Jose Moreno-Lacalle, publisher of Wine, Seriously, is a blogger I’ve read for many years now. Though he doesn’t publish posts frequently, he more than makes up for the lack of quantity with quality (and length.) His pieces are well researched and take a very in-depth look at very focused topics.
Over the holiday weekend, Jose published “An Assessment of Long Island Winery Websites,” an exhaustively detailed look at more than 50 local winery and vineyard websites.
Though I think Jose is a bit generous in his assessment at times (particularly around content architecture, overall design and user experience/usability) and a bit too discriminating (I don’t necessarily need some of the content he is suggesting is vital) this is an impressive undertaking and one worth reading. Certainly every Long Island winery should take a look.
I mentioned this in the comments of Jose’s site, but I’ll mention it again here — people like Jose and I are not the winery’s primary audience. We want more information than many would ever read. But even saying that, I won’t pretend to have a good understanding of a winery website’s audience. It takes a lot of time, energy — and if you don’t do that work yourself, money — to develop and understand the types of people who are coming to your website and what their goals are.
Few — if any — New York wineries have done that sort of research as it’s likely not seen as a priority — financially or otherwise. But, as someone who works in web content strategy and user experience at my day job, I cringe when I visit most winery websites. Again, I know that I’m in the minority, but I’m also someone who is visiting those websites quite a bit. There is always room for improvement and, whether or not winery owners and management see it as a priority or not, their website is likely to be the first place a customer experiences their winery and brand.
Take a look at what Jose has found, and let him (and us) know what you think.