Monday, May 21, 2012

It's a Hand-Sell Summer for Sierra Foothills Wineries

Rubber gloves, leather gloves or those cheaty vinyl gloves that doctors use -- whatever it takes to get your hands in motion this summer, owners/winemakers of the small artisan wineries from the Sierra Foothills should get in their cars, drive up to Lake Tahoe, and hand-sell to the resorts and restaurants there.  It's a great demographic and the wine buyers are warmed up and receptive.

Courtesy, Wild Goose
Over the past two years, I've been championing these wineries which are within a 2-3 hour drive from  Lake Tahoe.  They share the same geologic history as does this beautiful lake, with granitic soils making it difficult for me to grow zinnias in my garden on the West Shore, but making it possible (and necessary) for rhone vines and Italian vines and other vines to take a deep rooted approach to life.

Chaim & Elisheva Gur-Arieh,
at Incline Spirits 
Every time I do a wine-food pairing review at a venue on the Lake for The Tahoe Weekly newspaper, I talk about Sierra Foothill wines.   Wine expert Pat Hedderman at Wild Goose put a few on his list last year.  Scott Willers, wine buyer at Obexers Market in Homewood carries a few, as does Will Brigham at Incline Spirits.  Bric Haley of River Ranch pours a Montevina by the glass. 

As I was posting one of my Wine Time columns ( click here to to see them all) today, I was thinking about the opportunities to sell into this area -- and this great vacation-goer demographic -- this summer. 

Restaurants in Tahoe are very receptive to the drink-local message.  They buy local produce and meats, and ballyhoo their locavore orientation on their menus.

Sierra Foothill wines are well-priced, and deserve a place on not only the by-the-glass list, but the bottle list. 

You've got a car (maybe even a van).  You've got a space for cases.  You've got a road map.  And from my columns, you've got a list of fine restaurants and wine shops, and their proprietors, locations and phone numbers.  Talk about giving you something on a silver platter! 

What are you waiting for?  Get those hands a-selling!  

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