OWB’s new consumer focus

How refreshing to see new management identifying the importance of ‘Winery to Consumer’ sales. Thank you to The Oregonian for publishing this story on 5/15/2011. In addition to Jeannette Morgan, Oregon Wine Board just hired Charles Humble, the new Director of Marketing and Communications. I was at a recent TRMN meeting at Kelty Estate B&B in Lafayette. Charles had a chance to introduce himself after three days on the job. He discussed the importance of small producers in the Oregon wine industry, and the renewed marketing focus at OWB going forward. I talked to Charles afterward and he said “I’ve died and gone to heaven. Working is one thing, but working in an area where you have great passion is another”. We’re looking forward to great things from both Jeanette and Charles. Here’s the article: http://www.oregonlive.com/wine/index.ssf/2011/05/tech_industry_veteran_jeanette.html

Events Season is here!

May started off with beautiful weather and lots of consumer wine events. In the rush of doing so many things year-round, it’s important for wineries to remember event best practices. Let’s start with the 3 reasons we do onsite and offsite events: Sell wine, Sell club memberships, Secure new emails. Are you comfortable asking consumers to purchase? Let’s be certain your associates are too. How about justifying the wine club commitment? How is yours different? Take ‘the teeth’ out of your wine club applications, and make it easy and fun for consumers to join you. How about securing emails? Are you still using a lined pad? Since real estate on tables provided by events is shrinking (I’m now seeing wineries share 8 foot tables), go to a simple 4”X6” tear off pad format to capture: Names, Email address and “How did you hear about us?”. The last piece of information helps you track back to referral sources and media effectiveness. It also alerts you to what winery stories to tell, and what promotional info to provide your audience when you invite them to visit your tasting room, the ultimate reason we do these events in the first place.

SB 442

I just heard about the bill and think this is a long time coming. I work in the wine industry after-all, and know that 75% of our 400 wineries are small producers. They along with hundreds of vineyard owners employ thousands of Oregonians, most of whom toil in obscurity. This simple long overdue (in my opinion) bill brings some measure of attention and respect to one of our most important industries, and we hope this simple measure helps brand Oregon Wine both to those living here and countless visitors to our fine state. I believe the bill is being presented this week. If this becomes a protracted debate by our representatives, you can voice your support by contacting:

Please email and direct the letter to ibernards@TravelSalem.com

Attention: Angie Morris, President & CEO

Cultivating Communities

181 High St. NE

Salem, OR 97301