SAN FRANCISCO – Wine Institute, the trade association of 1,000 California wineries, has dramatically redesigned and expanded its consumer website, discovercaliforniawines.com, to provide visitors worldwide a visually stunning experience of California, its iconic landmarks, rural vistas, seasonal cuisine, and active, sustainable lifestyle that are intimately linked to its wines. The new website is part of Wine Institute’s global branding campaign to help promote California wine both in the U.S. and internationally as well as increase tourism to the Golden State’s wine regions.
“The new website is culturally vivid and rich in images that convey why millions of travelers visit California wine regions each year,” said Nancy Light, Wine Institute Communications Director. “It supports our efforts to attract tourists and bring California wines to dining tables across the globe.”
“Consumers worldwide have a favorable impression of California’s lifestyle and scenery, such as the Golden Gate Bridge, dramatic coastlines and beaches, surfer culture, Hollywood and Yosemite National Park,” said Linsey Gallagher, Wine Institute’s International Marketing Director. “These familiar images dominate the DiscoverCaliforniaWines.com website and remind consumers that the culture and landscape of our special state is directly linked to its reputation for producing world class wines.”
California is a top wine and food destination, according to research by the Visit California travel and tourism commission indicating that the state stands apart from other U.S. culinary destinations because of its 80,000 restaurants, 3,400 wineries and 400 different crops that make it the nation’s top agricultural state. These assets combined allow California to offer innovative culinary experiences that are enjoyed by the 27 million Americans which the Travel Industry Association says engage in luxury wine and food experiences while traveling.
Searchable Winery Database Directory
DiscoverCaliforniaWines.com is a valuable resource for consumers to learn about the state’s wine regions. Visitors can search a database of wineries statewide by name, 33 regions and sub-regions, 29 wine varieties and different winery amenities, such as art displays, gardens, unique architecture, tours, concerts, restaurants, picnic areas and more. A customized search in the site’s winery directory, for example, allows a visitor to find wineries that make Zinfandels in Paso Robles, Pinot Noirs in Sonoma County or Petite Sirahs in Napa Valley. Another search by amenity could bring up wineries with tours in the Sierra Foothills or art displays in Santa Barbara.
Each winery listing provides pertinent visitor information, including a link to the winery website and whether the tasting room is public, by appointment or closed to the public. The listing indicates if the winery is a California Wine Export Program member with wines available internationally, if they are a participant in the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance program, or have taken the extra step to become a Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing winery and/or vineyard.
Winegrapes, Sustainable Winegrowing and Winery Events
DiscoverCaliforniaWines.com also provides a basic primer on some of California’s popular wine varietals and their flavor profiles, along with food and wine pairing suggestions, and a monthly California cuisine recipe. There is information on how to read a California wine label, how wine is grown and made and how to select, taste and serve wine.
Consumers can search for dozens of special winery events throughout California on the website. The events section brings up listings by date and by the region and includes events in California as well as highlights California Wine events taking place throughout the world.
Another section of DiscoverCaliforniaWines.com describes a major trend in California— sustainable winegrowing, and the industry’s strong commitment to measure the adoption of earth-friendly practices and expand them over time through educational workshops. For environmental enthusiasts, this section provides a detailed look at the widespread effort of California wineries and winegrape growers to go green.
California is the fourth leading wine producer in the world and produces 90 percent of all wine made in the U.S. California wine shipments to the U.S. were a record high 200 million cases in 2010, with two of every three bottles enjoyed in the U.S. a California wine. U.S. wine exports, 90 percent from California, also reached a record in 2010, with $1.14 billion in winery revenues. Wine Institute continues to offer member and industry information on its activities at www.wineinstitute.org.