Conn Creek Winery

back to Press Releases Conn Creek Introduces iPads to AVA Room Blending Experience

Conn Creek Winery, recently recognized as the Napa Valley regional winner of the “Innovative Wine Tourism Experience” award at the 2011 Best of Wine Tourism Awards, has announced a new innovation to its award-winning AVA Room Barrel Blending Experience: iPads.

A unique tasting and blending experience for wine lovers of all levels, the AVA Room Barrel Blending Experience is a hands-on tasting tour of the Cabernet Sauvignons of the Napa Valley, from Carneros to Calistoga, that gives participants a chance to play “winemaker for a day” and create a bottle of their own blend to take home.

The new iPads allow visitors to post their blend, comments, and tasting notes to a virtual blending gallery on the Conn Creek website, where they can share their experience and compare blends with other guests.

“The AVA Room Barrel Blending Experience is such an innovative concept and experience to begin with,” said Sue Furdek, Director of Marketing for Conn Creek. “For anyone who has participated, it’s on the top of their list of most memorable wine experiences. The addition of the iPads just builds on this experience and helps facilitate social interaction in the blending room and beyond.”

“With 19 barrels of wine in the room to blend from, each guest creates something completely different,” she added. “There’s a palpable energy in the room and participants want to share their enthusiasm with friends and family.”

Visitors to the AVA Room can also use the iPads to up-load photos, share their experience on the winery’s Facebook page, and post comments to their favorite social media networks.

Comments posted on the blending gallery have been universally positive. “Absolutely wonderful experience! Everyone should take the time to try this!” raves one. “One of the unforgettable experiences of my life,” reads another.

Conn Creek Hospitality Manager Paul Asikainen, who leads several AVA Room seminars a week, says the social nature of the blending experience is “great for small groups of friends and family, or even co-workers, and encourages friendly competition to see who can make the best blend.” He encourages guests to set up a blind tasting a few months after their visit as a fun way to see how their wines are aging and to compare blends.

In addition to posting blends to the online gallery and sharing comments and images on social media networks, guests can use the iPads to sign up for Conn Creek’s wine club and will soon be able to place orders for Conn Creek wines off an order form application directly from the blending room. The winery also has plans to begin utilizing iBooks to share specific wine and winery information with consumers at offsite events and tastings around the country.

Founded in 1973 and located on Napa Valley’s famed Silverado Trail, Conn Creek is a boutique winery focusing on Cabernet Sauvignon and Bordeaux-style wines that has built its reputation on blending expertise. Today the winery sources grapes from nearly all of Napa Valley’s diverse sub-appellations, providing winemaker Mike McGrath with an unparalleled palette from which to blend each wine and vintage. It’s an approach that captures “the best of Napa Valley.”

The AVA Room Barrel Blending Experience is open to the public by appointment Thursdays through Tuesdays at 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. During the guided, two-hour seminar, participants taste barrel samples of Cabernet Sauvignon from nearly all of Napa’s 15 sub-appellations, organized by McGrath according to flavor and richness. Participants also taste other Bordeaux blending varietals before creating their own blend.

For more information on Conn Creek’s AVA Room Blending Experience, click here.