Market Work

  • Word from the Road (1)

    September 30, 2019 15:53

    Word from the Road (1)

    Not only is it a busy season at the winery, the season known as SOND (September-December) is equally as hectic for the sales team as it takes us deep into the marketing season where quite a bit of my time as well as Ed’s is focused on spreading the good word about Pedroncelli from state to state, city to city. Market work began for me in August and will continue through November this year, the same for Ed. Mitch, who usually works the market as well, was busy with the harvest up to his elbows in grapes. He’ll be back on the road next year.

    The highlights: Ed worked trade shows in Southern California hitting San Diego and Los Angeles. He is currently in Arizona and will make a foray to the Inland Empire and Missouri (three markets in one month!).

    Here are my trip notes so far: Portland and Eugene were my targets on this trip to Oregon. We have very good support in the independent stores like New Seasons and Market of Choice as well as quite a few independent retailers like Elephant Deli (a wonderland of specialty products) & Barber World Foods in Portland as well as Capella Market and The Broadway in Eugene. This was a one day trip into Connecticut and we covered a lot of territory and made memorable stops in and around Glastonbury, Middletown and West Hartford including Toast Wines by Taste, The Best Wine Shop in Town (really-that’s the name) and M & M Wines.

    Two days spent working around the western part of Massachusetts from Hopkinton to Worcester, Franklin to Wellesley. Medfield Wines, Juniper (fabulous restaurant) Marty’s (say hey to Rachel & Darryl) as well as Pour Richards and Rye and Thyme (another great restaurant). I did end my stop here at a sales meeting for our Wholesaler Classic Wine Imports and one last stop at Wine Empire in Ashland on my way out of town.

    After a brief tour of Portland Maine I began my second week with a trip to South Carolina. Greenville first for a great event at Northampton Wine & Dine with a fun group of friends where we have been doing business for too many years to count. On to Columbia with the owner of our Wholesaler Tyler Miles of Milestone Beverage. Greens (a small independent chain), Bottles, Southern Spirits and The Grapevine were all places that carry and love our wines.

    I’ll be visiting Seattle, New Jersey and Philadelphia over the next few weeks-my work on the road isn’t done just yet and I’ll chronicle more at the end of November. For now I'll end with a shot of the friendly folks at Northampton, looking forward to more of this on the road.

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  • Being a Road Wine Warrior

    November 4, 2015 13:29

    Part of my job, year round, is to travel to various markets I am in charge of and work with our wholesalers, bringing recognition to our brand by presenting wine to both retail and restaurant wine buyers. As an example I’ll use my trip last week to North Carolina where we are working with a new wholesaler.

    My week began as I headed from SFO to Charlotte on Monday. The next day I was picked up at 9:30 by Charles and the first stop of the day was very unusual. We met at the retailer’s home. This was a first for me in all the years I have worked various markets. And it was fun too-he treated us to a great pot of coffee while there. Our stops over the day included many gathering spots across Charlotte and lunch at Rooster’s, a former restaurant for Charles who was a chef before getting into the wholesale side of things. With great response to our wines I moved on to Raleigh where I would be stationed for the rest of the week.

    I hadn’t worked this particular market in quite a few years. I had forgotten how very genuine and friendly North Carolinians are. As we worked our way through the accounts on Wednesday, I met up with old friends who have sold our wine for many years as well as meeting new friends who appreciated the wines for their QPR-quality-price ratio. Dinner at one of my favorite spots, and well known gathering place, The Angus Barn completed the day.

    Josh picked me up on Thursday for a focus on the Hope Valley/Chapel Hill area. More visits, more conversation, more sales as I was whisked from account to account with great conversation flowing in the car between stops. Fueled by a really good cup of coffee of course. I had mentioned how much I love champagne and sparkling wine and we ended our day at a lovely spot with a glass of bubbly.

    To finish off the week I presented our wines to the sales team at the wholesaler’s offices on Friday. Talking about my family and our history in Dry Creek Valley while going through each of the wines in their portfolio was fun because at this type of meeting there is more give and take between the sales reps and me. Some of them called out a favorite wine, some asked more questions about the winery. I ended up signing some wine bottles and then visited one more account on the way to the airport. I went home knowing I had planted a lot of seeds and know the next time I visit there will be even more opportunities! With a splash of Zinfandel in my Dino to all my friends in the great state of North Carolina.

  • Training Wheels: 1985-1995

    June 5, 2015 16:12

    I’d majored in English, without plans on a wine career, and now was changing direction and going to work for my family. I was eager in those early years of my employment to learn as much as possible and of course put all this knowledge to work right away. Night classes had me studying viticulture and wine marketing. I joined trade groups like the Wine Road to network and widen my scope. A Tasting Class at UC Davis opened my eyes to the many nuances found in white and red wines. My own Pedroncelli education would take the next ten years learning the family ropes, going from tasting room to the office, as well as the industry’s intricacies. By the time I joined in, my dad had been developing our wholesale network for 30 years. I was hard pressed to come up with something other than ‘I’m the daughter of the owner’ and it took time to develop my own voice, my own way of telling our story. I went from being an introvert to an extrovert when I realized no one buys wine from a shy and tongue-tied person, family member or not. I will admit there are times I cringed from some of the situations I found myself in. These days I usually refer to myself as an extrovert by profession because my preference is to fade into the background. Being a perfectionist helped spur me on and made me even more determined to tell a compelling story after a few false starts. The years have refined me to say the least.

    Let's go to the 'way back' machine to refresh your memory with a few milestones between 1985 and 1995: the market moved from jug wines to varietal wines, grape prices doubled, ‘fighting varietals’ were introduced, the French Paradox changed the way American’s embraced wine and consumers demanded quality over quantity. It was a time when we were adding varietals like Sauvignon Blanc and Merlot to our line of wines and replacing Chenin Blanc, Gewurztraminer and Johannesburg Riesling. These were exciting times to be in the business and I will toast these with a splash of Sauvignon Blanc in my Dino.

    On the road-doing my thing. With Scott Gayman, our broker in the Northeast.

    Julie and Scott

  • It's a Family Thing

    June 3, 2015 16:26

    Here I am 30 years after making the decision to work full time for my family’s business. Today I am remembering a conversation between my dad and me when I was asked to consider full time work for the winery. We were standing in the Case Goods Warehouse, I was helping out on weekends and living in the East Bay. The place is important because, after all these years, I now realize this was where my dad lives and breathes Pedroncelli, where you will find him at any time of the year either on a forklift or counting cases. He had a plan and I would soon be part of it. So my first thought was how my degree in English would benefit working in this industry and for my family. Come to find out, my liberal arts education came in mighty handy. I went from staffing the Tasting Room and focused on learning the business from the ground up (what is the difference between Zinfandel and Cabernet, viticulture and winetasting classes, learned the importance of the Dry Creek Valley appellation) to Brand Ambassador where the world is my market and sometimes my office chair is 30,000 feet up. What does 30 years working for a family wine business look like? You work closely with family members, taste countless wines, find my voice and then tell our story to thousands of people, travel too many miles to count, give tours of our vineyards again and again without it ever getting ‘old’, live our lifestyle, see the next generation set in place, write millions of words. I can tell you it has been fun, exciting, challenging and rewarding. Sit back and relax as the next month covers a few of the highlights over the years. I’ll toast my Dino, where it all started!

    Julie in 2013


  • VIMD On The Road

    November 11, 2014 13:10

    I ventured to Orlando last month for the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. I met many wine fans from around the nation following the seminars where we presented three of our wines to a thirsty crowd. While there was a small glitch at the beginning of the first seminar (I was given the wrong time and was ‘on’ 2 hours earlier than expected) it forced me to get with the program quickly. And I was thankful my husband Ed was a co-speaker-it showed how 25 years of marriage, 12 of them working together at the winery, can help us deliver the Pedroncelli message on the fly. We walked the groups through the seasons at the winery and highlighted how three generations of the family have worked together to make our wines accessible, great values and approachable. Pedroncelli is Italian for ‘over-deliver’ after all.  I shared my VIMD story and asked the group to think of the first time they became passionate about wine-their first sip of homemade wine, Chardonnay or Champagne.  Wine is a great conversation starter whether you are around the dining room table or on the patio. Start one today about when and where you tasted your first sip in the comments below!

    Julie in Orlando