Vineland winery makes a case for new membersWine club memberships are nothing new for Ontario vineyards, but Vineland Estates is now adding serious value for its members in a multi-pronged program designed to lure more customers into its fold, not to mention its award-winning restaurant.
Going beyond the familiar “cellar door to your front door” philosophy, Vineland’s Connections Club includes rotating wine selections from its partnered wineries (among them Tawse, Henry of Pelham, Fielding and Konzelmann), as well as a full-service concierge team and a dedicated website to help members understand and access all the program’s benefits, from special events to recipes and tasting notes. Other advantages include members-only discounts and exclusive services at all partnered restaurants and culinary establishments across Ontario (such as Casa Mia in Niagara Falls). Members even get a free glass of bubbly for all their lunch or dinner guests at Vineland’s four-diamond-rated restaurant. There’s additionally an education component to the program that addresses winery etiquette, wine varietals and how to taste them, and food and wine pairing, to name a few.
In an even more innovative outreach, Vineland is inviting the worldwide web community to participate in its revolutionary mywinemyway.ca program, where wine enthusiasts employ Vineland tutoring and their own expertise to vote by majority at every stage of a wine’s creation, from harvesting to the bottle. A 30-year-old block of Riesling grapes, which has produced several international gold medal-winning wines, has been dedicated to the program.
The novelty of being a member at a single winery wears off after a while for some, admits David Hulley, Vineland’s Director of Customer Experience. “But we’re so well connected in this region that we thought, ‘Why not pass these connections on to our customers?’ There are so many restaurants and careers that got their start here. We’re all about the community and industry in this region. We want our club members to be known as insiders and receive special privileges whenever they flash their Vineland cards. No one else is doing anything like this.” Vineland.com