Friday, September 26, 2008

NY outlines October promotions

Having written about this New York Wine & Grape Foundation initiatives a couple weeks back, here are some more details on what the state body has planned for October.
The fall has arrived, and with it the annual grape harvest and crush in New York’s wine country. Tons of ripe grapes of many varieties and colors are picked and delivered to wineries in all regions—Long Island, the Hudson Valley, Finger Lakes, Niagara Escarpment, Lake Erie, and Thousand Islands. There’s no better time to celebrate New York’s bounty of fine wine than October.

Throughout the month, more than 115 restaurants and 150 wine stores throughout New York State will be celebrating New York Wine Month by offering their customers hundreds of fine New York wines from over 30 wineries.

“October is the perfect month for celebrating New York wines,” said Jim Trezise, President of the New York Wine & Grape Foundation which is orchestrating the month-long promotion. “The 2007 vintage was the best in many years, and most of the wines are now available. It’s also prime time to visit wine country, combining the excitement of the harvest and crush with the beautiful fall colors.”

The promotion extends throughout the state except in New York City, where a separate “New York Wines & Dines” promotion is taking place. The major markets include Long Island, the Hudson Valley and greater Albany area, Syracuse and Utica, Rochester, Buffalo, North Country and the southern tier (Ithaca, Corning, Elmira).

“We are very grateful to our wholesaler partners, and to the hundreds of restaurants and fine wine stores working with us,” said Trezise. “There is a national ‘locavore’ trend toward buying local products, and the enthusiasm we have seen indicates that it’s popular right here in New York. In the case of wine, some call it ‘locapour’.”

For the October promotion, an entirely new web site ( was developed to guide consumers to nearby restaurants and wine stores wherever they live, as well as provide information about participating wineries. The web site lists all of the participating wineries, restaurants and stores. The site is searchable by region to make it convenient for consumers.

The Foundation is also supporting the promotion with radio and print advertising in every market, a customized wine list for restaurants, point of sale materials, and a public relations campaign.

The radio campaign describes the promotion and directs listeners to the web site. The companion print campaign, targeted mostly at lifestyle publications, actually lists the participating stores and restaurants, while also highlighting the web site.

A unique feature of the campaign is customized wine lists for the participating restaurants made possible by modern technology and a pURL—a personal URL. Basically, a standard template exists for an attractive wine list, including an introduction and a back-cover description of the New York wine industry. When the restaurant has selected the wines it will feature, it enters those (and their descriptions) into the pURL for a customized wine list that is then printed and shipped to the restaurant.

“New York Wine—Class by the Glass” point of sale materials have been created for wine stores and restaurants, including a large sign to hang over the New York wine section, case cards, and menu cards. These materials, along with the rest of the campaign, have been developed by Mason Selkowitz Marketing of Penfield.

The Foundation has also developed an additional, special series of point of sale materials, “New York’s Great Grapes”, that is on its main web site ( ready to be downloaded and printed by wholesalers, retailers and restaurants. The series includes the 18 most common varietal wines with photographs of the grapes, the wine in the glass, and some recommended foods to accompany it. Each of the items—such as shelf talkers, table tents, and case cards—also includes space for including information about individual wineries and wines being featured by restaurants and stores. The series was designed by artist Book Marshall, with photography by Randall Tagg.

The public relations campaign includes radio and television interviews in various markets to promote New York Wine Month, and to encourage consumers to patronize the businesses supporting local products.

"When we buy New York, we build New York,” said Trezise. “The wineries, restaurants and wine shops are all New York businesses which provide New York jobs and pay New York taxes. It just makes sense that we all work together.”

The event grapevine: Sept. 26-28

Featured event

6th annual Brandywine Valley Wine Trail Harvest Fest
Weekends of Sept. 27-28 and Oct. 4-5

The idea of the Brandywine Valley Wine Trail’s Harvest Fest hasn’t changed since its inception. As Lee Miller, the co-owner of Chaddsford Winery, wrote in an e-mail, the primary goal of the annual festival is to celebrate fall and introduce the 2008 vintages. “The idea of Harvest Fest is that it's pretty much the same every year,” she wrote, “but a chance for people to come out and see the vineyards, how the harvest is going, what's new at each winery, what new releases they have, etc. And we all offer a bunch of activities that will be a little different every year.”

What makes this year’s different, however, is that for the first time it’s being spread over two weekends, this one and next. Said Miller, “We felt that this would give them more opportunity to visit and enjoy the wineries, instead of rushing to get to them all in one day or one weekend.”

Harvest Fest Passports required to visit any of the six participating wineries are $25 and can be purchased at any one of them when you stop in,
online, or by calling 610.444-3842 or 866-390.4367. These entitle the holder to one tasting at each winery. If you just can’t make it to all six during these two weekends, the Passport can be used through Dec. 30.

But the real treat is getting to any of these wineries during the next two weeks. The places are buzzing with visitors grouped around the tasting bar, gathering for a tour or listening to some basic information about the wines they are sampling and the wineries that make them. And all the wineries we visited had something out to munch on.

On what’s a busy fall weekend for winery and wine trail events, here’s what’s on the schedule:


Boyd’s Cardinal Hollow Winery Crop, North Wales: Live music, Saturday, 5 to 8 p.m.,

Blue Mountain Vineyards, New Tripoli: 13th annual Picking Party and Grape Stomp ($$), Saturday and Sunday. 9 a.m. through the entire day; Fall Foliage Tasting ($$), Sunday, 2 to 5 p.m.,

Chaddsford Winery, Chaddsford: Harvest Festival ($$), Saturday and Sunday, noon to 6 p.m.; Reserve tastings ($$), Saturday, sittings at 1, 2:30 and 4 p.m.,

Clover Mill Farm Vineyards & Winery, Chester Springs: Open again, Sunday, 1 to 5 p.m.,

Crossing Vineyards & Winery, Washington Crossing: Fourth class in Wine 101 series ($$), Monday, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., white wine,

Galen Glen Vineyard & Winery, Andreas: Octoberfest Tours of the Vineyard & Cellars, Sunday, tractor and wagon tours depart at 1, 2, 3 & 4pm.,

Kreutz Creek Vineyards, West Grove: Harvest Festival ($$), Saturday and Sunday, music, 2 to 5 p.m. both days and Saturday night concert ($$), 6 to 9 p.m.,

Moon Dancer Vineyards & Winery, Wrightsville: Music Friday (6 to 9 p.m.), Saturday (2 to 5 p.m.) and Sunday, 2 to 5 p.m.; concert ($$), Saturday, 7 to 10 p.m.,
George Wesley,

Paradocx Vineyard, Landenberg: Harvest Festival ($$), Saturday and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m., Saturday night concert, 5 to 9 p.m., Blue Bayou,

Penns Woods Winery, Eddystone: Harvest Festival ($$), noon to 5 p.m., music both days,

Twin Brook Winery, The Gap: Harvest Festival ($$), Saturday and Sunday; Harvest Festival concert ($$), Saturday, 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., Big Package, Weather permitting this concert will be held outdoors. If there is inclement weather the concert will be held in the Greenhouse. To ensure your spot please secure your tickets in advance since there is LIMITED ADMISSION for the Greenhouse,

Va La Vineyards, Avondale: Harvest Festival ($$), Saturday and Sunday, noon to 6 pm.,


Sugarloaf Mountain Vineyard, Dickerson: Live music by Danny Grizzle, Saturday, 2 to 5 p.m.,

Other MARYLAND winery events can be found at this link, VIRGINIA events at this link and New York events at this link


33rd annual Virginia Wine Festival ($$), Prince William County (Va.) Fairgrounds, Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.,
information at this link

Uncorked Rockville (Md.) ($$), Saturday, noon to 6 p.m.,
information at this link

$$ – Admission charge