Wine Tasting

Photo courtesy of Metro Creative 

In an attempt to increase local tourism and business promotion, the City of Brentwood and the Contra Costa Wine Growers Association have agreed to hail trollies as part of a May wine-tasting event.

The three vehicles will run on 30-minute loops, carrying eventgoers from downtown to a number of Brentwood wineries.

The city council recently unanimously approved reimbursing the association $15,500 in specialized funds for the trolleys and associated marketing and promotional efforts. That money will come out of the city’s agricultural enterprise land fund, composed of agricultural mitigation fees that can be used only for agricultural projects and programs.

“The goal of this pilot program is to encourage repeat and new visitors and residents to explore and patronize local wineries, while sitting back and enjoying themselves with free transportation from downtown Brentwood to participating wineries — providing an experience while promoting agritourism,” said Brentwood Senior Analyst Peggy Berglund.

The trollies are expected to run on the event’s second day (May 17), which is scheduled to occur in Brentwood. Day one, on May 16, will be held in Martinez, although a single $25 ticket grants access to both days.

Local wineries slated to appear at the Brentwood gathering include: Bloomfield Vineyards, Tamayo Family Vineyards, Campos Family Vineyards, CoCo County Wine Company, McCauley Estate Vineyards, Petersen Vineyards, Hannah Nicole Vineyards as well as Nunn Family Vineyards, and Favalora.

Brentwood leaders are hopeful that the second day’s free trolley component will add an enticing element, while affording the city cross-promotional opportunities for shopping, dining, the season’s U-Pick season and much else.

“This is a no-brainer,” Mayor Bob Taylor said of the council’s reimbursement approval. “A trolley gathers attention, and it’s fun to ride a trolley.”

The expected $15,500 reimbursement from the city to the wine association is expected to be divided into $7,100 for the three trolleys; $5,000 for advertising; $2,400 for tote bags and or promotional swag; and $1,000 for banners.

John Viano, chairman of the Contra Costa Winegrowers Association, said he’s excited to implement the trolley idea.

“We are hoping the trolleys will add another attraction to the event itself,” he said.

The trolley endeavor is part of the city’s larger effort to ramp up local agriculture projects and programs to spur agritourism.

The council approved $300,000 in agricultural enterprise land fund money as part of an Agricultural Business Program Strategic Initiative when adopting its 2018-19 and 2019-20 citywide Strategic Plan.

Leading up to the trolley idea, the city had already doled out about $61,000 of those funds to the Harvest Time organization and for another Contra Costa Winegrowers Association endeavor, which includes $20,000 for directional and wayfinding signs for Harvest Time–associated farmstands and vineyards; $17,000 for an appellation feasibility study; $8,200 for Harvest Time’s Fall Harvest Program; and a combined $15,700 toward Harvest Time’s website reconstruction and social media optimization.

“Many of these projects have already been completed or are being implemented,” said Berglund.

The Contra Costa Winegrowers Passport Weekend will be held from noon to 5 p.m. on May 16 in Martinez, and from noon to 5 p.m. in Brentwood on May 17. Tickets are $25.

For more information on the event or the Contra Costa Winegrowers Association, visit www.cccwines.com/events.

For more information on the trolley plan and the city’s reimbursement of funds to the association, visit www.bit.ly/38zKK4L.

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