Harlan Estate - Napa wine marketing

“What though youth gave love and roses,

Age still leaves us friends and wine.”

And that was it. Just a few short and sweet lines by Thomas Moore.

Chalk it up to the mysterious and unpredictable alien known as wine marketing.

I’ve written about it beforeĀ here on Stark Insider, as the subject endlessly fascinates. Sure, there’s many consumer goods that present tricky marketing challenges. Shoes, derivative unless backed by high profile athletes. Computer components, speeds and feeds. And how about bottled water? That’s a heck of a lot of story telling needed right there.

But perhaps above all, wine often invites the most creative marketing. No doubt, without flowery words and magical visuals we’d have no romance. It would just be fermented juice in yet another generic bottle.

So it entertains me to no end (but not as much as The Neon Demon!), when I see wine marketing in action.

Harlan Estate in this case, sent us this cute note. It came in a simple envelope. The card stock seems nice. Probably not rarefied. But nice.

And the thought. Well, if it’s the thought that counts, I appreciate that too.

I like that there’s no order form, or link to a web site, or any other sort of call to action that might somehow make me actually forget that they’re gently petting me on the head, slyly encouraging me to hug their brand that much tighter.

Harlan Estate - Napa wine marketing Harlan Estate - Napa wine marketing

Yet I’ve seen this before.

This is the calm before the storm! The butter before the wolves!

Harlan — like so many other wineries I love up in Napa and Sonoma — is laying it on ever so softly. The kill comes next. And, with Harlan and the Red Cults, trust me, it’s a kill alright.

I have to give it to them, however.

There’s no long-winded story here about generations of winemakers, or handcrafted, natural this or that. Call it refreshing. It took me all of about 30 seconds to open the card and enjoy its whimsical essence. I don’t know what it means. Google will help I hope. Since I’m Canadian though I can only think of one thing to say, I mean what else is there to do?

“friends and wine”

Thank you Harlan Estate.

Clinton Stark
Clinton shoots videos for Stark Insider. San Francisco Bay Area arts, Ingmar Bergman and French New Wave, and chasing the perfect home espresso shot 25 seconds at a time (and failing). Peloton: ClintTheMint. Camera: Video Gear