Foundation Updates: Marketing, Membership, and the New York Wine Classic

Photo by Amy Ellsworth

I am writing this message prior to November 3rd, so the Press Deck will be conspicuously silent on the election results.  No matter what happens, I am confident that one thing will remain true – Americans will welcome  Thanksgiving  as an opportunity to connect and celebrate with family and friends. Even if the connection comes with the help of FaceTime or Zoom, I know it will be all the more meaningful and re-energize us for a new year and new challenges to come.

I am personally very excited to delight my family with thanksgiving food pairings with New York sparkling wines, Rieslings, Gewürztraminers, and Pinot Noirs.  I always look forward to the holidays as a time to indulge in positivity. 

Speaking of positivity, last week, I hosted my monthly Fireside Chat with special guests, Kirsten and Perry from Padilla, the firm leading the development of our new Marketing Plan.  This project builds on the work done in our 2018 Strategic Plan and 2019 Brand Refresh.  Kirsten and Perry shared the 5 key messaging themes that will form the foundation of our new plan. We invite you to learn more about what they have developed by watching the recording of our chat. 

In August, we announced our new winery membership model with dues that reflect the level of services you prefer. We initiated this change based on industry feedback collected over the past three years, though the anticipated financial impacts of COVID on the industry accelerated our plans.  If you have lapsed in membership or interested in learning more about our benefits, I encourage you to visit our membership page or get in touch with Jenn Cooper with any questions. 

Finally, the 2020 New York Wine Classic officially began accepting entries on Sunday.  We partnered with the Beverage Testing Institute (BTI) this year to handle the judging.  BTI will be accepting submissions through February, and any New York winery can elect to either submit for competition only or for an enhanced review by BTI.  This change will allow us to focus on enhancing our marketing of the winners. 

As  you can see, there’s quite a lot happening here – and we know you are all busy wrapping up harvest as well. I hope that everyone is able to count their blessings and catch their breath at the beginning  of the month, before we plunge into the holiday season and all that the future holds for us.

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Sam Filler

Sam Filler

Since his appointment to Executive Director in 2017, Sam Filler has led the New York Wine & Grape Foundation in supporting sustainability efforts and has spearheaded marketing initiatives to elevate the image of New York wines.