Board of Directors meeting – Feb. 9, 2017

Beth Costa on Feb 10, 2017

Wine Road Board of Directors

Meeting February 9, 2017


Wine Road / Upstairs Office

Absent:  Joe Foppoli


9:02    Call meeting to order

9:05    Mysty Stewart – social and PR update – DETAILED REPORT AT THE END OF THE MINUTES – SEE BELOW

  • PR:  Focusing on expanding media outreach list.  At this point their is about 100 on the list and Mysty will include list on the minutes posting for the board
    • First big outreach was for Winter Wineland.  Had very diverse media group attend ( Forbes, Sonoma Magazine, etc)
    • Barrel Tasting outreach conducted in January
    • Will be doing an outreach to media in D.C. prior to Beth’s trip
  • Social Media:
    • Facebook is still big platform.  Boosting posts have resulted in more followers
    • Best recent blog post has been our Valentine Blog – this was also a result of boosting.  Approximately 10,000 people reached.
    • Twitter has had positive influence – we were #3 trending.  Using #sonomachat has also increased Wine Road popularity.  Winter WineLand was biggest tweet for Wine Road in January
    • Instagram needs more followers and Wine Road possibly might begin advertisement on Twitter.  Need to make “Twitter Tuesdays” popular with members to increase chatter.


9:22    Review minutes from December meeting

  • Motion to approve – Ross
  • Seconded – Aaron

9:25    Treasurer’s Report – Year End

  • Checking:  $95,240.96
  • Savings:  $169,989.98
  • Review of Profit & Loss:  Robin suggested Beth to print reports from last year to compare for a more accurate comparison
    • Ticket sales trend shows are down in all events

9:30    Events

  • Winter WINEland – about 800 tickets were sold at the door, helping to boost ticket sales
  • Barrel Tasting – more positivity around the event needs to be promoted.  Beth trying to encourage members to share the good news about Barrel Tasting and to educate their staff on avoiding negative commentary.  Approximately 4500 tickets have been sold (both weekends)
  • New committees – review minutes
    • Events Committee:
      • Magical Mystery Tours:  First tour planned for middle of March.  Each ticket is $125 per person / 20 people per tour / reimbursement will need to be clarified by Beth (originally it was going to be $150 flat reimbursement, but Beth will be working on reimbursement based on per person to allow for number fluctuation)
      • Explore Wine Road – cancelled / will not be taking place
      • Barrel Tasting – Debating future changes (ie making one weekend more expensive, food pairing, etc)
    • Marketing Committee
      • Need to do more for lodging.  Ideas include boosts on social media to include lodging specials and also a link to lodges on ticket sale site for each event.
      • Meet & Greet for the wineries and lodgings – Taking place at La Crema on May 4th from 11:00-1:00.  An idea is for wineries to come equipped with their events calendar to give to lodgings to pass along to their guests
      • Taglines – committee is working on taglines…most recent is “Real”

9:50    Marketing  & Public Relations

  • Podcasts:  Every podcast for the year has been scheduled out which creates more opportunity for organization and guest speakers.  Average podcast lasts about 8 episodes, Wine Road has already completed 20 and is headed towards 40 by end of the year.  Beth submitted the Wine Road podcast to international competition in TN and it has made it past the first cut (focus is on culinary world).
    • Robin has requested Beth to go over costs with board so that expenditures can be gauged
  • Bloggers Conference:  Beth is working on trying to secure 3 rooms at the conferences to offer staggered tasting experiences.  Also would like to gain a few bloggers on the mystery tours

10:05  Membership

  • Pizza lunches:  The lunches have resulted in great feedback allowing for valuable insight from members, it has fostered communication between association and members, and promoted involvement by members
  • Board Development
    • Beth is going to rework the online process and the ballot should be going out within the next few weeks
    • There is one lodging opening and four winery openings
    • Thomas from Lancaster is to fill Jeff Noel’s position after Jeff,s resignation
  • Outreach to new members – pending applications
    • New hotel (Holiday Inn Express) has already paid membership and hopes to be open by June
    • Old Crocker Inn has rejoined

10:15  Old Business

  • Recent attorney actions
    • Cease and Desist – Ken Rosenthal has a winery in Alameda and has advertised a “Winter Wineland” which Wine Road has delivered a Cease and Desist
    • Trademark Winter Wineland – going to get Winter WineLand trademarked
    • Insurance stipend – new reporting in reference to health ins.  No longer can be labeled as health insurance reimbursement/stipend
    • Winery – looking for reimbursement for last year’s Wine & Food Affair (2015).  Beth has conferred with Robin and Wine Road will NOT be reimbursing. Old emails from winery declining to bring request for reimbursement to board is good reference if matter goes further.


10:20  New Business

  • Wine Road on the Road – Beth wants to focus on smaller/unpopular cities such as Omaha and Kansas City.  These type of cities are overlooked and want to learn more about wine.
  • Retreat date – April 12-13th.  Location TBD
  • Next Executive Board Meeting – March 9 at 9:00 (Wine Road office)


Wine Road

Public Relations Recap, January 2017

Event PR

Since I began doing PR on a project basis in November, I have been working to update, vet and expand our local event media. In the attached spreadsheet, you can see how the list continues to expand as new writers are vetted or express interest in Wine Road. Now that our three main events are close to concluding for the year, we can work to maintain this list and pitch our local media on other topics, outside of our events.

January Outreach:

  • Barrel Tasting Invite/Pitch to local journalists. This is ongoing outreach until the event concludes. (see spreadsheet for media list)

Winter WINEland Media


  • The following media attended the event and have written or should be writing about Wine Road/WINEland soon. Links included for articles already written.
  • Stephanie Christofferson, writer, Edible Marin/Sonoma Magazine: Doing a story for Spring 2017 issue on Healdsburg. Attended event to visit Healdsburg wineries.
  • Tim McNally, New Orleans Magazine/Wine & Spirits Radio Show: Blog Post
  • Erin Lynch, Blogger, Posted on blog re: WW:
  • Brooke Herron, Sonoma Lifestyles Magazine (new pub): First issue scheduled to be out in March/April 2017. She was given multiple assignments the issue and was focusing on new Wine Road wineries during WINEland.
  • Katie Sweeney, Writing Forbes Travel Guide story about wineries that are good to visit in the winter. She requested the list of tasting rooms with fireplaces.
  • Julie Fadda Powers, Sonoma Magazine: March/April “sipping” (tasting rooms) article for Sonoma magazine and was seeking wineries with cool gardens, as well as new Wine Road wineries.
  • Joni, North Bay Biz: Submitted pictures to Biz Scene section in April/May Magazine
  • Morgan, Napa/Sonoma Magazine: Requested photos and small description of WW for March 2017 issue.
  • Alexandra Russell, Spirited Magazine: New trade publication. First issue is March / April 2017. (She was also a décor judge for us).


Social Media & Media Influencers / Winter WINEland (several served as décor judges)

  • Dave Razarri, #SonomaChat
  • Ken Wagonner, AlaWine
  • Shana & Jeff Bull, #SonomaChat
  • Amy Lieberfarb, #SonomaChat
  • Jolene Patterson, Discover Sonoma County Wine
  • Sherri Housman, #SonomaChat
  • Ziggy Eischliman, Ziggy the Wine Gal
  • Michele Marques, KSRO Radio

Other Pending Media

  • Devon Baldwin, Blogger: Barrel Tasting interest
  • Gio Gutierrez, Chat Chow TV: Barrel Tasting
  • Vaughn Lowery, 360 Lifestyle Magazine: Visiting, would like April 1st tour preferably with bike related wine tasting.

February/March preview

  • Beth in Washington DC, possible media appointments
  • Honeymoon Pitch (long lead only) focusing on Wine Road as a Honeymoon Destination
  • Magical Mystery Tour press release for short and long lead. We are considering using a wire service for event outreach in addition to regular pitches.
  • Concierge Pitch



Posted by Beth Costa