Marketing with Sheep-Mowers

sheep thumb

How does a small vineyard in a rural area make a sale?

It helps to have good wine. And David Mudd discovered it also helps to have sheep. Writing for New Farm, Mudd interviewed Chuck Smith, owner of Smith-Berry Vineyard near New Castle, Kentucky. Smith now has 21 Border Cheviot sheep that are weeding and fertilizing his grapevines. They also provide a pastoral backdrop for visitors.

“I haven’t studied it, but I think people tend to buy more wine the longer they stay around the place. And they come back more often," Smith said. His vineyard is forty miles from Louisville and twice that distance from Cincinnati. "So if the sheep are an attraction, I’m getting at least a “˜two-fer;’ I get my weeds and grass eaten, and I give people another reason to come.”

Collaborating with sheep is an old idea that wineries have rediscovered in California, too.