First Ever Conference Focused on Wine Retailers to Be Held in Sonoma This February

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Thanks to the advent and popularity of e-commerce, small wine retailers can now tap a broad market via direct-to-consumer sales and shipping -- or can they? Change+Opportunity, presented by the Specialty Wine Retailers Association (SWRA) at Kendall-Jackson Vineyard Estates, will be the first symposium of it's kind designed to specifically address the needs and interests of wine retailers who sell direct.

Since the Granholm v. Heald Supreme Court ruling in 2005 a great deal of change and confusion has swirled around these issues. The goal is to give retailers and their associates the knowledge necessary to be confident in their business dealings and to look closely at where the debate over retailer-to-consumer sales and shipping is headed. This conference is about their future.

Thanks to the advent and popularity of e-commerce, small wine retailers can now tap a broad market via direct-to-consumer sales and shipping -- or can they? Change+Opportunity, presented by the Specialty Wine Retailers Association (SWRA) at Kendall-Jackson Vineyard Estates, will be the first symposium of it's kind designed to specifically address the needs and interests of wine retailers who sell direct.

"Our aim is to help bring clarity to the political, legal, compliance and marketing issues that are specific to retailer-to-consumer wine sales and shipping," says Tom Wark, executive director of SWRA. "Since the Granholm v. Heald Supreme Court ruling in 2005 a great deal of change and confusion has swirled around these issues. The goal is to give retailers and their associates the knowledge necessary to be confident in their business dealings and to look closely at where the debate over retailer-to-consumer sales and shipping is headed. This conference is about their future."

The day-long symposium will be organized around a series of broad seminar topics that feature experienced panelists who bring a unique perspective to the topic at hand, and is open to non-members. Topics include an overview of direct shipping laws, including recent developments in key states; a frank discussion about the political landscape and pending and anticipated legislative challenges; overview and discussion of successful strategy regarding internet wine sales; exploring the differences between web and brick and mortar buyers; and state-by-state compliance.

Brick & mortar wine retailers, Internet wine retailers, auction house and wine clubs as well as companies that service the direct-to-consumer wine market have been invited to join SWRA leadership and sales experts to explore the complex issues facing businesses who wish to leverage rapidly advancing e-commerce technology and navigate the challenging territory of selling wine to consumers across state lines. The full day seminar will take place at the Kendall Jackson Wine Center. A limited number of seats are available at $250 per person ($200 for SWRA members), with an early registration discount available to those who book before the end of the year.

For more information, or to register for SWRA's Wine Retailing 2008: Change+Opportunity, log on to the SWRA website, or contact Tori Wilder at 707.227.8310.

The Specialty Wine Retailers Association is a national organization of wine retailers and associated businesses that promote a free, open and appropriately regulated national market for wine. SWRA's mission is to legally open the U.S. wine market to all US fine wine retailers. Wine consumers do not want their choices of wine, or wine merchants, artificially restricted by state borders, and those consumers are the customers of SWRA's members.

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