Wines & Vines Home
   
 
Welcome Guest
LOGIN |  CREATE ACCOUNT
 
ADVERTISEMENT
 
 
 
01.13.2014  
 

Visitor Center Sells Ventura Wines

It's a first: Oxnard branch of California Welcome Center hopes to educate tourists through tasting and bottle sales

 
by Jane Firstenfeld
 
 
“california
 
California Welcome Center staffers show off the new wine tasting dispensers at the site in Oxnard, Calif.
Oxnard, Calif.—Through a new joint-venture an official California Welcome Center will sell tastes and bottles of local wines. Wedged between Los Angeles and Santa Barbara counties, Ventura County is home to 30 wineries but is better known for its coastal attractions and as a scenic north/south route. The California Welcome Center in Oxnard is working with the Ventura County Wine Trail to change that perception with the debut of two automated dispensers and sales of bottled wines later this month.

The welcome centers are franchised by the state: 20 are strewn in key locations from Oregon to the Mexican border, many in major wine-producing areas. The Oxnard center is the first to partner with the local wineries.

“We are a new creature altogether,” said Susan Smith, president/CEO of the Oxnard Center, which opened in an upscale shopping mall in December 2013.

Two sleek new Italian-made wine dispensers from WineEmotion are already in place but not yet in use, pending the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control’s final approval, which Smith expects within two weeks. The beverage control bureaucrats “love the tasting machines,” she said, since they are programmed to pour standard 1.5-oz. tastes from participating wineries.

In addition to a rotation of wines to taste, the center will sell bottles of wine and has worked with restaurants in the Oxnard Town Center to waive corkage fees for wines purchased there. “I think we’re the first to do that,” Smith said.

Smith hopes that as an official state franchise, and the public face of Ventura County tourism, the center will bring added cachet to the wines and the wineries they represent.

The set-up will pay double dividends to participating wineries, since the center purchases the case goods outright and is designed to fuel visits to nearby wineries, building direct-to-consumer sales.
“california
 
The California Welcome Center (in royal blue) in Oxnard, Calif., is ringed by wineries (indicated by maroon stars).

One-stop tour
“We want people to recognize Ventura winemaking for what it is. We source grapes from all over the state, from Lodi to Napa to Ojai,” said David Whittemore, marketing and PR manager for Oxnard’s 200,000-case Herzog Wine Cellars, which is a brand of Royal Wine Corp. 

“The biggest story for us is that someone could taste through all of California wine country in one stop” by sampling Ventura-vinted wines at the welcome center, said Whittemore who is also the spokesman for the trail.

Whittemore does not anticipate any decreases in direct-to-consumer sales when the center starts pouring. “If you come in as a tourist, typically you don’t even realize there is a wine trail,” he said. “Most of the wineries are centrally located around the facility.”

With the debut still in the offing, Whittemore was reluctant to speculate about the metrics. Each winery has agreed to a one-year commitment, rotating different varietals through the seasons. Wineries agreed to provide the welcome center with 12 cases per year. Given dispensed tastes and bottle sales, this is a rather modest goal; Whittemore said he’s hoping to sell at least 24 cases per year through the center.

The first wines to be poured include:

Four Brix Winery (Ventura, 1,800 cases): 2011 Zeductive

Panaro Brothers Winery (Ventura, 500 cases): 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon

Plan B Wine Cellars (Ventura, 1,000 cases): 2011 GSM Classic Rhône Blend

Rancho Ventavo Cellars (Oxnard, 2,500 cases): 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon/Syrah 

• Herzog Wine Cellars 2010 Alexander Cabernet Sauvignon

• Herzog Wine Cellars 2012 Eagles Landing Syrah

Magnavino Cellars (Oxnard, 2,800 cases): 2012 “Beautiful” 6-Blend White Wine

Cantara Cellars (Camarillo, 2,700 cases): 2011 Ruth’s Vineyard Chardonnay

SHARE »
Close
 
Currently no comments posted for this article.
 
CURRENT NEWS INDEX »


 
Wines & Vines Home
 
866.453.9701 | 415.453.9700 | Fax: 415.453.2517
65 Mitchell Blvd., Ste. A San Rafael, CA 94903
info@winesandvines.com
Wine Industry Metrics
 
Off-Premise Sales » Month   12 Months  
June 2014 $562 million
5%
$7,549 million
6%
June 2013 $535 million $7,094 million
     
Direct-to-Consumer Shipments » Month   12 Months  
June 2014 $87 million
17%
$1,669 million
11%
June 2013 $74 million $1,510 million
     
Winery Job Index » Month   12 Months  
June 2014 300
34%
220
21%
June 2013 224 182
     
 
MORE » Released on 07.15.2014
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Wines & Vines
Packaging Conference
 
Learn More »
 
 

Practical Winery & Vineyard Library
 
Search the PWV archive »
 
 

Direct To Consumer
Wine Shipping Report
2014
 
Download full report »
 
 

CALENDAR
  • July 24
     
    Fresno Food Expo
     
  • July 24-27
     
    Taste our Terroir
     
  • July 25-27
     
    International Pinot Noir Celebration
     
  • July 26
     
    Introduction to Wine Analysis
     
  • MORE »
 

READER COMMENTS
 
Article: Wineries May Lose Internet Domain Dispute »
 
All these arguments could be levied by any industry associated with any gTLD, new or...
Reader: Doug Barnett
 
Article: Wineries May Lose Internet Domain Dispute »
 
Do brands get hijacked now? Even though .wine does not yet exist, are there false...
Reader: Larry Chandler
 
Article: Resistant Weeds Threaten Vineyards »
 
Roundup is not benign. It does not always break down in a day or two...
Reader: Robert Rex
 
Article: Resistant Weeds Threaten Vineyards »
 
Mitigating water use in the vineyard in the first place is also an applicable tactic....
Reader: Guest
 
Article: Resistant Weeds Threaten Vineyards »
 
Having managed vineyards that have used both approaches, I would say that a diverse approach...
Reader: Guest
 
 


Directory/Buyer's Guide — Your Wine Industry Marketplace
 
 
WINERY SEARCH
 
 
Advanced Search »
SUPPLIER SEARCH
   by Product
 by Company Name or Brand
 
Browse by Category »
2014 Directory/Buyer's Guide
The Wines & Vines Directory and Buyer's Guide
 
 
EXPANDED ONLINE SEARCH INCLUDED WITH PURCHASE
 
ORDER NOW »
 
LEARN MORE »
 
 
Wines & Vines Magazine
 
 
LEARN MORE »
 
SUBSCRIBE »
 
Digital Edition Now Available!
Wines & Vines Digital Edition Now Available
 
LEARN MORE »
 
ORDER NOW »
 
 
The Wines & Vines Online Marketing System
 
The Industry Standard winery marketing application
 
FREE LIVE DEMO »
 
VIEW VIDEO »
 
 
 
 
Latest Job Listings
 Office Manager
 Geyserville, CA
Sales and Marketing
 Employee Store Associa...
 Napa, CA
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Tasting Room Lead
 Healdsburg, CA
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Maintenance Working Su...
 St Helena, CA
Winemaking and Production
 Tasting Room
 Napa, CA
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Northwest Area Manager...
 Seattle, WA
Sales and Marketing
 Regional Manager - Mou...
 Colorado, CO
Sales and Marketing
 Purchasing Coordinator
 Westlake Village, CA
General Administration and
 Tasting Room Associate
 Paso Robles, CA
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Fine Wine Manager-On P...
 Modesto, CA
Sales and Marketing
 
More Job Listings >>
Follow Us On:
 
 





Home  |  About Us  |  Editors  |  Subscribe  |  Print Edition  |  Digital Edition

Advertise  |  Site Map  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy
 
 
Copyright © 2001-2014 by Wine Communications Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
No material may be reproduced without written permission of the Publisher.
Wines&Vines does not assume any responsibility for any unsolicited manuscripts or materials.