The social networking tools used by the wine industry become more important by the day. Dirk Wuertz, a German vintner from the small village of Gau-Odernheim, sells more than 80% of his production to the US – you can find more information in English here.
Dirk is one of the key players when it comes to web 2.0. He debuted his latest project yesterday night – for the first time ever in Germany, a wine show was streamed live into the Internet. Let me elaborate: He invited members of the press, people from the wine trade, and wine lovers to his winery, the Koenigsmuehle. He then hosted a 90 minute long wine show that was streamed live into the Internet under http://tv.wuertz-wine.de (where you can now watch a replay of the whole show). Facebook users were able to connect and participate in the action. The comment section quickly filled up, and a twitter stream updated tweets (next time there will also be a live connection for twitter users).
The quality of the new “Internet Live TV” channel was very high – a lot of effort had been made to ensure that everything would run flawless, and the producer of the show did a great job. Dirk has a polarising personality – and he is a natural showman, which is a combination that is hard to beat. He simply does not take himself serious – and he is happy to play the role that his fans expect him to. Some may criticise him for his brash sense of humour, but his fans certainly love him because of it.
He was able to balance fun and seriousness: His first “guest” was a friend from the same village, who is a certified biodynamic farmer and wine producer, owns a 50-year old combat tank, and has no clue about the Internet. Next on was a “star guest”, Michael Jaeger, a popular actor and author, who is also a very active blogger. I liked this part a lot, still light hearted, but on a much more serious level.
In the last twenty minutes of the show, Dirk introduced Greek wines to his viewers. He poured two wines from the Manousakis Estate to his guests, who were pleasantly surprised by the high quality. The Manousakis Estate was virtually unknown in Germany until a view weeks ago. This is changing quickly now, first of all because of the high ratings from the wine critics, but also because of actions like this and this.
This show would not have been possible without twitter – nearly all viewers, guests, and participants connected at some point through twitter and brought these connections into real life. It is yet another great example of how social networking is changing and reshaping businesses.
Disclosure: Although I do not have a formal business relationship with Dirk Wuertz, I am writing a guest column for his blog , and also store selected Greek wines with him that are available for sale, Dirk is NOT benefitting from this financially.