It should go without saying that referrals from other wineries and partnering with local businesses are valuable when you’re trying to attract traffic to your tasting room.
Roxanne Myers, President of Lost Oak Winery near Fort Worth, Texas, said to get a little you’ve got to be willing to give a little where neighboring wineries are concerned.
“I think if you operate on the assumption that the referral business is the best business you can get, if you’re constantly referring others, they’re going to refer you,” Myers told Vintner Magazine. “That’s in terms of other tasting rooms. We always recommend wineries because people stop in, they do a wine tasting and they want to know which (other) wineries to go to.
“So, if you’re referring them constantly, they’ll refer people to you.”
Myers said Lost Oak also reaches out to other businesses for help with word-of-mouth advertising.
“We also do outreach with tour bus companies, hotels, restaurants, and other amenities in
the area that can drive traffic to our winery, and we’ll drive traffic to them,” Myers explained. “That’s a business development plan. If they’re frequenting these amenities or other businesses, they’re also going to frequent our tasting room.”
Austin Hope, owner of Hope Family Wines in Paso Robles, California said they definitely work with area businesses and train their team to be educated on nearby amenities to provide helpful recommendations to customers.
Promoting the region is something Hope Family Wines does, Hope explained. The company hosts theme events for guests featuring products from local businesses. Groups of visitors are also treated to gift bags filled with local products.
“Our reservations team offers concierge services to other wineries for tastings, lodging,art installations, restaurants (and more),” Hope said. “We make sure our team is educated on hotels, restaurants, wineries, things to do in Paso Robles.”
Hope Family Wines also coordinates events — such as special tastings — with nearby companies, and partners with them for corporate gift giving promotions.
“We collaborate with local businesses in creating tasting experiences such as our Local Creamery and Wine Tastings,” Hope said
Collaborating with other companies to showcase their craft is something Gervasi Vineyard in Canton, Ohio has also traditionally done.
The destination winery and resort has found success over the years by producing products such as BLU, a blueberry liqueur that’s produced with local fruit sourced from a nearby farm, producing and canning a marinara sauce and pickled hot peppers in a partnership with another local farm, and maintains a partnership with a local coffee roaster and producer to create a blend for its Gervasi Caffe line.
“Local partnerships allow us to provide fresh products while supporting local businesses,” said Scott Swaldo, CEO and General Manager of Gervasi Vineyard, in a previous interview. “It’s a win-win for us, our partners, and our customers.”