Vinexpo America | Drinks America and the Wine Business Institute at Sonoma State University, a global leader in wine business education and research, present:
Vinexpo America | Drinks America Deep Dive Series: Growing Brands in the US Market.
This educational series explores topics critical to brands looking to enter or expand in the US. The goal of the series is to help wine and spirits producers navigate and better understand the complexities of working in the US market. Topics covered include the latest developments in the industry, consumption and production trends, product pricing in both the on- and off-premise segments, product assortment, and working with distribution partners. Each session features industry experts discussing challenges and opportunities as well as sharing ideas in an open dialogue format while also addressing questions from participants
Product Pricing Strategies for 2022 – Two-part Series
The ever-changing landscape of the wine and spirits market calls for up to the minute knowledge of what is selling both from a style and price-point perspective. This two-part series delves into this rich topic with time to focus on both the on-premise and off-premise channels. Part 1 will cover on-premise strategies and part 2 will explore the off-premise channel.
Part 1: On-Premise
What will the selling landscape look like in 2022 and how can producers set prices to fit into certain niches in the US on-premise channel? Our panel of experts will discuss pricing and positioning strategies to align with restaurant buyers’ approach to inventory. We’ll also discuss where the opportunities can still be found for smaller suppliers to find success. Pricing and positioning in control states and opportunities for new spirits producers will round out the discussion.
Tony Jones, Managing Member, CBL Wine Company, LLC
Tony is a wine and spirits veteran with thirty-two years of industry experience in the retail and wholesale tiers. As Managing Member of CBL Wine Company, an importer and distributor of artisanal wines & spirits across Pennsylvania, he specializes in wine purchasing, sales, marketing, and education. Tony also provides marketing services and product education through Gusto Mundo and previously served as Chief in the Product Management & Pricing Division of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board. This combined experienced has allowed him to become a sought-after expert on placements and sales in control states for small artisanal wine & spirits brands, particularly in the on-premise segment.
Geoff Labitzke, MW, National Sales Manager, Kistler Vineyards
For over nine years Geoff Labitzke has been the Director of Sales and Marketing for Kistler Vineyards, located in Sonoma County, California where they produce vineyard designated Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. In this role Geoff liaises with accounts across the country, and possesses a keen knowledge of on-premise-pricing in the national market. Prior to Kistler, he was Corporate Vice President of Fine Wine for wholesaler Youngs Market Company and before that, Imports Manager for Wine Warehouse. Geoff passed the rigorous Master of Wine examination in 2006, is also a Certified Wine Educator and devotes a great deal of his time annually to educating across all levels of the wine industry. Geoff holds a wine MBA from the School of Business and Economics at Sonoma State University.
Tonya Pitts, Sommelier & Wine Director, One Market
Tonya is an award-winning sommelier and a leader for diversity and inclusion in the hospitality, food and beverage industries. As Sommelier & Wine Director for One Market Restaurant in San Francisco, Tonya curates a wine list including offerings by women, and Black and Latino winemakers. A philanthropist and mentor, she established Women in Wine to improve representation in the industry and serves as an ambassador and advisory board member for Wine Unify, mentoring people in the BIPOC and LGBTQ communities pursuing wine-related careers. Tonya is featured regularly on national television and in print media. Since 2012, Tonya’s wine programs have received Best of Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator. She also judges on a regular basis in wine competitions and is a frequent industry speaker. Tonya holds a bachelor’s degree in fine & studio arts from St. Louis University.
Geralyn Brostrom, Wine Business Instructor – Wine Business Institute, Sonoma State University
Principal, Italian Wine Central
Geralyn has held positions in multiple channels: winery, import, distribution, retail, and the non-profit wine education sector. She teaches in the MBA program at Sonoma State University and has taught wine business at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone. Her published books include Into Italian Wine and The Business of Wine, which was nominated for the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards.
As co-founder of the Italian Wine Central (IWC) website, Geralyn is involved in developing an international network for wine professionals wanting to learn and teach about Italian wines. Prior to starting IWC, she was Vice President of education for Winebow. Geralyn holds a BS in Management and an MBA in Marketing. She is currently pursuing her doctorate in innovation and business studies at Bocconi University in Milan. A dual citizen of the United States and the Italian Republic, her professional wine credentials include the VIA Italian Wine Expert, the Italian Wine Professional (IWP), the Certified Wine Educator (CWE) from SWE and WSET’s Level III Award in Wines and Spirits.
Ray Johnson, Executive Director, Wine Business Institute – Sonoma State University
Ray is executive director of the Wine Business Institute at Sonoma State, the first university in the United States to offer a BS in Wine Business in 1998, the first to offer a Wine MBA in 2008 and the first in the world to offer an Executive Wine MBA in 2012.
Johnson joined the wine business in 1986 at the Christian Brothers’ Greystone Cellars in Saint Helena, California. He went on to sell wine, first on the supplier side, and later in retail, working directly with consumers. He earned his Master’s in Wine Business from the University of Adelaide in South Australia and taught for fourteen years.
Johnson’s work has been published in the Journal of Consumer Marketing, the International Journal of Wine Business Research, Vineyard & Winery Management, and in reviews for consumers and the primer The Good Life Guide to Enjoying Wine.
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