Selling Wine at Vintner & Grower Association Events

Vintner & Grower Associations host multiple events a year that attract many wine buyers, but it’s often difficult for wine buyers to easily purchase the wines they enjoy at the event. VineSpring worked with the Sonoma Valley Vintners and Growers Alliance (SVVGA) to implement an eCommerce solution for Signature Sonoma Valley—their premier annual event—to allow attendees an easy and convenient way to purchase the wines they loved.

There were a few areas the SVVGA had to address when enabling an eCommerce system to support the event. I’ve covered these areas below in the hopes that this information will be useful to other associations who are looking to make it easier for event attendees to buy wine from their events, online.

Legality

To provide wine sales at the events, SVVGA acted as a Third Party Provider (TPP). In California, TPPs are legally able to provide marketing and payment processing services for licensed member wineries participating in the event, as long as they follow a few guidelines:

  1. When wine is ordered and delivered, the age of the purchaser is determined to be 21+

  2. Payment is processed in full and all funds collected must be distributed to the winery

  3. After funds are paid in full to the wineries for product sold, the TPP may collect an agreed upon fee from the winery for services provided

Member wineries were asked if they would like to offer their wines to attendees on the Signature Sonoma Valley website. Those that accepted filled out a Google Form (an easy way to create a form) that collected the essential information: wine name, price, description, and how much is available for sale.

Website

VineSpring recommended Vin - a wine-focused creative agency - who quickly created a website branded for the Signature Sonoma Valley event and integrated with VineSpring for eCommerce. Vin Agency offers a website builder based on WordPress that can be set up very quickly and is fully integrated with a VineSpring account. With a few minor tweaks, the website can be used again for other events SVVGA hosts.

eCommerce

The needs of SVVGA required an open storefront (no login necessary) with easy filtering by winery, event, and varietal. They also needed inventory tracking to ensure specific wines did not oversell. The VineSpring “Standard” Plan covered these essential features.

Key advantages to using Vin and VineSpring:

  • Simple Setup - With a website template that can be customized, the beautiful website was affordable and created quickly.

  • No Activation Fee - Which meant that it was super easy for SVVGA to get started.

  • Simple Monthly Pricing - At $199 / month until canceled or put on hold, it was an affordable solution for a one-time event

  • Features For Wineries - There are tons of eCommerce options out there, but they don’t satisfy the unique needs of a winery, such as inventory tracking and allocation offerings to ensure that wines are not oversold and only available to attendees.

  • Mobile Optimized - With a responsive site and eCommerce capabilities, attendees were able to buy wine, from their phones, at the event

The online shopping option was marketed to the event attendees before, during, and after the event. Customers easily accessed the website via their phones and placed orders that were consolidated for pickup or shipped to an address of their choosing.

Success!

Acting as a Third Party Provider and working with a winery focused eCommerce system enables vintner and grower associations to provide on the spot purchase options for event attendees.

Andrea Steffes-Tuttle