Winemaker

Mike Traynor

With over 20 years of wine experience under his belt, Mike Traynor has become a staple wine and tourism name in Prince Edward County, home of TRAYNOR FAMILY VINEYARD. Mike is also the former Chair of the Prince Edward County Winegrowers Association.

Mike Traynor
Mike Traynor

“Use the locals as your concierge for where your next stop should be because we are all in this community together and all act as such for the region. We’re always trying to support other businesses and things going on. Feel free to ask advice on where you should head next.

Tell us a bit about the work you’ve done with Branding and Buzzing.

 

Around 2011 or 2012, Sean had just started and I was working with Marian while she was at another agency. We then began working with Branding & Buzzing to do all of our social media work and it was great. He was a cool guy; we started hanging out and I got him involved in another company. I left that company, started focusing on the winery full-time and was elected Chair of the Winegrowers Association. We were in the process of re-doing marketing plans so I brought Branding & Buzzing in to help kickstart that program for our social media and we did a number of blogger activations and things like that.

 

Rank in preference/importance the social networks you use (IG Stories, IG (Normal Feed), FB, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat etc)

 

We’re focused primarily on Instagram and Facebook. Twitter is a distant 3rd.

 

Tell us about some of the work you’ve done in terms of wine and community activity.

 

I’ve been in the wine industry for 22 years. I moved to Prince Edward County in 2000, the first winery opened up down here in 2001 so that was kind of at the very, very beginning of everything. I also helped quite a few of the regional wineries get started and then bought my property in 2008, becoming quite focused on that. Three years ago was my election to the Winegrowers Association and we’re involved in a lot of the local marketing. We own a lot of big local events like Terroir and Taste. We sit on a number of community tourism boards and are overall pretty active. 

 

What originally attracted you to Prince Edward County?

 

It was a new region, a new adventure; it was a place where this had never been done before and an opportunity to create something from scratch. It was exciting, the potential to be involved in the ground floor of the new industry.

 

It has always been a beautiful region but it wasn’t so well known back then. It wasn’t the same type of infrastructure back then. There were great restaurants, but not the same [as today] and there’s more now, plus the accommodations have grown and improved. There are more wineries and now breweries and ciders as well. There are a lot more artisans and just a full lot more happening down here right now. 

 

How do you use social media in business and has it improved your marketing efforts?

 

We use it all the time when interesting things are happening in the vineyard, the winery or on the patio. We also use it when there’s an event happening, if we have new products available, when we have new media or when it can be used for recruiting new employees.

 

To me, old-fashioned is dead, it doesn’t work at all. We get all of these magazines that have distributions of 150,000; they come, dump at our door and nobody really takes them. Everybody looks at anything on their phones now. The magazines just end up going in the recycling so it’s just a waste of money going to traditional marketing platforms at this point, I think, it’s just not relevant anymore.

 

What advice would you give to someone wanting to experience Prince Edward County?

 

Plan your accommodations and meals ahead. We are a very small region with a lot of tourism coming in so be organized, especially if you’re coming on a weekend.

 

Also, use the locals as your concierge for where your next stop should be because we are all in this community together and all act as such for the region. We’re always trying to support other businesses and things going on. Feel free to ask advice on where you should head next.

 

What advice would you give to someone who might want to work in the wine industry?

 

Start at the bottom, take your time and learn your craft. 

 

Follow Mike Traynor:
Twitter: @MikeTraynor
Instagram: @TraynorVineyard