What Wine Tasting Taught me about the Dive Industry

Yelp.com Brings Business to an Out-of-the-way Winery

Sonoma Wine Country map from BestinSonoma.com
There are more than 67 wineries in the Sonoma Valley (and several dozen more in Napa). Driving down the main drag there are mini-castles, villas, Rhine mansions, and buildings of every imaginable shape and size.

It’s impossible to see them all in one weekend so how to narrow it down? I’m a beginner when it comes to wine appreciation, so I turned to Yelp for guidance.

As I mentioned in last week’s post, Yelp.com is a website where customers post reviews of local businesses. I typed in “sonoma wine” and the number one result was a business called Tin Barn Vineyards.

When we arrived, the tasting room was packed. The woman taking care of everyone could barely keep up. As more people arrived she would ask, “how did you hear about us?”

Yelp. Yelp. Yelp.

Here’s the other thing you need to know – Tin Barn is waaaaay off the main drag (and not located in a barn). It’s in an industrial complex in the back of a building. There is no street presence and hardly any signage. Tin Barn isn’t listed on any of the promotional maps and it was the busiest tasting room I visited that weekend.

Cuvaison winery grapes with wine glass
The lady pouring wine at Tin Barn said a year ago their tasting room had very little business. Now, thanks in part to Yelp, business is booming – even with a “bad” location and extremely crowded marketplace. The best part? It costs nothing.

Ask customers to take a few moments to post a review of your business on Yelp’s website. The customer will rate their experience from one to five. Additional comments are optional. The higher your average score, the more prominently your business will appear om Yelp’s website.

Read more about utilizing Yelp.com as part of our 15 minute marketing idea series.

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