Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Just saw an article in the Press Democrat yesterday that kind of blew me away. Korbel is suing Comcast to identify Internet customers who criticized the winery on Craig's List last year on a discussion forum. The anonymous discussion group, it looks like, are going to be outed, on the grounds that these folks sullied Korbel's reputation.

Now, I have a lot of love for Korbel. The past two trips to California, I have had the great pleasure of staying at one of their guest houses on the property (a perk of being in the business I guess). My stores sell truckloads of Korbel, and I personally enjoy their wines. I don't have anything bad to say about them. When my wife and I stayed out there the last time we were in Cali, it was a beautiful, tranquil stay at what they call the Railroad House, and it was arguably one of the best times my wife and I have ever had together.

So I was a bit taken aback by this article. I have heard that the Heck family has been having some issues with each other, and that things are a bit tense around there. It's hard to fathom, given the air of ease that seems to surround the Russian River Valley and its residents, some of the nicest people I've ever met.

I can't understand why they would really want to waste time, effort and money on what is really not all that big of a deal. So some folks voiced their displeasure at the company. People do this all the time, not just at Korbel. When they are seemingly wasting time pursuing the naysayers from Internet chat rooms, they should be ascertaining the sources of these forum participants' ire - Why were they pissed at Korbel in the first place?

You think that if they took the time to get to the heart of the matter, solve the problem, then everything else would be unneccessary. There is obviously more to the story.

I continue to wish the good folks at Korbel well despite this piece, and hope that resolution can be achieved with little or no collateral damage for all. I hope to get out to California soon and see the folks at the Korbel tasting room again, and visit the neighboring city of Guerneville, my home away from home.

Needless to say, this is a more somber edition of WTF Wednesday.

To read the Press Democrat article, go here.

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