Lessons in Listening
Marketing/Public Relations Breakout Session

In leadership circles, the art of listening well is often cited as the key to true success. Perhaps a better way to market wines to a broader audience is to actively listen to what they want. Making wine more appealing, or simply moving it higher on the list of alcohol choices, should begin with finding out what consumers relate and connect to in terms of offerings.

In this session, we will hear from marketers and brands both within and outside the industry who have had success in this consumer-focused approach. We will dive into this topic of finding new or loyal audiences, making the product work for them, and asking exactly what an average wine consumer is looking for in wine.

*Session receives 1.5 CEUs: Professional Development - Interpersonal Skills, Conflict Resolution

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Joel Peterson
Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance, California

Executive Director, Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance. An accomplished communications and marketing specialist and true people person, Joel Peterson has spent 20 years marketing craft beverages, and currently serves as the executive director of the PRWCA. The organization, made up of nearly 200 wineries and 450 total businesses, leads marketing, outreach, and education efforts that promote and protect Paso Robles Wine Country. The area has seen incredible growth and recognition over the past decade with a rising-tides mentality from the region’s wineries, vineyards, and tourism-based organizations working together. After earning a degree from the University of Arizona, Peterson spent eight years in Hollywood working in film production. He joined the Paso Robles wine community full time in 2003, working for several wineries including L’Aventure, JUSTIN, and Hope Family Wines.

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Jamie Evans
The Herb Somm, California

Jamie Evans is the founder of The Herb Somm, a culinary-meets-cannabis blog and lifestyle brand that’s focused on the gourmet side of the industry. She is an author, entrepreneur, and writer specializing in cannabis, CBD, food, recipes, wine, and the canna-culinary world.

As a well-known cannabis personality, Jamie is best known for her literary work and signature canna-culinary events. She is the co-editor of GoldLeaf’s acclaimed cannabis Cooking Journal and the author of the CBD lifestyle book, The Ultimate Guide to CBD: Explore the World of Cannabidiol, published by Fair Winds Press of Quarto Publishing Group. Her next book, Cannabis Drinks: Secrets to Crafting CBD and THC Beverages at Home, released in April 2021. 


Sarah Hoffman
Maker Wine, California

Sarah Hoffman is the CEO of Maker Wine, a premium canned wine company featuring the wines and stories of diverse, independent winemakers. Before Maker, Sarah led user acquisition and growth at companies like Eventbrite, Bloomspot, and NakedPoppy, while moonlighting as a craft beer writer and supperclub producer. Maker launched in 2020 and has quickly become the highest rated canned wine on the market, capturing the hearts and palates of wine lovers across the US.



Jean-Michel Valette
Huneeus Vintners, California

Jean-Michel is currently a director of Sleep Number, lead director at Boston Beer and chairman of Huneeus Vintners. Previously he’s been chairman of Sleep Number, Peet’s Coffee & Tea, and the Institute of Masters of Wine.




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