Strategic Planning | Email 7.12.18

From: Deborah Steinthal []
Sent: Thursday, July 12, 2018 11:48 AM
To: Ross Allen
Cc: Barbara Steele; Sara Bayer; Cal Schmidt; Steve; Mr. Christian Miller; Holly Macfee
Subject: RVV Strategic planning project – next steps


Thanks Ross, for spending time on the phone this morning.  Here are the required key decisions, options and suggested dates – for the next steps beyond the market research phase:


  • Need to finalize strategic planning, working session attendee list : 10-15 people should be the total number (plus Holly MacFee)

(6) RVV BOD Officers: Ross + Ashley + Barbara + Cal + Sara + Steve.

(5) WIne trail Presidents (covering the regions)


  1. Any larger winery or strategic winery CEO/Owner that should be part of this?
  2. Should travel partners be involved in the whole process or part? (see suggestion below)
  • So. OR, Medford, Ashland, Grant Pass
  • Need to finalize dates for working sessions and January 2019 presentation to the RVV community:  here are the steps and options.

Working session One (mid November): possible dates – November 7, 8, 13, 14, 15, 19 or 20

  • Purpose:  Develop RVV’s ‘Acropolis’ or strategic intent: (Aspiration, Growth Drivers, Enablers)
    1. Key Stakeholders, Vision, Values, Major Organization Milestone and Core purpose.
    2. Outline Cornerstone initiatives

Working session Two (early December): possible dates – December 4, 5, 6, 11, 12, 13, 18 or 19

  • Purpose: Develop RVV’s Cornerstone initiatives/programs and Organizational concept.
    1. ID key programs: define goals and timeline.
    2. Recommend: morning session with original strategic planning attendees + afternoon with broader winery and partner community.

Strategic plan presentation to RVV community: possible dates – January 23, 24, 29 or 30

  • The planning committee had discussed turning this event into a full day educational symposium, with the unveiling of the plan at the core + Invited a panel of speakers (possibly charging for the educational sessions)


RVV Market Research Planning Meeting | 7.11.18

Attendance: it was difficult to determine attendance as folks were being dropped off call and then blocked. But for sure, it was Deborah Steinthal and Christian Miller, Sara Bayer, Barbara Steele, Michael Donovan, Holly Macfee, Joe Ginet.


Deborah began with a description of what market research “is” and “is not”.  It is:

  • Support for the strategic plan by providing insights into market opportunities
  • Information about what consumers presently perceive about us
  • Information about future consumer opportunities
  • A “guidepost’ for regional programming
  • Information about how to leverage with other consumer groups, such as OSF
  • Information about whether “Applegate” is a differentiating name
  • Information about how important non-wine related activities are to a destination

It is not:

  • A trade survey
  • An AVA research project

Next, Christian explained the structure of the sampling. He is using two samples, and is working in a cost effective manner given our budget size. The two samples are winery mailing lists and tourist organization mailing lists. We want responses from people who have visited the region, and from people who have visited the region and visited wineries in the region.

Regarding winery surveys, they work best if the wineries send the survey to their own mailing list. This preserves confidentiality of respondents, respondents tend to respond to an inquiry from an organization they have opted into, and it provides the opportunity to get a balanced, complete picture of the region.  He suggested that we offer to every winery to participate. Once we know who is willing, he will look at the geography of the participating wineries and the size of the mailing lists to confirm that we have balanced, complete coverage. At this point, Holly said that it would be greatly beneficial to her if we included coding on the surveys so that Christian can sort the responses by winery. That data can then be privately supplied back to each winery, and it can allow Holly to better tailor her marketing program.

Michael Donovan asked if this survey will replicate the survey done three years ago for SOWA. Christian responded that it will not because that survey was aimed at consumers in CA, OR and WA who are once-weekly drinkers. SOWA was not a destination market research survey.

Christian suggested that it best to offer participation to all wineries first, and then have him optimize the participation. He said there is little cost impact from more participation and potentially much better information received.

Next we discussed incentives and that a survey needs incentives. Christian suggested one large grand prize that does not require travel to the region to collect it, and then “runner up” prices or possibly a free tasting for everyone who completes the survey. He will make a template of an invitation to wineries to participate and then wineries can customize it. As well, we should have a “opt in” check box on survey for customers to receive more info about RVV.

Timing is as follows. The actual survey design, it will take 1 – 3 weeks. First is for Christian to identify the key winery and key tourist issues. Second is to draft the survey and last is to complete feedback on his draft. Then we allow roughly 2 weeks for responses and 2 weeks to analyze data.

The tourism portion of the survey is more difficult because we have to determine who to include.  We determined that we should include all aspects of hospitality, culture and recreation. Again, Christian will optimize our list for appropriate balance and completeness. This portion of the data is how we find out about people who do not visit wineries. Christian will develop the winery survey first and then the tourism portion to be sure that it accurately differentiates our respondents.

Action Items

  1. We need to create a Task Force for market research. Ideally, it should be 5 people plus Laurel Briggs. Laurel should put the communications of this group on Google docs so that we minimize email errors and quantity of emails. Possibly, the Strategic Planning Committee can be the base of this group. Either we create a new task force, or the existing committee adds an additional member and assumes this responsibility. The task force should represent RVV geographically and economically. The existing committee is a good start towards that.


Barbara suggested that the Strategic Planning Committee first needs a new chairperson to replace Sara and could then organize the creation of a task force and the process for the entire list of action items.


  1. We need a grand prize and runner-up prizes. Michael Donovan offered to organize incentives.
  2. Review draft winery survey. Christion thought he would have this completed by the end of July and a final survey by 8.15.
  3. Determine a process for inviting tourism organizations, and to asses if we have a complete and balanced list.
  4. Determine our process for inviting wineries. We need a process to invite wineries and then to assess if we have a complete and balanced list of participants.
  5. Determine how we communicate and roll out the survey.
  6. Target date for roll out is 8.22 to 8.25. Reminder email would go out just after Labor Day. Survey closes by 9.15.

Meeting was concluded with an intention for Strategic Planning Committee to start the ball rolling.


Below are Deborah and Christians outlines from the meeting.

From: Deborah Steinthal []
Sent: Wednesday, July 11, 2018 5:14 PM
To: Barbara Steele
Subject: Deb Steinthal’s notes: RVV Market research call July 11 @ 4:30pm

Deb Steinthal leads in – How does this tie into strategic planning?

What we need from you: guidance on key market research decisions.

WHY MARKET RESEARCH – What this is:  Insights to help us ID Market Opportunity for Rogue Valley Vintners.

In order to build a market focused vision of the future, we need insights into what consumers think/perceive about the RVV brand today? AND what are future opportunities for the region to position itself – attract and build momentum, possibly with millennial wine consumers?

  • Isolate – What target audiences to consider;
    • How to position/achieve differentiated positioning
    • What to leverage from Brand OR?
  • What guide posts to invest in – how to more successfully accomplish your objectives for the region: what key programs do we need to launch to strengthen your future brand
    • How to evolve regional programming: strengths and weaknesses of the wine region and wineries, as well as insights into what would attract more, new tourists or convert more existing tourists to winery visits.
    • How to leverage local audiences (Shakespeare festival; Crater Lake, Art Festivals) to build more wine destination visitation.
  • Example important Qs
    • Of the consumers who travel to So Oregon:
      • How do they access the region? Airport, drive? CM: no problem
      • Where are they staying? CM: no problem
      • Are they visiting both the Rogue Valley and Applegate AVA wineries? CM: no problem
    • How do/could the different AVAs play with consumer audiences?
      • Different attributes/perceptions or all the same?
      • Is Applegate to So Oregon, what Oakville is to Napa?
    • How important are activities: how do these combine for the target audiences?
      • Wine tasting/events
      • Culinary
      • ‘Arts
      • Hiking
      • Boating


What this isn’t: Trade survey; national survey of markets; AVA/SUBAVA-focused survey


Christian Miller –        Specifics

    • How different from Sola survey – wine consumers in OR, WA, CA?
      • Awareness of different wineries, AVAs. How they purchase wined in the 3 tier.
    • Overall mechanics of how the survey process works
      • Not priced for a big representative sample of wine consumers.
      • Obtain two samples: winery mailing lists + tourist organizations.
    • How to organize consumer lists.
      • Winery-based survey, who are potential participants and what is the potential total number of respondents? How to get good cooperation and support from wineries. We’ll need a decent number of wineries participating in the winery survey (so the results aren’t dominated by 1 or 2 wineries);
        • Participating Wineries will get back top line for their consumers.
        • They will get a link and draft invitation to send out over their list (not just wine club)
      • Tourism organization based survey, who are the potential organizations that can provide the tourist lists (county/state tourism bureaus, visitors’ centers, private organizations like Ashland Shakespeare Festival); who will contact them/manage there role in this survey?
        • Recruiting phase:
        • Shakespeare festival:  Open to participating.
        • Travel Medford, OR, Grants Pass – Trade Associations.
        • Nieman Hotel group
        • So OR WIne Experience list
        • Rogue creamery.
        • Duplicates?
        • Carter Lake
        • Artisan food, beer.
        • Lodging
        • B&B
        • Restaurants.
      • Size of mailing:
        • How many wineries: representative sample for the region.
          • Could set up code tracing back to each winery.
          • Approach everyone but focus on representative group of 10-20 wineries with good distribution of
          • Not just club members.
      • Privacy and confidentiality: if everyone does the mailing themselves – CM will  not have access to emails.


Next steps

  • 3-5 member Task force working group: Market research – Barbara will lead the charge with officers.
    1. Will communicate directly with Christian/Deb
    2. How to communicate openly: Google docs.
    3. Admin. hired

WHEN will we have an approach for  Incentives:

  1. possibly a big price with runner up prizes on a lottery for limited # of winners.
  2. ADD an offer to capture emails for future mailings.

WHEN will we have approach for mailing lists with Travel + Wineries:

  1. Mailing list process mgt: singular person managing each side.
  2. Managing two groups: wineries + tourist organizations.
  3. Communicating.
  • Christian will draft survey and circulate:  goes around 1-3 times (2 weeks).
    1. First draft: end July 30
    2. August 15 – final survey
    3. Build survey + testing.
    4. First run – A week before Labor Day – Links out/invitations.
    5. Reminders week after Labor Day
    6. Close survey by September 15



Meeting Recap 7.9.18 | Inn at the Common | Public Forum

We sincerely appreciate everyone who took their time to come hear what ground has been covered in the past three months and what is needed next.
The core essence of the meeting was to bring the wine, hospitality & tourism community together in one room in order to share with you all our progress and earnest efforts to bring forth a clear strategy for success.
The RVV board & committees have put in ground work the align the necessary forces tell the world that the Rogue Valley is a premier wine destination. We have done so in hopes you will all help us build our ship, come on board and rise the tide for us all to sail forward on. We cannot be successful without the full support of our industry and our community. We are specifically positioning this organization to be mutually beneficial to our region as a whole.
As we mentioned, we want absolute inclusion and transparency in this organization and for all our members. We feel this will be the best way to keep lines of communication clear and running two way. You can find all our work up to this point on our website which is being updated as quickly and frequently as possible. If you or your organization has any questions, please reach out to myself or any board member at any time.
This is a passion project unlike any, the deep pride for our region is palpable and everyone involved with RVV wants the state, nation and world to see and feel our pride.
Please, join us in our efforts to Market the Rogue Valley Wine Industry like the Premier Wine Destination it is! 


Meeting Notes

Approximately 100 people attended a three hour meeting at Inn at the Commons in Medford to hear the progress to date of the Rogue Valley Vintners.  Introduction of Board members was followed by presentations by Deborah Steinthal, Scion Advisors, and Holly McPhee, Lookout. The presentations explained how RVV will progress to a January 2019 meeting at which time a Strategic Plan will be unveiled.  The period from now through December 2018 will include:

  • Market research on the Rogue Valley wine industry
  • Strategic planning meetings with Board members, wine industry participants and community partners to identify the issues most critical to the development of our industry
  • Completion of Strategic Plan

Both presentations stressed that the planning period is only beginning now and that participants from across the wine, recreation, culture and hospitality industries will be encouraged and asked to participate. Joining RVV is now possible and membership information was distributed.

Community partners were present from several Travel Oregon branches, Asante, Rosebud Media and Asante. Attendees in the room remarked that RVV has grown from three interested parties talking in February, to 30 participants in May, to over 100 people in attendance at this meeting. Q&A after the presentations focused in part on how RVV will organize the power of all of our related industries into one coordinated branding effort that will create more gains than any one company or industry could do on their own.

For more information, please contact

Links to Download Presentations

Printed Program Booklet: Rogue Valley Vintners 2018-2019

Business Strategy Presentation: RVV Scion July 9 Community Meeting


Meeting Notes 6.22.18

Topic: Initiate Process with Scion Advisors and Full Glass Research

In attendance: Deborah Steinthal, Christian Fuller, Sara Bayer, Steve Eadie, Barbara Steele

Sara presented agenda and then described her presentation of Deborah’s draft to the Exec Committee. Draft proposal and recommendation from Strategy committee was well received. Sara stated we want to formally move forward with Deborah and Christian, and is ready to discuss funding after the agenda. We jumped ahead and Sara asked if we can move forward with $10,000 of committed funds from Community Partners.  She stated we also have $11,000 from Board Member contributions. Deborah said that is enough to get going on market research and needs assessment. Sara said a membership committee is moving forward but nothing is definite. Total amount that RVV is allocating is $18,000. Deborah asked that we not lose sight of a footnote in the proposal that we may desire an additional service early on for surveys, up to $1000.

Research Design:

Christian needs in writing from SOWA that Christian can release to RVV old market research  which he completed for SOWA . Steve pointed out that information related to Umpqua is not related to Grants Pass and south; we would like any information that pertains specifically to Rogue Valley.

Sara presented an outline of a meeting being planned for July 9 in which Deborah would present a process for developing a strategy to a public meeting.  The meeting is being positioned as a prospective meeting for industry people to hear what we are doing, to meet Deborah, and to leave the room with finding hope in joining RVV. Deborah said that we need to clearly present that this is a “beginning” and that nothing has started yet regarding strategy. Also, she said more Q&A time is a good idea. Sara said the Board wants a full house at this meeting and she and Ashley Cates are working to make that happen.

Deborah introduced Christian Fuller/Full Glass Research for food and beverage industries. Christian has completed trade and private research in Oregon wine and agriculture extensively. He also does consumer research, for example, pricing, consumer surveys. Steve asked how scope is determined for RVV project.  Barbara said that the initial planning of research should include recognizing that AVOVA is an existing board and could have an impact on RVV membership. Christian said that this is a somewhat typical starting project. He said the research side should recognize that people already know “Applegate” and ask for information about that; he said we should find out if there are actually different impressions of Rogue vs Applegate. Sara said we have to begin with conversation that includes large, small, north, south, etc. Deborah will include that in her presentation, expressing that RVV brings assets that small wineries would not ordinarily have access to.

Deborah offered to do a second meeting titled, How to nurture a healthy wine business in today’s competitive wine market place? Sara said the Board would like to do that. She gave information that Ashley Cates is organizing with Sara to create a “symposium” style meeting in January.  It would be RVV’s first substantive offering to membership. Targeting January 2019 to unveil strategic and marketing plans and to offer seminar.

Deborah asked that we clarify the timeline more fully. First, we are targeting July 9 meeting date as discussed earlier. For research design, we need to meet and formalize before July 15.  Christian explained that he is considering gathering information from two groups of consumers, one is hospitality and one is regional visitor info. One brings more biased answers and second brings less bias. This will allow him to get an accurate picture of consumer perception at a reasonable cost.  Process to secure valuable information is too lengthy to include in this document; Christian explained it in detail and clearly, despite the complexity. Sara asked that Deborah touch on this in the July 9 presentation. Next step is to schedule a call to discuss detail research design questions with Christian. Then he builds, then he launches and implements. Target is to complete research design by July 15 and launch on August 15.

Christian said that we should consider offering incentives to aid getting feedback. Sara said she will take that to the Board. Barbara and Sara will assemble a list of incentive possibilities to present in our next meeting. We should have this completed before our phone call with Deborah and Christian.

Regarding these pre-planning meetings, we decided that we should ask all of the Board to attend, but keep maximum attendees at 15 people.  Both Christian and Deborah said their experience is too many people at this stage is costly and slow; greater participant levels will be necessary later.  Sara provided a list of Board members and their affiliates plus a few key industry partners to Deborah.

To wrap up, we need to schedule a research kick off, get permission from SOWA to use data, complete engagement letter and invoice, define participants in pre-planning process, identify Deborah’s participants for needs assessment. July 9 at Inn at the Commons is on Deborah’s calendar. Sara and Barbara will provide additional info about event as it unfolds.  Sara and Deborah will collaborate to tour Deborah on the afternoon of July 9.

Our working timeline as of today is:

July 9               RVV community town hall

Before July 15  Research design meeting

Sep – Oct          Market research

Nov                  Strategic Planning Working Session 1

Dec                  Strategic Planning Working Session 2

Jan 2019          RVV “symposium” – reveal strategic plan and education seminar


For further information or clarification, please contact


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