June 23, 2017

Between Two Bottles (B2B): Wine Tastings – To Charge or Not to Charge?

One feature of Midwest wineries that sets them apart from wineries in California is that many offer free wine tastings. On the west coast, in Napa or Sonoma, you usually get charged at least $15 just to sample a few meager samples of vino. For understandable, but possibly misguided reasons, the tradition of a free wine tasting in our region could be changing.In my humble experience as a … [Read more...]

Midwest Wine Memo

This column contains items of interest regarding Midwest Wine.  There is no information about health care reform, budget deficits or celebrities.Humidity and Wine AntioxidantsAcademic Wino posted an article on resveratrol which is the healthy component of wine.  In the article, Canadian wine researcher Gary Strachan writes, "The level of resveratrol  in plants is (thus) related to that … [Read more...]

Drinking Midwest Wine is Good For You

One objection to buying regional wine is that regional wine costs more.  One would think that a local wine producer has a built in cost advantage in the form of  lower shipping costs.  But in reality, global wine producers use massive economies of scale and cheap shipping costs to keep imported wine costs low.For example, shipping Malbec from Buenos Aires to Houston in a 20 foot container … [Read more...]

Ideas For Bringing Midwest Wine Together

I have now visited over 100 wineries throughout the Midwest.   All our Midwest wineries have their own special qualities and I can honestly say that each visit was memorable in its own way.Looking back at my winery trips,  I have been trying to tie them together and, to be honest, it's difficult.  Midwest wineries don't really have a unifying theme or message.   Each state, each wine trail, or … [Read more...]

Bill Baken: Maize Valley Winery’s Master of Events

At its peak, Northern Ohio farmer Bill Baken's operation included 150 Holsteins, one half million bushels of grain storage and 6,000 acres of crops. But during the 1990's, Baken and his wife, Michelle, saw that family farming was becoming more challenging. So in 2001, the Baken's dramatically reorganized their business."You always have to be thinking one step ahead as a farmer, and now … [Read more...]

Planning a Day on the Wine Trail

Wine lovers are discovering wine trails all over the country. Whether you are seeking spectacular scenery or great wines, there is a wine trail for you. Here are a few tips to follow for a memorable wine trail experience.How to select wineries you will like in an area you have never been to? Do some online research and check out the website for the region and wine trail. The official website … [Read more...]

Why Your Winery is the Local Attraction

As I travel around the Midwest talking to winery owners, I often hear this comment: "At my winery, it's as much about the experience as it is about the wine."A genuine winery experience is marketable, as evidenced by the many wineries that have succeeded not only through the popularity of their wines but also by giving their largely urban customers something they can't get in the city or the … [Read more...]

Top Ten Tasting Room Etiquette Tips

Spring is here and the busy summer season is quickly approaching for wineries. Visitors will soon flock in droves to wineries to enjoy the weather, the wine aromas and the unbeatable Midwest winery experience.To ensure all our visitors have a pleasant winery experience, please share these Simple Tasting Room Etiquette Tips with your visitors by posting in your newsletter, website and tasting … [Read more...]

Minnesota Wine In The Twin Cities

It is no secret that Cold Climate wines don’t occupy the same shelf space in Twin Cities wine shops as those from Burgundy, Tuscany, or even Walla Walla. Yet, in the burgeoning trend of hyper-localness that has transfixed the food world in particular, why should this be?Local honey, local cheese, local produce, and let’s not forget local beer all have a definite presence in front of Twin … [Read more...]

Five Key Components to Winery Sales

Every business wants to ‘sell more.’  Management teams spend countless hours strategizing how to ‘sell more’ wine.  Salespeople stay engaged in jobs at the prospect of the ‘big sale.’  Businesses stay relevant when they ‘sell more.’But selling more is not a goal; it is an outcome.    During 7 years in higher education, I taught many intelligent students who did not know the difference between … [Read more...]