Recently I was reading a quite interesting article submitted by Ryan Opaz on his webblog Catavino.net which I thought would be worth sharing and discussing further. The article deals with the phenomenon Social media and its reception among Spanish wineries in particular. Ryan affirms that Spanish wineries are failing in terms of Social media as according to his observations most of them don’t exploit this tool in the most efficient way. His principal argument is that we seem to have misunderstood the concept behind Social Media. Hence it is not about having a blog or a twitter id via which one can praise his wines and them only!!! On the contrary, the conception is about sharing; sharing ideas and experiences with the consumers who want to hear both, the good and the bad parts of a winemaker’s genuine story.
I would like to support Ryan’s assertion and to develop it further trying to give insights of what is happening from a winery’s point of view. I am very much aware of the fact that Spain is trying to exploit a 21st century subject matter employing a 20ieth century mentality model. The problem is that the Old World traditional thinking doesn’t work anymore on the big globalization field. Times are a-changing and change is so quick that it becomes harder every day to catch up with its pace. The crisis is the reality of the moment, sales are dropping and the future looks rather grey for small wineries. Enoturism, Spain’s hidden hope and challenge sounds perfect in theory but is unfortunately still amateur in practice. So what are we doing wrong?
Well, I can’t give a proper answer to that but I can assert what we are not doing; we are not reinventing ourselves! Each of Spain’s autonomous regions possesses a very firm local identification of which I have respect on the one hand and some disregard on the other. Holding on so tight to one’s roots in times when identities are being reconstructed on the move is a juxtaposition which makes it somehow hard to accept. Globalization is a fact, it is happening and it doesn’t allow economies to stop evolving. We have to challenge what we already know and start reinventing the way we understands ourselves. We have to give up our mind your own business attitude and adapt ourselves to the new occurrences which evidently require open-mindness and lateral thinking. Thus according to Ryan it is wrong to assume that the competition is the enemy. A common fact in the viticulture business! He suggests that wineries should work together for the sake of their product and challenge the crisis as a collective. A possible solution, however I am afraid only realizable within one community unless we start reinventing our existing conceptions of us and them.
To find collaborators and establish new innovative strategies not only throughout Cataluña but throughout Spain is not as utopian as we used to think – on the contrary it is possible and it is necessary if we want to sustain. We don’t have to copy the New World and its selling strategies nor do we have to opt for megalomania. We can reinvent ourselves and create our own challenges for the sake of our unique “Spanish” product.