Michael David Succeeds With Packaging

Lodi winery's two marketing execs to speak at Aug. 17 conference

by Jim Gordon
wine michael david freakshow sales
Executives from 600,000-case Michael David Winery will discuss the importance of packaging in growing successful wine brands such as 7 Deadly Zins, Earthquake and Freakshow (above) at the Wines & Vines Packaging Conference on Aug. 17.
Yountville, Calif.—The two top marketing executives at California’s fast-growing, family-owned Michael David Winery will kick off the Wines & Vines Packaging Conference on Aug. 17 by telling the story of the vital role packaging has played in the winery’s rise to national prominence.

Named Winery of the Year by industry analyst Jon Fredrikson, Michael David Winery became the Lodi region’s unofficial standard bearer with courageous and catchy brands including Seven Deadly Zins, Earthquake and the now-surging Freakshow Cabernet Sauvignon.

The speakers will be two Lodi natives, Melissa Phillips Stroud, vice president of sales and marketing since 2012 and the youngest child of winery co-founder Michael Phillips, and Mike Stroh, the winery’s director of marketing, who first worked for Michael David during college and has been with the company full time since 2002.

Now producing more than 600,000 cases with an average bottle price of $18 and a top price of more than $50, Michael David has succeeded through innovation in marketing, packaging, progressive sustainable practices and long-term, non-stop, shoe-leather sales techniques. Fredrikson reported in January that Seven Deadly Zins was up 14% in volume in 2015, and Freakshow was up 90%, helping the winery add 108,000 cases shipped in 2015.

Stroud and Stroh will be the first speakers at the one-day conference and trade show at the Lincoln Theatre in Yountville, Calif. They plan to share how Michael David has created new brands, designed new packaging as part of those brands and incorporated the packaging challenges into their production flow.

Other featured content sessions will include “Star Retailers on Packages That Sell,” “When Packaging Meets Bottling,” a market research session on “Packaging and the Numbers” and “The Future of Package Design.”

Now in its third year, the Wines & Vines Packaging Conference is the only conference and trade show focused exclusively on wine industry packaging. It was created to be the essential meeting day for every winery that wants to improve its packaging look and performance.

The conference sessions, exhibits and amenities are designed for winemakers, cellar masters, winery operations managers, sales and purchasing managers, wine marketers and other industry professionals. More details about the program, registration and how to enter the newly expanded Packaging Design Awards judging are available at wvpack.com

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