Saturday, June 09, 2012

Delaware Wine and Beer Scene Heats Up With Wine and Ale Trail

First State tweeters talk wine, brews and Delaware Wine and Ale Trail
May 31, 2012
Cape Gazette

Members of Delaware’s social media community gathered recently at Abbott’s Grill in Milford to link up and network, tweet about the finest wines and tastiest beers the First State has to offer, and hear details on enhancements to the Delaware Tourism Office’s Delaware Wine and Ale Trail.

The event, dubbed Tweet The Trail, drew some of Delaware’s most active tweeters as well as media and representatives from the 12 Wine and Ale Trail sites.

Before the festivities got into full swing, they heard from tourism director Linda Parkowski, who detailed the upgrades to the trail, which now features a passport and prize system similar to the one on the Delaware History Trail.

Participants who download a passport and visit at least eight of the dozen sites will receive a Delaware Wine and Ale Trail wine glass or beer mug.

Delaware Wine and Ale Trail sites are now also fitted with signs that feature MS tags that, when scanned with a mobile app, connect visitors with a feedback site at the Delaware Tourism Office’s website, where comments and photos can be posted and shared.

Parkowski said that the prize model has been hugely successful in drawing visitors and stirring interest in the Delaware History Trail, which offers the book "Landmarks and Legacies" as a reward for those who complete the trail.

"We expect to see an uptick in visitors to the Delaware Wine and Ale Trail thanks to the addition of the prize," Parkowski said. "You don’t need an excuse to visit these fascinating sites and sample their sensational wines and beers. But if you throw in a keepsake glass as a prize, it’s a no-brainer."

While the news of the day was the enhancements to the trail, a storyline that ran neck-and-neck as a headline was the use of a tweet-up event like Tweet The Trail to announce and disseminate news on a digital platform.

"Delaware aims to be at the forefront of technology and social media," said Gov. Jack Markell. "Twitter is the perfect vehicle for promoting ideas, spreading news and taking things viral, and Tweet The Trail exemplifies that concept."

Since its launch in May 2010, the Delaware History Trail has been a strong driver for the growth of tourism in Delaware, which draws 7.1 million visitors annually, stands as the third largest private employer and contributes $2.1 billion to the state’s domestic product, said Alan Levin, director of the Delaware Economic Development Office.

"Packaging sites into easy-to-follow trails increases visitation, which in turn fuels the state’s economy and creates jobs," Levin said. "And bringing more consumers to the sites helps small businesses in the surrounding area."

In addition to networking and tweeting about the Delaware Wine and Ale Trail, participants also took part in contests and received free items from participating breweries, wineries and the Delaware Tourism Office, including a Brew Master Select Beer Making Kit, a Cuisinart Private Reserve Wine Cellar, wine tastings, gift certificates and more.

The Delaware Wine and Ale Trail locations include: 16 Mile Brewing Co., Dogfish Head Brewings & Eats, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Fenwick Wine Cellars, Fordham Brewing Co., Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant/Newark, Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant/Wilmington, Nassau Valley Vineyards, Old Dominion Brewing, Pizzadilli Vineyard & Winery, Stewart's Brewing Co. and Twin Lakes Brewing Co..

The Delaware Tourism Office, 99 Kings Highway in Dover, a division of the Delaware Economic Development Office, promotes tourism and economic growth in Delaware. For more information, go to or call 866-284-7483.

Visit the Wine and Ale trail website: