Sunday, April 25, 2010

Pennsylvania wineries planning to break Guinness record for largest toast

By PAUL VIGNA, The Patriot-News
April 24, 2010, 11:58AM

Sam Landis said that Pennsylvania Winery Association has tried a number of smaller initiatives to gain exposure in the past and "to be honest with you, they haven't been very successful."
So now they're working with Pavone Advertising in Harrisburg and Seven Springs resort out in western PA on something far grander: breaking the Guinness Book of World Records for the world's largest toast.

Landis, the association president, said they have identified Saturday, Aug. 14, as the day to break the current mark of 17 thousand and change. They figure sometime that afternoon they'd put a yet to be identified celebrity out at Seven Springs to lead a toast there, where Lancis figures they can gather 4,000 or 5,000 people. Then they'll simulcast that to wineries across Pennsylvania, who would gather visitors, turn on the TV or flip open a laptop, and have everyone toast at the same time.

"Even if it gets out there on the wire that Pennsylvania wineries are trying to break the world's largest toast, at least that's something," he said. "We're just trying to get a big splash, a one-time thing rather than doing a lot of smaller every-month hitters.

"Worst case scenario, you get a bunch of people reading" who didn't know Pennsylvania had so many wineries," he added. "Best case scenario, we break the record and get on CNN."

One other initiative is pushing for passage of House Bill 1860, which would increase festival days for wineries from 40 to 100. "It's a pretty small, inconsequential bill in terms of legislation right now, but it's really a good way to a get a lot of smaller wineries some more revenue. Its a pretty cumbersome system right now. If you want to go to a festival, you can only go for five consecutive days and a lot of these festivals run for two weeks."

He noted one such festival is in Kutztown. "So you have to go for five days, take a day off, and then go back for five more," he said.

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