" />" />

Catar [ka-tar] + Vino [bee-no] = Catavino [ka-ta bee-no]

Confused by the title?

Let’s define the parts of the equation…

Catar: (Spanish) to taste, to sample; to look at, to examine

Vino: (Spanish) wine

Catavino: “a comprehensive educational website covering Spanish and Portuguese wine through Iberian food, culture and travel


Catavino Internet Services: the spawn of the website mentioned above, started in 2005 by the two passionate wine lovers behind the Catavino site. Catavino Internet Services specializes in creative cost-effective marketing strategies using the Internet. They are the European prophets of leveraging today’s “social internet” to build your brand and better strengthen your online identity.

So why mention Catavino? Well besides the fact that the “two passionate wine lovers”, Ryan and Gabriella Opaz, are totally rad, cool, hip, and da’ bomb-diggity? Well they were speakers at the London Wine Fair’s 30th Anniversary Pre-Show Conference!

It’s a Ceci Sipper Sandwich with some 100% Whole grained Catavino Bread!!
(Ryan is on the left and Gabriella is on the right, lol)

For those of you who are new to the blog or maybe you just haven’t been around VinousLand in a while, I am recapping my adventures from the 2010 London International Wine Fair that I attended back in mid-May. Being the I am a VIB (read: Very Important Blogger!) =P I was lucky enough to attend a special conference held the day before the London Wine Fair to celebrate the 30th Anniversary. The conference was split up into two parts, “Understanding the UK Wine Market” & “Making the Most of Online Media” and we have moved on the second part, and the second presentation put on by …. Catavino!

And if you have any beef with me talking about this almost a month after the event happened, well that can be answered very easily – last month of Masters in Wine Business Program = lots of assignments, projects, papers, presentations, etc.

I know, I know, cry me a river right?
Anyways, enough of the sappy violins!

The presentation was made by Ryan, the Mr. from the couple who runs Catavino, and he is not your typical presenter!

He is more of a ‘comical, in-your-face, witty, tell-it-like-it-is’ type of presenter and we couldn’t need that style more in bringing the wine industry over to the promise land of ‘wine online’! I suppose it’s more like a tug-of-war game really!

altered photo from istockphoto.com

So what was the presentation about?

Well basically Ryan took off his “glove” and “back-handed” the audience across the face! Hahahahaha. Gotta keep that ‘wine & social media pimp hand’ strong!

He spoke about how there have been obvious changes in the wine world with the onset of the World Wide Web back in the 90’s, but that what has recently thrown the wine world the proverbial ‘curve ball’ is social media and social networks!

He asked if wine businesses and winemakers were scared of the social network/social media concept. Because they shouldn’t be.

(It’s not like its The Blob from the 1950’s movie!)


I mean, The Blob is scary and unstoppable, but Social Media/Networks are not scary … although they are unstoppable! Social Media/Networks are just tools to help them get their wine brands out there, get the conversations/buzz going about their ‘product’, and connect with their customers!

Social Media is about two things: interacting and engaging! Wikipedia says “At its most basic sense, social media is a shift in how people discover, read and share news, information and content. It’s a fusion of sociology and technology, transforming monologue (one to many) into dialog (many to many) and is the democratization of information, transforming people from content readers into publishers.”

And it’s this exact term, ‘democratization’ that it key! Social Media/Networks are doing just that, they are ‘democratizing’ wine and I know I am not alone when I say that it is one of the best things to happen to the wine industry since, well since grapes!

Ryan said there will be the ‘disappearance’ of Parker-like critics and less ‘ce-web-rities’ like Gary Vaynerchuk and Jancis Robinson and the shift is moving more towards groups of people who move wine and create the hype/buzz about it! We will see the dawn of the new “critics”- the masses! Whatever the platform, he said we need to find new way to talk to the wine consumer. He emphasized that we need to talk to the average Joe of wine, not the wine geeks.

He told the audience, one of the first steps to take (more like a jump really) is to get out there and be brave! Don’t let others own your brand by creating the buzz for it! Interact! Engage! Own your own brand! “With Social Media tools you can make big waves!” he said.

He went on to talk about the key social media/networking sites as well as offering a bit more insight on how each one could be used as tools to better grow the wine businesses/brands. He spoke about the ups and downs of using Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Flickr, Adegga, Smartphone Applications, he even spoke about an ISBN-like code for wines called AVIN that is being introduced to help consumers find the exact wine and vintage they are looking for. He said at the very least wine businesses/producers should be using Google to find out where they/their wines are being talked about and leave a comment! “De-Lurk Yourself !!!” he bellowed, “I am quoting Doug Richard when I say your greatest peril is not competition, it is invisibility!”

We have now reached a day in age when consumer relationships are the key to any successful business and the wine industry isn’t any different. If you are not engaging and interacting with your consumers, you are voluntarily taking yourself out of the game. Why would you do that? As one of the key voices in the online wine world, Robert Macintosh from Wine Conversation, said in the video below, social media/networks are offering channels for the wine producers/businesses to directly communicate with their consumers, to connect with them and provide them with a relationship with the brand, offering the consumer a direct way to see the benefit of that particular wine and the personality/story inside the glass (or bottle in my case). This is an opportunity that wasn’t available less than a decade ago.

And check it out! I was even able to snag a photo with him and Robert Joseph, a speaker I also blogged about from the first part of the conference!! Rubbin’ elbows!! (literally!)

Now the best way for me to communicate more about the amazing efforts being done by Catavino, is to let them do it themselves. Here are two videos they put together from the festivities that went down at their booth, The Access Zone, at the London International Wine Fair. I also really encourage you to visit their site and spend a good chunk of time browsing the endless amazingness that is Catavino! I know you will learn A LOT, be very entertained, and feel very, very welcomed!

Feel free to look em up, they are all over the social media world! Haha, I wonder just how many social media platforms they are on? (Time for some recon work!)

For anyone out there who really wants to plunge into this Wine & Social Media world and get an in-depth look at the various platforms available to the wine world, I recommend reading the “State of Wine Industry Social Media” Report (By VinTank, Derek Bromley, and Tom Wark May 6, 2009) It can be your ‘summer reading assignment’!

**Also for any of you out there who are interested, Ryan and Gabriella are also co-founders for the European Wine Bloggers Conference:

Join bloggers, journalists, wine industry professionals and social media innovators on October 22-24 in Vienna, Austria, to discuss the convergence between the culture of wine and the web. This three day conference is a fantastic opportunity to expand, learn and debate about the intersection of wine on the internet with passionate wine lovers from around the world. There is no other conference of its kind. Come join us this fall! ~ http://winebloggersconference.org/europe/

I know I’m going! So I hope to see you there!

Hope you have a great Sunday! See you on the next post!

Vinously Speaking & Vinously Yours,
The Ceci Sipper

1 thought on “Catar [ka-tar] + Vino [bee-no] = Catavino [ka-ta bee-no]

  1. As you so appropriately stated, we are always open for any questions, concerns, thoughts or suggestions that people may have either about Iberian wine or the convergence between social media and wine. Always happy to be of service :)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.