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I Need a Winery Education!

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Innkeep

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I live in Ind iana and within the past few years a surprising number of wineries have been established in this state. (A few of these wineries even have their own vineyards!
) Just within the past few months a winery has been established about 5 miles away from my B&B. It has hours it is open for tasting, and it has a nice website, and has a few varieties of wines to sell. There is a second winery about 20 miles from here that has been around for a few years. They have a bunch of outdoor musical events with local bands, and in the summer they invite people to BYOM - bring your own meat - for grilling. I have not visited either of these places... I'm a little worried that the farther one might be a little wild for me.
Now, my only frame of reference is the wineries I have visited in Napa and Sonoma. I realize many of the big wineries out there started as "mom and pop" operations decades ago, but I enjoyed winery tours that included looking at the grape vines, seeing the vats, going into the cellars purely as a tourist, knowing next to nothing about wine. I'm really curious as to how elaborate the wineries are in other parts of the country, from New York and Virginia that seem to have lots of wineries to areas like mine that may have a very new winery. No doubt NY and VA have visitors just to see the wineries, but is there really much of a draw for these new little places which are geographically isolated without vineyards? I thought I would consult with you guys before visiting our new winery here. Thanks
 

Ice

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There is just 1 by me (20 miles) and it is only 3 years old. There is no vineyard. Just a portable type of buliding next to the house. You just go in and taste. I guess they have someone bottle it under their label? Now right across the road the neighbor has a small vinyard but it is for his private use.
 

Penelope

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The first thing that popped into my head when I read your post is: can you sell wine at your inn? If so, that would be a wonderful type of add-on.
I love going to the wineries and just observing, tasting, absorbing the culture, asking questions, learning, and even perhaps buying.
I would also say that with a smart marketing plan, you could MAKE the winery the draw. As Gillum House says, "her town didn't know it was a destination until she started telling them it was" (paraphrasing).
We don't live in wine country, per se, but there are quite a few wineries around here that are very well known within this state's borders. Those guests (wine loving and not wine loving) coming in from out of town are always curious to see how we do it in this area. No, in my opinion, wineries don't have to be big, they have to produce a quality product. I've had plenty of wines from the Napa/Sonoma area that I thought were terrible. Wine from the county next to me? Wonderful. Winery is much smaller, not as well-known, but the wine is excellent. Size doesn't always matter :)
 

EmptyNest

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ABSOLUTELY....visit the wineries. They can become your best buddies. You send guests to visit them. Give them your brochures, they send guests to you. B & B's and wineries...are a perfect match. Build up the relationship however you can. It really works for folks in VA!!!
 

JBloggs

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Innkeep there are award winning wineries with Winemaker dinners, blues on Sundays and other special events that I promote and they aren't even in our county as we have none in our county. These are approx 50 min drive - but since we are near a scenic drive I try to incorporate part of that as the draw. Other inns closer have B&B and Winery packages.
I am looking at one you mentioned and I would blog it! Looks like good stuff to me. The meadery as well. I mean, if you are wanting to promote the wine thing.
The average age in the photos looks like Boomers+, so me thinks responsible guests who would enjoy your B&B and an event at the winery. Festivals, live music and events are more and more popular at the small establishments, and guests enjoy that. It would be great if they sent guests your way in return.
 

Innkeep

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The first thing that popped into my head when I read your post is: can you sell wine at your inn? If so, that would be a wonderful type of add-on.
I love going to the wineries and just observing, tasting, absorbing the culture, asking questions, learning, and even perhaps buying.
I would also say that with a smart marketing plan, you could MAKE the winery the draw. As Gillum House says, "her town didn't know it was a destination until she started telling them it was" (paraphrasing).
We don't live in wine country, per se, but there are quite a few wineries around here that are very well known within this state's borders. Those guests (wine loving and not wine loving) coming in from out of town are always curious to see how we do it in this area. No, in my opinion, wineries don't have to be big, they have to produce a quality product. I've had plenty of wines from the Napa/Sonoma area that I thought were terrible. Wine from the county next to me? Wonderful. Winery is much smaller, not as well-known, but the wine is excellent. Size doesn't always matter :).
As far as selling wine at the B&B... Our state's Alcoholic Beverage Commission is rather outdated. They allow permits on a quota basis, so if a restaurant wants a liquor permit in our town they literally have to wait for a licensed restaurant to go out of business and try for that permit. As usual, although permits are assigned to different entities for different purposes, the listings are very specific, and there is no category for a B&B. So, it's my understanding that before I could obtain a license I would have to get the state liquor laws changed so that the state could issue licenses to B&B's!
Thanks for the advice. I will contact the wineries to see what we might be able to do.
 

egoodell

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I'm not sure what you mean by "a little wild"? How? Are they really wineries or just excuses for bars of some sort?
Our wineries are wonderful restful places we can realx and socialize. The only people who visit wineries that I would stay far far away from are the bachelor and bachelorette groups. They just want to get drunk so our wineries keep function rooms so they can shove them in there away from the tasting rooms.
Our business would not exist without our wineries. They bring in professional, interesting people. These guests are usually interested in fine dining, history, nature. You don't need to build big parking lots and malls for them. They come, spend money, and leave very little footprints.
I'm not used to wineries without any vineyards. Here we have something like 160 wineries and about double that of vineyard growers. Few can grow all the grapes that they need.
Riki
 

swirt

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GO visit.... and visit on multiple occaisions. A mid-week visit can have a completely different feel from a weekend visit which can be different than a special event visit. A peak season visit can be much different than an off-season visit. I think the best time around here to taste is the Winter (providing that the roads aren't bad. The tasting room staff aren't overwhelmed and you really get to talk to them more and enjoy the winery experience more than when people are elbow to elbow on a weekend in peak season.
Wineries absolutely can be a draw. Embrace them, promote them!
 

JBloggs

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GO visit.... and visit on multiple occaisions. A mid-week visit can have a completely different feel from a weekend visit which can be different than a special event visit. A peak season visit can be much different than an off-season visit. I think the best time around here to taste is the Winter (providing that the roads aren't bad. The tasting room staff aren't overwhelmed and you really get to talk to them more and enjoy the winery experience more than when people are elbow to elbow on a weekend in peak season.
Wineries absolutely can be a draw. Embrace them, promote them!.
swirt said:
GO visit.... and visit on multiple occaisions.
Embrace them
Not reading in between the lines or anything here. tee hee
 

gillumhouse

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I use the winery about 35 miles from me as the "anchor" of my routings. It ONLY comes off the routing if the guests indicate - no wine. There is another winery north of me - but he gave me the "go away kid, don;t bother me " attitude when I approached him about a cooperation. The winery south of me to ME when I introduced my self at a function - you send people to me. When I called to ask if they wanted to be part of my package - would there be a place the guests could eat their packed lunch - I was told, heck yes! It has been successful for both of us.
They do have some vineyard, but the draw is the tasting room (rocking chairs in front of the fireplace is the lunch spot in cool season) and the grounds that are beautifully done. I would not hesitate to visit with brochures and business cards in hand.
 

Innkeep

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Winery update:
I went to visit our local winery. It was an enjoyable visit, the tasting room had local artwork on display and for purchase. They have already planned some events for the summer that might include live music, etc.(none yet scheduled) We talked about what we might be able to do jointly. We also commiserated about how many hoops and hurdles need to be jumped through. At present, although they can do tasting in their tasting room, the health department isn't allowing them to have a plate of cheese out to serve with the wine. Although the vintner has a degree in food science from Purdue, the matter of a servesafe permit also came up. Methinks the local government goes out of its way to discourage small businesses.
The family that owns the winery are a brother, sister and brother-in-law. The brother and sister's family ran a dairy, and now in addition to the winery they have a plant nursery/greenhouse. This spring they plan to plant 400 or so grapevines. In diana vintners are planting a species of grape called traminette, which I guess likes our climate. Unfortunately, we also have lots of deer who like grapes of any variety. Until the grape vines are mature, they are making their wine from grape juice trucked in in refrigerated trucks. They also told me that there is a meadery in a town about 20 miles away!
The bad news is that there are no liquor licenses of any kind available (no definition of bed and breakfast as far as alcohol statutes go) so there really isn't any way I can do any more of a package than just give them a map and send them out the door to go to the winery and maybe also the meadery. If they get their patio built, perhaps I might be able to send them there with a picnic lunch, but no facility for that right now.
 

JBloggs

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"We also commiserated"
That's what I love about you - you commiserate.
You do what I do, give them a wine trails map for another county and let them do their own thing. Had a call from your state again today...I told them about you, if your ears were burning.
 

Morticia

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Winery update:
I went to visit our local winery. It was an enjoyable visit, the tasting room had local artwork on display and for purchase. They have already planned some events for the summer that might include live music, etc.(none yet scheduled) We talked about what we might be able to do jointly. We also commiserated about how many hoops and hurdles need to be jumped through. At present, although they can do tasting in their tasting room, the health department isn't allowing them to have a plate of cheese out to serve with the wine. Although the vintner has a degree in food science from Purdue, the matter of a servesafe permit also came up. Methinks the local government goes out of its way to discourage small businesses.
The family that owns the winery are a brother, sister and brother-in-law. The brother and sister's family ran a dairy, and now in addition to the winery they have a plant nursery/greenhouse. This spring they plan to plant 400 or so grapevines. In diana vintners are planting a species of grape called traminette, which I guess likes our climate. Unfortunately, we also have lots of deer who like grapes of any variety. Until the grape vines are mature, they are making their wine from grape juice trucked in in refrigerated trucks. They also told me that there is a meadery in a town about 20 miles away!
The bad news is that there are no liquor licenses of any kind available (no definition of bed and breakfast as far as alcohol statutes go) so there really isn't any way I can do any more of a package than just give them a map and send them out the door to go to the winery and maybe also the meadery. If they get their patio built, perhaps I might be able to send them there with a picnic lunch, but no facility for that right now..
The good news in this daffy state is that the wine tasting law that was set up to protect children by prohibiting them from even being able to GLIMPSE FROM THE STREET IN A MOVING CAR an adult sipping wine at a tasting has been repealed. Kids can now gawk all they want.
(Sorry, that was a bit run-on, but it's a big deal here.)
 

Penelope

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Winery update:
I went to visit our local winery. It was an enjoyable visit, the tasting room had local artwork on display and for purchase. They have already planned some events for the summer that might include live music, etc.(none yet scheduled) We talked about what we might be able to do jointly. We also commiserated about how many hoops and hurdles need to be jumped through. At present, although they can do tasting in their tasting room, the health department isn't allowing them to have a plate of cheese out to serve with the wine. Although the vintner has a degree in food science from Purdue, the matter of a servesafe permit also came up. Methinks the local government goes out of its way to discourage small businesses.
The family that owns the winery are a brother, sister and brother-in-law. The brother and sister's family ran a dairy, and now in addition to the winery they have a plant nursery/greenhouse. This spring they plan to plant 400 or so grapevines. In diana vintners are planting a species of grape called traminette, which I guess likes our climate. Unfortunately, we also have lots of deer who like grapes of any variety. Until the grape vines are mature, they are making their wine from grape juice trucked in in refrigerated trucks. They also told me that there is a meadery in a town about 20 miles away!
The bad news is that there are no liquor licenses of any kind available (no definition of bed and breakfast as far as alcohol statutes go) so there really isn't any way I can do any more of a package than just give them a map and send them out the door to go to the winery and maybe also the meadery. If they get their patio built, perhaps I might be able to send them there with a picnic lunch, but no facility for that right now..
Innkeep said:
Methinks the local government goes out of its way to discourage small businesses.
And that is SO sad
 

swirt

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Winery update:
I went to visit our local winery. It was an enjoyable visit, the tasting room had local artwork on display and for purchase. They have already planned some events for the summer that might include live music, etc.(none yet scheduled) We talked about what we might be able to do jointly. We also commiserated about how many hoops and hurdles need to be jumped through. At present, although they can do tasting in their tasting room, the health department isn't allowing them to have a plate of cheese out to serve with the wine. Although the vintner has a degree in food science from Purdue, the matter of a servesafe permit also came up. Methinks the local government goes out of its way to discourage small businesses.
The family that owns the winery are a brother, sister and brother-in-law. The brother and sister's family ran a dairy, and now in addition to the winery they have a plant nursery/greenhouse. This spring they plan to plant 400 or so grapevines. In diana vintners are planting a species of grape called traminette, which I guess likes our climate. Unfortunately, we also have lots of deer who like grapes of any variety. Until the grape vines are mature, they are making their wine from grape juice trucked in in refrigerated trucks. They also told me that there is a meadery in a town about 20 miles away!
The bad news is that there are no liquor licenses of any kind available (no definition of bed and breakfast as far as alcohol statutes go) so there really isn't any way I can do any more of a package than just give them a map and send them out the door to go to the winery and maybe also the meadery. If they get their patio built, perhaps I might be able to send them there with a picnic lunch, but no facility for that right now..
In diana vintners are planting a species of grape called traminette, which I guess likes our climate.
Mmmmmm ... Traminette, makes a wonderful white wine, with a floral fragrance ... much like a Gewurstraminer ut not quite that floral. One of my favorites,
 

Samster

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Winery update:
I went to visit our local winery. It was an enjoyable visit, the tasting room had local artwork on display and for purchase. They have already planned some events for the summer that might include live music, etc.(none yet scheduled) We talked about what we might be able to do jointly. We also commiserated about how many hoops and hurdles need to be jumped through. At present, although they can do tasting in their tasting room, the health department isn't allowing them to have a plate of cheese out to serve with the wine. Although the vintner has a degree in food science from Purdue, the matter of a servesafe permit also came up. Methinks the local government goes out of its way to discourage small businesses.
The family that owns the winery are a brother, sister and brother-in-law. The brother and sister's family ran a dairy, and now in addition to the winery they have a plant nursery/greenhouse. This spring they plan to plant 400 or so grapevines. In diana vintners are planting a species of grape called traminette, which I guess likes our climate. Unfortunately, we also have lots of deer who like grapes of any variety. Until the grape vines are mature, they are making their wine from grape juice trucked in in refrigerated trucks. They also told me that there is a meadery in a town about 20 miles away!
The bad news is that there are no liquor licenses of any kind available (no definition of bed and breakfast as far as alcohol statutes go) so there really isn't any way I can do any more of a package than just give them a map and send them out the door to go to the winery and maybe also the meadery. If they get their patio built, perhaps I might be able to send them there with a picnic lunch, but no facility for that right now..
I commiserate with YOU! They are really not small biz friendly here either for all the jaw flapping that they do.
Sounds like a fun visit & you made a great contact!
 
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