In his blog, A Year in Wine, Mike Dunne wrote on Monday, February 6, 2012: Social Media: Give Me A Break. He is amused by and yet annoyed at the conjectured intrusion of the social media industry, particularly that of the social customer relationship management software/consulting business, in the conduct of the wine business.
Herein, I respond to Mr. Dunne: Take all the breaks that you like.
While the wine business might be, as you say, "perfectly poised to take advantage of social media", a quick glance at how most wineries conduct themselves in the micro-blogosphere reveals that their poise has flaws. Ginormous flaws.
I'm using VinTank Social Connect to help a few wineries improve their alignment to/sensitivity about visitor interests/concerns, to fine-tune program content, to make valuable contributions to communities where wine enthusiasts talk about wine, and to engage with prospective visitors. There are many yet-to-be-well-known steps that wineries might take to improve their relationships with existing aficionados, as well as to connect with future customers who would not just otherwise drop into their laps.
Social media offers solid benefits to enthusiasts and wineries to quest into the unknown, and discover untold rewards together.
If wineries practice, as you say "pontification" rather than engage in the enthusiasts interests and concerns, then there will be no rewards. As you may have already surmised, the unfortunate style and tone of most wineries efforts on the social media platforms, is far from social: They tend to hang out the old shingle, announce events, promote tours, pitch cruises on the Mediterranean, and shout-out discounts. There is very little genuine listening, value adding, or engagement evident. It's far from attractive, which many will frame in less generous terms.
You point out that winemakers, like all other winelovers, pursue other interests. Curiously, they do not look at this larger picture when they attempt to speak with their real and prospective customers.
I don't "fault the winemakers for being chary of social media", but I do fear for how their digital Darwinism will do them in. One day we'll look back on which wineries have long since been acquired largely due to their unwillingness to explore these roads less taken.