As the harvest approaches in September, California will once again raise a glass to its diverse wine regions, including 4,400 wineries statewide.Steve Burns, owner of O’donnell lane LLC, has been advocating for California’s wine for over a decade. Nearly 10 years ago, the California Wine Institute brought in Burns to help re-launch the program when it had lost its momentum.“California Wine Month is an old program from the 50s and 60s,” said Burns. “We got back to basics 10 years ago, when we went to the governor and asked for a proclamation. Now, it’s become huge."Since its resurgence, more and more wineries, retailers, and hotels are eager to take part. This year, 100 events and special offers (and counting) will be available to visitors, including tours and tastings. Over 50 partners are participating in the program.Road Less Traveled California Wine Month offers the perfect opportunity to explore some of the lesser-known wine regions as well as the world-famous destinations. This year’s theme “California Wines Road Trip” encourages visitors to experience the many vineyards and wineries brimming throughout the state. According to a 2014 California Wine Profile from the California Wine Institute, winegrapes are grown in 49 of 58 counties in California, covering 615,000 acres.The program is not only popular with the wineries, it’s also extremely lucrative for retail and lodging businesses who often experience a lull after the busy summer season.“If you think you know California wine, you haven’t visited all of the options throughout the state,” said Burns. “September is also a nice time for tourists to visit because it’s harvest. There’s less traffic, people are in school. It’s a great time to tour California.”Economic BoostCalifornia’s wine industry is a great economic driver for the state. Last year, 21 million tourists visited California’s wine regions, and $61.5 billion in state economic impact was generated. California is also the top wine producer in the country, making 90 percent of all U.S. wine.The industry’s sustainable practices are an added value to California. Winegrapes are efficient when it comes to water usage, which is always top of mind for California. The California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance has been working on sustainability issues long before the drought, according to Burns. Its program provides education for winegrowers and vintners on the importance of sustainable practices for the entire wine community.Toast to California Wine Month California Wine Month is truly a statewide, all-inclusive program, ranging from big name corporations to small two-person outfits.“There’s no cost to participate. Whether you’re a hotel, restaurant, or Amtrak, all you have to do to be a partner is to commit to doing something special. The goal is very agnostic—however it works for your business,” said Burns.The celebration goes beyond the state. In New York City, the inaugural NYC California Wines Summit for trade and media will be held on September 15. The full-day conference includes award-winning wine samples and seminars discussing topics like “Water, Conservation & Sustainability.”Interested in being involved? The California Wine Institute has created a useful toolkit, including campaign messaging, ideas on how to participate, social media and web banners, and more. To access the toolkit, visit discovercaliforniawines.com. To see what programs and events are happening throughout the state, visit discovercaliforniawines.com/californiawinemonth.Be a part of the California Wine Month conversation on Twitter and Facebook with the hashtags #CalifWines and #CaliforniaWineMonth.
9/1/2015 0 Comments
As the harvest approaches in September, California will once again raise a glass to its diverse wine regions, including 4,400 wineries statewide.
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