Mike Duffy over at Winery Website Report tagged me and 4 others, asking why I blog. It's going around the wine blogosphere so I'm sure if you read other wine blogs you'll see a lot of the same comments, but here's my 2 cents worth.
1. I originally started this blog so that family and friends could be kept in the loop with the happenings over here during our first year of vineyard ownership and winemaking. Then of course, more people started reading along. Mike Duffy was actually one of the first bloggers to write about my blog, and that brought a lot of other readers to my site.
2. Of course like everyone else who is blogging, it's about creating awareness of our wine, creating a market for it before it even existed, and long before it reached the United States. Marketing is very important, as always, especially when you are making a Côtes du Rhône, one of several hundred produced, so you have to find a way to differentiate yourself from the crowd, our unique story definitely helps!
3. Most of all, I blog to give people an idea of what it's really like. We are not wealthy people playing around, throwing money at an expensive vineyard project. We are two people that dreamed of one day making our own wine and we are doing it on a shoestring budget. There's no trust fund or dotcom fortune behind us, just a lot of hard work, dedication, and a lot of help from family and friends. I think that's what makes my blog different than other wine-related blogs out there. Yes of course to most people we are "living the dream", here in sunny southern France, but we are also the ones doing all of the work. We have no employees, just a few incredibly dedicated, if not gullible friends who for some reason or another like to come help out.
4. Farming, it seems to be a thing of the past, but that's really what a lot of my blog is about. We are first and foremost farmers, who have the incredible opportunity to convert our crop into something wonderful. I like the idea of reminding people that without the grapes there would be no wine, it's virtually the only ingredient. Neglecting that part of your production, no matter what kind of technology you might have at your fingertips, will never result in the same quality product. At least that's the way I see it.
5. You can't ignore the romance factor of living in this part of the world. People seem to love to hear about trips to the market, the pottery studios, the wineries and the cheese makers. I think it's also important to demonstrate to people that the French have been so very helpful and open to us. Without the help of other local farmers and winemakers we never would have gotten this far, and I do like to share these wonderful stories with people.
All in all I guess I'm having fun telling our story and am flattered every time I get a comment of encouragement or thanks. It helps you come back to the computer to write another entry, especially when you're way too busy and way too tired. It's just then, that somebody out there will send you a comment, a two sentence entry that makes you realize that it's definitely worth it to keep writing. Even if there's only 10 people out there, it's fun to think that those 10 people enjoy what you have to say!