Wineries leverage the power of Twitter

A wine maker is hoping to entice drinkers to provide 140-character feedback on its wines by dangling a free trip to New Zealand under their digital noses.

Brancott Estate, a New Zealand winery, has launched a Twitter contest inviting Tweeps to provide 'tasting notes' on one of their wines in condensed, 140-character tweets.

The winner will be awarded two free airline tickets to New Zealand. The winery is looking for "creativity" and "judicious care" when it comes to articulating his or her take on any of Brancott's Sauvignon blancs, Pinot noirs, or Pinot grigios.

Brancott is the latest winery to leverage the power of Twitter for its brand. In 2009, Chateau des Charmes, a vintner in the Niagara region of Canada, brought "twasters" or Twitter followers together in a wine tasting for the launch of its newest bottle, Generation Seven.

Followers were either invited to attend a Twitter party on the winery site, or were invited to open a bottle at a set time and join the Twitter party conversation.

Proceeds from sales of the bottle also went to a youth-led program, The Meal Exchange, that addresses local hunger and poverty.

Meanwhile, the founders of Twitter itself also jumped into the wine-making business with the launch of Fledgling Wine last year, a charitable partnership with winemaker Crushpad and Room to Read which works in education and literacy. Chardonnay and Pinot noirs are $25, and $5 from every bottle goes toward promoting literacy in India.

The Brancott Estate contest closes June 13, and users are allowed one submission per day. Use the hashtag #Whatif or visit their Facebook page for more information
http://www.facebook.com/BrancottEstateWhatIf.

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