Lake County Featured in Touring & Tasting Magazine

Lake County News •  Susan Stout

Touring & Tasting readers are going to see and learn about the allure of Lake County’s “vinotourism” as information about the wineries and winemakers grace the cover and inside pages of this summer’s edition of the magazine.

Through the partnership work of the Lake County Winegrape Commission, the County of Lake, the Lake County Winery Association and area wineries, Touring & Tasting magazine’s summer/fall 2012 issue will feature Lake County in a four-page article package and front cover photo with a prominent cover line, according to commission President Shannon Gunier.

The magazine edition will be available June 12.

Gunier received word Friday that Touring & Tasting selected the Lake County cover for national distribution of 50,000 copies, which will be distributed to all subscribers, wine club members, bookstores, retail establishments and more than 150 four- and five-star hotels from Temecula, Calif., to Walla Walla, Wash.

A major portion will go into hotels in San Francisco, Napa and Sonoma.

More than 5,000 copies will be distributed to Lake County outlets including hotels, wineries, visitor centers, trade shows and industry partners.

Another 3,000 copies of the feature edition will be distributed to consumers and wine industry attendees at key trade shows.

Touring & Tasting photographer Rudy Meyers spent time capturing Lake County vineyard shots earlier this week.

Pear growers Pat and Michelle Scully served as models for the photo shoot, and use of the vehicle in the photo was made possible by Tim Wynacht of Kathy Fowler Chevrolet, said Gunier.

Representatives of the project’s collaborative entities are thrilled about the possibility of attracting more people to Lake County via the marketing campaign.

“Touring & Tasting is a well-respected media outlet that reaches many of those consumers we want to target: people who are passionate about wine, have an adventurous spirit, and love to travel,” said Debra Sommerfield, deputy chief administrative officer for the County of Lake’s Economic Development. “Lake County’s high-quality wines, rural character, scenic beauty, and charming small towns make it an appealing travel destination for the magazine’s readers.”

Sommerfield said the County is pleased to be working with the Lake County Winegrape Commission and Lake County Winery Association on the project. “It is this innate alignment of wine and travel that makes this project a natural one for collaboration,” said Sommerfield. “We hope that by working together to reach this targeted audience, we will generate even more awareness of Lake County as a destination wine region for the adventurous.”

The partnership is the result of efforts aligned with the County’s Economic Development Plan, which identifies the wine industry as one of two key elements in attracting tourists; Clear Lake is the second.

The Tourism Advisory Board, a group of volunteers representing several factions, has been looking at a number of marketing vehicles and related tasks and activities to grow tourism as outlined in the Economic Development Plan.

The Lake County Winery Association is actively involved in the Tourism Advisory Board’s work and is happy to be part of the collaborative project, said Association Executive Director Monica Rosenthal. Winery Association Chair Clay Shannon is also chair of the Tourism Advisory Board, she added.

“The (magazine promotion) allows for a huge Lake County splash in a respected wine industry tourism magazine with an extended shelf life, both print and online advertising features, and good distribution channels to consumers who like wine, food and travel,” said Rosenthal.

The feature stories and advertising that will appear in Touring & Tasting’s summer edition is expected to give the county’s tourism and economy a much-needed boost.

“Over the past decade, we’ve seen significant growth in the wine industry here in Lake County, and it’s become an important driver in our local economy,” said Sommerfield. “We’re all working together to build the region and attract visitors, which directly impacts tourism-based businesses like hotels and restaurants and indirectly impacts many other types of local businesses, like gas stations and grocery stores.”

For information about the Lake County Winegrape Commission, visit the Web site at www.lakecountywinegrape.org or call 707-995-3421 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 707-995-3421 end_of_the_skype_highlighting. For Lake County Winery Association information, visit its Web site at www.wineryassociation.com