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In the past few months, small businesses have been especially affected by the COVID-19 crisis. Wineries, in particular, have struggled with tasting rooms being forced to close. Even as wineries begin to open in various states, tourism is also suffering, so there won’t be as many tourists to visit. In addition, some consumers are buying wine from restaurants while picking up takeout (many began selling bottles to-go during the pandemic), instead of purchasing directly from wineries. 

Blast is a small business too, and considering we’re spread out across the country, we know how important it is to bring the team together when things are tough. We’ve discussed individually how local businesses are suffering and we wish we could help. Account Supervisor Alexis Roberts had the inspiring idea of a virtual wine tasting, which would both bring the team together and support a locally affected small business. 

So, we designated a day for the full team to Zoom in for a virtual wine tasting with Deep Sea by Conway Family Wines, a small family winery located in Santa Barbara, California – the headquarters of Blast PR. 

The Deep Sea Wine Tasting Room has a breathtaking view of the Pacific coastline and Santa Barbara Harbor.

Conway Family Wines produces a variety of coastal wines and operates Deep Sea Wine, a beautiful tasting room on Stearns Wharf that overlooks the Pacific coastline, Channel Islands, Santa Barbara Harbor and the Riviera. The tasting room is temporarily closed, but currently offers virtual events, such as wine tastings and happy hours, and is delivering to wine-lovers throughout the country.

On the advice of Deep Sea Wine, several Blasters prepared cheese boards to pair with their wines.

In preparation for the virtual wine tasting, each Blaster purchased two bottles of Deep Sea wine – one red and one rosé – and was given a list of foods to pair with the tasting, including chocolate, crackers, and cheese. Conway Family Wines proprietor and Level II sommelier Gillian Conway joined us on video to taste through her wines, share tasting tips and techniques, and answer all of our questions. 

Sommelier and owner Gillian Conway guided us through our tasting.

Following the tasting, Deep Sea Wine generously offered us a 20% discount on bottles and encouraged everyone to both purchase their favorites from the tasting and try some of their other offerings. Many Blasters ordered a shipment of wine and encouraged others to purchase as well — either from Deep Sea, other local wineries, or any small business that may be struggling at this time. 

Even some Blast family members joined the fun!

It was extra special when Adweek featured us in their recent story about creative ways that agencies are supporting local businesses. We hope that others are inspired by our event and are able to explore similar solutions to bring their teams together during these times. What a fun and unique way to take advantage of being quarantined at home while supporting local, all in one. 

Deep Sea Wine can be found on their website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.