Wine Road Board – Feb. 9, 2022

Beth Costa on Feb 10, 2022

Wine Road Board Meeting

February 9, 2022 | 9:00am

Cast Wines

In Attendance

☒   Beth Costa (Wine Road)

☒   John Viszlay (Viszlay Vineyards)

☒   Devin Ruddick. (Hook & Ladder Winery)

☒   Lillian Fechter. (Francis Ford Coppola Winery)

☒   Dan Christensen. (Geyserville Inn)

☒   Julia Lander. (Moshin Vineyards)

☐   Oded.Shakked. (Longboard Vineyards)

☒   Jack Seifrick. (Cast Wines).

☒   Katie Ambrosi. (Wilson Artisan Wines)

☒   Aaron Krug  (Best Western Dry Creek Inn)

☒   Harry Wetzel (Alexander Valley Vineyards)

☒   Lucas Meeker (The Meeker Vineyard)

☒   Helen Sharrocks (Balletto Vineyards & Winery)


Approval of Minutes

John called meeting to order at 9:02am

Aaron made a motion to approve December minutes at 9:05am

Danny seconded.

All were in favor. No one opposed.

Treasurers Report

Checking: $129,587.74

  • Includes recent Wineland deposit of $76,651.72
  • $7000 needed to pay Sales Tax from that event

Savings: $150,099.95

Board Elections

Moved to bottom of agenda, so conversation can begin regarding Barrel Tasting Event.

Barrel Tasting

Tickets were made live to winery’s club members and mailing lists. Only 25 tickets were sold and multiple consumers emailed with complaint about price, lack of flexibility and overall experience. To follow up to email exchanges, board determined that price needed to be reevaluated. Email is going out 2/10/22

Recapped WWL:

Sold 900 tickets. Refunded 8 due to consumers comfort level with COVID. 3 wineries cancelled so reservations were moved. No negative feedback from consumers. Winery feedback was that it wasn’t as successful as W&F Affair and purchases were lower. Ticket price was $120 for weekend (increase from $60 from 2020). W&F was $150 for weekend.


Conversation started with feedback on lack of flexibility (with COVID as impact), itinerary, cost and marketing of event.

It was acknowledged that if there were strong ticket sales with just a few complaints, it may be a shift in consumer, however this is not the case. A reevaluation needs to occur because ticket sales are low and feedback was negative.

Discussion of how to add value to experience and market differently, which can’t be done this year when tickets need to launch tomorrow.

Jack proposed a two-day ticket option at $150.

Devin and Lillian discussed $120-$150 ticket, based on WWL and W&F success

Discussion of $120 versus $100 ensued. Some felt that $100 was appropriate, given historical. Others felt that $120 was appropriate, given other events and value of experience.

Jack withdrew his proposal for $150. Beth and Katie felt $100 was appropriate.

Discussion of history of barrel. Guests are challenged with lack of spontaneity in this format.

At $120, Wine Road could have 20% fewer consumers with same revenue.

Jack proposed a hybrid model, where wineries can choose to host by reservation, by no reservation or can host both. All agreed that this could be a way to host events moving forward, but conversation was refocused on decision for Barrel pricing.

Devin motioned at 9:39am:

  • $120 two-day ticket
  • $75 for Thursday or Sunday
  • $200 for four-day weekend ticket

Harry seconded. All in favor. No one opposed.

Conversation continued regarding hybrid model. Board agreed this was a viable idea to continue to discuss for future events.


WineLove Weekend

Harry read Beth’s email and provided general overview of event.

Questions regarding if this will be effective. Discussion of existing Dry Creek event. Beth clarified that the event is sold out and we are not competing or taking guests that had previously purchased tickets. This event would be for new buyers that want to go to event.

Discussion of $100 price point. $200 reimbursement to wineries for “small bites”

Capacity will be per hour, not pre-set 2 tops, 4 tops etc

There was a suggestion that we open it as a hybrid model to test. It was determined that this isn’t viable based on short window to turnaround event and the negative optics it could create with COVID.

Discussion of 4 wineries per day versus 5. Determined 4 is better.

Devin motioned at 9:59am:

  • $100 for weekend ticket (Sat & Sun)
  • Each guest can book 4 reservation per day, 60 minutes each
  • $200 reimbursement total for food per winery for the weekend. Small bites
  • 10% to Dry Creek Organization

Katie seconded at 10:02am. All voted. No opposition

Katie and Lillian suggested to reach out to Dry Creek and ask if they can send out an email, to drive traffic to this event and new consumers. If this event is successful, we could move the weekend next year, as to not compete with Dry Creek.

Devin questioned the WineLove name. He will send out new names within next 24 hrs


Board Elections

Beth read Executive Note Meetings on status of each board member term.

Need 1 winery to replace Julia. Jack suggested Terri from Orsi. Lucas suggested April from Null.

Danny and Jack both confirmed they’d run again as an incumbents.

Devin to remain Vice President.

Board needs a new President. Devin, Lillian and Katie were each suggested by board members as possible candidates.

Old Business

Retreat? All agreed yes, for four hours. June 8th is a proposed date. All would like to continue discussion regarding hybrid model for events.

Podcast – no update

Wine Road Dreamin’ – flip book to be launched on home page, with categories (dogs, gardens, fireplaces etc)

Wine Road Insider – no update

Along the Wine Road – blog was restarted. 1,000 downloads on first post

Wine Road Ambassador – Mysty is managing. 5 have committed

Each project is in different stages on Beth’s desk. She is working to wrap up.


New Business

Jack went to DRINK WELL event in Phoenix Arizona. It was organized by Winegrowers, based on 400k grant. There are three events – Seattle, Phoenix and Denver. He provided positive feedback regarding Influencer/Chef lunch and Grand Tasting. During Grand Tasting, 16 wineries for 2.5 hours with food/wine. He paid hotel, air, and wine. They covered shipping and all other expense. Sold 5 cases/signed up new members. Jack suggested Wine Road explore smaller remote events. Beth reviewed past consumer and press events that had expenses. We need to discuss how to offset costs. Lucas commented on success of additional satellite tastings they have hosted. General conversation continued, but no decision or motion was made.


Meeting Adjourned

Motion to adjourn by Devin at 10:32am.

Harry seconded. Meeting adjourned.


Posted by Beth Costa