Massachusetts, Key Legislative Updates Highlighted at 9th Annual Wine Compliance Virtual Seminar

–For Immediate Release–

Virtual seminar addresses wine shipping rule changes and new reporting innovations for wineries.

Boulder, Colo. — On Tuesday, November 11, ShipCompliant, the leading compliance provider for wine, spirits and beer producers, will hold its 9th annual Direct Shipping Virtual Seminar for wineries. Attendees will learn about recent legislative and regulatory changes affecting wine shipping as well as the newest innovations to help wineries streamline reporting. This year’s seminar also includes best practices for end of year reporting. The online seminar is open free of charge to all members of the wine industry.

“The opening of Massachusetts represents the most significant opportunity for direct shippers since Granholm.” said Jeff Carroll, ShipCompliant’s Vice President of Product. “The new rules, requirements, and the status of common carrier licensing will be covered on Tuesday.”

The seminar will take place at 10:00am PST. Hundreds of wine industry representatives attend this seminar each year. ShipCompliant recommends wine club managers, heads of marketing and hospitality, compliance managers, shipping department managers, winery owners, and third party marketers all attend the seminar.

Online registration for the ShipCompliant Virtual Seminar is available now.

About ShipCompliant
Founded in 2002 and located in Boulder, Colorado, ShipCompliant is a leader in automated alcohol beverage compliance services. ShipCompliant provides wine and spirits suppliers and importers with a full suite of web-based software tools to ensure compliance with federal and state regulations for direct and wholesale distribution. ShipCompliant works with the industry’s leading software providers and fulfillment companies to provide fully integrated solutions for direct and three-tier distribution. For more information, please visit: www.shipcompliant.com.

Media Contact
Jeff Carroll
Jeff (at) ShipCompliant (dot) com
(303) 996-2343

3 Reasons To Get Excited About This Year’s DIRECT Conference

ShipCompliant DIRECT 2013

We look forward to the DIRECT Conference each year, however, this year’s conference promises to be the most exciting yet! Here are some reasons we are excited.

1. Our amazing keynote speaker, Zingerman’s Co-Owner & Founding Partner, Ari Weinzweig
What can a deli in Ann Arbor, Michigan teach the world about building a business that is both culture-driven and wildly profitable? Plenty, as it turns out, and Ari Weinzweig, Co-Owner and Founding Partner of the acclaimed Zingerman’s Delicatessen is on a mission to do just that.

In his keynote presentation at DIRECT, Weinzweig will share his visionary approach, which has propelled the Zingerman’s Community of Businesses (ZCoB) to success,  including the “natural laws of business” as introduced in his book, Zingerman’s Guide to Good Leading: Part 1, A Lapsed Anarchist’s Approach to Building a Great Business. He is known for his engaging and eclectic public speaking style, which fuses humor with practical instruction.

In addition to writing a series of books, Weinzweig has translated his model into a program dubbed Zingtrain, which facilitates training for diverse companies around the country, including Domaine Carneros Winery. “We have used the Zingtrain model to revolutionize our business,” said Eileen Crane, Domaine Carneros’ CEO. Weinzweig’s speech promises to be an unforgettable start to DIRECT 2014; you won’t want to miss it!

2. New two day format = more time for ShipCompliant University!
For the first time, the DIRECT Conference will be spread throughout the course of two days, May 8 and 9, in order to deliver more content and value to participants than in previous years.

Day 1 will be focused on Strategies for Wine Sales Success, filled with valuable information for winery executives and anyone interested in shipping wine, including winery owners, tasting room managers, compliance professionals, financial teams, shipping managers and more. In addition to Weinzweig’s keynote presentation, the agenda will include a look at the changing industry with ShipCompliant CEO Jason Eckenroth, state-by-state legislative updates with Steve Gross (Vice President, State Relations, Wine Institute), a panel of leaders in the industry, and an exhibitor showcase. Check out the full line-up of industry focused breakout sessions and speakers.

Day 2 will be fully centered around ShipCompliant University, a series of offerings focused on delivering education that enables users to make the most of ShipCompliant software. Not only will clients have a first look to explore the brand new features announced, they will also get hands-on training,  and one-on-one sessions with the ShipCompliant Client Services team. Additionally, Client Services will address any questions specific to your business or workflow right there in person!

3. Most importantly, the opportunity to spend time with YOU!
In all honesty, what we’re most excited about is being able to connect with clients  and industry friends in person! While we build relationships with you all year long, we count down the days until we can put faces to names and learn more about your needs. We strive to make DIRECT the best possible experience for all those who come. “Those who attend DIRECT will take a giant step forward with their business and leadership skills. We can’t wait!” said Sam Straka, a member of our Client Services team. Learn more and register today to confirm your spot for DIRECT 2014. DIRECT is happening May 8th and 9th!

Special offer for ShipComplaint Blog subscribers: Save 10% on your DIRECT registration with discount code SCBLOG10.

The COLA Conundrum

On the issue of Certificates of Label Approval (COLAs), the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) is finding itself caught between a rock and a hard place. The rock is their funding, including dwindling budgets each year, and concerns over furloughs, government shutdowns, and long term sequestration given an inept and unpredictable Congress. The hard place is an industry that is pumping more and more products into the marketplace and a need to get products to market quickly because of a dizzying pace of innovation.

The result of this squeeze is longer approval times for new COLA applications. Even though TTB has made great strides and a substantial number of changes to streamline the COLA filing process, current COLA processing times are 38 days for distilled spirits labels, 12 days for malt beverage labels, and 25 days for wine labels.

TTB has also signaled that they would like to make even more changes to the COLA process. As we discussed on a panel at the National Conference of State Liquor Administrators (NCSLA) Annual Conference this summer in Hawaii, TTB would like to continue to explore substantial ways to overhaul the label pre-approval process, including potentially moving to a “deemed-approved” process with automated decisions for certain eligible labels and a shift to marketplace enforcement. These potential changes could have a big impact on the 30+ states that have label approval laws as well as suppliers, wholesalers, retailers, and vendors. Many states would need to revise their statutes, change their regulations, and/or revisit their policies and processes if the changes move forward.

We’re going to hold a follow-up “part 2″ to the COLA panel at the NCSLA Regional Conference in Atlantic City on October 12th. I’ll also touch on these issues during the regulatory roundup section at our annual Direct Sales Virtual Seminar on October 17th.

We want to hear from you! If you have any feedback, comments, or questions, please email them to COLApanel@shipcompliant.com . If you are a state administrator, and you haven’t yet completed our label registration survey, please do so in advance of the panel on October 12th by clicking here. Our goal is to have an open, collaborative discussion on this important topic and would love to have as much input as possible.

The Pac Northwest is Heating Up! Learn How to Harness the Growth

Next week, our team will be in Napa to celebrate our 8th annual DIRECT Conference. If you’ll be in the area on June 13th, we’d love for you to attend!

But did you know that we’ll also be holding events in Oregon and Washington this month?

It’s easy to see why hundreds of brands in the Pac Northwest have begun to use ShipCompliant in the past few years; the region is now a formidable force in direct-to-consumer sales. When we compiled our 2013 Direct Shipping Report, we saw growth across the entire market, but Oregon and Washington stood out as outperformers. Though their direct wine sales are about one fifth of Napa’s, the upward trend is hard to ignore.


Let’s take a closer look at Washington.


According to our 2013 Direct Shipping Report, the Evergreen State has seen monumental growth in its wine industry, with year over year volume growth of more than 18% in 2012.Not only that, but the average price of a bottle from Washington has risen 19%. This has pushed the market past the $50 million mark for the first time last year, and is showing no signs of slowing down.

It also seems that the best food pairing for a glass of Washington Cabernet Sauvignon, is, in fact, another glass of Washington Cabernet Sauvignon. Sales of the varietal have shot up over 69% in the past year. Cabernets, Syrahs, and blends now represent 70% of the state’s market for wine by volume.

Heading south a bit, our friends in Oregon have also enjoyed huge success in recent years. The state boasted a 10% gain in direct shipping sales last year, and its average price per bottle has risen to over $37, slightly above that of both Washington and Sonoma.

The 2004 Paul Giamatti film “Sideways” was set in Santa Barbara, where the actor’s character was obsessed with Pinot Noir. Based on our data, the film could have easily been set in Oregon, where the varietal represents 60% of total shipping volume, as well as the highest average bottle price at $47. No other region is more dominated by a single type of wine than the Beaver State.

The source of Oregon’s rise in direct shipping, however, is not forged by Pinot alone. Now that Oregon has established itself as a haven for aspiring grapes, more varietals have stepped up to the plate, as Pinot Noir’s annual volume remains flat. Syrah/Shiraz, Sauvignon Blanc, and Cabernet Franc have all exploded in 2012 with growth of over 100% each. Meanwhile, Cabernet Sauvignon’s average price per bottle has risen 30%, to $35. Though these varietals have a long way to go to catch up to Pinot Noir, it’s this diversity that is truly fueling the state’s rapid ascent.

We welcome this growth, and we love to see it. In fact, we’re hosting two events in the Pacific Northwest this month, along with our sponsors, Moss Adams LLP. We call it “Step-by-Step,” and we’ve designed these seminars to help wineries finance, account for, and act compliantly through the rapid positive changes happening in their businesses.

To sign up for our June 18th seminar in Oregon, click here!

To sign up foro ur June 20th seminar in Washington, click here!

Your DIRECT source of Wine Shipping Information

The ShipCompliant Blog brings you a steady flow of legislative updates, regulatory changes and other important news impacting wine shippers. If you find this information valuable, you won’t want to miss DIRECT 2013, ShipCompliant’s 8th annual Direct Sales and Shipping Seminar taking place June 13, 2013, in Napa, California.

This full-day seminar will feature multiple breakout sessions to discuss, in detail, some of the most important issues to wine direct shippers today, including:

  • Regulatory Roulette: A Discussion of Key Regulatory Issues Impacting Your Business
  • Integrating a Mobile Marketing Strategy into Your Sales Efforts
  • Third-Party Marketing: The Regulatory Landscape You Need to Know
  • Best Practices for Managing your Fulfillment Efforts in the Age of Amazon
  • Shipping Analytics: How Do You Measure Up?
  • ShipCompliant Support Lab: 1-on-1 Training
  • ShipCompliant University (three tracks)
    • Back to Basics: ShipCompliant 101
    • Compliance Made Easy
    • From Sale to Shipment

You’ll also get to hear from best-selling author and keynote speaker, Dr. Joseph Michelli, as he shares his share his extensive, in-depth research into key differentiators that define the success of companies like Starbucks, Zappos, and The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company. And more importantly, how wineries can incorporate these strategies to create their own “creaveable” brands.

Wine Institute Director of State Relations, Steve Gross, will give a detailed state-by-state overview of recent and upcoming changes affecting wine direct shippers. Pat Kohler, Director of the Washington State Liquor Control Board, and Deputy Director Rick Garza will provide insight on recent changes in Washington state that have industry-wide impacts.

Seating is limited, so register today to confirm your seat at this eighth-annual exciting and informative conference.

Sonoma County Updates, and a Cordial Invitation

Today, we would like to remind you of two things: one is a law that will affect our friends in Sonoma County this year, and the other is a cordial invitation to an industry event in the area on May 30th!

Sonoma County has seen great growth over the past few years, especially in 2012. According to our latest direct shipping report, created in conjunction with Wines & Vines, we have seen sales through direct shipping out of the area rise over 10% in the past year alone. Several regional organizations have taken note of this growth, and helped pass legislation in August of 2010 to ensure that Sonoma-based wines are properly branded and marketed.

Sponsored by the Sonoma County Vintners and the Sonoma County Winegrape Commision, AB 1798 requires that any wine from an American Viticultural Area (AVA) located in Sonoma County must also include the words “Sonoma County” on its bottle labels. Though the legislation was passed three years ago, very little action has been required by vintners—until now. The state of California will begin enforcing this new requirement on January 1st, 2014. The possible punishment of neglecting this new rule is the revocation of one’s winery license.

This marks the fourth kind of law, called “conjunctive labeling,” enacted in the Golden State. Napa Valley, Lodi, and Paso Robles have had this type of requirement enacted in the past.

The rationale is twofold:

  • According to the sponsor organizations’ market research, Sonoma County’s brand recognition is much greater than most of the individual AVA’s that make their home in Sonoma County
  • A voluntary program to place “Sonoma County” on the region’s wine labels resulted in a 20% participation, and sponsors of the bill want to increase those numbers significantly.

There is a counter-argument to this new initiative, however. Wineries have been using more detailed AVA information to better market their region, such as “Russian River Valley” and “Dry Creek Valley.” Adding Sonoma County to the label is seen by some as diluting the brand. Regardless, the legislation has long since passed.

While this may have been on your radar when it was first enacted, we wanted to remind you that this would be a good time to make sure your upcoming COLA submissions to the TTB are properly ready to go.

More detail on label requirements can be found at :
http://www.sonomawine.com/about-sonoma-county/conjunctive-labeling

As for that invitation…ShipCompliant is pleased to participate in the eWinery Solutions “State of the Industry” seminar at Sonoma State University on May 30th. We’ll be digging deeper into our recent direct shipping data, and talk about ways to use this data to your advantage! Click here to sign up!