Another new social platform is taking the industry by storm: Clubhouse, a voice-first platform, is the talk of the town for a large swathe of wine pros. It’s like the First Rule of CrossFit all over again: Make sure everyone knows you Clubhouse.

My good friend Andre Ribeirinho asked me why, as a tech leader, I muted Clubhouse conversations on Twitter.

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First, I’m not at all against Clubhouse. It’s exciting to have a new social media platform with a novel variety of engagements. In fact, you’ll sometimes find me quietly in a room, listening, learning, and analyzing its benefits for…

Four years ago, Rob McMillan asked me to build a chart with all the DTC vendors, to coincide with the annual SVB Report. The first report was an interesting challenge and became a labor of love. With few exceptions — and aside from the format improvements from Erica Gomez — the changes over the subsequent years have been minor.

That was my expectation for 2020. Every year I write a theme for the year and 2020’s was “Digital Transformation (Why and How to Start — NOW)”, which I presented in March in London, at the inaugural One Step Beyond conference…

I don’t write about wine. Not in the traditional sense. I write about the business of wine. My observations. The evolution of the market and the shortcomings of the system. It’s not that I don’t enjoy wine. I do. And it’s not that I don’t appreciate the nuances and beauty of the product. I do. But there are far better and more passionate critics that do a spectacular job of sharing the flavors and smells — the stories behind the wine and the people that make them. I admire so many of them, but again, that’s not me. I’m more…

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With the world upside down and all traffic to winery tasting rooms on pause, many wineries are quickly moving towards e-commerce. However, with so many vendors in the industry, it can make finding the right one daunting.

Here are a few tips when choosing a wine industry e-com partner.

References: First, ask for a minimum of 3 references. Make sure you ask questions about how hard it was to launch? What were the biggest challenges in moving to the platform? How is customer service? What do they wish the vendor did better?

Stack: Since no vendor fully encapsulates all of…

Welcome to our third year of building this Winery DTC Vendor Update releasing the same day, and in support of, the Annual SVB State of the Union report. This project is a tremendous amount of work, and only possible thanks to Erica Gomez who has been a fantastic partner to help compile, organize and design our new format (which, hopefully, has found its final evolution into this excellent progressive flywheel). Since we’ve adapted the shape over the last few years, we’ve made an ultimate and straightforward hosting solution for it at I can tell you that we had giant…

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The world is coming to terms with our impact on climate change. Our industry acutely recognizes this and, due to our tight connection with land and weather, are at the forefront of trying to reconcile our impact. Whether with Dan Petroski in Napa, Miguel Torres in Spain, Antonio Graca in Portugal, Donnafugata since 2011, and even tactically and relevant to this post, Kendall Jackson and Jason Haas from Tablas Creek in CA, and so many more, the wine world is challenging itself to understand and reduce or counter the negative impacts on the environment of growing and making wine. …

It’s that time of year again and in conjunction with the SVB Annual Report I’m releasing the updated landscape of DTC vendors. So first, it got a whole new name thanks to the marketing & design help from Erica Gomez. This new format gives us a lot of room to grow and helps us cluster companies towards their specialties.

Some notes about the Matrix:

  1. We only include live vendors that have actual customers.
  2. We’ve collapsed a few groups and expanded a few others but the entire vendor list moved from 71 to 94.
  3. Only two vendors live in two locations (WineDirect in Fulfillment and Full…

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It seems like everyone wants to work in the wine industry.

It’s elegant. It’s the epitome of luxury. It’s sophisticated.

Just like in Hollywood, we have lines of people trying to break into the wine industry — either because of their passion for wine or their passion for the lifestyle.

Sadly, the sheer number of candidates means that, as a result, we pay pretty poorly, and despite having so many interested, the lower pay repels so many different people who could have been transformative to our industry. Often, we hire the B, C, or even D-level talent because they are…

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Through my lengthy, rewarding, and challenging wine career, I’ve not only seen some of the hardest trials of my life, I’ve been tasked with them, too.

When I sat down to write a recent article for The Buyer, I began considering these challenges, reliving all of them in their own way, causing me to reflect and realize that this industry, dog-eat-dog as it is, is rewarding beyond compare.

Enough of the sentimentality, though. Let’s get down to the good stuff, the nitty-gritty, the wine talk that I know you’re here for. I wrote down some of the toughest, most trying…

Quick interlude blog — after participating in the most recent SVB DTC Webinar (the “After Dark” session) I gained a new clarity about the future of online winery sales. For the first time, I could see the market dynamics catalyzing change like never before, and simultaneously the wine industry awakening in ways I haven’t seen for decades. In the session, Rob was kind enough to ask me about some companies changing the future. …

Paul Mabray

Wine Revolutionary. Digital, CRM, CX, Start-ups, Social Media, Hospitality (especially wine) are my jam.

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