The Cliffs, a collection of seven private luxury mountain and lake clubs and communities in the western Carolinas, recently earned the Award of Merit from the Club Managers Association of America’s International Wine Society 2015 Wine Program Awards for its established wine program and offerings at its Walnut Cove community in Asheville, North Carolina.
The Wine Program Awards are specifically dedicated for the private club industry and are earned by scoring at least 80 of 100 points on the association’s rubric. Tim Smith, food and beverage manager for The Cliffs at Walnut Cove, represented the club earning a total score of 87 points, just three points shy of earning the “Award of Distinction” given to those clubs scoring 90 and above.
“It is an honor to receive this award and recognition for our beverage program,” Smith explains. “Our overall mission is to guide our membership with new experiences and reminisce with classic varietals and producers. The Cliffs’ wine program has grown exponentially over the past three years through education and awareness, structured wine events and aggressive purchasing practices.”
The objective of the Wine Program Awards is to annually recognize the best club wine programs and laud CMAA member-managed clubs that establish and maintain fine wine programs for their membership. The awards are meant to be a hallmark of quality and assurance of an eminent wine program. The Cliffs at Walnut Cove strives to have at least one wine oriented event each month rotating between tasting events, five-course wine dinners, and educational symposiums.
Wine programs are judged on criteria to include the total selection of wines; wine-producing regions represented on the wine lists; number of wines available by the glass; number of bottles owned; total value of wine inventory; annual sales volume; number of wine specific events; how wine is cared for; and if there is a sommelier or wine steward.