Michele Rennie is a consultant in Direct-to-Consumer Wine Marketing, Wine Tourism and Pre & Post Consumer Engagement, honed from working with some of the best wine companies in Washington and California. She consults with both wineries and lodging properties in wine regions. For three years, she taught wine marketing at Walla Walla Community College’s Center for Enology and Viticulture and still offers seminars to wine industry associations. As past Chair of Tourism Walla Walla and as a current owner of a vineyard inn, she is especially interested in wine tourism as an economic driver for wine regions.
About Michele Rennie
With commercial wineries in all 50 states, wineries of all sizes are realizing that they need to maximize the experiences they deliver to their visitors and loyal customers. Direct-to-consumer techniques help a winery create awareness, sell wine profitably and generate long-lasting relationships with your best customers.
Wine Direct Solutions has more than 10 years hands-on experience in the direct-to-consumer business development through loyalty programs, e-commerce, website development, social media, tasting room management and staff training and an additional three years of teaching wine marketing to the enology and viticulture students at Walla Walla Community College.
In 2010, I started Wine Direct Solutions ~ helping wineries sell wine directly to consumers. In my role as a DTC winery consultant, I have assisted numerous clients to revamp their Direct-to-Consumer activities to achieve greater revenues.
I am passionate about the American wine industry and am excited to see the inroads all over the country.
For the ten years I worked for larger winery groups, I have been fortunate to have been on the forefront of the direct-to-consumer sector as Direct Marketing Manager for Ste. Michelle Wine Estates (five wine clubs at that time) before moving to Walla Walla to open Northstar Winery to trade and consumer visitors.
From 2006 onward, I was employed by Constellation (Icon Brands division) as Direct to Consumer Marketing Manager PNW for a group NW of wineries: Columbia Winery, Covey Run, Hogue Cellars and Ste. Chapelle (ID) and I continued in that role with those properties when they were acquired by Ascentia Wine Estates in 2008.
Despite the fact that I worked for the big guys, you might be surprised to learn that a big budget to market to consumers didn’t follow. In many cases, while these wineries understood the importance of their tasting room consumers and wine club members, but would not devote a comparable-to-revenue budget for these activities.
As a result, I have learned to do a lot with a little.
Also during this period, my husband and I opened a wine country inn, Girasol Vineyard & Inn in Walla Walla and I became actively involved in wine tourism by serving on the Tourism Walla Walla board as Board Chair and head of the marketing committee.
If you would like professional assistance to get to the next level with your DTC and drive your winery revenue, drop me an email. I’ll be delighted to see what we can do together.
Email: rennie.michele (at) gmail.com
Walla Walla WA 99362