Woodinville Wine Country members had their first look Tuesday at the draft of a strategic plan designed to move the association from an events-oriented group to a community-based marketing organization focusing on Washington wine tourism.
The WWC board presented the comprehensive plan to its members at a series of meetings on July 10. It will now go back to the board for final review and approval at the end of July.
Over the last decade, Woodinville wine has experienced explosive growth from its founding 10 years ago when a dozen area wineries joined together to produce the region’s first “Passport to Woodinville” event to the 97 wineries and tasting rooms that today call this scenic rural community home.
“The board recognized that the association was at a critical juncture and had an unique opportunity to revamp its focus and programs to respond to the Woodinville wine community’s rapid growth and to take a leadership role in shaping an identity not only for the wineries but for the Woodinville community at large,” said Woodinville Wine Country president Mike Stevens.
Earlier this spring, the board hired veteran industry marketing consultant and former Washington Wine Commission executive director Steve Burns to develop a long-term strategic plan.
“We started this process with an open mind,” Stevens said. “In addition to gaining an outside perspective from Steve, we wanted to hear from the membership and look for opportunities to partner with the community.”
As part of that process, the board also hired Bellevue-based wine industry advisor Katie Sims to conduct an extensive series of membership interviews and work with Burns on a community outreach plan.
During Tuesday’s membership meetings, Burns outlined the plan’s five key platforms:
Build awareness for Woodinville’s proximity to Seattle and the accessibility of quality wines and it diverse neighborhood tasting experience
Expand local and regional media outreach, both traditional and social.
Work in partnership with the city of Woodinville and the business community to create a vision for destination Woodinville.
Strengthen industry unity.
Focus resources on ongoing, measurable program that are sustainable over time.
With a clearly defined vision and mission statement that defines WWC’s role in establishing Woodinville as a world-class wine travel destination, the trade association will concentrate its efforts on building awareness for the quality and diversity of Woodinville wines and tasting experiences and working in partnership with the community to expand and grow “brand Woodinville.”
More information is available on the association’s web site.
—Information from Woodinville Wine Country