by Markus Stolz


byMarkus Stolz
October 21, 2009, 3 Comments

Social MediaThe technological revolution currently taking place on a truly global basis through Web 2.0 is staggering. The wine sector is already embracing it, be it in the United States, in Europe, or in Australia.

In Greece, things work differently. Business is done in a much more traditional way. Personal contacts are the key, and face-to-face discussions still dominate. There are many Greek wineries that do not have a web presence at all. Then there are others that run basic websites only in the Greek language. Bilingual sites are mostly static, with little content update.

Emails are often checked only once a week. In many cases, the telephone or personal visits are the only way of making contact. To be fair, there are some valid reasons for this: The vast majority of the estates are small and have existing ties to Greek agents who buy their wines. They are often located in remote, rural areas. Only a small percentage of the total production of Greek wines is exported. Often run as a family business, the vintner is still the farmer in a traditional sense. He is doing what many generations have done before him – he is making wine, and is in all likelihood not very knowledgeable about the Internet. The Greek culture honours personal relationships. I doubt that many wineries know of the existence of Web 2.0.

I do not wish to be critical; the above is rather an observation. I have the highest admiration for the Greek vintners, and it would not have been possible for me to built up so many warm, special and personal relationships with them, if things were done differently. However, some changes start taking place:

The website of the Alpha Estate  has recently become a very good showcase of quality content. Boutari  have become active via blog. And it is with great pleasure that I can announce today that Alexandra Manousakis of the Manousakis Winery in Crete will start using twitter. She had set up an account earlier, but is now renaming it and going live. I am sure this makes Alexandra the first person in all of Greece that actively represents a winery via twitter. Make sure to follow her! Update: Seems to be a big day today, as I just learned that another winery, the Kikones estate, has also activated a twitter account. Please follow them. Thanks to George Charitou for the information.

I hope that more Greek wineries will become involved with sharing their knowledge and engaging actively with wine lovers all over the world. This can only be beneficial for everybody involved.

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About Markus Stolz

Over the last years, I have come to really appreciate Greek wines. There are many grape varieties that exist only in Greece and I have the good fortune of being able to try them all. I wish to share my enthusiasm with wine lovers around the world, who often limit themselves to maybe four red and four white grape varieties for most of their life.

  1. Nikki RoseJanuary 13, 2010, 8:19 pm

    Interesting article. I’ve been working in Crete since 1998, organizing cultural-culinary seminars, which includes visiting organic wineries. While it is challenging to gather and provide information about artisan food and wine producers without the expected web presence, there is a much more personal connection we develop. In some ways it is true that the net is useful in the collection of fish, especially when small-scale farmer-vintners do not plan to export their products. On the other hand, without a web presence, vintners that want to export are at a disadvantage. It’s entirely up to them, of course, but the web can save a lot of time and money in the long run for the farmer-producers and the people that support their work.

    Nikki Rose
    Founder & Director
    Crete’s Culinary Sanctuaries Eco-Agritourism Network
    award-winning program for best practices in responsible travel

  2. elloinosJanuary 13, 2010, 8:30 pm

    Thanks Nikki for sharing your first hand experiences. I have lately seen more activity from some Greek wineries in regards to the Internet. Facebook seems to be the popular choice for the time being, although this of course mostly limited to the Greek language. In order to do proactive PR and marketing, blogs and twitter (in English) are highly recommended.

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