What Makes a Winner: Silver Oak and Twomey

twomeyIt’s really a pleasure to run smack dab into excellence. We’re so accustomed to mediocre service and so-so performance that, sadly, it’s a surprise when someone does a really good job.

I had that kind of experience recently with Silver Oak Cellars, a winery in California’s Napa Valley that has become an iconic brand in the wine world. They started out small, making only one varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon, from vineyards in Alexander Valley and then Napa Valley. They made that varietal very well, creating a style of Cabernet that was rich, complex, and very drinkable, with a trademark flavor of “sweet” vanilla oak.

We knew Silver Oak in the old days, when it was selling for just shy of $17 a bottle, which was many days and many dollars ago. The Alexander Valley Cab now retails for around $75, and the Napa around $95. Obviously, wine drinkers  have signed on to the Silver Oak legacy.

Silver Oak branched out about 10 years ago when they created a sister winery to make Merlot, Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc. Twomey Cellars vaulted right to the top of the wine food chain and quickly became recognized as a premium brand.

I knew all this before I called Twomey last week with a sticky problem caused by a link in the wine distribution chain that failed to represent Twomey properly. (In plain talk, that means they messed up and left me and my customer hanging in the breeze.) Twomey and Silver Oak’s response was immediate and complete. Without even an, “I’ll have to ask my manager about that,” they solved my problem and made sure that there was one more very happy Twomey customer. Everything about my contact with Silver Oak and every person I spoke with shouted class and professionalism, and I came away feeling that I was glad I’d had a big mess on my hands because it gave me the opportunity to see great customer service in practice.

So enough of that. Let’s just thanks the folks at Silver Oak and raise a glass (of their Cabernet, of course) in a toast. Cheers!

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4 Responses to “What Makes a Winner: Silver Oak and Twomey”

  • Hello-
    Thank you so much for writing the article about Silver Oak and Twomey highlighting the customer service you received. We strive to provide the best customer service and customer experience to each and every customer, and we are pleased that we were able to resolve your problem immediately. I would be interested in knowing what the problem was if you have a minute to write back. Thanks very much.
    Happy New Year!

    Best Regards,
    Kathleen McLeod
    Director of Retail and Hospitality

    • Hi Kathleen — Thanks for commenting on my article. Here’s the story:
      I’m not a “regular” customer. I’m a wine retailer in Ohio, and I’ve been selling Silver Oak since it retailed for just under $17 a bottle. We’ve always loved the wine and supported the winery. The problem I had was with your Ohio distributor, Vintage Distributing. I had an order from a good customer for a case of Twomey Merlot for a special Christmas present. I made inquiries in advance and was told there was plenty of stock, and then when I actually placed the order they told me they’d sold it all to some guy who wanted to make Christmas baskets. I asked them to find a solution so I could meet my customer’s needs, and they turned me down flat.
      I was not going to disappoint my customer, so I called the winery and was put in touch with Laura Burns in the wholesale department. She instantly arranged for me to be shipped a case so I could fill my customer’s order in time for Christmas. I didn’t make any money on the purchase, but the point was that I got my customer what she wanted and she never even knew there was a glitch (did I mention that this customer owns a few car dealerships?).
      I posted the article you read because I was genuinely impressed with Silver Oak’s immediate and unquestioning response to their customer’s needs. I wanted the blog-reading public to recognize the quality of your service. I only wish you had a distributor in Ohio that treated customers so well.
      Thanks for your prompt attention and great service — it’s the Silver Oak way!
      Debbie Lapmardo
      Owner and Manager
      Michael Charles Premier Wines
      Warren, OH

  • Good Post!

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