B&B owners, read this and decide what you can adapt to your own business.
A couple of weeks ago, Catherine’s brother and his wife, Dan and Mary Beth Lamb invited us to attend a “Wine Case Dinner” at the Burr Oak Winery in New Lisbon, Wisconsin. I had never heard of Burr Oak Winery so we were looking forward to the event. We rode with them out into the country for several miles and turned into a farm yard with an old farm house and a white dairy barn with “Burr Oak Winery” painted on its side. OK, I thought. Talk about the middle of nowhere!
Dan and Mary Beth live on the other side of the state in Sheboygan. They had bought a case of wine there a few years ago and are invited to their annual “Wine Case Dinner”. If you buy a case of wine at the dinner, you get an invitation to a free dinner the next year.
Hidden by the barn’s facade facing the road is a nice brick and stone building featuring stained glass. The facade on other side of the barn is brick, with an overhanging roof, tables and chairs and open grassy space between the barn and the other building. The area lends itself to gatherings of all kinds.
More impressive is what the Kennedy family is doing to market their winery. I asked owner Steve Kennedy what their distribution area is. “Here”, he replied. They produce about 18 different styles of wine and they sell it all at the winery!
The Wine Case Dinner starts with wine tasting. We sampled them all! Then there was a nice four course meal with all the wine you want to drink. Like a B&B, you sit down to eat with strangers and finish the meal with friends. That keeps people coming back. People who have attended before recognize others and enjoy getting reacquainted. The event has now grown to four times a year.
Look at their website. The Burr Oak Winery has a good website with videos and a regularly updated Facebook page. The winery has a very nice events venue, interesting events to attract customers and they work closely with Wisconsin Tourism. The Kennedy’s are available and enjoy talking to their guests. They see to every possible detail of the facilities, the quality of the products they produce and the events they host. Oh, yes, in addition to their 11 acre vineyard, they farm 400 acres of traditional farm crops.
What did we think? Catherine bought a case of wine so we will be back next year!