Wine Commission President

Wine Commission President

Wine Commission President. I’m Greg Martin with today’s Fruit Grower Report.

It has been a couple of months now that Steve Warner became President and CEO of the Washington Wine Commission. I figured it was time to sit down and have a chat about his plans for the next few years.

WARNER: I see tremendous opportunity. The opportunity for me to come in was perfect timing. The commission was at the end of their last 5-year strategic plan and so I immersed myself and we got the new one approved about 2 weeks ago.

He says that was on the tail of the recent economic impact study the commission had done.

WARNER: So we have a clear vision on how we want to proceed and we changed a couple of key changes to our strategy. We shifted away from a consumer focus as our primary target so to speak to trade and media as our primary because we think with the limited budget we have we think we can be more effective using the budget in that direction and getting that influencer effect.

So what does Warner think of Washington wines?

WARNER: Oh, I love it. Are you kidding me? I’m the biggest fan and I’m actually quite frankly embarrassed because we have roughly about a 30% market share within our own state. So 7 out of every 10 bottles that are purchased within our own state are not Washington wine. But yet we have for the last 3 years for example had as a percentage of 90 plus ratings. We’ve had higher ratings than California, Oregon, France, Italy, Spain and inversely we had the average lowest price for those same 90 plus rated bottles.

That’s today’s Fruit Grower Report. I’m Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network. 

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