebook friends or Instagram pals.
- What’s different? Yes, everyone is harvesting, so find out what’s unique about what you and your crew do. What time in the night are you harvesting? Traditional harvest meals or snacks? Sprinkling the first load of grapes with a sparkling wine? What happens to all that pomace?
- Push away from your desk and spend some time following your winemaker or vineyard manager around. How do you cut off a cluster of grapes the best way? What happens to those berries as they travel to the crush pad? Get familiar with the Brix numbers. Whole berry fermentation? What kind of yeast and why? This is a chance to learn about the science of winemaking.
- Mother nature. Here’s a chance to put some details around how green you are, how important the birds and the bees are to creating great wine. Maybe there’s a bear in the neighborhood? What kind of birds like your Merlot grapes?
- People stories. Who’s picking? What are their stories of favorite years, things that have gone right or so wrong? Harvest is a momentous time where the team is working together for long hours. There have to be some Stories.
- This is your moment to reach out to that writer you’ve been thinking about contacting. Assemble some stats and go for it. Even if the journalist doesn’t bite, he or she will be appreciative that you thought of her, so you’ve built a bit more of a relationship with that writer.
Harvest is probably the most newsworthy time of the year. Make the most of it!