In the Press 2004

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The San Francisco Chronicle

Vine to wine online
A sea of Web sites quenches the thirst for knowledge about all things vinous
- By Natalie MacLean, Special to The Chronicle

September 23, 2004 ~ www.LocalWineEvents.com

The largest online calendar in the world for wine and spirits events has posted more than 30,000 listings. You can find out what's happening by city or by date, and request free e-mail updates on events in your area..


The Philadelphia Inquirer

On Wine | Smart move: Expanding your wine knowledge - By Deborah Scoblionkov

September 23, 2004 ~ Increasingly, savvy wine fans are turning to the Internet to learn where the cognoscenti congregate. The one-of-a-kind Web site www.localwineevents.com offers comprehensive listings of wine tastings and classes throughout the world, with events from South Africa to Singapore.

Click on "Philadelphia," and a slew of winemaker dinners, tastings and classes pop up - including a nature hike and wine luncheon scheduled for Oct. 2 at the Valley Green Inn in the Wissahickon and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts' sixth annual wine auction on Nov. 7.


The New York Times

In Black Tie and Blue Jeans, Wine Lovers Flock to Fairs - By SAM PERKINS

June 30, 2004 ~ New York Times>Dining and Wine “…..the hundreds of thousands of others who seek out wine fairs across the country every year. Indeed, hardly a day goes by when there is not a wine tasting or event to attend.

"We listed 9,335 events in 2003," said Eric V. Orange, of www.LocalWineEvents.com, "and we're up by 40 percent so far this year."”


Houston's Daily Court Review

A World of Wine - By John Tompkins

June 18, 2004 ~ If there’s one thing Eric Orange knows it’s wine.

The Wichita, Kan., native has worked at all the different stages in the process of making wine including work in the vineyards.

“I was looking for something to do when I got out of the Navy,” Orange said. “I ended up in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., at a winery and I liked it.”

He started out farming the grapes that would eventually be used to make wine.

“I was essentially being a farmer,” he said. “I spent a lot of time on a tractor.”

Orange said he soon grew tired of farming and then opted to go into wine sales. He said his knowledge of the vineyards gave him an advantage.

“It gave me such an edge in sales,” he said.

When he and his wife moved to the Houston area in 1999, Orange said he wanted to create a Web site that would become a community for wine lovers.

“I was trying to figure out how to combine wine and the Internet,” he said.

Orange wanted to build the site himself so he took a few courses on computer and Web programming. He also studied the Internet and how sites gain more hits.

“There’s a whole cottage industry called search engine optimization,” he said. “I have done really well with that. Because of that, I get a huge amount of traffic.”

In July 2000, Orange launched his site, http://www.localwineevents.com/, in an effort to create a worldwide community for wine lovers.

“Within the first month I got 10,000 hits,” he said. “I will surpass three million hits this month.”

With the large number of visitors to his site, Orange has been able to sell advertising.

Despite the site’s success, Orange said he does not want to overdo the advertising or the flair of his site because he doesn’t want to discourage users.

“I set it low because I want it to be consumer-driven,” he said. “I really try to keep it clean. My main goal is to keep building this thing up until it becomes the wine calendar of the world.”

One of the best reasons to own a Web site, Orange said, is because it’s cheap and efficient to start and operate.

“The initial investment in a site is development,” he said. “I set it up to be self-sufficient. It is more than paying for itself. One of the things I really try to stick with is automation.”

The biggest cost for the site, Orange said, is the effort required to keep it updated.

“As it grows exponentially, it increases my workload quite a bit,” he said. “More than anything it costs you time.”

One aspect of his site which has become very popular is education about wine.

“People want to be comfortable looking at a wine list,” he said. “For so many people, it’s a huge intimidation. Wine education is a huge interest.”

On the Web site, Orange lists many different wine educators that his visitors can contact to learn more. It is these affiliations that Orange finds to be important for his site.

“I am certainly interested in collaborations,” he said. “I truly believe I have built a tool for this industry.”

John Tompkins can be reached at john.tompkins@dcrhouston.com


The Miami Herald

Wine Sites - By VICTORIA PESCE ELLIOTT

June 16, 2004 ~ WINE SITES

South Florida oenophiles who haven't discovered localwineevents.com will want to take a look at what is dubbed ''the largest wine and spirits calendar in the world.'' Listings are free, and you can search for events locally or in a city you intend to visit. It was created by Eric Orange, who is certified by the Court of Master Sommeliers and the International Wine Guild.

Also worth a look is winesearcher.com, whether you're comparison-shopping fine bottles or generic plonk. A 1985 Lafite Rothschild Paulliac, for example, is priced from $189 to $546 at retail outlets around the world.


The Houston Chronicle

A spirited salute / TRY SINGLE MALTS, TEQUILA - By MICHAEL LONSFORD

June 16, 2004 ~ On the Web:

Want to know about wine events in the area – or all across the country? Houstonian Eric V. Orange has the Web site for you. It's www.localwineevents .com . You can "advertise" your wine events, access nearly 1,000 links, sell tickets (at no cost to you) and get e-mail notification of events.

Popular? The site is getting 3 million hits - a month.


Santa Cruz Sentinel

Web site gathers list of local wine, food events - By Sentinel staff report

June 12, 2004 ~ SANTA CRUZ — Wine lovers in Santa Cruz County can find local wine and food event listings through a Web site that includes events occurring in the Santa Cruz Mountains and other nearby areas, including Monterey and Santa Clara Valley.

Texas-based entrepreneur and wine aficionado Eric V. Orange created LocalWineEvents.com in 2000 as a free service for retailers, restaurants, vineyards, wholesalers and others to post information about international wine, spirits, beer and food events with a link back to their own Web site for more information.

LocalWineEvents.com aims to collect the information in one place so that consumers can find it more easily.

Orange says the site receives more than 2.5 million hits per month, has 15,000 interested consumers receiving e-mail notification of new events and has received coverage in U.S. News & World Report and the Wall Street Journal.

Event posters can sell tickets to their event free and display a calendar of all events for their area, among other features.

Orange says the site lets event-hosting businesses and charities show the world their area is a "fine wine" destination, and it saves consumers from having to be on multiple e-mail or newsletter lists.

"Also, people who are traveling to the area from out of town or out of state without direct knowledge of local businesses are able to see what’s coming up during their visit," he said.

A recent check of LocalWineEvents.com showed that it listed seven upcoming events in the Santa Cruz Mountains, including Bargetto Winery’s Father’s Day BBQ on June 20 and Spain Comes to Byington at Byington Winery in Los Gatos on July 10.


Akron Beacon Journal

Wineries make their pitch - By Beacon Journal staff report

June 02, 2004 ~ Interested in attending other organized tastings? Dozens are listed on the Web site www.localwineevents.com. Scroll down to the Ohio section (or any other state) and click on the city closest to you. Many Akron-area events are listed under the generic Ohio link.

You'll find times, costs, locations and descriptions for the events, which range in price and scope from wine store samplings with nominal fees to elaborate multicourse wine dinners.