Tennessee Farm Winegrowers Alliance (TFWA) today announced receiving $249,500 from the USDA’s Value-Added Producer Grant in working capital funds. The funding will be utilized over the next three years to assist the association with marketing and increasing tourism for the member wineries in the State of Tennessee. This is the first time the state trade association has sought and received such assistance that will allow them to better serve the growing industry by engaging in one of their principal purposes; to promote and market the common interest of the Tennessee commercial wine industry.
“This is a game-changer for the impact TFWA can really have in helping grow consumer awareness for the Tennessee Wine Industry”, says Adam Acampora, executive director of the Tennessee Farm Winegrowers Alliance. “Up until this point the association has never had more than a few thousand dollars a year to put toward collective industry marketing. Most of those funds were covering minimum website maintenance and wine trail maps in the highway rest centers across the state. Now we will have dedicated funds for helping tell the Tennessee Wine story and actually engage with wine tourists and consumers from across the United States.”
The goal of the “Wine Tourism and Emerging Market for Tennessee Wines” project is to assist member wineries by increasing tourism traffic and Direct to Consumer wine sales by targeting and engaging new geographic and emerging demographic markets, as well as educating consumers on the grape varieties grown and the wine styles made in Tennessee. This will expand and drive more tourism dollars to rural areas across the state and further expand the agricultural impact the grape and wine industry has on Tennessee Agriculture.
“We are fortunate to have so many wineries in our state. This increase in marketing dollars to promote Tennessee’s wineries provides a real opportunity for economic impact to Tennessee’s communities,” said Melanie Beauchamp, assistant commissioner of rural tourism and outreach of the Tennessee Dept. of Tourist Development.
“We are very excited about the possibilities this grant offers the Tennessee Farm Winegrowers Alliance, as well as our entire grape and wine industry. This grant will provide much-needed resources to better market Tennessee Wine on a national scale, which will mean so much to the rural economy of Tennessee,” said Keith Harrison, assistant commissioner of business development division at the Tennessee Dept. of Agriculture.
The TFWA will conduct a series of robust in-bound and out-bound marketing campaigns, focusing on digital and traditional marketing techniques. Through this project, the TFWA will be working with an in-state digital marketing agency and hiring a full-time digital marketing Specialist to oversee content creation and marketing campaign execution.