I would like to begin by thanking all of our members for supporting the Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers Association. Especially as we’ve been undergoing some substantial evolutions over the past year, working to build a foundation for sustained growth, your continued support and engagement has been critical. As we finish out 2013 and are getting to work bringing in perhaps one of our best harvests of all time, it is already time to begin planning for the next year ahead.
Before we move forward it is helpful to take a moment to reflect on the elements of change that the Association has experienced in 2013. After recruiting and hiring Megan Metz as our new Executive Director, the Board went to work developing a 5-year strategic plan to guide our efforts elevating the status of the Santa Cruz Mountains on the local, regional and national stage. Our goal is simply to have our region attain its well deserved status among the world’s premier wine producing regions.
With renewed focus and increased Board participation, along with Megan’s professional guidance, we have implemented a suite of internal operational and accounting improvements. We also focused heavily on our promotional events, aiming to improve the experience for our customers and value for our members. We made strategic decisions to invest in increased promotion and outreach to key wine industry opinion leaders in the trade and media. Results from these efforts include recent articles in the Huffington Post, Wine Enthusiast, Connoisseurs Guide, Tasting Panel, San Jose Mercury News, San Francisco Chronicle, and the Sommelier Journal to name a few.
Looking forward we have much to be excited about. To begin with, we are hopeful our upcoming Professional Wine Tasting event (replacing the previously scheduled Wine Competition), will continue to build improved press and media exposure as we welcome a strong set of top flight professional tasters to experience our wines.
By now you all have received our announcement about the new SCMWA website. This updated website provides a fresh new online face for our region to the world. Currently SCMWA.com receives almost 6,000 unique visits a month from folks wanting to learn more about the region. We expect our improvements in site function, efficiency, and information quality will help drive new customers to our tasting rooms and promotional events. We look forward to continual improvement in our website and social media engagement.
As a Board, we understand that there is a need for improvement in membership communications as well. Along with the new website, another major new initiative we are rolling out to address this need is a monthly digital newsletter, which will include information about Staff and Board activities, upcoming market events, Committee reports and opportunities. Currently planned newsletter topics include:
- Internal and external calendar Items
- Ongoing PR tour notices and media coverage
- Social media/Google analytics
- Committee report & opportunities
- Access to SCMWA financial summaries and Board minutes
- Local/Industry issue info/action
Please make sure that you contact Megan if you haven’t been receiving email notices from the SCMWA office.
In addition to these efforts we have an ambitious set of tasks planned for late fall including:
- Revisiting & Updating the Strategic Plan
- 2013 Event Review
- 2014 Calendar Discussion and Approval
- 2014 Membership Renewals
- Board of Directors Elections
- Ideas & Brainstorming Sessions:
- Increasing wine tourism
- Increasing trade and media visits
I am hopeful you find the information contained in this letter informative and useful. We have made significant strides in this past year and have much to be excited about for the coming one. I believe strongly that the best days are yet to come for the Santa Cruz Mountains wine region and I look forward to sharing those with you. As President, and speaking on behalf of the Board of Directors, our doors are always open. If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact any one of us. Contact emails can be found on the new website under About Us.
Wishing us the best success in the wine industry,