May 25, 2019

Save Mart sells Fresno State wine

Marina Gaytan / The Collegian

Five Fresno State wines are flying off the grocery shelves during a new fall promotion at 11 Save Mart Supermarkets in Fresno, Clovis, Visalia and Hanford.

The student-produced wines featured in the seasonal distribution agreement between Fresno State and Save Mart include the 2006 California Syrah, 2007 San Joaquin County Chardonnay, Tailgate Red, Tailgate White and Tailgate Rose.

With over 800 cases purchased by the Modesto-based grocery chain, the exposure for Fresno State wines throughout the entire valley is great, said Jennifer Sobieralski, manager of Fresno State’s Rue and Gwen Gibson Farm Market and enterprise product marketing.

“For us it’s a way to get our wine into the main stream,” Sobieralski said. “We get a completely different exposure with all the clientele that they have. It really brings recognition to our program.”

The chardonnay normally retails at $12.95 and the syrah at $10.95, but Save Mart is selling all five featured wines for $5.99. “It’s an outlet to get some quality wines out there at an affordable price,” Sobieralski said.

Save Mart typically carries a small variety of Fresno State wine year-round, Sobieralski said. This promotion gives Fresno State the opportunity to showcase a selection of wines at a much larger volume.

“I’d like to see our wines available like this year round,” Sobieralski said. “We like people to try our wines, know it’s a good value, know it’s a quality wine that’s coming from Fresno and get the exposure that our students are producing award-winning wines.”

The wines are produced and bottled on campus in the nation’s first commercially bonded university winery and have won 350 awards at national and international wine competitions. A number of local stores carry Fresno State grapes and wines, but with the most recent promotion at Save Mart, Fresno State wines have garnered even more attention with Valley consumers.

“A lot more people will have access to our wines,” said Dr. James Prince, interim department chair for the department of viticulture and enology. “We serve a regional university, and we get a lot of students from the Central Valley and the coastal areas. And the more [consumers] that see a Fresno State wine, try it and see its high quality, the more the word will get out that this program is good.”

Fresno State wines are ranked numberres, Sobieralski said, and the five featured wines are selling fast. The three Tailgate Series wines will still be available after the promotion, but once the chardonnay and syrah vintages are sold out they will be gone for good, she explained.

“It’s the community that’s supporting us that really makes this whole thing possible,” said Sobieralski of the strong response from consumers. “For us to be able to get our wine into so many homes in the Valley, that’s important for us.”

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