I’ve been eco-minded since I was small. My first memories are of the sand between my toes, the smell of damp earth under the house, and the joy of being one with a tree or a rock when climbing it. I’m a Girl Scout First Class, I backpacked from Mexico to Canada, and I have a BA from UC Santa Cruz in Environmental Studies plus graduate classes in conservation biology. I’ve hooted for spotted owls, surveyed for goshawks, hacked peregrine falcons, and preserved burrowing owl habitat.
These days, I spend as much time as possible in the outdoors, camping, traveling, and enjoying fine food and wine! Here we are in Zion recently on top of Angel’s Landing–then enjoying a meal with a bottle of Barolo at the campground.
Like many, I assumed that wine is “natural.” As I’ve learned more about wine over the past few years, I’ve been appalled at how manipulated wine is and disgusted by some of the green washing that goes on in the wine industry.
So I do my best to navigate my way to purchase wines that are more green on the sustainability spectrum and produced as naturally as possible. And here on this blog, I try my best to call attention to “green” wines and “green” wine practices to support them.
This afternoon, my friend David Rodriguez is visiting from Puerto Rico–we met in Santa Rosa CA at the first Wine Bloggers Conference in 2008. He’s a world traveling wine blogger with a particular interest in wines that are made in traditional, “natural” ways that are sustainable and gentle to the earth. I look forward to learning from him about some of his recent finds –and tasting some of these wines also since many of them he is storing in my grandfather’s cellar!
Here are five choices you can make to green your wine–whether you prefer red or white! Happy Earth Day! Continue reading →
On the home stretch here at the 2010 Wine Bloggers Conference in Walla Walla WA. I’m packed up and outta my room thanks big time to my roommate Erika Szymanski willingness to ship a bunch of wine and materials home for me. (Whew!)
And I’ve made it to the 9am session: More Effective Writing in Your Blog with Meg Houston Maker, Andy Purdue and Hardy Wallace and wrote as much of it down as I could as usual. I’ll add the links as soon as possible.
Meg says there’s two ways to learn how to be a better writer: read and write. And pay attention to what you read and write. She has 24 Points to get better: Continue reading →
So his wasn’t the prettiest face on the page, I am sure he’d be the first to admit.
But anybody who knows Hardy, or gets to know Hardy, knows he’s a really Goode guy.
No surprise that Murphy-Goode snapped up the guy who flew across the country to be first in line in San Francisco to sign up to compete for a really goode job as Murphy-Goode Wine Country Lifestyle Correspondent–someone who’s seriously been big into wine for awhile–when we met at the Wine Blogger’s Conference, it seemed everybody already knew him!–and someone who certainly doesn’t take himself too seriously.
According to the winery’s press release,
“This is Murphy good!” Wallace said after he was named the winner at a ceremony on the Healdsburg Town Square. “Seriously, this was my dream job before the job ever came along. My dream has come true!”
The good-humored Wallace is founder of the popular “Dirty South Wine” blog, is
a musician, and a Sommelier Guild level I and II.
“This was an extremely difficult decision given the talent of all the candidates, but
Hardy really knocked us over in the interviews with his passion and enthusiasm,” said
Murphy-Goode winemaker, David Ready, Jr. “He’s like us: he’s a people-person who
Wallace will live for free in a charming, two-bedroom home near downtown
Healdsburg. He starts “work” on August 15, 2009.
Congrats, Hardy! You ran a great campaign for the job and you deserve the $10,000 a month, the accolades, and all the Liar’s Dice you can stand.
But the real congratulations goes out to all the people (myself included!) who went for it, who said, “hey, I’m in!” People who took a risk, made a video, submitted it, promoted it. People who gave it a go.
Because you never know where something might take you!
Murphy-Goode did a not so goode job of managing their recent social media campaign for the Wine Country Lifestyle Correspondent.
That’s what I thought as I was putting my video together and observing the campaign, but I kept it to myself.
I read the fine print–the fine print on the site that said the Top 50 would be selected by an HR firm. The fine print didn’t say anything about the Top 50 being selected by the voters or that popularity had anything to do with it.
Knowing this, I still encouraged my friends and family to vote for me–as well as my network of friends and their friends and friends of friends at the college where I teach, through twitter and through facebook. And I didn’t make public my musings about what the upshot would be if a popular candidate wasn’t chosen.
Today’s SF Chronicle however, is not keeping quiet–and neither is top vote getter Martin Sargent. They published a story today about Sargent who used his social media savvy to attain many thousand more votes than anyone else. According to their story, Sargent got 6,000 votes.
Which surprised me because watching his video he didn’t impress me. But it wasn’t about the video–it was getting his network to vote for him.
His network came out for him. I remember seeing that he had over 6,000 votes when other top 10 vote getters like one of my favorites Hardy Wallace had under 2,000. I happened to be on-line at midnight 24 hours before they were to announce the Top 50. I was checking the number of votes people had when all of a sudden, the site changed and I saw the Top 50. I tweeted the results, facebooked and emailed a few of the Top 50 I knew or had gotten to know as well as congratulating VinTank’s Paul Mabray that 7 of the 8 candidates he was advising had made the cut.
Not that I’m an expert, but I’d already been done this “Dream Job” road as a candidate for the Island Caretaker on the Great Barrier Reef job and I’d seen how social media can bite the hand that feeds it.
I saw how Island Caretaker candidate Claire somehow ended up with many thousands of votes –and heard many say how easy it is to hack a vote counting system.
I watched first hand the uproar about Julia, the Top 50 candidate dubbed the “Porn Queen” who was dropped from the campaign. I’m still getting hits on my blog post about that!
I saw how supportive, how ugly, and how bizarre a ning can get over a competition.
And I also experienced the backlash when not only I wasn’t chosen but that the choices were skewed in a way that I and my supporters didn’t approve–and many other candidates complained about as well. As much as they’re fans of the great barrier reef, my loyal friends were not too loyal anymore to the brand I’d been pushing. I know at least one candidate who decided to go to New Zealand instead of AUS when she didn’t make the Top 50.
With the Murphy-Goode job, some of my friends wondered why I was so gung-ho on what they dubbed a “goode” but not a great wine, w winery part pf a huge “family” of wineries, and a greenwashed winery at that. Wasn’t there a better winery for me to work for they asked?
A winery that’s part of a company that’s issuing lay-offs, including one to the guy who came up with the idea in the first place?
Murphy-Goode, part of Jess Jackson’s Jackson Family Wines empire, devised a dream job – $60,000 and lodging over six months for one savvy social media wizard to make the Healdsburg winery the talk of the Internet.
Nearly 2,000 eager applicants emerged, and some 900 videos were posted online, a key part of the application process. Many took to their Facebook and MySpace pages, gushing about the chance to live the “Goode life” and pleading with fans to vote for them in a running tally of popularity on the winery’s Web site.
But when the winery unveiled its top 50 finalists in late June, top vote-getter Martin Sargent of San Francisco, a former TechTV host and Internet celebrity of sorts, was not on the list. The winery has removed the tallies, but Sargent’s reported 6,000 votes put him well ahead of the pack. His video application had received 34,090 YouTube views as of Thursday.
Of course, the winery had portrayed the “Goode Job” campaign as an extended job search, complete with interviews. But voting on its Web site complicated that picture, especially as social media thrives on popularity rankings. The purpose of the votes wasn’t explicitly stated, but candidates quickly lobbied their networks for a boost.
Digital marketing strategist Paul Mabray of VinTank in Napa, who is advising several finalists, said the winery fell short by trying to embrace social media without fully understanding its rules.
“Yeah, we screwed up,” said Caroline Shaw, senior vice president at Jackson Family Enterprises and a winery spokeswoman. Continue reading →