Guy Drew Wine Stops Traffic
Guy Drew is betting on the growing wine tourism trade will fill his new tasting room on Hwy 160 at the Cortez City limits.
Attracting the out-of town traveler, interested in trying local wine, Drew has partnered with the Mesa Indian Trading Company and Gallery for seasonal retail space.
“The key is location, location, and location and there is a lot of traffic going by,’ said Drew, owner of Guy Drew Winery.
In the wine business for 15 years, Drew said his vineyard sales were growing 25 to 30 percent a year before the recession, and it has been tough ever since.
“Equal sales to last year are good growth,” laughs Drew.
Though sales are ahead this year to date over last year, distribution is down. This is one reason he hopes the tasting room is a success. Guy Drew wines are distributed throughout Colorado, but Drew says it is simple economics because “selling wine directly is more profitable than wholesaling.”
While Drew works the new tasting room in the afternoons five days a week, his wife, Ruth, is covering the McElmo Canyon winery on Road G southwest of Cortez which continues its tasting room hours as well.
Drew says the visible retail location is bringing in customers that don’t go by his winery located on the other end of town.
During this interview, Drew paused to serve a family from Pennsylvania, touring the West and making a stop in Cortez with plans to attend Mesa Verde National Park. Though Drew says the Meritage, Port and unoaked Chardonnay are the top sellers, this couple purchased the Rose’ in addition to the popular Chardonnay.
Drew estimates 85% of his traffic is the out-of-towner and said wine tourism is a growing industry.
“There are 105 wineries in Colorado, and everyone wants to try the local brand when they visit an area.”
Drew says though wine consumption is up, prices are down. He tries to keep his wines affordable, saying if you charge over $20 for a bottle, it might as well be $30.
Drew has a working capital loan from Region 9 and executive director, Ed Morlan, says Drew has created a strong brand identity, and is innovative with marketing opportunities.
“Guy and Ruth Drew have just been all around great clients. “
For more information and to order wines on-line, go to www.guydrewvineyards.com.