Press Release

DTC Wine Symposium 2023 to Include Keynotes on Podcasting, Packaging, and Politics

October 4, 2022 –The 16th annual DTC Wine Symposium will include thought-provoking, timely keynote topics including the rise of podcasting, trends in alternative packaging, and how the 2023 legislative landscape will influence winery shipping regulations.

Presented by and a fundraiser for Free the Grapes!, the DTC Wine Symposium will be held January 18-19, 2023 at the Hilton Concord Hotel in Concord, California and virtually via livestream and pre-recorded sessions for those participating remotely.

Here is a summary of confirmed keynote addresses:

  • The Rise of the Podcast: How podcasting is bringing education and new consumers to the wine industry. Podcasting is on the rise with an estimated 131 million podcast listeners devoting 23 minutes per day on average in 2022.  Join us for a conversation between two experts: MJ Towler of the The Black Wine Guy Experience podcast and named to the Wine Enthusiast Future 40 2022 list of tastemakers; and winemaker Sam Coturri of The Wine Makers podcast.
  • Alternative Packaging: Why it matters Right Now. The wine industry is finally experiencing significant change and growth in lighter weight bottles, boxes, cans, and tetra paks. There is expansion into active Millennial lifestyles and premiumization of alternative packaging. Speakers Jason Haas, Partner and General Manager, Tablas Creek Vineyard; and Barbara Gorder, Creative Director, Undisclosed Location, will review the current state of greener packaging and how to get management and customers on board for change.
  • Free the Grapes Update / State of the States Legislative Address. This annual update summarizes Free the Grapes’ recent consumer activations and legislative support, presented by Jeremy Benson, Executive Director. It is immediately followed by a summary of the implications of recent legislative wins, and priorities for winery compliance in 2023, presented by Steve Gross, VP, State Relations, Wine Institute.

Workshop Sessions: Proposal Deadline Extended to mid-October

Winery and wine industry DTC professionals interested in speaking are encouraged to review the Workshop Sessions RFP ( and to submit their proposal ASAP to the Steering Committee, who has extended the proposal deadline to October 14.

Topics under consideration include the following –but the Steering Committee encourages proposals to explore other topics of interest to winery DTC managers:

  • Brand strategy vs. marketing strategy
  • Omnichannel marketing strategies
  • DEI
  • DTC pricing strategies
  • Workplace culture
  • Online scams circulating tasting rooms
  • New ecommerce strategies
  • DTC vs. wholesale
  • Consumer event experiences

2023 session topics and speakers will be announced on the Symposium’s website as they are confirmed.

Whether participating in person, remotely or asynchronously, participants can expect thought-provoking keynotes, useful workshop sessions, and Town Hall-type discussions on a variety of current topics as well as a tradeshow of the industry’s leading suppliers. Virtual attendees will have access to the same content with opportunities to join interactive sessions through the event app.

For more DTCWS updates, subscribe to the Free the Grapes! newsletter at and follow the DTC Wine Symposium at

About the DTC Wine Symposium

The DTC Wine Symposium is presented by and a fundraiser for Free the Grapes! The event has funded the Free the Grapes’ PR campaign and the Coalition for Free Trade’s legal work (CFT “retired” in 2014 after achieving its goals). Free the Grapes! works closely with industry lobbyists and regional associations to streamline onerous shipping regulations and to increase the number of legal states, which have grown from 17 to 47 and represent 98% of the US population. The conference is the primary fundraiser for Free the Grapes! which executes state-specific advocacy campaigns encouraging consumers to write to their legislators, and media to cover the issue, in states with active legislation.

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Media Contact: Jeremy Benson, Benson Marketing Group, 917.633.6002, EXT 2,

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