By: Emily Rosa, senior Agricultural Communications major
When it came time for Alex Broedlow and I to start our senior project, we knew we wanted to do something unique. We threw around a couple ideas, but we kept coming back to two topics: wine and event planning. Although neither one of us had any experience in either one of those fields, we figured now would be the perfect opportunity to explore the two!
The most difficult part of producing an event is finding a venue and funds to make it all happen. Luckily, SLO Brew was more than happy to assist us in making our vision become a reality. About a year ago, we partnered with SLO Brew’s event planner Johnny Kenny and local wine enthusiast Lannon Rust to get the ball rolling.
It took weeks for us to agree on the perfect name for the event. Finally, we came up with Rock the Vine, which ties together the location of the event, SLO Brew Rock, and vines, indicating that it is an event associated with wine. We decided the purpose of the event would be to promote the local wine industry in San Luis Obispo County, especially the small boutique wineries who may not have their own tasting room.
Alex and I worked hard alongside our mentors to turn all our ideas into actuality. We prepared a budget, invited winemakers, hired a musician, created content to share through social media, formed a logo and poster, and everything in between that was necessary to have a successful event.
After months of weekly meetings, countless emails, and three radio show interviews, Rock the Vine took place on November 19 at SLO Brew Rock from 12-4 in the afternoon. For the low cost of $25, guests received a custom wine glass at the door and were able to taste an amazing variety of wine, while also enjoying live reggae music, playing outdoor games and snacking on delicious SLO Brew food. We had 17 wineries and 2 cideries pouring their products, which attracted over 300 guests. The first ever Rock the Vine event sold out!
The event turned out better than we ever could have imagined. The connections we made and the skills we learned through the process of pulling off an event like this are priceless. SLO Brew received amazing reviews about the outcome of the wine filled afternoon, and are considering making Rock the Vine an annual event.