Board of Directors Meeting – Oct. 2018

Beth Costa on Oct 25, 2018

Wine Road Board of Directors

Oct. 11, 2018 – 9:00-10:30

Longboard Vineyards (5 Fitch Street, Healdsburg)






Rosie Monson, Alexander Valley Wineries (special guest),

Beth Costa, Carla Jeffries, Carri Holdredge, Chris Lynch, Devin Ruddick, Jenny Lamarre, Joe Foppoli, John Vizlay, Julia Lander, Lillian Nicholson, Mike Salinas, Oded Shakked, Stephanie Wycoff, and Thomas Schwarting. Absent: Stacy Rafanelli



9:00   Call to order


9:02    Review September minutes: Approved


9:05    Treasurer’s Report

Checking account: $87,738.95

Savings account: $200,085.24

Not moving any funds to Silicon Valley Bank at this time.


9:10    Rosie Monson, Alexander Valley Winegrowers

Introduction and AVW updates

AVW: Approximately 31 winery members; 81 growers; and 18 associate members (i.e., lodging, etc.)   Minimum membership fee of $300; dues based upon grape tonnage.


Seven events a year, but two main consumer events:

  • June 22-23 Experience AV – 2 day event, pick an experience (10am & 2pm); $200 ticket price for the 4 experiences. Max of 20 people/experience. Last year 20 wineries with 140 consumers – hoping to sell 400 tickets.


  • Aug 30 Access AV – this is a new event, one evening only over Labor Day weekend. Possible $85 ticket price; wineries to pour two wines each and offer something special for the night.


  • Primary trade event is May 20-23 – Cabernet Academy. They host 30 Somms and Wine Buyers @ Geyserville Inn with 10 winery partners. Also advertise the event in Sommelier Journal (8 page spread for a fee).


Rosie associates WR with “Maps and Events” and looks forward to working closer with WR. She will be attending the Dec. meeting/luncheon. WR has approximately 25 members in AV. Last year Beth represented AV at the Sonoma House press event.





9:20   Messaging & Positioning (M&P)

M&P handout, Under “Members” last line, discussion re: addition of “All programs drive traffic to promote sales opportunities”, or some language that ties revenue or sales to traffic. Beth does not want to over-promise on sales language that can’t be guaranteed.

  • Need one more meeting to fine tune the language.
  • Beth to add monthly analytics re: how much traffic she is driving to the area (i.e., via social, web, etc.)


9:35    Website

            Continuing to develop 20 itineraries with some wineries in multiple itineraries.

  • Need another meeting with the web committee. (Chris Lynch 🙂


9:50    Toast the Future & Barrel Tasting

BT tickets launched. Beth secured three wineries per weekend to host the “Toast the Future” Friday night event. Extensive advertising schedule.


Wine & Food Affair: discussion re: slow ticket sales. 90 wineries; current sales at 2500; last year 3,500 were sold; year prior was 4500. Trend is declining sales on all events. No ability to change the event at this late date, but will revisit and re-strategize for next year.

  • Motion approved for Beth to spend $10K in targeted Bay Area advertising to drive last minute ticket sales (SF/Sac/Marin)
  • Discussion re: reaching out to new audiences (i.e., cyclists, golfers, cannibus heads) instead of just wine & foodies (e.g., Meridith May’s publication -The Clever Root). The market is saturated with wine & food events in wine county; the event is no longer as unique or special to attend.
  • For next year, possibly change or tweak WR’s message. WR also to revisit concept of Sat only ticket (vs. Sun only) – potentially a logistical nightmare.


10:00 Corporate Sales

WR has created a one page sales sheet/flyer that will be sent along with a cover letter and bottle of wine to approximately 20 corporate contacts of targeted Bay Area businesses on Nov. 1. (Intern is researching contact info.)

  • Sales sheet needs to be updated to include the “Why to Buy – targeted to corporate buyers for their top performing employees, corporate clients or for even a team building experience.
  • Goal of the program is to generate revenue to help make up for the loss of BT ticket sales.
  • Decision to keep minimum ticket sales at 100 per corp client to obtain 10% discount + one day tasting pass. $4500 purchase price.


New Program – Associate Membership Program

  • Beth has created a new program targeted to local businesses (e.g., realtors, etc.). Annual membership dues of $3000 for 12 months; includes 30 tickets (10 for each of WR’s top 3 events), valued at $1750, and then assorted brand advertising via WR’s vehicles (i.e., blog, monthly newsletter, web link, podcast, map, etc.)
  • Goal of the program is to increase revenue to help make up for the loss of BT ticket sales. The program will give businesses access to both WR’s winery members and their guests.


10:10  Sonoma County Tourism & PR

  • Motion approved for WR to participate in Sonoma House in 2019. Cost of $4,000. Excellent response last year with Travel and Lifestyle writers. Could be 4 AVAs next year.


  • Beth going to NY with Sonoma County Tourism’s “Life Opens Up” Press Tour on Oct. 23rd. Great list of journalists attending. Beth created a new and creative interactive origami “press kit.”


  • Motion approved for WR to once again participate in the Rancho Mirage consumer event, Feb 2019.


Beth will do another trade seminar at Rancho Mirage with the participating WR wineries. Last year the seminar received excellent feedback and attracted 42 attendees. Cost is approximately $2k plus Beth’s time.

  • In the future, WR is to provide data showing why consumer events like this are useful and successful. WR still needs to determine what that data will look like.



10:20 Old Business

            Surveys – consumer and winery.

  • Beth to condense the consumer survey and email the winery survey to the Board.


Brand Ambassadors – Jolene/Sept & Steve/Oct


Annual Meeting – check in at 7:30am, presentations start at 8:30am. Video recap; Paul McBray, DTC Specialist will be guest speaker; planning for vendor tables (4 confirmed).



10:25 New Business

  • Beth has created a one page monthly recap sheet for the Board, detailing the many projects she’s managing.




Future Meeting Dates;

Executive Board, November 8, 9:00am Wine Road Office

Full Board, December 13, 11:00 – lunch meeting, location TBD

Posted by Beth Costa