Topics Include Wine Club Retention, Small Winery Strategies, and More

Napa, CA, November 8, 2018 – The Steering Committee for the 12th annual Direct to Consumer Wine Symposium is pleased to announce Workshop Session topics for the summit taking place January 23-24, 2019, at the Hilton Concord Hotel in Concord, California.

Workshop Sessions offer experience-based insights, data, and tangible ideas that can implemented immediately from speakers who are experienced professionals in wineries, wine industry suppliers and associations. Full Workshop Session descriptions and speakers are identified on the event website, and here is a synopsis:

Competing in the Age of Amazon
Much of what drives Amazon’s success is their relentless focus on customer service, fueled by constantly experimenting, testing, learning, and iterating in order to provide the best possible experience for their customers. This session will offer ideas straight out of the Amazon playbook to create a culture that enhances the customer experience and helps wineries compete with the changing retail landscape.

Wine Clubs Reimagined
Family wineries derive the majority of their profits from wine club subscriptions, so club member retention is top-of-mind for owners and club managers. This session will cover lessons on retention from successful wineries and out-of-industry subscription businesses, as well as advice on how to engage current wine club members and re-engage past members.

Staying Legal with Social Media
As social media channels become more important to DTC communications, learn how to keep winery social media programs both effective and legal. Tracy Genesen, Vice President and General Counsel at The Wine Institute, will explore legal questions, outline restrictions, and recommend guidelines to help you and your team stay legal.

Wine Tourism: Built It, Now Will They Come?
With increasing competition and a shift from wine “sampling” to “experiencing,” the tasting room landscape has changed in recent years; getting winery foot traffic is more difficult than ever. This session will discuss current trends in tasting room traffic, how technology has changed visitors’ planning and where to find advantageous strategic partnerships that build engagement.

Driving ROI from Events
Events are terrific vehicles to create brand awareness and customer engagement, but how does that translate into revenue? Event profitability is a challenge and executing the event often feels like more work than it’s worth. This session will share how wineries large and small maximize event opportunities to drive customer engagement, drive positive social media buzz, and most importantly, drive revenue.

We May be Small But We Are Mighty: Small Wineries and Strategies for Success
Managing a wine club, hosting guests, doing tours, planning events and executing digital marketing – it’s demanding on even the largest of wineries. In this session, small wineries will share their business models, organizational structures, techniques and creative solutions for how they get it all done.

Not Your Mother’s Marketing: Leveraging Influencers, User Generated Content, and Experiential Marketing to Drive Sales and Brand Awareness
Gone are the days when the quality of the product alone determined a brand’s success. Today, consumers rely heavily on online product reviews, word-of-mouth recommendations, and their own emotional triggers when making purchase decisions. This session will explore the latest successful marketing tactics and challenges, as well as how wineries of all sizes can implement and leverage them.

Storyselling: Capturing Customers and Sales Through Narrative
Successful companies begin with a clear understanding of their brand essence and then communicate that through a compelling story at a macro level. But breaking the narrative down into micro stories that entertain and create emotional connection is what ultimately sells products, especially luxury goods like wine. This session will discuss the benefits of a compressed and focused wine storytelling skill set, and how to apply this to winery customer experiences online and onsite.

Additional details about the program—including moderators and speakers—is available at To register, visit Early bird discounts end December 14.

About the Direct to Consumer Wine Symposium
The DTC Wine Symposium is presented by and a fundraiser for Free the Grapes! Now in its 12th year, the summit on DTC sales and marketing has raised more than $1.2 million for Free the Grapes’ PR campaign, and the Coalition for Free Trade’s legal work (The CFT “retired” in 2014 after achieving its goals). These two groups have worked closely with industry lobbyists and regional associations to streamline onerous regulations and to increase the number of legal wine shipping states from 17 to 45, which represent 94% of the US population. The DTC Wine Symposium is the primary fundraiser for Free the Grapes!, providing funds for its campaign to engage wine lovers and the media in its support of consumer choice using legal, regulated direct-to-consumer wine shipping.


Media Contact: Ben Palos, Benson Marketing Group, (707) 254-1167,

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