AdRants picks up on the Stormhoek meme and provides the most concise reason I’ve yet seen for wineries to blog:
Blogging enables conversation. If people converse with one another, they better understand each other. If they better understand one other, they better interact with each other. If they better interact with one another, things happen more smoothly. A big budget brand campaign is a briefly-worded, single-messaged megaphone approach. Not much can be forced through that megaphone and what is forced through is often misinterpreted. A blogging campaign throws the megaphone on the floor and picks up the martini glass creating a cocktail party at which people talk to people normally in a language unencumbered by pointless brand blather.
If you are selling soap or cars, the megaphone approach might still work, but for wine such an approach is doomed. This is because only the largest producers can afford to mount much of an advertising attack in print, online or through their sales force. What’s a small, artisan winery to do? In a word, blog. The conversation will change how you talk about your wine with consumers and expose your product to thousands of internet savvy customers who might just buy some wine from you directly. All for a few minutes a day of your attention and maybe a couple bucks for hosting if you don’t want to use one of the free services.
So, the act of blogging didn’t double Stormhoek’s sales last year; the conversation enabled by their blogging changed how the winery spoke to their customers and that doubled sales.