WR Board Meeting – Sept. 13, 2018

Beth Costa on Oct 3, 2018

Wine Road Board of Directors

Sept. 13, 2018 – 9:00-10:30

Longboard Vineyards (5 Fitch Street, Healdsburg)


Meeting Minutes




9:00   Call to order

Attending: John Vislay (acting as President), Honore Comfort (special guest), Julia Lander, Joe Foppoli, Mike Salinas, Oded Shakked, Chris Lynch, Thomas Schwarting, Stacy Rafanelli, Stephanie Wycoff, Lillian Nichelson, Devin Ruddick, Jenny Lamarre, Carri Holdredge, Beth Costa

Absent: Carla Jeffries


9:05    Review August minutes

Minutes approved


9:10   Messaging & Positioning (MP)

Honore shared a Powerpoint slide which summarized WR’s positioning statement for its many audiences: 1) overarching message  2) members  3) visitors  4) media  5) community. Statements were created after committee explored the core message of Wine Tourism via four themes: 1) Visit   2) Stories   3) Connection   4) Profitability.

-Beth to send meeting invite to MP Committee to develop “supporting facts” to support the messages, plus tweak any existing language.

-Beth to create list of 20 wineries that WR can re-invite to organization

– Beth to create one page spreadsheet on Barrel Tasting with five talking points RE: how to bring members back into the fold. Beth will send two of the new Barrel Tasting videos to members who have dropped out. Ideal participation is 100 wineries.


9:40    Website

Reviewed work in progress. Website committee is Chris Lynch, Beth, and Rebecca Germolus. Featuring 6 different experiences (i.e., Garden & Cave; Elevated Food & Wine, etc. All three appellations listed with day trips in each appellation. Each member is listed in at least one day trip (if not more). Launch date remains Dec. 1st. WR to incorporate the messaging statements listed above in the website.


9:50    Taste the Future ~ Barrel Tasting

Friday night event: “Toast the Future”  Goal is to have 3-4 wineries per weekend hosting 30 guests each. The host wineries are not participating in Barrel Weekend. Beth has reached out to approximately 20 wineries and awaiting response.

Video & Seminar: WR filmed 20 short winemaker interviews for Barrel Tasting. Planning to group 3 winemaker videos together and post on social media.

** Beth to create a consumer contest “What do you like about Barrel Tasting?”

-BT Seminar set for Nov 28th. Speakers to include Devin Ruddick, Tom DeBiase, and possibly 1 or 2 more. Beth will videotape the seminar and may host a second seminar.

Advertising: Begins in November (Decatur); WSpectator in Jan; Sip & Tips (looks like editorial)   Using Adverator to buy remnant space. Spending more than in prior years.

Target large employers in bay area: see corporate sales below




10:10 Corporate Sales

Targeting 20 large employers in and outside of Bay Area (i.e., Sun Air in MN). Minimum purchase of 100 tickets w/10% discount (for either weekend, not both), plus $35 value One Day Tasting Pass, and one hour early check-in at six designated wineries with light breakfast. Sales period: Oct 1- Jan 31. Beth to send gift pack with a bottle of wine to corp buyer. Possible lodging discount; no buses allowed. Possible discount from limousine/tour company.


10:15  Sonoma County Tourism (SCT)

SCT held their annual event. Their focus was on “what you can do in Sonoma County” (i.e., meditate at the ocean, vs. just the ocean.) Waiting to hear back from SCT’s PR firm to determine what to advertise. Beth to invite Claudia (SCT Exec Dir) to WR’s Dec luncheon. WR to determine what we’d like to learn from them, establish a regular engagement so that we can coordinate our efforts; perhaps meet twice a year.


Press event in NY Oct. 23 + WR lunch

Beth invited to attend SCT press event, along with a cheese producer, and a few other vendors (taking So.Co. on the road).

10:20 Brand Ambassadors

            Steve from Florida –welcome gift basket (staying for 10 days at Hotel LaRose)

Contest winners – Instagram


10:25 New Business

Surveys – Consumer and Winery

60 wineries have responded so far, along with 50 consumers. Only members will receive the data from the surveys.


-Beth meeting with Rob from SVB next week re: Dec Annual Meeting. May deposit WR funds in SVB if he participates with WR.


– Beth to invite the Directors from all three AVAs – DC, AV, and RRV to our general board meetings in 2018/2019. One director per meeting to establish an information exchange.


-Community Benchmark: Data service firm for Tasting Room metrics. Active in Napa with 54 members. Cost of $1600-$1700 per winery to be a data provider. Beth to invite him to our Dec meeting (possible brief presentation and/or a table at the meeting).


-Dec General Meeting: Now set for Dec. 4th, 8-10am at Vintner’s Inn (VI was unable to provide a late afternoon/early evening time slot for 12/4.)


POST SCRIPT – Treasurer’s Report – checking $64,099.42     savings $190,061.17



Future Meeting Dates;

Full Board, October 11, 9:00am –at Longboard

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

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

Posted by Beth Costa