A bright spot during the past few weeks has been the enthusiastic shows of support that we’ve seen within local communities. The chorus of “Shop Local,” “Support Local Businesses,” and “Shop Small” is being echoed by businesses and consumers alike with shops, restaurants — and wineries! — getting creative with how they connect with and serve their customers.
Here are a few ways you can keep the local love going across PA Wine Land:
1. Stay Home
It might seem counter-intuitive for us to encourage you to stay at home, but consider this: By staying in, you’re helping to protect those who are still at work, like winery staff. The more we hunker down now, the sooner we’ll be able to get out of our living rooms and back into our tasting rooms.
2. Keep Up Those Wine Runs
Just because you’re cut off from society (temporarily!) that doesn’t mean you’re cut off from the local wine that you love. Many PA wineries are still open for business, offering home delivery and curbside pickup. While tasting rooms doors are closed, these sales will help our wineries weather the storm. (Take a look at our up-to-date list of how wineries are safely serving their customers.)
And, keep an eye out for local wines on grocery shelves. “We are selling wine through wholesale channels that remain open, primarily grocery stores,” says Mario Mazza of Mazza Vineyards. “Any orders or purchases help keep us going during this difficult time as we work to keep our staff on board and working!”
3. Add to Cart
Pennsylvania is home to nearly 300 wineries, and with online shopping, buying a bottle from across the state is just as accessible as buying one from down the road. And wineries aren’t the only ones turning to online sales as Barbara Christ of Happy Valley Vineyard and Winery shares. “Our farmers market is going to online ordering and we will participate in that.”
So, click around. This could be the perfect time to get acquainted with a new winery that you’ve heard about but never visited. For a listing of PA wineries with active or pending direct wine shipping licenses, click here.
4. Join a Wine Club
When you find a winery you can’t get enough of, joining their wine club is the perfect way to stay connected – and stocked up! The format of wine clubs vary from winery to winery, and can include regular shipments (or pickup) of hand-selected wines, virtual wine tastings, special access to newly released vintages, and other exclusive “members only” benefits.
“If you don’t belong to a Wine Club, NOW is the time to do it,” urges Carley Mack of Penns Woods Winery. “There are tons of great deals and bonuses that customers can receive from being a wine club member. Not only do you save money every time you purchase wine, but it’s a great way to connect with other like-minded wine-lovers which is especially helpful right now. Our private Facebook group is super active with folks sharing everything about what they’ve been drinking, reading etc. and they’ve have been sending us the most wonderful emails, calls, and photos of them enjoying our wines.”
Already a member? You can help by renewing your membership or by being the best friend ever and gifting a membership to a lucky pal.
5. Buy Gift Cards
Consider this an investment in a sunnier tomorrow. By purchasing a gift card from a Pennsylvania winery, you can brighten the day of someone you love from afar or give yourself something to look forward to. Spend those dollars on curbside or shipped orders in the short term or stash them away for a future afternoon of sipping and snacking with a view of the vines.
6. Stay Social
Engage with your favorite wineries – or ones you’ve always wanted to visit – on social media. In the absence of tasting room visits, many are turning to their stories and feeds to connect with their customers. “To encourage everyone to stay home, but keep them entertained, we have started a few new series for our customers to look forward to!” Carley Mack tells us. “We’re releasing weekly “Pandemic Pairing Guides” to support local restaurants, “QuarantWINE of the Week”, and “Virtual Wine Wednesday” with our sales manager and in-house sommelier, Raechel.”
The wineries miss you as much as you miss them, so show your love with a mention, tag, or photo of the local wine you’re cozying up with and encourage others to follow your heroic lead – they’ll appreciate the social shout out.