Wine Industry Network brings you a one-day conference focused on helping wine industry executives and owners navigate the complicated, but necessary, world of distributor relationships.
“The level of competition for consumer attention in the wine space has never been easy and never will be,” says George Christie, President of Wine Industry Network. “The good news is, there are industry professionals willing to share their expertise and experience to help producers of all sizes navigate their way to success and this conference will feature a few of the best out there” adds Christie.
The symposium, featuring experts from all facets of the three-tier system, is designed to help attendees glean new insights into opportunities the wholesale channel presents. Panelists and presenters will provide you with the tools and techniques you need to change the way your winery works with your distributor partners to maximize this sales channel and grow your brand.
2022 Symposium Topics & Schedule
2022 Symposium Program
Wine Industry Network's President & CEO, George Christie, will be giving a brief overview of what to expect from the Symposium.
Far too often, important pricing decisions are based primarily on how much competitors and/or neighbors are selling their products for, instead of leveraging data at their disposal to make better-informed, fact-based decisions. The session will feature a panel of winery executives to tell their story as to how they have started using predictive analytics to augment their pricing and inventory optimization strategies in 2022 and the results they experienced. This webinar is for industry principals of any size winery looking to strike the perfect balance between maximizing profitability via the proper pricing strategy while at the same time managing depletion rates at a pre-planned pace.
Are you maximizing the holiday sales season to its greatest effect for your business? Are you up-to-date on the latest trends for the "when" and "how" to win more sales this holiday season than years past? This session offers insights and suggestions.
Although traditionally referred to as OND (October, November, December), data demonstrates that the peak months for winery holiday season sales are actually S-O-N, September, October, and November — and less so D, or December. Consumer shopping habits have changed, and supply chain reliability has been rattled.
In this session, we uncover top tips you need to get ready to make DTC holiday magic, perhaps earlier this year than you're used to. Tips range from securing purchases from customers you already have, to optimizing your online store, to gifting wine club memberships.
The last 18 months have seen a massive shift in the types and channels of luxury goods consumed. Millennials turning 40, changing attitudes toward diversity, heightened focus on the environment and COVID all have a significant effect on how the affluent are choosing to spend their discretionary dollars. But did you know it has had a significant effect on the your customer journey and their purchase behavior? Don't get caught being tone deaf to these new attitudes or your brand may be stuck in the "old" way of reaching the luxury buyer.
In this seminar, we explore changing purchase behaviors and how the luxury market is tackling them with expanded and forever changed marketing tactics. We'll look at some resilient luxury brands in parallel markets like fashion for insights and also look at some failed attempts. The attendee will leave with a list of new ideas to try at their winery based on case studies, current research, trends and analytics.
Having a corporate gifting program for the holidays (and perhaps all year round) is a great way to connect with more consumers on an exponential level. To ensure success, it’s important to think through the details and plan early.
Companies give gifts to enhance their relationships and stay 'top of mind' with their clients. What better way to build a lasting, valued relationship than through a gift of wine? It is also good business for your winery. This is a $31.75 Billion business annually and savvy wineries are making millions of dollars - and there is room for more. Are you tapping into the potential for corporate sales?
In this session, learn the key elements of building a successful Corporate Gifting program for your winery from industry experts – developing the offer, marketing materials, who to reach out to. From deadlines to delivery, from outreach lists to package creation, and more, winery panelists will share lessons from their mistakes and what works. Attendees will be ready to start a program (or reinvent) their own program with these key lessons.
Meet the Experts
George Christie, a New Jersey native, settled in Sonoma County after college in 1991 where he quickly realized that the wine industry was where he wanted to concentrate his efforts. Since that time, he has been involved in nearly every aspect of the wine industry, from vineyard operations and grower relations to distributor realignments and national marketing campaigns. Always an active member in the wine community, Christie has also held board positions with the Russian River Wine Road, Winegrowers of Dry Creek Valley and the Sonoma County Vintners. In 2008, George and his wife Tami, along with the Saini Family, partnered to create Saini Vineyards, a winery specializing on Old Vine Zinfandel from Dry Creek Valley.
In 2009, with Elizabeth 'E' Slater, George launched the Wine Industry Network (WIN). What began as an online directory has evolved over the years into one of the leading B2B marketing and media companies serving the wine industry. WIN works with over 600 industry product and service providers and produces the Wine Industry Expo (WIN Expo), the 2nd largest trade show for the wine industry, along with the Wine & Weed Symposium, the Wine Industry Advisor news site and the Afternoon Brief daily news email with over 35,000 industry subscribers.
Susan has 20+ years of wine marketing experience, all in the direct-to-consumer arena. Her industry knowledge, sales expertise, and ability to build relationships have proven instrumental in helping both large and small wineries achieve and surpass their revenue goals. During her time at Windsor Vineyards, Treasury Wine Estates, and Pezzi King Vineyards she has managed inbound and outbound call centers, wine clubs, and customer service organizations, resulting in revenue growth, club membership, and sales that consistently exceeded projections. She has led dynamic and successful training sessions in retail sales and wine club membership that have resulted in improved sales revenue and increased club conversion for numerous tasting rooms including Beringer Vineyards, Chateau St. Jean, Stags’ Leap, St. Clement, Etude, Souverain, Meridian and Cellar 360. Susan holds a diploma in Wine and Spirits from the Wine and Spirits Educational Trust in London.
Kelly was born and raised in the Napa Valley and has worked in the hospitality industry for 12 years. She spent 6 of those years working for her family’s hotel, The Wine Country Inn, 4 of which she was the General Manager. The other 6 years have been with Far Niente Family of Wineries. She started in the tasting room building relationships with clients, and then quickly moved into the Private Client Services department where she did telesales, assisted with custom club memberships, and corporate gifting. She quickly found a passion for helping corporate clients with their large and often complex gifting orders. She has been the Assistant Manager of the Corporate Gifting department for 2 years. In 2020 she saw the need to continue to reach out to clients and customers when they were unable to travel to the winery. To meet that need, she launched the Virtual Tasting department which brought in a large number of new corporate clients. She now works closely with the Virtual Tasting Department, Events, and the Website team to provide gifting clients the best service possible.
Susan DeMatei has over 30 years of luxury direct marketing experience, but in the past 18 she has worked exclusively in the wine industry. In 2012 Susan started WineGlass Marketing, a full-service direct marketing agency for the alcohol space.
Susan holds a B.S. in Communications from Boston University and an A.S. in Viticulture from Napa Valley College. She is a Certified Sommelier with the Court of Master Sommeliers, a Certified Specialist in Wine/Wine Education with the Society of Wine Educators and was awarded a DMA (Direct Marketing Association) award for strategic excellence. She is the marketing columnist for Grapevine Magazine and a frequent freelance writer and speaker at conferences. Susan also is the marketing instructor at the WISE Academy, an adjunct lecturer at the Institute for Enology & Viticulture at Walla Walla Community College, Napa Valley Community College and California Polytechnic State University.
Over the course of Sonyia’s career she has overseen sales and marketing for Constellation Wines, Terlato Wine Group, Visit Napa Valley as well as managing her own consulting business which provided strategies for companies including Iron Horse, Bonny Doon, Highway 12, VinoPro and many others. Sonyia joined the Trinitas Cellars team in June of 2019 as the General Manager. With more than 18 years of experience in wine sales, Sonyia is known as a prime thought leader and amplifier in identifying market trends—innovative approaches in the wine industry which include wine sales programs and consumer targeting, acquisition and retention. Her programs are supported by effective and thorough marketing tactics to support long-term growth and profitability for the company and brand’s essential messaging.
Cathy Huyghe is an entrepreneur, writer and mindfulness proponent. She is the co-founder of Enolytics, a technology-centric disruptor and provider of business solutions for the wine industry. She writes about the business and politics of the wine industry in her column for Forbes online, and she also co-creates the content for A Balanced Glass, a community dedicated to wellness in the wine and spirits world. All three of those ventures have been recognized for their innovative contributions, and in 2021 Huyghe was named one of the industry’s Most Inspiring People by the Wine Industry Network.
Alex is a Digital Marketing Manager who loves creating content and drinking wine. At the age of 23, he tasted his first Cabernet and immediately fell in love, realizing he had to make this discovery accessible to all. Since then, he has worked with wholesalers, wine distributors, private-label and boutique wineries in the Napa Valley. His expertise in customer segmentation, e-commerce, and content production allows him to create engaging content and funnel-based strategies that provide unique customer experiences. As he continues to spread joy, education, and love for the coveted fruit, he now aims to eliminate barriers for people of color in the wine industry.
Jim Moroney is the Proprietor of Sixmilebridge Vineyards in Paso Robles, California. The vineyard was established in 2013. The first vintage was 2016. The tasting room opened in 2020.
From September of 2013 to May of 2018, Jim served as chairman, president and CEO of A.H. Belo Corporation, a publicly traded media company. From 2001 until 2018, Jim was Publisher and CEO of The Dallas Morning News. He served on the A. H. Belo Board from 2013 until 2019.
Prior to 2001, Moroney was president of Belo’s Television Group, assuming responsibility for all of Belo’s television stations in 15 markets across the U.S. Subsequently, he served as executive vice president of Belo, with responsibility for finance, treasury and investor relations. Beginning in 1998, Moroney also served as the founding president of Belo Interactive, Inc. which assumed digital responsibility for all of Belo’s television stations and newspapers.
He currently serves on boards of the State Fair of Texas, the Advisory Board of the College of Communications at the University of Texas and the Bishop’s Finance Council of the Diocese of Dallas. He served as Chair of the Board of the Newspaper Association of America and the Dallas Foundation. He served on the boards of the Associated Press, the American Press Institute, the Television Bureau of Advertising, Andrew Harper, LLC, the Cistercian Preparatory School and Goodwill of Dallas.
In 2004, Editor & Publisher selected Moroney as Publisher of the Year for his accomplishments at The Dallas Morning News. In 2012, he received the Frank W. Mayborn Award from The Texas Daily Newspaper Association for Community Leadership. During his tenure as Publisher, The Dallas Morning News was awarded three Pulitzer Prizes.
Moroney has a bachelor’s degree from Stanford University and an MBA from The University of Texas at Austin.
Moroney and his wife Barbara have five children: Sean, Meagan, Kyle, and twins Callie and Jenny.
Carol spent 18 years working around fermentation before working for Denner. She started her management career at San Luis Sourdough, a local sourdough bread company. There she discovered her passion – working for small, artisan-focused companies that create great food and wine. After a few acquisitions and a Crown Victoria as a company car, she chose to leave the bread business and search out the small company environment again. After a few in-between positions, she found that perfect combination at Denner.
Kari Scott is the Marketing Manager at WineDirect, the only provider of end-to-end DTC solutions for wineries of every size. After many years of managing hospitality and wine club programs at luxury wineries in the Okanagan Valley, BC, she joined WineDirect. Today, she serves as lead storyteller, delivering high-quality client communications that build brand loyalty, contribute to industry education and ultimately help winery clients succeed.
Gaynor Strachan Chun is a seasoned marketing and advertising leader with over 30 years of U.S. and global experience. She has most recently been in Los Angeles as the SVP Marketing and Communications for Cable Networks Oxygen Media, TechTV, G4, and Ovation TV.
Before moving to Los Angeles, Strachan Chun lived and worked in San Francisco for two decades as a Group Account Director at Chiat Day Advertising, Head of Marketing for Esprit Worldwide and Revo Sunglasses. At marketing agencies, she worked on mostly consumer products such as Dreyer’s Ice Cream, Reebok, Coca-Cola, and LucasArts. Her alcohol experience includes Bushmills and the widely popular California Coolers in the late 1980s.
Originally from Scotland, Strachan Chun graduated with a Bachelor degree with merit from Edinburgh University. She will continue to live in San Francisco and commute to Napa.
Bob Terzotis has spent the last ten years leading the business development efforts for Mather Economics. Prior to joining Mather, he enjoyed a 26-year career in audience development and operational lead roles within the publishing industry. The Mather Economics consulting practice is focused on helping our diverse client base including wine & spirits, all aspects of media publishing, sports analytics, lotteries, environmental, telecom, among others, to use their own data to solve ‘last mile’ challenges. Bob’s role focuses on working very closely with clients across the world to achieve their strategic revenue and customer engagement objectives.
Jennifer is an industry professional with 24 years of experience, including 12 years with WISE. She began her career in the wine industry working for Lesley Berglund (Co-Founder & Chairman of WISE) at Ambrosia Wine Catalog/The Winetasting Network shortly after completing her BA in English Literature. Over the course of her career, she has developed expertise in project and account management, market research, copywriting, and editing. Today, in her role as The Glue, Jennifer oversees WISE Operations which includes spearheading the WISE Mystery Shopping Program (now over 5,000 shops); overseeing content development; coaching; account management of WISE wineries; overseeing marketing programs; moderating WISE Cabinets; coordinating, scheduling, and communicating with coaches, attendees and winery partners for a robust class schedule of 20+ courses and onsite training programs throughout California, Oregon, Washington, New York and more.