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Aged To Perfection

Finding your niche in the e-commerce world

This story appears in the April 2000 issue of

Much like a fine wine, it takes time-sometimes years-for a business to reach a certain level of perfection. Since 1992, Patricia Cole, 48, has been overseeing (, a Web site dedicated to wine lovers, and evolving it into what it's become today-a full-fledged e-commerce site.

At first,, which targeted female wine drinkers, only offered a list of wineries where wine connoisseurs could easily find the wines of their choice. But, as with most things, wine developed into a "lifestyle" product, and Cole shifted her site's content to reflect this new trend. Cole currently offers gift products and collectibles as well as vacation packages and wine classes on her site. Based in Napa, California-the heart of the U.S. wine has become a one-stop shop for anything having to do with wine. Here's a look at just how this wine lady found a niche within a niche and transformed it into a successful homebased e-commerce site:

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