Over the past four months I have had the opportunity to see the wine industry from one side of the country to the other. I have traveled from North Carolina and the Finger Lakes of New York, to Illinois and the wineries of Nebraska and British Columbia, Canada. Everywhere I have been I have tasted excellent wines, have met wonderful people, made new friends and have had a chance to renew ties with old friends. Even the airline travel (bouncing into Denver) and the 95º with 89% humidity weather in the Finger Lakes did not dampen my enthusiasm for the areas and their wines.
I am most happy to report that everywhere I have recently visited consumers were out wine tasting and buying wine. Winery open houses and special events attracted larger numbers of people than expected – Mac’s Creek Winery in Nebraska expected about 250 people for a release party and 750 people showed up! At Heron Hill Winery in the Finger Lakes, a young woman from California was buying wine to be shipped back home. I stopped at Tinhorn Creek in the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia and tasted a delicious Cabernet Franc. I also dropped in to a couple of BC VQA stores and was impressed by the selection of wines and expertise of the staff. In the Yadkin Valley of North Carolina I had a red blend from Hanover Park that was yummy. In Illinois I enjoyed the consistently delicious wines of Lynfred Winery and thanks to General Manager/Winemaker Andrés Basso discovered my affinity for Brazilian style steakhouses.
In between the wine tasting I did manage to get some work done, promoting the Wine Industry Network and speaking at wineries and conferences about marketing, sales and increasing wine club sign-ups. All in all this spring and summer have been ones to remember.
It has definitely been heartening to go into wineries all over the country and see people in the tasting rooms (or wine shops as they are known in BC), tasting wine, buying wine, picking up their wine club shipments and more importantly enjoying themselves!
Keep up the good work!
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