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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 and with support from the Vermont Grape & Wine Council. 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:

Celebrating Vermont Wines - Last Week of March 

We are working with Vermont Fresh Network member restaurants, eateries, and retail establishments to feature Vermont wines and ice ciders in the last week of March. We will have a combination of signature events across the state, and lower key promotions through materials and menu highlights in multiple restaurants. The Vermont Fresh Network will be using our newly upgraded, super fancy website (debuting February 20th), along with media partnerships and social media promotions to engage consumers in the events and the wines. Get more details on hosting an event here
Notes From Previous Events:

Field Trip to Eden Specialty Ciders

West Charleston and Newport VT
Monday, February 12th
We followed up with Eleanor Leger of Eden Specialty Ciders after our trip to get more of her thoughts on best ways to promote ice cider in restaurants here in Vermont. Check out this post  with what she told us. This summer there will be another chance for field trips to Vermont vineyards, e-mail to get on the list for announcements when these are scheduled (they will also appear on this webpage and in the Fresh Insider).
You can always sample and learn about Ice Cider at the Northeast Kingdom Tasting Center in Newport, VT

Telling Your Winery's Story

Wednesday, December 13th, 8:30 - 10:00 am

Part of the value of a Vermont wine is a personal connection and sense of the larger story behind each bottle. That's true for wine buyers at restaurants as much as individuals at the store or visitors who might travel to your vineyard. This webinar looks at ways to tell stories that bring value to your wine.

The webinar will include:

  • An brief overview of tools available for communicating your winery's unique story through both online and traditional media
  • More detailed discussion of earned media and working with food / travel / wine writers
Presenting will be FM Munoz, Director of Marketing at Vermont Creamery, and Todd Trzaskos from VT Wine Media

Notes from this webinar:

  • Overall notes, in PDF handout form (this is a heavily revised version of FM's presentation that brings in the first half of the webinar)
  • FM's presentation is here


Vermont Winemakers Workshop

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). 
Thank you to the Residence at Quarry Hill, Hotel Vermont and Farrell Distributing for their additional support for this event.

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, a Specialty Crop Block Grant administered by the Vermont Agency of Agriculture. 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.