Getting referrals from other businesses is an organic way to grow your customer base, and Flambeaux Wine owner Art Murray said this has contributed to his family-owned Healdsburg, California winery’s success.
“We have made it a point to reach out to and meet others in the wine business and there have been so many who have helped us, even if they didn’t intend to do so,” said Murray, whose winery was established in Sonoma County in 2014. “I feel they value the referral relationships, as we do.”
Flambeaux’s theme incorporates some New Orleans flair, hailing from the family’s Louisiana roots, which date back to the 1700s. It contributes to a different atmosphere at its tasting room and experiences that he describes as “different.”
Some of that is related to the winery ownership’s willingness to humanize itself when interacting with current customers and potential customers through social media.
Evolving Flambeaux’s digital presence has been something important to embrace, he explained, and it’s helped its neighbors in the wine business get to know them as well as the customers.
“We don’t just post wine or pictures of people experiencing wine on our social channels,” Murray said. “A high percentage of what we share is about our family, the kids, the dog, our family being our family. Other brands are seeing that and take it to heart, and I think that’s why they like working with us.”
Finding a way to get some earned media attention from the press or customer-facing publications has also been helpful, Murray noted, explaining that the winery’s sales grew dramatically in 2021 after they managed to garner some media attention.
“It may have been attributable in part to shifting to adjust for the pandemic, but we were also at a place where we shifted our momentum,” Murray explained. ”We received a little press, and then the growth was exponential as more and more people were talking about the wine. While we are not a wine that would be called a ‘cult wine,’ there were enough personal connections taking root. It was like a forest that was growing trees, and we are continuing to feel that real momentum.”