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Profiling the Wine Blog Award Judges #3: THE MARKETERS

by Tom Wark on June 25, 2012

It should be no surprise that wine marketers were among the first to identify the utility and significance of blogs: Marketers deal in large part in efficient and ongoing communication with the trade and public and, in turn, consume huge amounts of information about the products and services they market, as well as about their industry. Marketers tend to have a keen sense of what information is useful, what information is relevant and what information is important.

In the wine industry, marketers of all products and services were among the first to champion the blogging format and the new crop of wine bloggers that began to emerge in the middle of the last decade. Their appearance on the Wine Blog Awards judging panel brings a set of eyes well trained in the significance of useful and insightful information.


Amy Cleary
Amy brings unique experience to her role as a judge for the Wine Blog Awards. For years she acted as a publicist for University of California Press in their food and wine publishing arm where she helped promote the writing efforts of Hugh Johnson, Clive Coates, Marion Nestle, Evan Goldstein, John Haeger Terry Theise and others. Today, she is an associate at The Barn Group/Double-Forte, a public relations agency in San Francisco, where she continues to help get out the word about the work of food and wine authors.

Constance Chamberlain
Constance has made a career of understanding the needs, habits, proclivities and tendencies of the Millennial Generation for a bevy of wine industry clients who seek insight into what this import cohort of Americans think about wine and how they interact with wine. A member of the generation herself, Constance has been a strong champion of blogs and has helped her many clients understand that members of this younger generation are also champions of the individual voices that write the wine blogs.

Jo Diaz
Jo Diaz is one of the wine industry’s most respected publicists. She began her career in the wine industry in 1992 working with some of the industry’s largest and most progressive wineries. She opened Diaz Communications in 2001 and has since become a go-to publicists for numerous wineries, associations and wine industry services. Jo is also the founder of the Association of African American Vintners and PS I Love You (Petite Sirah advocacy). Finally, she pens one of the most important business-related wine blogs.

Melanie Ofenloch
Melanie serves as Chief Marketing Officer for IBS, a software firm serving the global distribution sector. There she is responsible for the overall global strategy and execution of IBS’ strategic marketing program including product marketing, marketing communications, customer support, demand generation and strategic positioning. She is also an avid wine blogger who has become a integral part of the wine blogging community.

Paul Mabray
Paul is the founder of Vintank, a wine industry consultancy that provides clients and the wine industry with a critical understanding of the new communication and marketing tools that drive today’s business activities in and out of the wine industry. Previous to founding Vintank, Paul founded Inertia Beverage Group (now WineDirect). A champion of digital innovation, Paul is a highly sought speaker at international wine industry wine gatherings and one of the industry’s most insightful thinkers on the future of wine marketing.

Taylor Eason
A writer at heart who has been educating wine and food lovers since 1997, Taylor today helps market a variety of wine brands from her base in Sonoma County. Prior to coming to the Northern California wine industry she was Director of Marketing and Product Development at Creative Loafing Newspapers. There, she established a syndicated wine education column while specializing  in new media marketing, market research and event branding strategies.