Fox Run Vineyards and Hermit Woods Winery Tie for First Place in Eastern Winery ExpositionOctober 10th, 2012
In September EWE solicited submissions for a winery event contest on the EWE Facebook page. Participants were encouraged to describe a successful event they had developed and wanted to share with the broader community. Fox Run Vineyards of Penn Yan, New York (Finger Lakes) and Hermit Woods Winery of Sanbornton, NH have tied for first place with two very impressive wine industry events.
Fox Run Vineyards celebrated the 20th anniversary of their major event, the Garlic Festival, a free event held the first weekend of August. Ruth Osborn explains that the first Garlic Festival drew fewer than 100, but the 2012 festival drew about 11,000, an increase of over 10 to the power of four, with sales of over 250 cases of wine and an increase of 800 attendees over 2011, despite the economy. “We see repeat customers year after year along with many new faces,” explains Ruth. “The focus of this festival is on garlic of course, but it also focuses on everything local. The comment most often heard from our customers is ‘This is just such a nice festival! Nice vendors, nice attendees, great food & music and great atmosphere!.'”
Bob Manley, proprietor of Hermit Woods Winery, organized a very different kind of event, the first annual regional barrel tasting festival at the end of September for the six Lake Region wineries of New Hampshire. “The event was a huge success,” says Bob. “It looks like most of the six wineries served over 500 people in the course of two six-hour days. That is about five times the number of people most of our small wineries see on a typical weekend. We did this with less than $2,000 in marketing expense, and a few hundred dollars at each winery to support extra staff and volunteers.”
Bob also noted that aside from the benefit of sales and revenue, “all these numbers pale in comparison to the good will, increased knowledge of our region and industry, and tourism dollars that we spread