Nine West Kelowna wineries are hoping to continue their group marketing strategy, but now on a more formal level.
The Westside Wine Trail—which includes Kalala Organic Estate Winery, Mission Hill Family Estate, Quails’ Gate Estate Winery, Volcanic Hills Estate Winery, Mt. Boucherie Estate Winery, Beaumont Family Estate Winery, Little Straw Vineyards, Rollingdale Winery and Meadow Vista Honey Wines—has officially become an association.
Tina Slamka, president of the new Westside Wine Trail Association, said several years of successful joint campaigns and events led to the decision.
“We just decided that we wanted to go with a more formalized union so that we can do more things…we’re all very much on the same page and working together,” said Slamka.
“(The wineries) range in size from very large to very small, so there’s a huge benefit in having that kind of collective marketing ability.”
A key goal for the association is to market the uniqueness of each wine along the trail, according to Slamka.
“People are looking for unique experiences…at each winery—we’re able to offer that quite nicely.”
She added the association benefits the smaller wineries, such as Kalala Organic Estate, just as much as the bigger wineries, such as Mission Hill.
“A lot of people come now to see both—they want diversity.”
Westside Wine Trail events such as Sip with your Sweetheart, which began in February 2012, have brought out bigger crowds than expected during a typically slow winter month.
Slamka said the association will look to expand the wine trail’s event format. She noted it’s important to attract locals during the offseason as they will later bring their guests during the summer if they have a good experience.