POSTED ON November 17, 2009 | IN Tasting Rooms | BY joe

Slow Season Gets an Early Start
The slow season has arrived a little earlier than usual in the Napa Valley.
According to a couple of limo drivers and tour guides I talked to on the road, when October came, the phone stopped ringing. Several tasting rooms say that the tasting rooms have seen less foot traffic than usual. Lodging deals and packages are beginning to emerge sooner than the norm. My own website, Wine Country Getaways, has seen a dramatic drop in visitor traffic since the end of September, much more than the average for this time period. These signs could point to a very dismal off-season in wine country.

One lodging deal that crossed our desk was at the Napa Marriott Hotel for a $99 special for per night from November 29 to the end of February. This is available through TravelZoo. If this does not show up on your browser, call the Napa Marriott and ask for the Wine Package.
We have are own Travel Widget on WineCountryGetways and we will alert you to any package deals that emerge.

Wine Sales and Discounts
We are also starting to see the signs of wines going down in price, but not much. I am on many a tasting room’s email list and several wineries have sent notices about discounts and shipping freebies. If the subject line says “Free Shipping,” I’m unlikely to open the email. If the subject line states “Sale,” I will open it and see what the offer is all about. Right now, the consumer is looking for good deals, and wineries need to get a sense of a new consumer attitude that looks for these deals. This must be tough on the small winery that depends on moving their wines and recovering costs. I just hope the small wineries survive and don’t give up.

Trinchero Family Estates
This is the family that created the White Zinfandel buzz in the mid 1970’s. Today, they own several labels including these Napa Valley wineries: Sutter Home, Folie a Deux, Napa Cellars and the Trinchero Napa Valley Winery, where Folie a Deux once existed before being purchase by Trinchero. Well, with all that wealth floating around, the Trinchero family does a lot of good deeds. The latest one, a million-dollar gift toward a facility focused on developing healthy grape rootstock. Congrats to the Trincheros for this donation.

Wine and Food Pairing
It is good to see more wineries offer a food and wine pairing experience for the wine country visitor. Food and wine pairings provide a terrific learning experience for the wine country traveler. The latest to offer such a pairing is the Duckhorn Wine Company. At both their Napa wineries they will offer these sessions: Food for Thought experience at Duckhorn ($55 per person) and at Paraduxx Winery, An Unpredictable Pair. Check the website for complete information for the times and the menu.

Comments

  1. Bill Tucker says

    I agree that it is a difficult time to sell both wine and wine books. I did the book, Napa Behind The Bottle and like most fine wines spent no expense to make the book both a collectable and the finest quality it could be. The book has captured numerous awards both nationally and internationally including best of Napa Valley and Graphis Design 2010 gold. However, in this environment I have asked that the book be discounted for the first time. Tomorrow, December 5th 750 Wines in St. Helena is doing exactly that. They will be selling signed copies at $25 off. I hope this helps bring visitors into 750 Wines and helps to sell some Napa wines as well. There is no doubt that this is a much tougher economy to sell higher priced items but the holidays are coming and people still enjoy giving quality items to friends and family.