McFarland Family Farms, LLC dba Mac’s Creek Vineyards & Winery, located in Lexington, Nebraska, is a small locally owned vineyard and winery. They grow more than 10 varieties of grapes that are productive for the Nebraska climate, and are able to produce 16 wines in flavors that you will not find anywhere else. Mac’s Creek has been owned and operated by the McFarland family since 2001. They have a strong customer base in Lexington and within a 100 mile radius, however they wanted to expand into the Lincoln and Scottsbluff areas.
Increasing the customer base and amount of wine sold in the Lincoln and Scottsbluff areas was a goal for McFarland Family Farms. In 2014, when they applied for the Value Added Producer Grant (VAPG) program, they had only 50 to 75 customers in the Lincoln area, and only five to 10 customers in the Scottsbluff area. Per their business plan, they wanted to have 300 to 500 customers in Lincoln and 100 to 200 customers in Scottsbluff by 2017. As part of their plan, they had put together a three year marketing campaign that included television and radio ads, printed materials to hand out during face-to-face experiences, providing additional on-site tasting events in each of the areas on a regular basis, and having a booth at the Haymarket Farmers Market in downtown Lincoln. The VAPG program was able to provide $166,418 in working capital grant funds to assist with the additional marketing costs of this campaign, and to help hire a consultant to help carry out the advertising activities. The grant also required matching funds, which was provided via cash, wine produced, and in-kind provided by the owners.
As a result of the grant received, McFarland Family Farms, LLC was able to increase the number of customers to more than 400 in the Lincoln area, and more than 80 in the Scottsbluff area, in a three year period. The significant increase in Lincoln was due to the festivals, farmers markets, and other events held there on a continuous basis.
McFarland Family Farms, LLC dba Macs Creek Vineyard & Winery has also opened a Wine Bar in Kearney, Nebraska, where you can try a wide variety of their wines with an appetizer or dessert, and enjoy a relaxing atmosphere. They’re also adding a new product, hard cider, and working on marketing it outside of the winery!