Full Board Meeting – Feb. 2019

Beth Costa on Mar 1, 2019

Wine Road Board of Directors

February 13, 2019 – 9:00-10:30

Seghesio Family Vineyards


9:00    Call to order

Attendees: Beth Costa, Carla Jeffries, Carri Holdredge, Chris Lynch, Danny Christensen, Devin Ruddick, Jenny Lamarre, Joe Foppoli, John Viszlay, Julia Lander, Lillian Nichelsen, Oded Shakked, Stacy Rafanelli, Stephanie Wycoff, Thomas Schwarting

Absent: Ann from DCV was scheduled to attend this meeting, but had a conflict with our recent change in meeting day (i.e., Wed vs. Thurs).

9:02    Review December Meeting Minutes: Approved

9:06    Treasurer’s Report

Checking as of 2/1/19:           $32,238.54

Savings as of 2/1/19:          $200,125.92

9:08    Website Update

Scheduled to launch tomorrow, Feb. 14! Not making any major announcement for at least one week. WR to add additional day trips, experiences, itineraries, and “A Perfect Day” after publicly launching. Winery logins remain the same.

9:22    Events

Winter Wineland – recap. Sold 700 tickets at the door, hoping to sell 1,000. However, overall ticket sales were up vs. prior year. WR spent more advertising dollars in 2019 vs. 2018 promoting this event. After WR works with Clark Wolf to refresh WFA, WW may warrant a refresh as well.

Barrel Tasting – updates: Tickets sales are very similar to where they were at same time last year – 4,000 sold, goal of 12,000. (Total tickets sold in 2018 was 9,000 for both weekends, a decrease from 2017). Customers continue to wait until the last minute to make their purchases.

“Toast the Future” Friday night ticket sales: First weekend: Rafanelli sold out; Coppola @ 25/30; Limerick Lane @ 14/30. Second weekend: Seghesio @ 14/30; Thomas George @ 2/30; Gary Farrell at 17/30. WR has spent $50K on BT advertising vs. $15-16K prior year. Advertising is broad as well as local (Bon Appetite, Spectator, Decatur, Vine Pair, SF Chronicle, Press Democrat).

Wine & Food Affair – Clark Wolf. Meeting with Clark after Board meeting today to discuss ways to elevate the 2019 event. Partnering with SCT umbrella so that harvest culminates with WFA. Will consider a “Toast the Future” type of event if successful at BT. May offer one or more cooking classes on Sat; the winemaker breakfast on Sun; a small winemaker dinner or two (dinners not to be coordinated by WR), etc. A winery member training seminar will be required for all participants; WR to offer two identical seminars.

9:50   Marketing & Public Relations

Rancho Mirage: Considered very success for WR. Beth and Misty hosted a Blogger for dinner on Fri, then hosted a very successful luncheon with four professional journalist from the desert. Positive feedback is already coming in. WR had 3 wineries participate at the Fri night event with 9 participating on Sat.

Recent press visits: Getting three great articles from Sonoma Jet Setter featuring each appellation (i.e., DC, AV, RRV). Allison has 14 WR articles in the works and enjoys the perk of free travel while writing about wine. She is more than earning that “free” travel by promoting the region.

Sonoma House: May 28-31. Beth will attend the first night and the educational day. Rosie will represent AV (Beth represented AV last year in her absence.)

10:10 Membership

Surveys – 12-month plan. Task force of Devin, Beth, Honore and Brian Carr. Looking at how to improve surveys to produce information useful to wineries for managing their business (i.e., how to interact with customers; how to engage with SSU students, etc.) vs. just creating an event recap. Wording the questions will become more important.   Honore to create a budget/proposal for a 12 month plan that would be shared with the Board at the April retreat. WR needs to determine how to get higher response rates from its members. Should access to surveys be contingent on participation?

Beth may move the Annual Member Meeting from Dec. to November, 2019.

10:15  Old Business

            Key Partner Program. WR is working with Mo McElroy to sign up 10 partners. Mo signed up WR’s first partner: George Christie of WIN.

10:25  New Business

            Staff update. Laura left WR. Her position will be filled by the existing WR intern, Cassidy Jordan, a recent graduate of NYU. The office is happy and harmonious once again!

-With regards to recent DTC Symposium, WR may consider hosting a quarterly group discussion. Have an industry expert start the discussion, then open it up. Possibly work with survey discussion. Use retreat to brainstorm ideas.

– Beth is interested in offering a seminar on wineries doing small tastings in the homes of customers.

-Need to determine location of April Retreat. May consider inviting Wine Institute to discuss legalities of digital marketing (Stephanie has a contact there). Guest speaker idea: an expert on marketing to millennials- could possibly be someone outside of our industry. The Board is also interested in learning more about subscription models. These tools would then be shared with the greater membership.

Future Meeting Dates;

Executive Board, March 13, 9:00am Wine Road Office

Full Board RETREAT – April 10 & 11– location TBD

Please note, meeting dates have been changed to the 2nd WEDNESDAY of the month.

Posted by Beth Costa