It is called direct marketing – taking your product directly to the potential consumer, instead of waiting or hoping that the consumer will beat down your door just from word-of-mouth or reputation.
There are some businesses in southern Arizona that are not in the heart of the metropolitan area, and they usually rely on a lot of traffic from Tucson to go to these rural parts of the state when these businesses hold special events to promote their poducts.
For winemakers in southern and southeastern Arizona, they are finding economic reasons to take some of their product to the people, as Tucson is credited with supplying about 40 percent of the traffic at the twice-per-year wine festivals in Willcox and Sonoita/Elgin areas.
In that vein, at least three Arizona vineyards have established footholds in Tucson by opening tasting rooms for their products, allowing casual drinkers and wine enthusiasts to taste the wines that are offered before the festivals in the hopes of increasing sales volume for the wineries.
You see, Arizona winemakers are quite a bit smaller than those in California. Because California wineries can make such large amounts of wine, they can offer their wines for very low wholesale and retail prices. Similar facilities in Willcox, Sonoita and Elgin, however, do not have that luxury. Their small production volumes and increasing costs of making wine continue to dictate that they can’t offer wine at the lower wholesale price, so they have to sell at retail.
That makes them more expensive, generally, then some of the same wines made in California. So these wineries are now using these Tucson tasting rooms to sell their wines directly to their biggest consumer bloc, showing them why their wines are expensive – and it’s because they claim the wines are of a better quality than what is made in California.
The three wineries with tasting rooms in Tucson are Sand-Reckoner Vineyards in Willcox (which opened the most recent tasting room in the Warehouse Arts District downtown), along with Flying Leap Vineyards in Sonoita (tasting room located at St. Philip’s Plaza on North Campbell) and Graham County’s Sierra Bonita (on North Camino Principal).