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Central Coast Wine Region Uses Free Online Wine Art Experience To Build Tourism

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Art created with the free online SantaMariaValley.com/swirl website

Spilling a glass of red wine can create a minor nightmare, especially if it’s on something which is hard to clean. But, some vintners on the Central Coast are not only saying it’s okay to spill some of their famous Pinot Noir, they are encouraging people to do it. It’s a chance to for you to go online and create wine art.

Rob Gaedtke is with KPS3, a marketing and digital communications agency which created what’s called “The Swirl Machine” for the Santa Maria Valley Chamber & Visitor’s Bureau. He says the idea is to build awareness about the Santa Maria Valley’s often overlooked wine industry, which is overshadowed by the Santa Ynez Valley.

Jennifer Harrison is Director of the Santa Maria Valley Chamber & Visitor’s Bureau. So, efforts to get people to learn more about the Santa Maria Valley, and its wine led to “The Swirl Machine.”

It was created specifically for this effort. You sign up, and the website asks you how big of glass of wine you want. And, it asks you how swirly you want the wine to be, ranging from hardly at all or extremely swirly. You then watch the web picture as the machine takes a glass of wine, and swirls it to create a splash zone, with you custom art.

Gaedtke admits developing the one of a kind machine wasn’t easy.

But, as you see it in action, one thing hits you. It seems like a waste of a good Central Coast Pinot Noir. Harrison says the machine actually uses water with dye, so bottles of wine aren’t getting spkashed around in the name of art.

If you want to try your hand and wine art, and get your own downloadable work you create, it’s easy to find. The website is SantaMariaValley.com/Swirl. You may have to wait in a virtual online cue, but creating your work takes just a few moments, and you get to watch it happen.

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral. 
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