July 21, 2006, 12:00 AM

Bricks-and-mortar cellar becomes an online seller

Entrepreneurs launch HinsdaleCellars.com, an online wine retailer that offers a monthly newsletter with content on wines from around the world.

Here’s a new marketing tactic to launch an e-retailing business: tales from a death march. That’s just one part of the web-based content offerings from new e-retailer HinsdaleCellars.com, launched by entrepreneurs Sean Chaudhry, a suburban Chicago wine merchant, and Steve Woodward, a communications professional.

The retailer carries ultra-premium, limited allocation wines from around the globe. As part of the online retailing operation, HinsdaleCellars.com posts a monthly newsletter, dubbed Vintelligence, on its site, which it soon will offer as an opt-in e-mail newsletter. Vintelligence presents news and commentary from national and international wine experts. Jorge’s Death March, for example, is a tour of premium Spanish wineries led by importer Jorge Ordonez. The newsletter features a diary by the importer direct from one of his tours.

Launched June 21, the e-retailer is using Google Adwords and relying on natural search to drive traffic and sales.

“In the opening weeks since our launch, many of our ultra-premium offerings all but disappeared soon after they crossed the connoisseurs’ radar,” says co-founder Sean Chaudhry, who operates Hinsdale Wine Shop and The Cellar Door in Chicago’s western suburbs. “Premium and ultra-premium wine connoisseurs are excellent at finding what they’re looking for, rather than the other way around. Collectors are very search-savvy. So for now we did search optimization on our site and are using Google Adwords."

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