Pick a Trail to Wineries Unlimited!

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Blog 33

A wonderful way wineries have helped promote the industry is to establish wine trails. As participants head to Richmond, Virginia for the Wineries Unlimited Tradeshow and Conference, it seemed only appropriate to share some information about the paths they may have taken to get there. Though some states haven’t created wine trails, you can use this information to put together your own trip!

Encompassing seven Virginia Wineries, the Jefferson Heritage Trail, represents the legacy of Thomas Jefferson on the American wine industry.  You will find plenty of award winning wines along this Central Virginia wine trail.  The Blue Ridge Mountains set the scene for the nation’s 5th largest wine region.

Wineries in Florida are dispersed from the Panhandle to the Atlantic and given the climate a favorite wine is made from Muscadine grapes. You will find out all you want to know about Florida wineries from the Florida Grape Growers Association.

Want a sampling of North Carolina wineries? Then head down the Yadkin Valley Wine Trail. The Yadkin Valley represents North Carolina’s first America Viticulture Area (AVA).  This is a booming area with over 36 wineries!  You won’t have to look long to find something you like in one of the wonderful tasting rooms you can visit on this exploration.

West Virginia may not have any official wine trails, but that doesn’t mean you can’t create your own itinerary.  A great starting place is the northeast where you will find Riesling grapes growing. Throughout much of the State, you are likely to find many French-American hybrids. The Mountain State’s varying elevations allows for a wide variety of grapes to be grown. To get your bearings check out the West Virginia Department of Agriculture’s guide to wineries.

Charleston, Columbia, Hilton Head, Myrtle Beach and others, all cities that are home to a winery in South Carolina.   If you have time to spend in the Palmetto State you should take a look at Catch Wine for a great directory of the State’s wineries.

You will find a wide variety of European and American grapes at wineries in Georgia.  Most of the State’s wineries are found in the northern part of the State.  Georgia’s wine industry history goes back to colonial times when its founder tried to introduce viticulture as part of its economic plan. You can read all about that history and find out current information about the industry for your next trip at George Wine Country.

Many opportunities for exploration are provided throughout the area’s wineries.  We thank all the producers for their hard work!

We're Here to Help

Dear friends in the alcoholic beverage industry,

As we as an industry, nation and planet collectively try to navigate this unprecedented period the coronavirus has brought us, We’d like you to know that we at Craft Beverage Consultants (the other CBC!) are here to answer any question you may have (or not know you have) about not just surviving this time but positioning yourself to thrive as soon as social distancing measures allow your business to function at full capacity again.

If you schedule a free 60-minute phone or video conferencing consultation with me or any of my 11 highly specialized colleagues, we’ll help you figure out any of your immediate and/or longterm business needs, or “everything but the staffing,” as we like to say. We’re not high-pressure sales kind of people, especially these days, so you don’t have to worry about fending off annoying pitches. Make an appointment on our website or Facebook page, or just call us the old-fashioned way at 314-768-0220.

Our experts have a combined 150 years in the alcoholic beverage industry, with deep knowledge in everything from sales and distribution, production, and regulatory compliance to marketing, package design, event planning, IT, (social) media, hospitality, and even values-based executive coaching. 

For example, we can coach you through this season when chain accounts have canceled their spring, in some cases, fall resets and distributors have drastically cut orders. Our director of business strategy and compliance can save you money – now – on excise taxes, caution you to avoid naming your beers in ways that risk alienating your buyers (Wuhan Wheat? Coronavirus Cream Ale? Groan. No.), and secure TTB approval for the tastefully named beers you do make. Our creative director and web team can get your e-commerce site up and running and launch a social media campaign that keeps you top of mind for current and future customers. Our director of storytelling can put you in front of the press so you can tell your story to your community. 

Once you’re ready, we can look forward together. Now is the time to talk about post-virus. We all suspect the legal landscape to look different. But how? And how do you prepare yourself in a way that positions you to charge out of the gate ready to maximize the potential and profit of whatever the “new normal” turns out to be? Please get in touch so we can talk about it. 

CBC’s roster includes local and regional clients like Epic Brewing, Logboat Brewing, Piney River Brewing, SudWerk Brewing, Waves Cider and Common Cider Company, just to name a few.  The agency was founded in 2004 by Jacob and Beth Halls, formerly known as Convergence Consulting; Rick Laxague, joined as a partner in charge of sales, marketing and distribution consulting in 2019. 

Rick hase close to 20 years of experience, a bulk of which was with Crescent Crown Distributing in Arizona. His last role there was Area Sales Manager for the dedicated craft beer division, coaching and leading a sales team to be nationally recognized. In early 2014 Rick helped take a regional brewery national as their Director of National Accounts and increase that segment of their business from 30,000 cases to almost 300,000 cases in two years, an increase that equates to $4.8 million in IRI dollar sales. 

Co-founder Jacob Halls brings 17 years of experience in regulatory compliance, business strategy, marketing and craft brand management to the company. In his former position as craft brand manager for the N.H. Scheppers Distributing Company in Columbia, Missouri, Jacob helped lead his team to winning the 2016 Distributor of the Year award from New Belgium and to a nomination for the Brewers Association’s Distributor of the Year award. Jacob is also the founder and director of the South East Craft Beer Fest and several other industry specific charitable event marketing festivities. Beth Halls is Director of Business Operations and Coordinator of Charity Operations for the festivals and events run by CBC, such as the South East Craft Beer Fest, MO Bacon & Bourbon, and many more. 

Again, please reach out to us for anything.  CBC can be reached at (314) 768-0220 or at

We look forward to meeting/talking soon.


Rick Laxague, Jacob Halls, and Beth Halls