Grape expectations

The owners of a Lancaster
County winery hope to
attract more visitors and increase sales by collaborating with neighboring

The owners of a Lancaster
County winery hope to
attract more visitors and increase sales by collaborating with neighboring

Richard Carey and Linda Jones McKee, the owners of Tamanend
Winery in Manheim
Township, are developing
a wine trail that they hope to launch within six months.

Carey said he plans to invite wineries in Lancaster and York
counties to join the Red Rose Wine Trail.

“You have to have a compatible group of people that will do
it,” Carey said.

Tamanend Winery began in Carey’s home in 2001. He relocated
to Lancaster County
from California,
where he had been making wine professionally since 1977. In August, the winery
moved into a larger production facility. The company’s wine is made solely from
grapes Carey buys.

Tamenend’s wine is sold at its Red Rose Tasting Room, along King Street in Lancaster. The store also
sells wine made by Allegro Vineyards and Moon Dancer Vineyard & Winery,
both of York County.

“You could look at the store as being a wine trail where you
don’t have to travel to the winery,” Carey said. “It’s a good way to show off
what we have all together.”

Wine trails are helpful because of being able to work with
other wineries to promote and cross-market their wines, he said.

“All the reasons for putting up with that is to get people
to know about your wine,” Carey said. “It’s a fun thing to do. People then
remember and come back because they had a good time.”

The Pennsylvania Dutch Convention & Visitors Bureau made
an effort to collectively promote the county’s wineries in 2006, said
Christopher Barrett, president and chief executive officer of the Lancaster
County-based organization. The county’s wineries were advertised together as a
part of FlavorFest, which promoted Lancaster
County as a culinary
destination, he said.

“FlavorFest was an attempt to get them to band together a
little bit more,” Barrett said.

Tim Jobe does not think it is good that Lancaster County’s
wineries have yet to band together and create a wine trail. But he also said
the problem may be that the wineries in the county are too far apart.

Jobe is one of three owners of the Twin Brook Winery in Sadsbury Township. It is about 30 miles from the
next closest winery in Lancaster
County, he said.

Twin Brook has been a part of the Brandywine Valley Wine
Trail since 2003. Six other wineries are a part of the trail, and Twin Brook is
the only one from Lancaster
County. Although it is
more than 10 miles from the next winery on the trail, Twin Brook has seen
increased business as a result of belonging to the trail, he said.

“It’s been one of the best things that has happened to us as
far as marketing goes,” Jobe said. “I spend hardly anything on advertising. All
my advertising comes from that.”

At least 10 percent of Twin Brook’s annual sales come from
wine-trail travelers, Jobe said. The main event promoted by the Brandywine trail takes place in March, when business at
the winery would normally be slow. Rather than seeing about 30 customers over a
weekend, a couple hundred will pay a visit to the winery that month, Jobe said.

“Wine trails are a fantastic thing,” Jobe said. “I would
have never imagined it would be such a great business booster. It’s really been
a fabulous way to get people through.”

Lancaster County wineries

County Winery
Rawlinsville Road in Willow Street

Hope Estate & Winery
2775 Lebanon
Road in Manheim

Nissley Vineyards & Winery Estate
140 Vintage
Drive in Bainbridge

Tamanend Winery
759 Flory Mill
Road in Lancaster

Twin Brook Winery
5697 Strasburg
Road in Gap

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