Achievable steps to get 2021 off to a great start. 

The start of each new year brings new beginnings, a chance for a fresh start. As we bid farewell to the rollercoaster ride that was 2020, we look forward to a new growing season, the release of new vintages and, for some, the planting of new vines. Many eagerly await the return of crowds of visitors to the vineyard, others look forward to attending summer fetes and trade shows, and the chance to once again see fully booked restaurants and busy bars serving local English and Welsh wines by the plenty. 

As 2020 draws to a close, you may have already mused over some personal New Year’s resolutions – perhaps to lose weight, get fitter, quit smoking, or find more time for your hobbies. But how many have considered resolutions which will help your business grow more successfully over the coming 12 months? Below are five ideas to help you to do just that.

1. Learn something new

If you know which areas of your vineyard, winery, or brand you want to develop over the next few months, but don’t quite have all the information to hand, it’s time to arm yourself with more knowledge. 

Since we started our webinar programme on 5 May 2020, we’ve hosted sessions on an extensive and diverse range of topics encompassing business and marketing, viticulture and winemaking. There has been excellent take up from members with above average attendance and live viewer numbers peaking at over 100 for some of the meetings.

Our webinars will continue into 2021 so that members can learn more from industry experts from the comfort of your own office. While most live webinars had been open to the entire industry, from next year onwards, they will only be available to members. The full programme of webinars is available on the WineGB website in the ‘Become a Member’ section.

Upcoming webinars:

> Principles of winter pruning

> WineGB Tourism Charter of Standards

> Running a successful wine club

> Live legal Q&A with Paris Smith

> Website and SEO

> Winery hygiene and sanitation

2. Put a marketing strategy in place

After all, failure to plan is planning to fail. Spending some time at the start of the year strategically planning which direction your sales, marketing and brand identity are heading can pay dividends, especially when it comes to creating targeted content on social media.

At WineGB, our marketing responsibility is to add value to individual producers’ efforts. While we cannot promote or sell your wines for you, we can provide a platform to make this easier. 

At the end of 2020, with input from our newly appointed CEO, Simon Thorpe MW, we released our 2021 marketing report. Within it, we set out exactly what we are hoping to deliver for our members, and how we will achieve these aims. 

Highlights from our strategic marketing objectives include:

> To develop the Classic Method production values and messaging and to create an appropriate strategy for still wines.

υ To identify consumer groups to help members with effective marketing and communications. 

> To develop the international market as exports start to open up again. 

> To negotiate better exposure for medium-sized members at international trade shows. For instance, we are working with the London Wine Fair organisers to provide WineGB members of all sizes affordable opportunities to exhibit. Members will be able to take anything from a small booth to their own space within the Fair’s dedicated WineGB area. 

3. Get more social 

Last year was the first full year we were able to demonstrate the tangible benefits of running a carefully planned and consistently implemented social media strategy. Thanks to our social media manager Joana Albogas, our social media channels grew significantly in 2020, and we now have over 6,000 followers on Instagram, nearly 3,700 on Facebook, and over 15,700 on Twitter. We have created and implemented a wide range of successful campaigns, such as the #EnglishWineNight, #WelshWineNight, #EnglishWineWeek and #GreatBritishWineNight, across all of these platforms.

We want members to benefit directly from this growing and very engaged audience. So, if there is only one new thing you start doing on social media in 2021, please make sure you remember to tag WineGB into all your posts, pictures, stories and videos so that we can share them.

4. To share more data

During 2020, WineGB hosted five UK vineyard surveys in partnership with one of our patrons, MapMan. These surveys covered everything from budburst to frost, flowering, véraison and harvesting and in total, over 200 growers entered data on 1,075 individual occasions. 

If you are a grower, it’s still not too late to submit your information in one or more of the surveys. Gathering this information provides a uniquely holistic view of UK viticulture, enabling growers to understand how their sites and varieties are faring compared to others. 

In the long term this will help both current and future vineyard owners with site selection, variety choice, frost protection measures and harvest timings, so if you didn’t participate this year, please do consider the benefits of sharing your data in 2021.

To see the results of the surveys, please visit: 

5. Join WineGB

Did you know that in 2020 over 90 new members signed up to WineGB? As you can see from some of the comments dotted around these pages, we have had some great feedback from our members this year about the services and benefits they receive from being part of the UK’s leading wine industry trade body. If you haven’t joined us yet, why not make it one of the first things you do in 2021?

There has never been a better time to join the industry’s leading trade body, Wines of Great Britain. 

Email today to find out how WineGB can help you achieve your 2021 goals while also strengthening and furthering our entire sector’s growth.