Thousands of visitors to the Super Bowl-themed fan village in downtown San Francisco this week leading up to the “big game” are getting a taste of Sonoma County wine and tourism.
Sonoma County Vintners, Sonoma County Winegrowers and Sonoma County Tourism — called the “trio” — blended efforts to get a front-row seat at Super Bowl City. The Super Bowl 50 Host Committee named Sonoma County and Napa County destination sponsors.
The Sonoma County trio brought in GMR Marketing to design a temporary “lounge” venue position next to the Ferry Building entrance. The “city” is a street fair host cities of the game in recent years have been setting up in the days before the game to stretch tourism dollars throughout a metropolitan area. For the game’s 50th anniversary this year, Super Bowl City is running from Jan. 30 up to Feb. 7, the day of the game at Levi Stadium in Santa Clara.
Sonoma County Vintners lined up 54 “pouring partner” vintners to supply wine for the lounge.
One such vintner was Tom Parmeson, owner and winemaker of Parmeson Wines in the Dry Creek Valley winegrowing region. He was at the tasting counter of the lounge on Jan. 30–31 to explain his wines as they were poured.
Parmeson moved from Texas in 2013 to start his 750-case-a-year brand. Mauritson winery of Dry Creek Valley currently is making the wine, which was first released in March 2015.
“I made a lot of connections,” Parmeson said of the lounge experience. “A lot are signing up for my email list and some are interested in signing up for the club.”
David Mounts, owner of the 3,000-case-a-year Mounts brand also from Dry Creek Valley, was at the lounge Jan. 31 only. In addition to winemaking, he farms 140 acres of grapes in the valley.
“It has been good exposure,” Mounts said. “There are a lot of eyes on you to expose you to people who have not tasted Mounts.”
On Jan. 30–31, the Taste of Sonoma lounge accommodated about 1,000 visitors a day, according to Sonoma County Vintners. On the first day of the event, 4,591 glasses of Sonoma County wine were poured by concessionaire in the lounge and two beverage booths elsewhere in the event. In the lounge itself, there were 2,100 sales of wine, that day, including 1,700 by the glass.
Some have been intrigued about a Sonoma County malbec wine, and some hadn’t heard of that varietal wine, he said.
Some visitors to the Sonoma County lounge came a long distance.
As Tracy and James Kempf of Modesto sipped glasses of wine in the lounge, they told the Business Journal about visits to Sonoma County wineries on trips to visit family.
“We wanted to come here for the spectacle,” James Kempf said of Super Bowl City.
Will and Beverly Hill of Tracy have been wine-tasting in Napa and Sonoma counties previously.
“We came for the activity in Super Bowl City,” Beverly Hill said. “We will not be able to make it for the Super Bowl.”
Sonoma County Tourism staffed the lounge with about a half-dozen certified tourism ambassadors for each of the two shifts per day. These dozen or so volunteers were helping visitors with questions about places to visit, stay and eat in the county.
Super Bowl City Taste of Sonoma lounge participating wineries
Fifty-four Sonoma County wineries are “pouring partners” of the Taste of Sonoma lounge at Super Bowl City in San Francisco from Jan. 30–Feb. 7.
Christopher Creek Winery
Clos du Bois
Davis Family Vineyards
Dry Creek Vineyard
Francis Ford Coppola Winery
Gary Farrell Vineyards & Winery
Gloria Ferrer Caves & Vineyards
Iron Horse Vineyards
Jordan Vineyard & Winery
Kendall-Jackson (KJ Grand Reserve)
Lambert Bridge Winery
Laurel Glen Vineyard
MacMurray Estate Vineyards
MacRostie Winery & Vineyards
Martin Ray Winery
Papapietro Perry Winery
Patz & Hall
Robert Young Estate Winery
Rodney Strong Vineyards
Seghesio Family Vineyards
St. Francis Winery & Vineyards
Tara Bella Winery
Three Sticks Wines
Trione Vineyards and Winery