The program for DTCWS23 will be released in Fall 2022. Take a look at last year’s sessions below:

Welcome & Keynote: The Language of Wine

The Language of Wine goes back centuries, but have we been able to change the way we speak about wine over the most recent decades to be relevant to consumers and grow business? Are we inclusively connecting with everyone who loves wine or are we intimidating them? Please join us for an in-depth conversation on how we can engage broader audiences while remaining accurate and pertinent.

Leading this conversation will be our moderator Isis Daniel, known as The Millennial Somm (TMS). She is a certified Level 2 Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) wine professional from Washington, DC.

  • Ed Feuchuk
  • Evan Goldstein, Full Circle Solutions, President and Chief Education Officer
  • Isis Daniel, The Millennial Somm, CEI


Keynote: 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 2022, presented by Steve Gross, VP, State Relations, Wine Institute.

  • Jeremy Benson, Benson Marketing Group, President
  • Steve Gross, Wine Institute, VP, State Relations


Be Our Guest: Reservations versus Walk-ins. Which Works Best?

While tasting rooms have had to heavily rely on reservations for the last two years (some for the very first time) there is no debate that reservations have changed the landscape for the wine industry. But what works? What doesn’t? Does the style of wine, price point, location, etc. play a big part into reservations versus no reservation systems? Join us for this discussion as we look at wineries who have tested different systems, leveraged their lessons, and are moving the needle in DTC.

  • Jennifer Warrington, WISE
  • Kimberly Whistler, Lede Family Wines, VP Marketing & DTC Sales
  • Tatum Tollner, Hahn Family Wines, DTC & Hospitality Manager
  • Cameron Metzker, Pangloss Cellars, Repris Wines, Texture Wines, Director Of Hospitality


Tech with a Human Touch: New Ways to Create Authentic Relationships that Convert

Join us for a fresh take on relational selling. Learn how to use technology like LinkedIn and text messaging to find and qualify target audience members, create authentic relationships, deepen essential connections with club members and make more sales. We’ll first explore a 2021 text messaging case study with Judd’s Hill, Cuvaison, and Hess Persson facilitated by RedChirp and the WISE Academy. Then we’ll walk through DigiVino’s campaign strategy, implementation process, and results of their Living Large with LinkedIn campaign, recently launched for the high-caliber, canned wine brand, Mini Vacay Rosé. Participants will leave with actionable ideas, templates, and expert contacts, inspired and equipped to immediately begin creating authentic connections and conversions leveraging tools like LinkedIn and text messaging.

  • Pamela Snyder, DigiVino Wine Marketing, CEO
  • Tamara Franscioni, Mini Vacay Wines, Owner
  • Jennie Gilbert, RedChirp, Founder


Keeping it Compliant: Best Practices for Wine Shipping Compliance

With states hungry for revenues and new laws being passed monthly, staying on top of compliance can be a full time job for wineries. Whether you are managing compliance yourself or utilizing software, now is the time to certify that you are at the top of your game. In this session, go beyond normal shipping compliance and prepare for the future of DTC shipping with two of the beverage industry’s leading compliance experts. You’ll learn best practices for wine shipping compliance, the areas that states are targeting for violations, how to stay legal with third party marketplaces, and techniques to ensure proper compliance at all levels of your organization.

  • Alex Koral, Sovos ShipCompliant, Regulatory General Counsel
  • Jeff Carroll, Avalara, General Manager for Beverage Alcohol


How Do You Use Social Media? — Social Media Strategies

We all have “social media” as part of our marketing mix, but how are we using it? How is this critical (and very time consuming) channel positioned in your toolbox? This session brings together three very different wineries with three very different ways of getting the most out of their social media efforts. We will review the different ways channels like Facebook and Instagram can be used to solve marketing problems and present some real-life case studies with results. Join us as we try to answer the question “Are you getting the most out of your social media efforts?

  • Susan DeMatei, WineGlass Marketing, President
  • Natalie Williams, Gamble Family Vineyards, Director, Digital Sales & Marketing
  • Cyrus Hazzard, Crocker Starr, Executive Vice President
  • Harry Oranges, Tres Perlas, Brand Director


Maximize Consumer Retention in Today’s Supply Chain with PeriShip, Find new Consumers with ShopRunner, presented by FedEx

Jerry Van Sickle, FedEx Regional Sales Manager for eCommerce and Wine Vertical, will lead a panel discussion that will review a way to use PeriShip in giving consumers the ability to manage every shipment and work through predictive and reactive shipment status, manage recovery of temperature impacts of shipments in transit.  As well, we will feature a key guest of honor from Silver Oak, a current Periship user to share their experience.  Lastly, we will introduce ShopRunner, an eCommerce membership platform that can help you capture new consumers in the high-end buying space.

  • Jerry Van Sickle, FedEx, Manager Sales, Ecommerce Wine Vertical
  • Curt Kole, FedEx
  • Linda Colliver, Silver Oak, Manager Customer Care and Fulfillment
  • Brittanie knezovich, ShopRunner, Director Business Development


Town Hall: Great Talent is Hard to Find — How to engage and retain your rock stars

Bring your questions to this lively Town Hall session, where you drive the agenda. Chloe Tyer will moderate a give-and-take on the most pressing employee retention issues, soliciting solutions and ideas from the audience (that’s you).

  • Chloe Tyer, Lawrence Wine Estates, Executive Director of Membership and Guest Experience
  • Erik Elliott, Heitz Cellars, Estate Director


eCommerce 2019 – 2021 — Where We’ve Been and Where We’re Headed, presented by WineDirect

Wine eCommerce sales have enjoyed a massive increase since 2019, fed by the creation of additional online marketing activities of wineries trying to stay afloat during COVID. But when tasting rooms opened up, many wineries returned to focus on hospitality, abandoning the emphasis on online sales. The result has caused a backslide in sales for some, but not all. In this session we’ll share anonymized data across our platform to identify traits of wineries who continued their trajectory of sales growth in the digital channel. By reviewing common traits and programs we will discuss strategies that are working for others that the attendees can use back at their own wineries. We will also look ahead into “headless” commerce as the consumers continue to choose to merge purchasing channels and identify automated tools that will allow wineries to scale to compete with large online retailers and delivery apps.

  • Jim Agger, WineDirect, Senior VP, Ecommerce


Keynote: Generational Workforce Optimization in a Post Pandemic World

The modern-day workplace has four generations working under one roof. Baby Boomers, Generation Xers, Millennials and Generation Z all work together to accomplish common organizational goals and succeed in business. Add to this the challenge that family-owned wineries are often faced with multigenerational ownership involved in operations, and the overall need to build diverse and capable hospitality- focused teams to support growth.

  • Jeff Butler, Trinity Fix, Founder


Keynote: Igniting a Conversation, The power of provocative conversations in consumer communications

Making noise and gaining visibility in the marketplace is no longer achieved exclusively through ads, press releases, stunning websites, or even social volume. Capturing the attention of influencers and the public at large increasingly requires an orchestration of multiple tactics that are harmonized across paid, owned, and earned opportunities. Even more important than how and where you show up is what you say when you get there. Some of the most rewarding awareness is generated by people and companies that are not afraid to challenge the status quo or ignite a lively debate.

  • Alaina Merrill, Angi, Director Of Media Relations
  • Cheri Carpenter, Better Said LLC, Founder & Owner


Virtual Tastings: Sideshow or Mainstay? Tips for Turning Your Virtual Tastings into a Revenue Stream

One day we were happily serving wine to thousands of wine-loving customers. And the next, the world all but ground to a halt. 2020 was a wake-up call for wineries to take a hard look at how they were engaging the consumer, and how to continue to do so in the face of immense challenges. Enter: the virtual tasting. While the world is opening back up, there remains uncertainty with COVID-19 variants… and other inevitable obstacles that life and business present at any given moment! So, should you continue doing virtual tastings? Yes! This session will share the dos and don’ts that we’ve learned over the past 18 months on how to start or continue to leverage the virtual tasting for uncovering additional revenue channels, attracting new customers, and retaining wine club members.

  • Devin Parr, Devin Parr & Assoc. LLC, Founder & Managing Partner
  • Damian Doffo,Doffo Winery, CEO/Winemaker
  • Brianne Cohen, Brianne Cohen, Virtual Vino, Principal


Staying Legal in a Digital World – Restrictions and Guidelines to Stay Legal Online

As social media channels become more important communication platforms for consumer engagement and DTC sales, keeping your social media program both effective and legal are critical. In this annual update, we will explore legal questions, outline restrictions and recommend guidelines to help you and your team stay legal online.


Growing Ecommerce Sales in 2022, presented by Commerce7

Learn to lean into the fastest growing DTC sales channel. Through this session, we’ll dive into the strategies and best practices related to selling more wine online. The session will focus on optimizing your website to increase add-to-cart clicks, shopping cart conversions, average order value, spontaneous purchases, and repeat purchases.

  • Zach Kamphuis, Commerce7, VP Business Development


Strike it Rich! Basic Tips & Tricks for Making Your Database Work for You

Capturing data from incoming guests is one thing but are you missing the mark by not utilizing that information to its full potential? From segmentation to value-added emails (and everything in between) this back to basics session will reveal tips and tricks from a panel of experts on how to use the information you already have to create a healthy database that works for you.

  • Liz Mercer, Judd’s Hill Winery, General Manager
  • Samuel Aragon, Rombauer Vineyards, Manager, Strategy & Analytics
  • Curtis Strohl, B Cellars, General Manager


First Look: 2022 Direct-to-Consumer Wine Shipping Report, presented by Sovos ShipCompliant & Wines Vines Analytics

In this live session, get a preview of key findings from the 2022 Direct-to-Consumer Wine Shipping Report, including what did and didn’t change from 2020 in our second pandemic-influenced year. Be among the first to hear updated reporting for all of 2021 on volume, value, shipment destination states, as well as outcomes by region, varietals, and price tiers.

An annual collaboration between Sovos ShipCompliant and Wines Vines Analytics, the Direct-to-Consumer Wine Shipping Report is considered the most accurate representation of the American direct-to-consumer shipping channel, with analysis and predictions that enable meaningful benchmarking.

  • Larry Cormier, Sovos ShipCompliant, VP, General Manager
  • Andrew Adams, Wines Vines Analytics, Editor


Romancing the Guest: Techniques for Selling Your Story on the Floor

If you’re not building relationships, you’re breaking them. No amount of swag bag goodies for top-level members or purchasers will extend loyalty, but relationships built with owners, managers and staff nearly always will. It’s like a marriage: you have to work the relationship! In this workshop, you will learn to amplify your brand story and develop new ways to engage and converse with your guests, allowing for stronger relationships and in turn better sales and membership growth.

  • Lynda Paulson, Founder & Owner, Success Strategies, Inc.


Town Hall: From Boomers to Gen Z. Real Consumers in Real Time & Closing

A lively discussion with multi-generational wine consumers, moderated by Brian Baker that will touch on issues, relevant perceptions, and behaviors important to DTC marketing, sales and hospitality professionals in a post COVID-19 world.

  • Brian Baker, Cultivar Marketing, Founder
  • Barbara Gorder, Undisclosed Location, President
  • Brigg Bloomquist, Bob Industries, Director
  • Teju Owoye, Sulte Group and Clean Rebellion, Founder
  • Regina Seifert, Creative Producer
  • Mia Netherton, Monahan Law Group, LLC, Legal Assistant
  • James Farley, Self-employed contractor


It’s a Wrap! Virtual Wine Tasting with the DTCWS Steering Committee

BYOW. Join us for a virtual toast with the Steering Committee! Let us know what worked, what didn’t, and what you’d like to see more of next year. And we’ll share our key takeaways: what we learned, and what ideas, tips, and solutions we will deploy in our own companies. Cheers!

  • Jeremy Benson, Benson Marketing Group, President
  • Brian Baker, Cultivar Marketing, Founder
  • Susan DeMatei, WineGlass Marketing, President
  • Barbara Gorder, Undisclosed Location, President
  • Brandon Allen, Van Duzer Vineyards, DTC Manager
  • Jessah Diaz, Rutherford Wine Co., Assistant Marketing Manager
  • Chris Grossman, Chateau Montelena Winery, Manager, DTC Operations
  • Meredith Hayes, Ram’s Gate Winery, Director, DTC Sales & Marketing
  • Kasey Helt, Center of Effort Winery, Director of Hospitality
  • Leah Mcnally, Ste Michelle Wine Estates, Sr. Manager, Ecommerce | Ste. Michelle Wine Estates
  • Patricia O’Brien, Danza del Sol Winery, Vice President Sales & Operations
  • Kelly Petrillo, Long Meadow Ranch, DTC Consumer Sales and E-Commerce Manager
  • Ron Scharman, Astra Digital Marketing, CEO