Notes from Annual Member Meeting – December 2021

Beth Costa on Jan 16, 2022

General Meeting Dec. 2021

Hello everyone –

In case you missed our Annual Member Meeting in December – this is an overview.
I have given it my best shot to recap the topics we covered.
First off –  Thank you to Katie Ambrosi and her team at Coyote Sonoma for hosting our meeting.
Thank you to all of the wineries that brought wine to share at the meeting and wine for us to use for various promotions throughout the year.
Then I really have to say just how GREAT it was to finally see so many of you in person. There have been so many staffing changes, there were several people at the meeting I have been working with for the past 10-20 months, but had never met.  I loved seeing all of you!
These are the main points we covered:
Thank you to the following businesses who have helped support us for the past year:
Current Wine Road Board of Directors – Link Here
2021 By the numbers  
  • Wine Road currently has 121 winery members and 32 lodging members 
  • We mailed 3700 online map requests in 2021
  • We hosted 3 events in 2021 – all smaller, reservation only, but highly successful
Current Benefits of Membership
– Exposure / inclusion in our new Weekly Featured Member, on our home page
– Opportunity to be a guest on our Wine Road Podcast
– My Wine Road Newsletter – submit info for our gift guides, virtual events, varietal of the month
– Seminars and Training – example our current Responsible Beverage Service
– Inclusion in our blog posts in Along the Wine Road
– Events – participate at a level you are comfortable with – limited seating, reservations only
– Social Media exposure – Wine Road is active on multiple platforms, promoting our members
– Being in the know…weekly Member Memo with updates from Wine Institute, Family Winemaker and more
Firm Financial Ground
– We have maintained $150,000 in savings
– ›We did receive a PPPLoan, a CA Grant of $15,000, 2 Sonoma County Grants of $2500 each, a $12,000 sponsorship from Stay Healdsburg and $12,000 from Ron Rubin Winery for our podcast.
– ›Debbie has been back in the office since July, working 10-15 hours a week. She is currently working 20-30 hours a week.
2021 Event Recap
›Cellars are Closed/Libraries are Open – 23 wineries
›Winelove Weekend – 43 wineries / 420 tickets
›Easter Egg Barrels – 30 barrels
›8 Days in May – 43 wineries / 250 tickets
›Wine & Food Affair – 35 wineries / 1200+ tickets
Although we have had to scale back, the reception for our events has been great – all year!
Customers are understanding the reservation format and wineries appreciate the control they have over the traffic throughout the day.
Wine Road Podcast
›You can find us on most platforms:
deezer, Spotify, NPR, Soundcloud, heart  radio, iTunes, Libsyn…you name it
›Or… hit up our website
›In April we won another Taste Award and were added to their Hall of Fame.
›We currently average 1200-1500 downloads per show
›IMAGINE what we could do if YOU shared the link in your newsletters or wine club shipments – just once.
In order to grow our listeners, we sincerely need our members to share the links to our show.
If by chance we interview a winemaker with a tasting room in Windsor, we don’t just talk about his winery, or tasting room – we talk about ALL of the tasing rooms in Windsor, and why Windsor is such a great stop when you’re planning a visit. So if YOU are in Windsor, you should share that link.
Each show promotes multiple members – wineries, lodgings, restaurants in the area.
…we’re sending out a tool kit to make it easy for you to share – we need your help!
We will get those out to all of our members by the end of the month.
Help us, help you.
›Thank you to Ron Rubin Winery for sponsoring the podcast for the full year – Ron has covered all of the costs for producing the show. This financial support has made it possible for us to keep it going. He has also reached out to confirm his sponsorhip for the next year!  We are so grateful for the support.
In 2021 We Produced;
ü25 Podcasts   
ü14 Newsletters   
ü3 Varietal of the Month posts


›980 new subscribers
›16,200 click throughs on newsletters
My Wine Road – enews – Sent 1-2 times per month 
›53,000 Subscribers
›32.2% Open rate (slightly above average)
›7.3% Click to open rate (industry average is 3.9%)

– Holiday Gift Guide highest click

– Varietal of the Month, close 2nd

– Followed by all event emails

›Sessions: 281,382  
›Users  193,120
›Page Views  754,932
›Top Pages:
›Event Calendar
›Wine & Food Affair
›Tasting Pass
›Just under 2019 numbers, but dramatically improved from 2020. 
All on the uptick!
  Recent Website Updates
›Lodging Pages
›Added link to each lodgings Trip Advisor page
›Added a photo
Weekly Featured Members
›Photo and text ~ 2 wineries & 1 lodging each week
Wine Road Dreamin’ (coming soon)
›A online flip book with beautiful photos to inspire visitors
    Maps – Website – Events – Podcast – Concierge Service – Wine Road Ambassadors
Wine Road Ambassadors – A NEW Wine Road Program
Goal – 12 Ambassadors
        Wine Road/winery fans and micro influencers
Online application, direct invitation and shared in newsletter
Content that is shared by brand advocates gets 8x more engagement than content shared by brands 
Wine Road Insider – A NEW Wine Road Program
›Goal –  500  “Insiders”. (A club format with a yearly fee)
› Online application to launch mid to late January
› – Ongoing benefits – discount on event tickets, wine, 2 for 1 tasting
› – Limited Time Perks – members can post offers for a week or a moment
› – Beyond the Wine Road – other local businesses can offer perks for our Insiders
We are developing this program to create a revenue stream so we can move our marketing initiatives forward.
Our 2022 FOCUS
  ①Execute Exceptional Events
②Grow our Wine Road Ambassador program
③Increase Our Exposure Via Flipboard. A news app with very focused audiences to target.
④Develop Wine Road Insider, developing Perks & Privileges for our Insiders
⑤Build Our Corp Gifting / VIP Program
That’s A Wrap 
– We are excited to see what 2022 has to offer!

– We are making plans and working hard to move things forward for the benefit of our members.

– Our Board would love to hear from you when you have ideas that you think would be a benefit or when you have issues you think we need to address.  Reach out.

#WineRoadLife.   #SipSonoma

Posted by Beth Costa