On a computer screen at St. Francis Winery & Vineyards is a profile of Rosemary, a woman who has commented about the Sonoma Valley winery on sites like Facebook and Pinterest hundreds of times.
Her mug shot, pulled from her profile on one of those sites, is alongside her full name and a log of everything she's said publicly about the brand online.
Software that St. Francis and other wineries use to monitor their brands on social media channels also has the ability to track where customers go after visiting their winery, based on the digital trail they leave in their wakes as they check into nearby businesses on Foursquare.
"It's so wild," said Christopher Silva, CEO of St. Francis. "It's really mind-boggling how far technology has come, and how technology has allowed us to track customers more effectively."
St. Francis is one of a growing number of wineries working to enhance their relationships with customers by observing their behavior in social media and online.
Marketing executives say the practice helps companies to deliver more targeted pitches and to get to know their customers better using public information.
But privacy advocates are concerned about whether ordinary consumers are aware that their information is being searched and funneled into online profiles, and they worry about where that data may end up down the road.
<b>Compiling data to create profiles</b>
As the wine industry becomes more technologically savvy, companies are finding ways to connect the dots between the data they've collected about customers' purchase history with the digital trails left by their online behavior.
A popular program used by St. Francis and about 1,400 other wineries was developed by VinTank, a Napa company that makes social tracking software, also known as listening software, for the wine industry.
"It really enables me to monitor and engage anybody that's talking about our brand," said Dylan Elliott, e-commerce coordinator for Crimson Wine Group, which owns Healdsburg's Seghesio Family Vineyards and uses VinTank. "You can really dig into the customer database and see who your advocates are, all kinds of information."
A recently released version of the VinTank software links the social media log of customers like Rosemary to a record of what the customer has bought at the winery.
To accomplish that, VinTank recently partnered with Vin65, a division of Napa-based WineDirect, which provides e-commerce software to the wine industry. Wineries use Vin65 software to record and track purchases.
That enables wineries to measure whether their efforts in social media are translating into additional sales, said Paul Mabray, chief strategy officer at VinTank.
"You can get all kinds of interesting statistics," Mabray said. "People who are your Facebook fans spend X amount more than those who are not."
<b>Measuring email effectiveness</b>
The Vin65 software also can track whether customers have read the promotional emails the winery sent and whether they clicked through links embedded in the email to visit the website.
"We watch whether people open their email and click back on the website," said Andrew Kamphuis, president of Vin65. "If I send you three or four emails and you don't open any of them, why would I keep spamming you?"