October 27, 2008

Blogging & Wines : A success story : Stormhoek

As many of you know, I have another passion : Drinking Wine. As my racing season has come to an end, I will be doing some more posts on wines in the next few weeks, and this is the first one. I love the story of Stormhoek Wines, as they launched their wines into the stratosphere via social networking and “Geek” Dinners. You can find their web presences here:

Website (powered by WordPress)



A little about this delish farm…

“The Stormhoek vineyards can be found in a hidden valley halfway up the Bains Kloof Pass in Wellington, Western Cape, South Africa.

Three hundred years ago, five hectares of vineyard were planted on the lowest slopes, down near the river.

Today’s oldest remaining block was planted in 1 metre wide rows in these same soils by Dawid Joubert in 1910. Every year, right up to now, this block has been tilled, loosening the soil and removing winter weeds, with a horse-drawn plough. The pulling is done by Poppie, a 16 hand Percheron, who has a 3 week season of work, once a year. The rest of the year Poppie is on vacation.

The vineyard land, and beyond this the proteas and other fynbos, rises steeply in every direction from this little block toward three main groups of mountain peaks.

With the advent of the tractor and eventually the heavy earth mover in the isolated valley, vineyards have expanded north, south, east and west in terraces up the slopes. Today, vines ripen their grapes in a multitude of altitudes and aspects, toward the sun in the north and facing away from it.

Discovering Stormhoek

In 2003, Graham Knox began to work with neighbouring vineyards in an outsourcing programme. When the little cellar could not cope, the outsourcing extended into local cellars. And in 2005, Jason and Nick in London and Graham in Wellington began to write a combined diary on the comings and goings of their lives with Stormhoek on the web. Readers found their stories and the word spread.

Today the Stormhoek story is widely known, even in towns and villages where no bottle of South African wine can be found.

Growth of Sales

Stormhoek sales growth in the UK increased dramatically between 2003 and 2007 almost doubling every year. Utilising a unique combination of blogging and “Geek” dinners word of Stormhoek spread rapidly to every corner of the globe.

The Stormhoek phenomenon is part of many a MBA marketing and Web 2.0 success case study.”


Recently, Stormhoek have teamed up for a special promo with the guys from Barringtons Vines . Basically they are one of 5 high end South African farms to be listed with them for their unique vineyard leasing for 2008-2009 (You lease a vineyard block and you get a whole lot of unique wine – wine everyone else has heard of but can’t get – and this will be delivered to your door).

They have a combined Christmas Competition going for some amazing wine, check it out HERE

So, take a surf across to their presences and send them an email to congratulate them for being on the ball. They are a unique phenomenon in a crowded environment. Very mnandi.

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