Napa Valley Joins the Digital Age

Wineries turn to social networking to connect with customers

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It's been a rough year for California winemakers. Sales have been down and bottle prices have dropped partly because of a spike in the winegrape harvest.

And for the first time in more than a decade, the state's wine shipments have fallen and inventory for 2009 releases is back logged, according to the New York Times.

While Napa's woes have been good news for consumers looking for a deal on their favorite wines, there have not been enough customers to quench winemakers' thirst.

Now some struggling Napa wineries are turning to social media to attract new customers and cut out the middleman.

Wineries, like Murphy-Goode Winery, hired social media experts to reach out to new customers via Twitter and Facebook. St. Supéry Vineyards & Winery in Napa Valley has even started organizing virtual wine tasting on Twitter.

St. Supéry's Twitter guru told the New York Times that wineries need to focus on their virtual customers and not rely on drive up wine tasters as much.

They could also try to get into the wedding business.

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