The Good, The Bad: Wine Brands in the Social Media World

It all started one Thursday night when I began to question whether luxury wines were well represented in the realm of online engagement. I quickly searched my social media followings in hopes of finding a wine brand; however, nothing appeared. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love my glass of wine after a long day, but I suppose not enough to follow the brand throughout my day.

Shortyawards stated that in today’s market:

“Millennials are driving wine sales.”

Toby Baird from FinemanPR wrote:

“The millenial generation, will become the largest consumer demographic in the U.S. by 2015, and luxury brands need social media strategies specifically geared toward this audience.”

Surprisingly enough, these are the same millennials that are driving our social media platforms. The assumption that the two industries would mirror off one another was rhetorical in my mind. Nonetheless, I found out that it was not the case across the board. This marked the beginning of my research to finding, what I believe, is the best and the worst wine brand on social media.

Chateau Rayas

Location: Southern Rhone Valley, France

The History

If you are anywhere near to labeling yourself as a wine enthusiast, then you have surely heard of Chateau Rayas. The brand is ranked among the finest wines in France, rated as a wine you should try before you die. The winery is among the oldest in Southern Rhone Valley, France. In today’s market, the price of a bottle of Chateau Rayas wine averages around $465. While a vintage bottle can be found auctioned off for $1,000 to $3,000.

The Reynaud family has owned the property since the early 1800’s. It all started when Albert Reynaud decided to become a winemaker after suddenly becoming deaf. The brand continues to be a family-run business, expanding throughout generations.

Lack of Online Strategy

Chateau Rayas follows an unorganized strategy in regards to its social media marketing. Their website lacks a sense of personality. The site shows no means of consumer engagement, whether that be through a blog, comments section or discussion platform. Chateau Rayas’ website is not up to date on modern day web design and development as it appears to be outdated and difficult to navigate through.

The company website is far from the epicenter for the brand’s social media platforms as no icon linkages are visible. This could be due to the fact that the brand is absent on all forms of social media, such as: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Youtube, etc. While Chateau Rayas might be one of the finest wines to enthusiasts, it is evident that their success cannot be allotted from their social media.

La Crema

Location: Sonoma Coast, California

La crema combines the impossible: inexpensive pricing with expensive taste. The brand was established in 1979 by the winemaker, Elizabeth Grant-Douglas.

La Crema is a brand that consists of social media marketing techniques. As a whole, it has been consistent in sustaining a vision throughout all media platforms. Their vision has lead way to an online “culture” for the brand, one that engages with consumers. Not only does the brand portray a cohesive image, but also, brings innovation to the mix of modern day marketing towards millennials.


The brand is an active player on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. They have 237,547 Facebook likes. Among instagram, La Crema ranks among the highest in comparison to other wine brands. Their instagram accounts contains a total of 5,015 followers, 436 posts and a verification check. La Crema’s twitter account follows 62.3K users and has a total of 87.7K followers.

La Crema has its own website that is extremely user friendly. The website ties together all of its platform, creating an aesthetically pleasing flow for the user. Accessible through the website, La Crema has a portal to its own blog.

Along with posting, La Crema reaches out to a pool of influential bloggers as a means to advocate the brand. La Crema even takes the process a step further by annually inviting bloggers over to the property to document their experience during their stay.


In addition to being present on all traditional platforms of social media, La Crema has developed a new way to experience wine. They have won a multitude of awards behind the creative technology known as, Virtual Vintner.

The program, Virtual Vintner, allows the clients to experience their personal “winemaking journey.” The program is the first of its kind. It allows participants to choose between Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Afterwards, the participant would have to go through a list of decisions, such as: fermentation style, growing region, barrel treatment, and even a picking a wine name. As a means of informing and guiding the users through their winemaking process, photos, videos, quizzes and facts are provided to keep individuals engaged. Lastly, the participant has the option of sharing their wine creation across all forms of social media platforms.

The Verdict

One may come to conclude that La Crema is well prepared for the future of millennials ahead, while Chateau Rayas may face struggles due to the lack of social media engagement; however, the truth is that no one really knows what the future holds. Yes, social media will continue to be a detrimental factor in the success of any brand, but needless to say authenticity is just as much admired. Chateau Rayas, throughout generations, has managed to be one of the finest wines in the world, and all without the aid of social media presence.

Perhaps the exquisite taste and rich culture of winemaking speaks volumes much greater than any twitter post or instagram follower, Who knows?

This post was created as part of the Global Luxury Management Program at the NC State Poole School of Management. All thoughts and opinions are my own