Senior man pouring red wine glasses, beverage tasting, anniversary celebration

Adding Elegance to the Dining Experience at Covia Communities

At Morrison Living, we believe it’s all about living, not aging. For many of our communities and their residents, good living may mean sharing a glass of wine with friends around the fireplace, during a happy hour or over dinner.

A Customized Solution Benefiting Residents and the Covia Brand

Across the country, more and more senior living communities are exploring ways to introduce or expand wine and spirit programs so that residents can continue enjoying their beverages of choice. Today, wine is a prevailing preference, with 42% choosing wine of all other alternatives. Covia Communities operate seven communities in Northern California, home to some of the best winemaking in the world. Many of their residents are well-traveled “foodies” and well-versed wine lovers. That gave us an idea for offering something new- something that would delight residents and bolster Covia’s reputation for offering an exceptional culinary experience; a private -label bottling of a high-quality, versatile wine, to be served under the name, Covia.

Now the Fun Part

We were inspired to create a custom wine program to offer something innovative for our client. The residents have been super-enthusiastic!”

Mary Abeyta, Regional Director of Operations, Morrison Living

Where to start? The hunt for the perfect wine didn’t start in the tasting room, it began with research. Morrison Living and Covia focused on selecting a wine for its versatility, value, and viticulture. We also sought a producer that would mirror our collective standards for quality and sustainability. In Broken Earth Winery from Paso Robles, California, we found a true winner. Broken Earth Winery has been embracing sustainable farming techniques since the early 1980s. With award-winning wines, they are committed to sustaining the environment by implementing water conservation and advanced farming methods that are eco-friendly.

We also needed to start with a varietal that would please most of the people, much of the time. From the start, the winemakers at Broken Earth knew that we needed our first selection to complement our diverse and seasonal menus and offer a valued addition to the array of wine, beer, and non-alcoholic beverages already being offered.

The Covia Reserve Merlot

The Covia Reserve Merlot, with its notes of plum, cherry, dark fruits and spicy oak, has been in high demand since its introduction in September 2019. Currently, it is being served in four Covia Life Plan Communities: St. Paul’s Towers, San Francisco Towers, Spring Lake Village, and Canterbury Woods.

The communities initially introduced the wine to residents with a tasting and “small-bites” pairing or complimentary tastings during dinner service. The wine can now be purchased from the wine list in each community’s dining venues.

What’s Next?

Looking ahead, we’ll expand this experience to other Covia communities and we anticipate new varietals, such as the much anticipated Covia Chardonney. In addition, we’re looking to create new ways for residents to enjoy and learn about wine, through Morrison’s new Take Flight Program. When Covia “takes flight,” residents could be enjoying wine pairing dinners, special tasting events hosted by wine experts, or beer and spirits tastings.

Interested in Advancing the Wine Program in Your Community?

If your residents are wine, beer or spirits lovers, consider some of the ways our clients make their residents feel more at home:

  • Offer one complimentary glass of wine or beer at lunch and/or dinner. Serve wine in a stemmed glass and beer in a mug. This can be an inexpensive way to enhance the ambiance and the resident’s perception of hospitality.
  • Where regulations permit, allow residents to use their points to “purchase” wines at varied price points.
  • Plan special events that cater to your residents’ interest in wine, beer, and spirits.
  • Consider private labeling if you have a solid population of interested residents. This approach helps you offer “prestige” package at a lower cost.