During the first week of March, close to 70 winegrowers and winemakers participated in our Sonoma in the City Chicago program to promote and educate wine trade and media about our region and terroir, our wines, and our people.
Hosted by the Sonoma County Winegrowers and Sonoma County Vintners, this weeklong program attracted more than 800 wine trade representatives (sommeliers, wine buyers, distributors, etc.), consumers, and media during wine seminars, grand tastings, and special receptions. In addition, we also launched a major month-long partnership with Binny’s Beverage Depot to promote Sonoma County and increase sales and distribution throughout the retailer’s 30+ stores. Sonoma County Winegrowers President Karissa Kruse and Marketing & Communications Manager Sean Carroll, as well as Commission Board member George Martinelli traveled to Chicago to participate and share the grape growers’ story.
We also headed up the road to Milwaukee, WI for a special Pinot Noir seminar followed by a luncheon that featured Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Zinfandel from across Sonoma County. We had a packed room filled with 45 trade and media who were eager and excited to learn about our region. Afterwards, we visited the headquarters of Taste of Home magazine for a “happy hour” reception with 30 members of their editorial team to educate them about Sonoma County.
This small market pilot program was a great way to expand our market presence in a city that has an emerging food and wine scene, and is in close proximity to our primary Sonoma in the City market, Chicago.
Here are some highlights in pictures: