Wines & Vines Home
   
 
Welcome Guest
LOGIN |  CREATE ACCOUNT
 
ADVERTISEMENT
 
 
 
04.12.2013  
 

New Director for Santa Barbara Vintners

Focused on building reputation, targeting key consumer groups

 
by Andrew Adams
 
 
morgen mclaughlin
 
The incoming executive director for the Santa Barbara County Vintners Association, Morgen McLaughlin, will start her new job April 19.
San Rafael, Calif.—The former head of the marketing group for the Finger Lakes wine region is the new executive director of the Santa Barbara County Vintners Association in California.

Morgen McLaughlin left her post as president and CEO of the Finger Lakes Wine Country Tourism Marketing Association based in Corning, N.Y., to take job in Santa Barbara County. McLaughlin, whose family owns a winery in Connecticut, starts April 19. “I’m looking forward to diving deep into different vineyard sites and seeing what makes each part of the county unique,” she told Wines & Vines this week.

After former executive director Jim Fiolek retired, the group’s board conducted a search for about three months before choosing McLaughlin, according to a statement released by the group. “The final decision was tough, but we are confident and excited to have Morgen joining the team,” said board president Kurt Ammann, the general manager of Dierberg Vineyard. “Her experience is a perfect fit to thoughtfully grow our organization and significantly increase the benefits for our members.”

McLaughlin said her long-term goal is to raise the visibility of the county and its four AVAs of Santa Ynez Valley, Santa Maria Valley, Santa Rita Hills and Happy Canyon. In the short-term, she said her top goal is to get the group’s membership re-engaged with the organization.

She said she plans to begin meeting with members to discuss issues important to them and gain feedback on a marketing plan. Whereas the Finger Lakes has had great success honing its message around Riesling, McLaughlin said Santa Barbara could build a message around the diversity of its sub appellations and grape varieties.

While the county is best known for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, which also account for the greatest share of planted acres, it is home to more than 50 varieties and more than 17,000 acres of wine grapes. The vintners group was founded in 1983 and now has more than 100 winery members and more than 20 growers.

McLaughlin said she knows that from an East Coast perspective the region’s reputation could use a boost. “A lot of consumers nationally don’t realize how much of wine industry there is in Santa Barbara,” she said. According to WinesVinesDATA there are 201 wineries in the county.

To improve consumer awareness of the county, McLaughlin said she will overhaul the group’s digital marketing strategy by improving its website and reaching out to the trade and media through social networks.

And McLaughlin said she plans to use concrete consumer metrics to gain an understanding of the core consumer groups that could be attracted to the region and then aggressively market them. She said a data-driven strategy she used in the Finger Lakes proved quite successful.

The obvious target is the area surrounding Los Angeles, Calif., because of its proximity and demographics, but McLaughlin said the metropolitan areas of Phoenix, Ariz., and Denver, Colo., have good potential as well.

McLaughlin’s first experience in wine came at her family’s winery, McLaughlin Vineyards in Sandy Hook, Conn. She said her grandparents purchased the land in the 1940s, and her parents started a winery and vineyard in 1978. The 160-acre farm includes 15 acres of cold-hardy cultivars such as Seyval Blanc and Vidal Blanc. The winery produces 2,500 cases of wine.

After she graduated from Boston College in 1994, McLaughlin served as co-owner and general manager of the winery for 12 years. Her family still owns and runs the property.

McLaughlin’s husband Nathaniel Smith is in wine sales, and she said the two of them were willing to make the move out west with their three sons if an opportunity presented itself. “We both love California,” she said.

McLaughlin will be starting with the vintners group just in time for its signature event, the annual Santa Barbara County Vintners Festival. This year’s festival takes place April 19-22 at the historic Mission Santa Inéz in the Santa Ynez Valley.

SHARE »
Close
 
Currently no comments posted for this article.
 
CURRENT NEWS INDEX »


 
Wines & Vines Home
 
866.453.9701 | 415.453.9700 | Fax: 415.453.2517
65 Mitchell Blvd., Ste. A San Rafael, CA 94903
info@winesandvines.com
Wine Industry Metrics
 
Off-Premise Sales » Month   12 Months  
March 2015 $622 million
7%
$7,995 million
5%
March 2014 $582 million $7,588 million
     
Direct-to-Consumer Shipments » Month   12 Months  
March 2015 $252 million
19%
$1,863 million
14%
March 2014 $213 million $1,634 million
     
Winery Job Index » Month   12 Months  
March 2015 356
22%
243
16%
March 2014 292 210
     
 
MORE » Released on 04.15.2015
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Direct To Consumer
Wine Shipping Report
2015
 
Download full report »
 
 

Practical Winery & Vineyard Library
 
Search the PWV archive »
 
 

CALENDAR
  • April 25-27
     
    World Wine Meetings America
     
  • April 26-28
     
    Sommelier Summit
     
  • April 29 - May 2
     
    International Wine Judging
     
  • May 1
     
    Sonoma County Barrel Auction
     
  • MORE »
 

READER COMMENTS
 
Article: Bedroom Communities Seek Vineyard AVA »
 
Why not just bottle under a vineyard designation? The bond will have a city or...
Reader: Guest
 
Article: Is Organic Grape Growing Possible in the East? »
 
FWIW, We make a few wines from a certified Organic vineyard growing cabernet franc, merlot,...
Reader: southoldfc
 
Article: Specialty Tanks Encourage Oak Extraction »
 
According to the manufacturer, the logs are made through compression and not with a binding...
Reader: Andrew Adams
 
Article: Specialty Tanks Encourage Oak Extraction »
 
What is the bonding agent of the Pressed Oak Logs?
Reader: Guest
 
Article: Is Organic Grape Growing Possible in the East? »
 
Some Long Island, NY, vineyard farmers are already using nearly organic methods. They have worked...
Reader: envcat
 
 


Directory/Buyer's Guide — Your Wine Industry Marketplace
 
 
WINERY SEARCH
 
 
Advanced Search »
SUPPLIER SEARCH
   by Product
 by Company Name or Brand
 
Browse by Category »
2015 Directory/Buyer's Guide
The Wines & Vines Directory and Buyer's Guide
 
 
EXPANDED ONLINE SEARCH INCLUDED WITH PURCHASE
 
ORDER NOW »
 
LEARN MORE »
 
 
Wines & Vines Magazine
 
 
LEARN MORE »
 
SUBSCRIBE »
 
Digital Edition Now Available!
Wines & Vines Digital Edition Now Available
 
LEARN MORE »
 
ORDER NOW »
 
 
The Wines & Vines Online Marketing System
 
The Industry Standard winery marketing application
 
FREE LIVE DEMO »
 
VIEW VIDEO »
 
 
 
 
Latest Job Listings
 Wine Sales Consultant
 Brooklyn, NY
Sales and Marketing
 Tasting Room Associate...
 Livermore, CA
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Sales Representative
 New York, NY
Sales and Marketing
 Accounts Payable Clerk...
 Geyserville, CA
Finance
 Retail Wine Sales Asso...
 San Francisco, CA
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Fine Wine Hospitality/...
 St. Helena, CA
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Wine Sales Professiona...
 Berkshires, MA
Sales and Marketing
 Warehouse Shipping & R...
 Greenfield, CA
Cellar, Lab and Production
 Bottling Line Lead
 Sonoma, CA
Cellar, Lab and Production
 Tasting Room Manager
 Healdsburg, CA
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 
More Job Listings >>
Follow Us On:
 
 





Home  |  About Us  |  Editors  |  Subscribe  |  Print Edition  |  Digital Edition

Advertise  |  Site Map  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy
 
 
Copyright © 2001-2015 by Wine Communications Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
No material may be reproduced without written permission of the Publisher.
Wines&Vines does not assume any responsibility for any unsolicited manuscripts or materials.