Hello wine industry – it’s been a little while. I missed you. I would be lying if I said you hadn’t been on my mind these past few weeks.

I’ve been both excited and nervous to write this post. Here’s why:

I’ve been writing on Millennier for a little over a year now, discussing many different facets of the buying power and influence of millennials for the wine industry. There’s been theory, there’s been practical applications, and there’s been examples of companies trying/succeeding/failing to reach this demographic group. So, one could say I’ve been “talking the talk.”

What many people don’t know is that during this time I’ve also been walking the walk. Last year, I started a wine tasting event group called WTFLA aka Wine Tasting For Los Angeles. As the name (and my professional focus) suggests, it’s a group that was created to target young wine drinkers in LA and connect them with wineries. We did a few smaller-scale events (50-60 people or so) in 2009 and gained a core following of awesome young people in LA that love wine.

This Spring, I reformatted the group to work with both small and large wineries, and to provide larger-scale events that are free to attend. Byron and Cambria wineries were the first to partner with me for WTFLA’s new events.

This is what happened:

WTFLA Venice Event Crowd

Line back to the elevator of the rooftop wine tasting event. Only part of the crowd shown. Photo courtesy the illustrious Stan Lee at drinkeattravel.com

and this:

WTFLA Thrillist LA feature

WTFLA on ThrillistLA, a 150,000 email list and blog targeted to trendsetters in Los Angeles.

and this:

WTFLA Mailing List inbox

Screenshot of my inbox full of new WTFLA mailing list signups between the minutes of 10:46am and 11:01am

Yep, you could say it was a success.

With coverage in a dozen hyper-local online outlets (including ThrillistLA and LA Weekly) and around 300 guests served (more than 50 turned away due to capacity) at a WINE TASTING, WTFLA has exploded all over the place. Well, all over the place in LA. We LITERALLY cannot launch events fast enough.

This. Is. Big.

If it sounds like I’m bragging, that’s because I am. And this is why I was nervous about this post.

I never really wrote about my adventures with WTFLA before because it seemed to me to be simple shameless self-promotion. While plenty of blogs are created for this very purpose, that is not what Millennier.com is about. The Millennier blog was created to educate professionals in the wine industry and beyond on how and why to reach out to millennials. I strongly believe this approach is one of the main reasons why in such a short time I’ve been able to organically grow a successful marketing and strategy consultation business in an incredibly specialized field – almost all through readers of this blog.

So… why talk about WTFLA? Good question.

I find that I am constantly using my experiences with WTFLA as examples to clients and other marketing folks in the wine industry and beyond. And though there is no denying the element of self-promotion, I find it kind of ridiculous for me to stick to hypotheticals and examples in other industries when I’m putting everything I talk about into practice with WTFLA.

Over the past couple weeks, I’ve realized that I’ve reached a point where I’m in danger of repeating myself and boring the hell out of anyone reading. It’s one thing to communicate how valuable the millennial generation is to the wine industry, but it’s another issue entirely to just keep repeating it like some French recording on LOST. This doesn’t mean that the content on Millennier will change dramatically.  I WILL continue to provide examples of companies that succeed (or fail) in outreach, I WILL continue to point out important new data, I WILL continue to challenge folks to come up with new ideas. But I will ALSO be documenting my own first-hand attempts – I’ll be telling the awesome, the awful, and the ugly stories of my experience in practicing what I preach. I’m documenting my experience with WTFLA on Millennier in the hopes that you, dear reader, will learn from my successes and my failures and maybe something will even inspire you to start a revolution of your own.

My father is a veteran (I am proud to say) and he has often noted that both in combat and in life, the person leading the charge always seems to be “in the rear with the gear.”  That is not the case with Millennier. I am on the front lines and I hope that you will join me as I document the WTFLA adventures.

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