Recently we poured at Silicon Valley Latino’s event, 40 under 40 Latinos2Watch. It was awesome to see so many young Latinos making waves in their fields; art, music, business, etc. It got us Generation Xers thinking about the Millennials (Generation Y) and what they may be looking for.
According to Bloomberg, when it comes to wine and other things, Millennials are looking for authentic experiences. This is perfectly understandable for young adults who have been born in a digital age. Where we once sent Christmas and Birthday cards, we now send E-cards. Where we announced the birth of our children with a cute little card and picture, we now announce by posting on facebook. Where we used to send out invitations either by phone call or card, we now text message, email, or send an Evite. It’s no wonder that the younger generation wants something REAL and AUTHENTIC.
Wine is more than a product. It is actually a real and authentic experience, especially when talking about wine made from small producers, captured in a bottle. Wine is subject to Mother Nature. Each vintage is a snapshot of time. It’s not something we look at on facebook or receive an email about, but something we can actually taste in a bottle. If it was a hot, low water year, the wine will be big, tannic, and higher in alcohol. If it was a cooler year, the wine will be softer and lower in alcohol. If there was a big fire nearby, you may literally taste smoke in the wine.
Not only can an authentic experience be found in a bottle of wine, but it can be found by visiting the winemaker or owner of a small brand. Take Leo Martinez for example. At 39 he is the head winemaker for Benessere Winery in Napa and for his own brand, Terra Caliente. When you visit Benessere you can taste wine grown right out their front door. If Leo has time he might take you on a tour where he’ll talk about the vintage (the year), the barrels he selected and why, and perhaps he’ll even give you a barrel tasting. His excitement and enthusiasm for what he is doing will be contagious. This is not something you will be able to experience on facebook, email, or twitter. It something authentic that you can experience only by going to the winery and tasting the wine and meeting the winemaker.
We recently hosted a group of bankers from Korea. They were used to a tight, rushed, schedule. Then they came to Napa. There’s no such thing in the wine country as a rushed experience. You can’t plan everything to the tee with wine. We are controlled by nature, not science. No amount of technology can make it rain, stop the sun from shining, or slow down or rush grapes from ripening. Perhaps being conditioned and trained by Mother Nature has forced those of us in the wine industry to take our time, smell some roses, drink a glass or two, and put down our cell phones! We would be happy to share these authentic experiences with Generation Y… just send us a text, email, or message us on Facebook!