Collaboration built local wine trail

If you’ve had the opportunity to read some of my past columns I’m pretty sure you picked up on my great appreciation for the army of community volunteers and their effect on our cities. So much of what you see happening around you is the result of the community working together to make things happen.
Last year the collaborative community hosted an event that had some pretty amazing ramifications. The event was the “Community Forum on Tourism” put together by the “Tourism Alliance” which is a gathering of organizations and individuals like the Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Association, Outdoor Sports Center, lodging and restaurant industry, Wineries of Santa Clara Valley association, and winery advocacy groups. One of the key outcomes of this open forum was the creation of a regional wine trail.
Before the Community Forum on Tourism there was an effort by a few individuals in the community to push for a regional wine trail. These efforts planted the seed for what was about to come. At the “Community Forum on Tourism” these individuals sat with a group consisting of city and county representatives, more wine association representatives and regular Morgan Hill community members. This was the place where the initial seed sprouted into an effort that would later result in a complete county wine trail signage program.
This was also another great example of collaboration in that members of the Gilroy community also helped establish the wine trail. It was due to this great sense of collaboration that the county took this effort so seriously. I had the opportunity to speak with one of the principle participants in this project for the county and he said that he is always on the lookout for efforts like the wine trail program because of the sense of cooperation and buy-in by communities which can help share the work load.
So a little over a year and a half after a meeting where horsepower was added to the dream to create a regional wine trail we have signage up here in the South County. There is a buzz in the wine community and throughout the greater Bay Area that there is an alternative to the Napa and Sonoma wine regions.
Our wine trail was initiated and championed by members of the local community as well as the business community. The cities of Morgan Hill and Gilroy were also very key to this effort; there are no other signs in the rest of the county yet.
So the wine trail is now in place. It is a product of vision, initiative, collaboration and simple hard work. Now let’s go out and drink some wine in our wine region, responsibly.

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