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Downtown Morgan Hill with Kathy Sullivan: Wine Stroll partnerships make a difference

Published in the April 26 – May 9, 2017 issue of Morgan Hill Life

By Kathy Sullivan

Kathy Sullivan

The Morgan Hill Downtown Association is blessed by many partnerships which help us achieve our goals. The Wineries of Santa Clara Valley is one of those collaborations whose support and input have helped to shape our friendship and working relationship.

When this column arrives at your door, we will be in the middle of Wine and Food Week. This along with the Wine Stroll, taking place April 29, are very important events for MHDA. In addition to it being one of our major fundraisers, these events meet part of our core mission to promote downtown as a vibrant place to dine and play. If we did our job right you will be dining, playing and participating in all the good things our restaurants and retail shops are offering. It has taken months of work to bring this to fruition and the wineries were with us all the way.
Karen Seeker has been the president of the winery association since January and she reports she is having a blast. Even though the individual wineries have different business styles, Karen said they can easily unite on common goals to help promote and increase knowledge about this wine region. They all agree on wanting to attract new people and increase tourism. A few years ago WSCV had 14 members. It now boasts 26, with more applications in the pipeline. Karen sees this near doubling in size as the result of many years of hard work and the explosion of new wineries in the region.

WSCV decided to invest more time and money to take their organization to the next level. Recent new strategies to bring a new level of professionalism to WSCV have included coming up with a new slogan and a new wine map. The new slogan, “Our dreams, Your wines, Rooted in Silicon Valley,” sums up the commonality of their desired message. It helps point out how this area has a long history of winemaking dating back to the days of Spanish missions, making it one of the first in the nation.

While WSCV has had wine area maps in the past, their new map shows a high level of professionalism. This fold-up regional map has information on the 26 wineries. It includes address, contact information, the presence of tasting fees, if food or Wi-Fi are available and if they are family and/or pet friendly. This beautifully designed map will be available to participants of Wine Stroll.

Even our partners have partnerships. Karen is grateful to Jane Howard, executive director from the Gilroy Welcome Center, who has helped promote WSCV. Karen also mentioned Tim Hendricks, an associate professor, and the students of San Jose State who were instrumental in coming up with the first draft of the wine map. Like MHDA, WSCV recognizes that by working together everyone achieves more.

Kathy Sullivan is a board member of the Morgan Hill Downtown Association.