Hickory Hill Vineyards became Virginia’s 75th farm winery in 2001. Since that time, the state’s wine business has grown. Today there are about 300 wineries state-wide. That’s a lot of brands competing for attention.

Leveraging Local Media

Hickory Hill is nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains on the east side of Smith Mountain Lake.  It is one of just six wineries on the Bedford Wine Trail.

With relatively few other wineries close by, helping the local media to cover growing interest in the state’s wine industry, became a key part of the media strategy for Hickory Hill. Kurtz Digital Strategy works with the vineyard owners to develop press releases that highlight the quality of local wines.  The owners then make themselves readily available for interviews in person, by phone, and by email.

One release about awards earned in the Virginia Wine Lover Wine Classic Awards resulted in pick-ups in local papers, television, and radio.

Releases are also shared on the vineyard website and social media channels, lending fresh content to those channels.

Sharing News, Getting More Customers

Press releases have led to a steady stream of new and repeat customers to the vineyard’s tasting room. Many people request to taste the “award winning wines” they have heard about. There are other references to media coverage as people relate the story of what led them to the vineyard.

The resulting increase in on-site visitors allows the winery to share both its award winning wines and other staple offerings such as Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Vidal Blanc. Every tasting is an opportunity to create a relationship with a new customer who will return for wine and for special events.