$2,400. That’s right, there is now an actual price you can attach to an employee or owner telling me a story about their business and product.
Welcome to wine country.
If you have never been to Sonoma or Napa, be aware that these people are master storytellers and you WILL fall victim to the most powerful tool in their sales belt: the story of their wine.
Those who do it well can paint a vivid picture of the beginning of the grape to its amazing and long journey to your glass. They are able to make that first sip no longer feel like an alcoholic drink made of grapes, but a love affair with agriculture, patience, and the perfection of one of the oldest drinks in the world.
The seemingly painted landscape. The hint of an aroma inconsistent to the Midwest. The artful and stoic proprietor who has taken time to sit with you and tell you the story from the beginning in a slow and measured pace. From the land purchase to the specific way to drink their wine, different from others and, apparently, more meticulously crafted than the other 600 plus wineries in the region.
I am engaged. I am listening.
I found myself asking questions just keep him talking. I wanted to know more, and at that moment, I was part of his journey and was rooting for his winery. Why? I was emotionally connected within the first minute I found myself sitting at a table with my wife, overlooking the majestic landscape of the valley, nobody within 10 miles to distract us.
It was a different experience; it was, as Queen Oprah would say, an “ah-ha moment”. He broke the process down into three steps, but with each one he gave a little backstory of why they do it that way and the trial and error that led them to a new approach of wine making. He made it feel like the first time he had ever said those words or told that story. He was passionate, animated, vivid, and most of all, captivating.
As the story and tasting experience came to an end, there was no big push to buy their wine or even a real ask to purchase multiple bottles and have them shipped to your house. No, he simply told a story, gave us an experience, and then slid a “Members Only” order form in front of us. “If you like it, we can send you some to your house.”
I ordered six bottles shipped to my house twice a year—and I don’t really even drink wine.
Every time I serve that wine, I will tell our guests about the amazing experience we had in Napa one Saturday afternoon in December. I will share his story over and over again.
Thanks for the story and the time, Ted. It will age perfectly.