By Doug Fabbioli
A new thing for us and much of the country is the interactive game Pokémon GO. I will be dead honest: I don’t play the game. My wife and 19 year old son play, and I am taking an observational view on this subject. As our winery is on google maps, we are a location for a few of the games activities. Also, for many years we have a geocache located at our site as well which is a 10 year old technology style treasure hunt game somewhat similar to Pokémon GO. Thru the years many people have visited our property at all hours to locate the geocache and people are slowly finding out we have a Pokémon stop and gym on our property.
I look at this phenomenon as a way that technology is changing our entertainment, our social interaction and even our mobility and transportation. People are going places they have not gone before because of this game. Points of interest, museums, parks and other sites. Because Pokémon has been around for a while and the game is catching on so quickly, we are seeing a lot of people of all ages playing. My wife is playing because she played the game years ago with our son. I realize this may be a fad, but hopefully it is entertaining some folks that may be dragged to a winery and are too young or not interested in wine. I am still processing this new phenomena and how it may impact us. I guess I always want to be aware of new technology that effects the public’s activities and possibly my business or our industry. The mobile apps are pretty incredible these days and I look forward to a wine themed interactive app.
I am a traditional style producer in an industry that is based on centuries old style and judged on a regular basis. But the breweries and cideries may be a little like the Pokémon Go game. If we welcome the new and different entity, it may bring another element to the experience. The fruit wines and ciders that we make at my winery I believe are signs that we are willing to embrace the evolution of our rural lands. So does this computer programmed interactive scavenger hunt squared fit into a traditional winery business plan? I think so…. if people are willing to embrace change.
Now for a complete change of topic…our summer weather continues to show us that Mother Nature is in charge. Earlier this season, a powerful thunderstorm unleashed hail onto a swath of land from Bluemont through Middleburg. A number of vineyards and other crops along with homes were heavily damaged by the baseball sized ice balls. The recovery process of this can be challenging as the fruit clusters may be damaged or totally destroyed. The green shoots that have the leaves to get the fruit ripe may be broken. New shoots will grow, but the fruit is gone for the season. Now we all face the seemingly unrelenting heat and Japanese beetles. Some days it seems like producing grapes in this region is a never-ending battle….much like the battles that take place in the Pokémon Gym.