New Smart Phone Service Drives Traffic to Wineries
As of March of this year, 72.5 million Americans owned smartphones, up 15% from the preceding three-month period. Taking advantage of this trend is America’s Wine Trails, a St. Louis based company started in 2010 to produce mobile wine tours for wineries and wine trails. “Mobile phones are how people access information today,” said owner Vince Manzer. “Audio and video tours, tour maps and links back the winery’s website are all ways we help wineries and wine trails use smart phones to reach the mobile generation.”
In Missouri and bordering states, Manzer said America’s Wine Trails can produce a 90 second video for approximately $1,200 that is both smart phone and You Tube compatible. This price includes the cost of sending a film crew to a winery. If multiple videos are produced at different wineries in one area, as in the case with a wine trail, Manzer said volume discounts can be negotiated. He added that 90 second videos are currently the proper length to allow for fast smart phone download times.
One problem Midwest regional wineries have had with using mobile phones for marketing is spotty mobile broadband reception in rural areas. Manzer encourages wineries and consumers to pressure mobile phone companies to increase service and build new cell towers in wine trail areas. (An AT&T document that was accidentally posted on a FCC website during August implied that he company chose not to spend $3.8 billion to cover 55 million Americans in rural parts of the country. However, in comments related to a pending merger with T-mobile, AT&T said that it plans to extend 4G service to 97% of Americans eventually.)
Installing wireless internet in winery tasting rooms is also important according to Manzer. At a winery with wi-fi, customers can investigate a winery and its products while comfortably seated in the tasting room. Some of the wineries in Missouri that have wi-fi on premise include Bias Winery, Mt. Pleasant Winery, Chandler Hill Vineyards, Montelle Winery, Augusta Winery and Yellow Farmhouse Winery.
Dale Rollings, owner of Yellow Farmhouse Winery in Defiance, Mo, said that the America Wine Trails video marketing program is a good value. “I’m very happy with the service we received,” he said. “Vince and his team put a lot of work into making our video.” The video America’s Wine Trails produced for Yellow Farmhouse can be viewed at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=51xe8ENivo4.
The America’s Wine Trails website also has the only comprehensive and current listing of all the wine trails in the United States. Manzer said it took him and his staff over a year and one half to research and compile the wine trail data which can be accessed at http://americaswinetrails.com/wineries/. The company has also purchased a list of varietals produced by 4,600 wineries in the U.S. and will eventually post this information on the website as a benefit to both wineries and consumers.