This year we are taking our most popular sessions, the Industry Breakouts, and making them even more cutting edge. We will break into two groups, focused on Marketing (Ballroom East) and Tourism (Ballroom Middle), and share Best Practices on each subject. We will start by having each person in attendance take one minute to relate a success story in the subject of wine marketing or wine tourism. You can choose anything you want, on any subject, with large results or small. We will use the remaining time to delve deeper into any of the success stories or, as a group, walk through a series of topics related to wine marketing or wine tourism. With each group consisting of various types of attendee (winery, association, DMO, tour operator, marketing agency, hotel, etc), there should be plenty of great ideas flowing. Please come prepared with at least one thing your organization has done that has worked great for you and be ready to share. Our Marketing moderators are Jeremy Schubert of Lunabean Media and Anne Hallock of FessParker Winery & Vineyard.
WMTC 2020 Best Practices - Marketing
Following are success story “best practices” offered by participants of our 360 Degree Sharing
Best Practices session at WMTC20. Co-moderated by Jeremy Schubert, Owner of Lunabean
Media, and Anne Hallock, Director of Marketing and Strategic Partnerships at Fess Parker
Lessons from Jeremy’s keynote: audit, assess, hold accountable.
Jeremy - invest in a brand kit to ensure consistency in storytelling. A brand kit includes fonts,
mission statement, story, colors.
Anne - be willing to stop doing something that isn’t quite working. Stay focused on the customer
as you evolve to ensure you’re meeting their needs.
Jeremy - when it comes to generational thinking: stop thinking of cohorts as one thing; build
relationships - wine buyers have always cared about what goes into the product. That hasn’t
Put Millennials in marketing positions if you want to authentically
Look at Dry Farm Wines - they market on natural elements
Brian - Vinbound Marketing - so much tourism is based on people who live locally. They go back
to the same wineries over and over because they’re overwhelmed by choice. We have to move
beyond inspirational websites. Example:
WineryHunt Oregon - 2017/2018 - helping people where to go wine tasting. Uses a
membership model where they offer members 3 suggestions for wineries to visit
monthly, and they’re extended a 10% discount on purchases when they visit.
Waters Winery - Walla Walla WA - says they had 150 extra people come into the tasting room
when they participated in WineryHunt recently!
Jennifer Apolloni Winery - produce about 6500 cases annually. Recommends using data! They
didn’t track anything when she first started.
She started at the winery and started tracking:
● Tasting room visits
● Event sales
● Topline revenue
● Non club traffic
● Conversion rates
● Bottle sales
● Average transaction
Grew 27% last year. Now measuring year over year. Now knows, “In order to grow
internet sales, we have to send X email messages.”
Brooke - The Social Sip, a social marketing agency for wineries. When it comes to getting
budget to hire outside agencies - show direct sales correlated to the social support.
Stephanie - Vidon Vineyard - anytime she needs budget, she asks the owners what brands they
like (whose marketing they’ve noticed) and then she finds out what agency they’re using.
Lynda - Wine Communicators of Australia. You always get a tour of the barrel room, etc.
Experiences need to be more differentiated than ever before. Leverage personalities.
Jessica - Abbey Creek Vineyard - Oregon's first and only black-owned winery!
“We only talk about feelings and story. We don’t talk about our soil, our clones, etc. It’s about
how the wine makes you feel.”
Bertony - owner and winemaker - big personality they leverage constantly.
● Documentary: Red, White and Black
Two EE’s Winery - Indiana. Owner loves dubstep, they’re a young couple with a lot of
They chose to start responding on social media with gifs. It felt like a risk.
As a result of authentic, personality-led engagement, they’ve grown their social media
following by 20k, organically.
Adelsheim Vineyard - 50 year old winery - what’s the balance between historical, respected
brand and evolving appropriately?
Michelle - Stoller Wine Group. Their founder retired and was no longer affiliated with the
company at all.
They decided to lean in on their “Chehalem” brand. It’s a native word meaning “Valley of
Flowers.” Their storytelling revolved around that. They took a sort of Walking Dead, “I am
Neegan” approach and say that everyone on the team represents the essence of the
brand rather than a single individual.
Tina - Hospitality Manager and Chef - Abacela. Visits were consistent but it was the same
customer set so sales volume was dropping. They're about to launch a rebrand with an outside
Ami - GM at Lieb Cellars, Long Island, NY. Founded 40 years ago. In 2013, Mark Lieb (founder)
sold to investors including the winemaker. Estate label was connected to the founder so they
created a really strong second label - Bridge Lane Wine. Up to 37k cases of wine annually.
Focus on alternative packaging bc north fork of Long Island is near the Hamptons – can, box,
keg. They sell keg wine direct to consumers.
Janiene - The Family Coppola - well known founder, the filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola. Re:
transitioning - “The gift he gave us to get ahead of being ‘stuck’ marketing his person is the pool
on site – it was 100% his idea. He wanted a place where families could hang out together. You
don’t have to be at a tasting bar to experience the wines.”
“Fewer and fewer people know Francis as the person, they come in for the experiences.
Movie night, concerts, live music, etc.”
Adelsheim focused on creating revenue-generating spaces. They had leftover space in their
wine cave, so they created a spot for a $75 per person dinner venue. Their garden has a view of
the winery and the mountains - they offer self-guided tours.
Jeremy - Lunabean Media - tasting room traffic drives club sales. A self-guided tour gives the
feeling of a treasure hunt.
If your first experience with a winery is that they educated you, they keep a special place
in your heart,
Lieb Cellars - we know people come out to about four wineries in a day. Based on that insight,
we chose to partner with other wineries in the area for an annual rosé crawl on National Rosé
Day. Makes the event feel a lot bigger and you get 4x the marketing support! Now wineries
approach us as the organizer to ask if they can be involved.
Waters Winery has had lots of success with partnerships because their tasting room is in the
South of Downtown (SODO) district of Seattle. They’ve got 11 tasting rooms in the complex and
they’ve all banded together to create marketing clout and form a true ‘destination’ together.
Katie - Sweet Cheeks Winery - They have a 15-year-old winery, and a second tasting room
downtown Eugene. There are different cultures between the two tasting rooms.
Justina - Patton Valley Vineyard - they have a “pop-up” tasting experience at Hotel Monaco in
Portland. It’s more than an hour from the winery. It’s a very different experience than the
vineyard tasting room.
Lunabean Media Note: Related article,
Question: How do you build staff cohesion with multiple brands and locations?
Pamela - Iris Vineyards says:
Bring staff together in person
Visit the home vineyard
Lunches with cellar team
“Work hard, play hard”
Marketing meetings at the vineyard
Tech tastings for staff
Coppola - they had a Napa office, people also worked in Rutherford. They had a tiny little
temporary tasting room but Mr. Coppola insisted they stay open. “He wanted people to be
curious about what’s going on with the construction.”
How do they manage culture when they have multiple locations?
● Senior leaders split time between the two offices
● Executive team stays accountable for showing up to locations, ex.
Don - VinoPro - telesales 10x more valuable than an email. Helped winery called Benziger –
printed out cards: “what was your favorite wine today?” They had a 100% response rate.
Question: What technology platforms do people use?
Coppola - passion project - Optimove.
They have a lot of different systems:
● Reservation system for their pool
● Bronto for email
Optimove offers predictive analytics.
● Registered-only customer
● First purchase customer
● One-time risk customer
● Return customer
● Active customers
● Active club members
She is evangelizing to get this adopted but is also respecting the demands on the team
and not just pushing it down the line.
Optimove makes their money on data storage; the email product is priced somewhat
Kelley - Styring Vineyards - “we have a feast options.” How do you make decisions?
Sarahanne - Oregon Wine Experience - leverage relationships and volunteers. Created “Grape
to Glass” video for Abacela that Abacela shows before tastings.
Janiene - I keep track of “the things that gnaw at me” - ex. chat for web!