About

About The Vine Times

Our mission is to engage and inspire our readers and viewers by educating and demystifying the world of wine and spirits. At The Vine Times, we believe “wine country” is not just a geographic location; it is a lifestyle. We celebrate the sustainability, diversity, and inclusiveness of wine country through wine recommendations alongside recipes for food and cocktails. We invite you to join us in the wine country itself. As the preeminent resource for wine country experiences, The Vine Times provides winery, lodging, food, entertainment recommendations, and a complete directory for each unique region enabling readers to make informed choices about their wine country visits.

Editorial Ethics and Standards

Part of the mission at The Vine Times is to improve the quality of life of our readers. We have created a team of experts to help research, outline, and fact-check the content.

Step 1 – Content Development

In Step 1, senior editors and staff develop content. Previously published content tagged for review and internally reviewed for any additions or deletions. Additionally, since The Vine Times has built its reputation on its visual content outstanding quality, the textual content is reviewed to add new or appropriate compelling visual content. Acquired content, depending on the source, may enter the editorial process at this stage.

Step 2 – Content Review

In Step 2, the editorial review board members assign content area specialists to review all of the content. Important news or time-sensitive stories and article reviews triggered by consumer feedback may enter the editorial process at this stage. The executive editor approves all content reviews.

Step 3 – Content Editorial

In Step 3, The Vine Times Editorial Team reviews the content following our stand review process. The senior editors perform a fact check and update references based on suggestions from the review board. The Editorial Team reviews all content, both textual and visual, for grammar, style, and consistency. A content quality assurance check is performed.

Step 4 – Content Production

In Step 4, the content is indexed, stored in our proprietary in-house content management system, coded, and tagged for presentation. A technical and content quality assurance check is performed during this step.

Step 5 – Content Publication

In Step 5, content is provided to readers. Content is regularly updated. In most cases, the update cycle is quarterly. Once an editor receives an update, they have a contractual obligation to implement the updated content on their site.

Editorial Standards

The Vine Times has served millions of consumers worldwide for over 20 years with award-winning wine, food, and travel information. As The Vine Times continues to grow, we are continually creating new content internally while acquiring high-quality assets externally.

The Vine Times has made a public commitment to editorial excellence. We have been deeply involved in the wine country community while being at the forefront of the industry movement to ensure the quality of up-to-date information on the Internet.

The Vine Times content is written in plain language for lay readers. The information is designed to be easily accessible, visually pleasing, and informative. We strive for a 5th to 7th-grade reading level, logical organization, short sentences, common everyday words, and design features that make the content easy to read, understand, and use.

The Vine Times is an independent publisher founded in 1997 as a food, wine, and travel publication.

Our review program is simple and straightforward: we recommend but do not rate or score wines, spirits, or food products. For kitchen and wine-related products, we test them in real-world environments, just how our readers would use them, instead of a sterile lab environment.

Our reviews can take various forms—our first encounter with a product or service during a ‘First Look’ review. Initiated by either a pitch from a media relations company, a product announcement, or an industry trade show, these reviews are short and based on first impressions of the product. We continue to test and publish a more in-depth review when appropriate.

Our commitment to our readers.

We are not a “pay-to-play” organization. We do not solicit payment for product reviews or articles. We never have, and we never will.

We independently select which products we will review.

Our staff members write our reviews, and each staff member consults with the rest of the review team to create a well-rounded and researched review.

Our reviews always cover the good, bad, and sometimes ugly features (pros and cons) of any product, helping you decide if the particular product is the right product for you.

Our reviews look at each aspect of the product and if it delivers what it promises. We recognize that different products have different use cases and demographics.

If you think we missed something or incorrectly tested a product, let us know via the feedback form – and we’ll work towards correcting or making the appropriate statement.

Every publication has different policies and procedures when it comes to news and reviews. In the pursuit of transparency and clarity, we’ve detailed the different types of articles or reviews we produce.

Ethics Policy

We consider these guidelines to be a continually evolving document. We will continuously modify and update based upon feedback from our readers and staff.

Our commitment is to produce a product that is accurate, fair, and complete. We believe in editorial independence and integrity, void of any conflicts of interest. We will not disclose any review or article content we produce to their respective media representatives before publishing.

Ownership

The Vine Times is an independent media company founded in 1997. The publication is funded through various streams, including affiliate revenue, advertising, event production, and sponsorships. As an example, The Vine Times earns from qualifying purchases as an Amazon Associate.

The company is privately owned.

The Vine Times has complete editorial independence, and our editorial staff and contributors are committed to bringing you the best information possible.

All articles carry an author byline; in some cases, multiple people have worked on a piece; that piece may be labeled or bylined as “Vine Times Staff.”

Verification and fact-checking standards

The Vine Times strives to publish accurate information.  The editorial staff takes several steps to ensure the accuracy of our content. We invite companies to comment on any review or article we publish.  For reviews, we rigorously test all products in real-life situations rather than in a lab. Our reviewers are a mixture of experts in their field, having, in some cases, covered the industry for over 20 years and nonexperts. Every review is peer-reviewed by other staff members to ensure we’ve answered all the relevant questions for the item.

We stand by the articles and reviews we produce. Occasionally we may have a mistake or error. When some portion of what we have written is incorrect, make every possible attempt to correct it. Feedback from our readers and companies regarding the information that we publish is of utmost importance to us.

Corrections

All Vine Times articles are updated as soon as possible. Articles may be “updated” to reflect developments that have occurred. Articles and social media posts can be “corrected” if there are factual inaccuracies. An article or review that is incorrect will be corrected, and an explanation of the correction will be added to the bottom of the review or article.

Readers can report any errors via our feedback form.

If we publish erroneous information on social networks, we will correct it on that social network.

Actionable feedback

We believe that feedback creates an opportunity to grow and improve the product we produce. We are committed to engaging with our readers and taking action based upon your comments, suggestions, complaints, and other feedback. We are committed to providing transparency about our journalism and offering regular points of contact and interaction. We believe every publishing organization has a responsibility to engage with the public on the topics that are relevant to them. Communication and conversation with our readers make us a better publication.

You can reach our staff via the Feedback Form, passed on to the relevant team member.

Article types

There are a number of different articles and reviews that fit under the editorial section. These include general news articles, event news, opinion, explainers, promotions, and shopping.

Buyers’ Guide and Analysis Articles

The Vine Times produces a couple of Gift Guides pieces throughout the year within the Buyer’s Guide categories, where we review products and services and insert shopping links to products that are relevant. The Vine Times may get a small commission from the online retailer if the reader decides to buy the product.  

Shopping/Deals Features

We produce various shopping or deals articles of staff hand-picked products that are a good deal for our readers throughout the year. We strive to only work with industry-leading companies but are not responsible for external websites. The Vine Times may get a small commission if you purchase it from the retailer.

Review Article Classifications

First Look or Sneak Peak

Our staff’s hands-on first impressions of a product; we’ve physically seen the product and have had the opportunity to interact or use the product briefly. These ‘First Look’ articles may lead to a longer, more detailed review once the product is generally available in the marketplace.

Review

The review is an in-depth assessment and testing of a product or service. The review team has had an ample opportunity to test the products, used them in real-world conditions over several hours, days, weeks, even months, and had peer feedback.

Updates

In the ever-changing world of consumer houseware and electronic products, updates are essential. The hardware you buy one day could be enhanced via a software update or firmware, allowing your products to have new functions. To highlight the changes, we update reviews, adding additional information, criticism, and context. Note, however; we do not downgrade original recommendations (these articles will show a “first published” date.)

How we rate the products in our reviews

Products are rated up to ‘Editor’s Choice.’ The best-of-best ‘Editor’s Choice’ badge is awarded only if the products exceed our standards. The ‘Recommended’ badge falls just short of ‘Editor’s Choice’ and finally recommend with reservations; these products are acceptable; however, they may lack a particular feature that is of note.

When reviewing products, we see if the product does what it claims to do.  We evaluate several factors, including usability, features, design value, and overall performance.