Skip to Navigation Skip to Content
We're a network of Vermont Chefs, Farmers, Food Artisans, and Diners.

Wine Project

Vermont Wine Marketing Project:

In 2017 and 2018, VFN will be increasing sales of Vermont wines in Vermont restaurants using funding from a Specialty Crop Block Grant. This project has multiple components over its two years: baseline research into the current perceived barriers and opportunities, webinars and written materials that begin to address information gaps, a training in how to organize successful peer-to-peer sensory evaluation systems, trade tastings with Vermont wine buyers and distributors, and restaurant staff field trips to local vineyards in the summer of 2018. 

An initial report on perceived barriers to selling more Vermont wine in Vermont restaurants is complete. It reflects interviews with 21 people in different points of the wine industry, a survey to winemakers, and review of existing research on the topic of Northern Climate wine sales to restaurants. The research was designed to inform the menu of professional development opportunities offered during this grant, not reach definitive answers (as you will see in the report, consensus is. . . elusive). Conversations are ongoing and this information will be updated over the course of the grant. 

Initial Report - Barriers to Vermont Wine Sales in Vermont Restaurants 



Upcoming Events:

Vermont Winemakers Workshop

Friday, December 1st, 2:00 - 5:00 pm
The Residence at Quarry Hill, 465 Quarry Hill Road, South Burlington
Registration Required - Please Register by Wednesday, Nov. 29th 
Chris Gerling of Cornell Extension will be leading a workshop for winemakers on how to set up systems of peer-to-peer sensory evaluation for their wines. He will be joined by Peter Bell of Fox Run Vineyards and Dave Breeden of Sheldrake Point Winery. 
This workshop will address not only systems for evaluating wine, but the structure that has worked in New York for hosting useful, constructive evaluation sessions between winemaking colleagues. We will be tasting wine from Vermont attendees for evaluations during the workshop (see registration for details if you would like your wine to be tasted). 
This workshop is hosted by the Vermont Fresh Network and Vermont Grape & Wine Council using a Specialty Crop Block Grant. 
The fees to participate are:

  • VT Grape & Wine Council Members and Vermont Fresh Network Members: 
    • $15 for the first person from your winery
    • $5 for each additional staff
  • Non-Members: $20
Registration is now live online at the following link.
Questions? Call Helen at 802-434-2000 or e-mail
Coming Soon. . . 
  • Webinar on Working with the Media & Telling Your Winery's Unique Story - Mid December
  • Vermont Fresh Network Annual Meeting (with relevant workshops) - January 22nd, King Arthur Flour
  • Vermont Fresh Network statewide Vermont Wine Dinner Series - Last week of March

Notes From Previous Events:

Webinar: Wine Distribution and Vermont Restaurants


An introduction to wine distribution and restaurant sales in Vermont, discussing:

*How to evaluate using different distributors (or self distribute) 
*How to work in complement with your distributor to maximize sales  
*Opportunities for Q&A.
Our speakers came from Farrell Distributing but will be speaking about Vermont distribution options more broadly. Speakers are Ryan Chaffin, Don MacDonald, Stuart Timmons. 
If we want to get legal, here are the primary guidances regarding a winemaker's relationship with a distributor:


This project and its publications are supported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service through grant #02200-SCBGP-12-5. The contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not represent the official views of the USDA.

Thank you to Flavor Plate for donating their time and effort to the design and co-development of our website.