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Had it not been for the recent Santa Barbara fire and flood tragedies that prompted us to get out of town for a break, we most likely would have missed the great culinary adventures that are covered in this article series. Rediscovering nearby Ojai, California, proved to be the perfect silver lining for two luxury real estate brand strategists who happen to also be major foodies. On our trip we not only found some great markets and restaurants but also a wine shop that exemplified excellence in niche marketing: Focus! 

Most luxury real estate marketing professionals are challenged to differentiate themselves from their competition in a sea of sameness.  Local wine merchants face the same challenge. So how can you set yourself apart and build a solid client base of loyal customers or clients? Focus on a niche!

Ojai’s Point de Chêne is a wine shop “with a focus on family-owned, terroir-driven wines, naturally-farmed”.  The main brand concept here is that they have a bespoke (tailor-made) collection of wines, personally selected for their target market that appreciates these values. The brand name incorporates the French word (Chêne) for oak trees, which proliferate in Ojai and also refers to the wood barrels where wines age. 

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The key to the success of Point de Chêne is their focus, which resonates with the values of their target market. Family-owned means that the wine is not produced by a large conglomerate; you are experiencing the vision of the owners themselves. Terroir means the complete natural environment in which a particular wine is produced, including factors such as the soil, topography, and climate. An example of naturally-farmed is using horses to pull the wagons that are filled with grapes during harvest vs. tractors that trample the roots of the vines.

The bespoke collection that Bob Huey, owner of Point de Chêne, has personally curated is based solely on this focus.  Once you trust Bob’s taste, which we do, you want to JOIN Bob’s brand, follow his lead and enjoy the journey. Plus, you naturally want to help spread the word to other like-minded wine drinkers who would also appreciate Bob’s focus. That is how niche marketing, done right, works!

On our first visit Bob was not there. But, Jessica Pregnolato enchanted us and clearly articulated the wine shop's extraordinary promise of value. We were instantly delighted and then hooked on Point de Chêne after tasting the wines Jessica personally recommended. 

We cannot wait to share our experience of a Champagne that Bob recommended. It is produced by one of the most up-and-coming young winemakers in the Champagne region. His family has been winegrowing for over 500 years and this young man has brazenly introduced the naturally-farmed methodology to produce a winner! Stay tuned for Part 3!