No sooner did we leave our post conference meetings in NY, than I’m on an airplane again winging my way across the equator to Chile. I was invited by Lori Tieszen, Exec. Dir. of Wines of Chile USA to give a presentation on social media marketing to a bunch of producers. Those of you who read this blog know that SMM is particular passion of mine, and we have been doing some really interesting thing in the space for wines and spirits. Lori is an old friend from my Palace Brands days and has had a fabulous career with Domecq, Moet Hennessey and now WOC. was scheduled to present their wine plans and unfortunately bailed with two days notice. Lori asked if I’d fill in and do a presentation on ecommerce as well, which I of course said yes to. So I ended up spending Saturday polishing the SMM pres and scrambling to pull together one on E-comm. Not sure what Amazon’s rationale was, but they sure didn’t make many new friends by canceling at the last minute.

It’s spring in Santiago, but unfortunately a dreary day here and I can’t see the Andes. The speech is Monday and then I’m going to spend Tues and Wed visiting some of the wineries, so should get a better view of the country then.

Update: The presentations went extremely well, the sun came out setting the Andes ablaze, and it turned out one of the winery owners was a Cornellian too (both Lori and I went there)…small world. the common questions I get are how do I get started and won’t this suck up my time. My recco on the former is to just set up a blog with Google’s Blogspot and start writing. The key is to be authentic, write from the heart and your audience will find you. Regarding the time suck…only if you let it…fewer and more thoughtful posts are more valuable than poundage.

Clearly Chile is in a unique position of potential…great track record of QPR (Quality/Price Ratio) and the wines get better every year. They are running in the slipstream of Argentina and getting great press coverage (according to WoC, up 400% and bottle sales up significantly as well. Now the challenge is to realize the potential. l I believe they have the people in place who can make that happen. At lunch after the session I met their management and internet marketing teams and was really impressed with their knowledge, capabilities and passion.

I’ll be visiting some wineries tomorrow and Wed, then a night flight back to NY for an Austrian event hosted by the one and only Willi Klinger of AWMB.