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Marketing,Organization,Petite Sirah,PS I Love You,Wine

Open Letter to All Petite Sirah Growers And Producers

First of all, to the members of PS I Love You, I don’t know how we could have accomplished what we have in the last nine years without you all. What we’ve done:

September 19, 2002 ~ 62 Growers and Producers combined.

August 20, 2011 ~ 1,000 Growers and Producers combined.

We’ve just hit this astronomical growth marker for Petite Sirah, and it’s because we have members who believe in the “cause.”

From Stephanie Douglas, Aratas Wine, Vintner:

 Jo, We’re thrilled and overwhelmed to learn that our premier vintage of PetS just received a 94 score from the well respected Wine Spectator. This is the second highest rated PetS rating ever from WS, and for that we’re thrilled. I have to laugh because I agreed with your article about medals being “news” to anyone other than the buying public. The reason for this email, however, is to let you know I’m passionate about using this exciting moment as a platform for the advocacy of the Petite Sirah grape. I have found the PS I love You organization and the support of its members as source of inspiration when I get shot down by those who don’t see the merits of our “other red” as I do. One other mention, we were announced in a Cabernet issue. I am pleased but found it Interesting that they felt our varietal to be worthy of sharing the list with the California “king.” You do a great job and I just wanted to let you know people are paying attention to our humble Pets.

The power of any group is that number squared; so, with 86 members, we’re 86 x 86 = 7,396 strong. This means, with most writers on board, we’ve had tremendous impact, from which every Petite Sirah is benefiting.

Open Letter to All Petite Sirah Growers And Producers
Who Aren’t Yet Supporting the Cause.

Dear Growers and Producers,

We know that most of you don’t need us; most especially those brands that are really well established. Why would you need to market yourself in a mass effort? You’ve got your creds. Everyone knows who you are, and you’ve got better things to do with your time. We get that.

Growers feel that they don’t need us, because they’re not marketing wine… but they do have to market their grapes. This past week I had two growers (who aren’t members) ask for help selling their grapes. With the amount of hours that we’re putting in for this group, how can we help non-members?

But… that’s not the point for this one.

Petite Sirah is an orphan grape, as wine writer Dan Berger likes to call it. It’s one of the two grape varieties that America can hang its hat on, according to Mark Oldman, author of many, many wine books in three different languages (English, French, and Japanese). One writer after another acknowledges that this grape variety is something very special. Those of you growing and producing it are writing American history, which is what I’ve been primarily laboring at for the last nine years.

It’s no secret, I’ve written it on this blog for the last five years, doing this without more help is daunting. We (Diaz Communications) spend at least 100 hours a month promoting this grape variety only being paid for 30 of those hours. The compensation, if figured by dividing those hours against the income is not commiserate with the skill set of running a non-profit, incorporated 501 (c)(6). We’re obviously not into it for the money.

We’re into for the passion, the same passion that drives you. You’re selling your Petite with more ease these days, based on the last years’ efforts to elevate this variety to a place where 99 percent of the writers I query are thrilled to help. Everyone is benefiting from everything that PSILY is doing, regardless of whether a member or not.

The one missing link is having your cache join the ranks of the advocacy group, and give more credence to Petite Sirah being a heritage variety in a speedier fashion (I won’t live forever).

If you joined the cause, you’d be part of the process… helping the grape that you’re so passionate about gain its foothold in American viticultural history. I’m your cheerleader, and I need a bigger megaphone, and a fancier uniform with a petticoat would also be fun to have. That’s what we’re missing, and that’s what you’ve all got that I can’t get at. I’m not yet able to break that code, and we’re losing valuable time.

I’m asking for you help. Heck, I’m on bended knees begging for it. I would love to have Petite Sirah join the ranks of becoming recognized in the state as an American Heritage Cultivar… Getting the Governor to degree it as such. February 14 is a perfect day for that, but I can’t keep pushing forward for everyone (members and non members alike) without more support.

While you may not need Petite Sirah I Love You, Inc., Petite Sirah needs you.

For most small producers (10,00 cases or less), it’s only $200 a year. I can’t believe that the price tag is the deal breaker. I know that “you’re a rebel,” “not a joiner,” “don’t want to be associated with such a small, fledgling group,” etc. There are a myriad of reasons. I’m asking you to put those reasons aside and get the big picture. Please help me to help this cultivar firmly and permanently establish its place among American Heritage varieties of Vitis vinifera status. Right now, we’ve only recognized one, Zinfandel, and we all know that there are two of them: Zin and Petite.

Petite’s history dates back to the early 1880s, and has carried this state’s wine program all the years forward. Did you know, for instance, that in the 1960s, Napa Valley was planted to Petite Sirah by 60 percent?

Petite Sirah needs you, and so do I. I wonder if you’re willing to answer the call, helping me with this increasingly heavy load.

Thanks for your time and consideration.

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