Patty Held: Wine Trail Marketing Ideas
The wine trail concept is exploding! From California to Maine there are 251 wine trails across the USA with 1878 wineries making up these trails in 43 states.
Wine trails are made up of several wineries who work together to promote tourism in their region by offering visitors a taste of the local wine experience. Each winery has its own distinctive ambiance, spectacular scenery, vineyard views and a variety of wines for the visitor to enjoy. By promoting the area as a destination and focusing on organized events with several wineries gives the visitor another reason to visit your region and winery.
The Hermann Wine Trail in Missouri is an example of a very successful wine trail, featuring food and wine events throughout the year. Seven wineries promote five events during typically slow tourism months to increase winery traffic and tourism in the area. Here is our list of successful wine and food events:
– Chocolate Wine Trail: Is held the third weekend of February, featuring chocolate 7 different ways.
– Wild Card Wine Trail: Is held the first weekend of May, featuring International foods.
– Berries & BBQ Wine Trail: Is held the last weekend of July, featuring BBQ with Berry sauce, BBQ with Berry spritzers, BBQ with Berry soup, BBQ with Berry slaw.
– Holiday Fare Wine Trail: Is held the third weekend of November, featuring holiday foods from winery family recipes.
– Say Cheese Wine Trail: Is held the second weekend of December, featuring foods with cheese as the main ingredient.
The trail events are very popular. We print out 1200 tickets priced at thirty dollars and most events sell out. Our advertising dollars go farther since we can promote the trail as a destination. We work closely with our area Chamber of Commerce, using their staff and website to sell our event tickets online, thus generating income for them also. A successful wine trail brings visitors, not only to the wineries, but will bring business at local retailers, restaurants, B&B’s and hotels, boosting the economy of the region.
If you haven’t formed a wine trail in your region, get together with wineries and toss the idea around. It is a win-win situation for all. One of the best benefits is the camaraderie we now have amongst our seven wineries. We are working as a team to increase tourism and don’t view each other as competition. That kind of positive attitude is contagious to your staff. Happy staff equals happy customers!
Patty Held is President of the Hermann Wine Trail and President of Patty Held Winery Consulting in Hermann, Missouri.