There is still time to register for the Direct to Consumer Wine Symposium, opening Wed. night, Jan. 23, with a social mixer and video presentation, followed by the all-day symposium on direct wine marketing and sales on Jan. 24.
Here are some thoughts from 2013 DTC event chairman Brian Baker, VP of Sales & Marketing at Chateau Montelena winery:
"A healthy Direct to Consumer business makes the industry healthier overall. Initially, DTC was an option for many small vintners who couldn’t connect to a consumer any other way. With roughly 80 to 90 percent of American wineries producing 5,000 cases or less, getting the attention of a distributor was challenging as was being able to produce enough wine to keep supplies in a market steady.
"As the DTC business has grown, larger vintners have discovered that building a strong brand through DTC can, in fact, grow their traditional three-tier sales. In fact, more than a majority of a given wineries' wine club members purchase more of that wineries' brand through traditional retail outlets than directly from the winery. It’s logical…DTC builds familiarity with the brand…local retailers are more convenient (immediate), and there is no shipping. In many cases, the pricing is better as well. So it’s a win win for everyone."