In the Weekend Australian Magazine story about Whicher Ridge by James Halliday on February 25th, Halliday states in one of his opening paragraphs that ‘Cathy and Neil Howard cumulatively took more than 40 years to establish Whicher Ridge’ and this statement really brought it home to me how long it has taken us, both apart and together, to reach the point that we are at now with our wine brand which was just an idea back in 2003 when we started searching for a suitable site to plant a vineyard.
It has been a journey filled with so many stories, both good and bad. There are days when I have to remind myself how much we have achieved and I sometimes find myself rediscovering ‘before’ and ‘after’ photos which are a great reminder of how far we have come and how much we have achieved in the past 13 years.
At Cellar Door, I often choose to tell the best bits of our story and our journey with Whicher Ridge Wines. There are so many stories about our wine dogs and our pet sheep, our light bulb moments when things click and come together and we have made the perfect wine, the stories about the interesting people we have met in the wine industry over the years, and the stories about creating our label and our wine sensory garden which are all unique to us.
I do tend to tell the stories about our more humorous moments that I know people will enjoy hearing and ones which they will take home with them and perhaps share with friends and family. I do often skip lightly over the many challenges and bad moments that we have experienced where we could so easily have given up at certain points over the years.
I came across this post by Felicity Carter ‘The Art of Wine Storytelling‘ which makes for a very interesting read. Carter states ‘Stories sell – which is why storytelling is marketing’s hottest new trend. Anyone who’s been to a wine conference lately will certainly have heard the cry go up for the wine trade to ‘tell its stories’. But what is ‘storytelling’, and how can the wine trade do it effectively? New research has uncovered some surprising answers’.
There is an art to storytelling, and that ‘Dr Jennifer Aaker from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, has said that “stories are up to 22 times more memorable than facts alone”. So, we will continue to tell our story through as many different mediums as we can, at cellar Door, on our website, on our Facebook page and in as many wine and gardening magazines such as Australian Country and Country Style so that our story becomes memorable and when someone garbs a bottle of our wine somewhere they will remember a story they heard about Polly the gorgeous black kelpie at Whicher Ridge ….. and her play mate, Spit, the winery’s pet sheep who thinks he’s a dog ….