2008 certainly helped to elevate the image and awareness of the emerging world-class wine region here in the Finger Lakes. But now that we are on the stage, what do we do to keep the spotlight here and turn interest into increased wine sales?
I’m strongly in favor of creating opportunities to get to know the faces, wines, food and art behind the buzz. Events that are intimate, upscale and personal can introduce newcomers to the region and enhance relationships with those already happy to call themselves raving fans. As I’ve mentioned before, the people who make up the industry here are its biggest asset in my opinion.
Next month, I’m proud and terribly excited to be a part of the organizing committee on PALATE: A Wine, Food and Art Showcase in Finger Lakes Wine Country…more specifically here in my city of residence of Corning, NY. I was invited to contribute my ideas to the event by Finger Lakes Wine Country Tourism Marketing Association, Corning’s Gaffer District and the ARTS of the Southern Finger Lakes. Our challenge is to bring all of the ideas for the showcase to life on a shoe-string budget and represent the best offerings of the industry here.
Some of the highlights include:
- Wine education seminar featuring Nancy Tisch, owner of Bet the Farm who will be teaching a seminar about Sensory Perception focusing on how sense of smell, taste and tactile senses interplay to make up one’s favorite wines
- Wine education seminar with Shannon Brock, Wine Coordinator at the New York Wine & Culinary Center, leading a seminar on pairing Finger Lakes Wine with Finger Lakes Cheese
- Barrel tasting at Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards of their 2008 vintage
- Winemaker dinners by leading winemakers including Dr. Frank’s Vinifera Wine Cellars held at leading restaurants on Market Street in Corning, NY
- 2300 Degrees celebration at the Corning Museum of Glass
- Cabin Fever wine and beer tasting event featuring local wineries and breweries pouring specially selected wine and beer
More to come. It will be fun to capture the excitement of the industry and present an opportunity for wine lovers to meet and experience all that there is to offer here in our wine country. I feel that this event will attract a new breed of wine lover to the region, those who are in the “core drinkers” demographic described as those who drink wine the most, usually several times a week or at least 3 times a month, are responsible for 88% of wine sold in the US and tend to be better educated, more affluent and with more disposable income. (From Wine Marketing & Sales by Paul Wagner, Janeen Olsen and Liz Thach) If you’re a winery who has been looking for opportunities to get in front of these “core drinkers,” this event may be the way to do that. Ultimately, we would love to drive attendees up to the tasting rooms, so we’re exploring ideas to lure them up to your wineries. Let us know what special opportunities you have to offer to PALATE attendees during that week and we’ll help get the word out for you.