'A cause de l'Amour': How Social Media revitalised a flailing French Winery

The power of social media never ceases to amaze in this internet entrenched age. A flailing winery in France has seemingly been saved from the abyss, after the blogosphere made one, Olivier B, a cause celebre for every winemaker’s travails.
At the turn of the year and via his personal blog, the man in question ruefully announced the pending closure of his winery due to mounting debts and a failed attempt to acquire a loan.
Strained under the heavy burden of a wilting business, a subsequently fraught love life, and the sobering realisation that his boyhood dreams were turning into a very real nightmare, he announced the closure of his winery. 
Beneath a picture of a cross, assembled in his wine bottles and with the hat that adorns the labels, he wrote: 
"Olivier B disparaît, Olivier B meurt aujourd’hui, à cause de l’amour..." 
Little did he know his quietly dignified, yet equally resigned tome would strike a chord with the French blogosphere, becoming a catalyst for a remarkable about-turn in his previously doomed business. 
Wine bloggers, tweeters, and social media aficionados mobilised to spread the word of Olivier B’s sorry tale. 
A story in the local paper, La Provence, sparked interest from national newspapers, radio stations and the might of Canal + followed suit, and an iconic symbol of the rotten state of agriculture in France was born. 
D'Olivier B bottle of wine 
Olivier B’s quaintly modest shop in Villes-sur-Auzon was all of a sudden inundated with orders as the wider public, fuelled by a now fervent PR machine that spread to Belgium and Switzerland, defied this encouraged age of austerity and embraced his story by breathing new life into his business. 
Over €20,000 of wine were reportedly sold in less than a fortnight and although the pitfalls, like any business, remain prevalent, demand for Olivier B’s wine (a range of reds and whites from the Côtes du Ventoux appellation) is strong. 
While he never envisaged such a stunning response, Olivier B conceded in a later blog post, that in his apparent time of pending ruin he had dreamt of salvation in the form of a 95 point quality rating from Robert Parker of the Wine Advocate. Instead, the humbled winemaker conceded he had hundreds of Parkers to thank for his business’ renaissance.  

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Written by: Ben Moss

Ben Moss 


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