Virginia Wine Board Issues Marketing RFP

Virginia Wine Board Issues Marketing RFP

The Virginia Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services has issued an RFP seeking Marketing Services for the Virginia Wine Board. The purpose of this Request for Proposals (RFP) is to solicit sealed proposals in order to enter into a competitively negotiated contract with one Contractor for the Operations and Management of the Virginia Wine Board Marketing Office (located in Richmond, Virginia) for the Virginia Wine Board (VWB), a commodity board of the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, an agency of the Commonwealth of Virginia.


The Virginia Wine Board was established by the Virginia legislature within the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. The purpose of the Wine Board is to allocate funds  to projects that expand viticultural and enological research, education, and promotion of the growing of grapes and the production of wine in the Commonwealth. The Virginia Wine Board Marketing  Office  is funded by the Virginia Wine Board, which is one of 15 commodity boards within the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. The Virginia Wine Board Marketing Office was created in 2007 to market and promote the growing Virginia wine industry on behalf of the Virginia Wine Board.


The Contractor should provide all marketing and analytical services necessary for the effective operation of the Virginia Wine Board Marketing Office including, but not limited to, the development and execution of a fully integrated marketing and branding program for the Virginia wine industry.

  1. Contractor requirements include:
    • Continue implementation of Vision 2020, the blueprint for the developing the strategic marketing plan to enhance the brand image and reputation of Virginia wines and the Virginia wine industry. This document can be viewed by selecting Vision 2020 at the following site:
    • Performance expectations for III.A.1.:
      • Provide leadership related to the most effective and efficient ways to enhance the brand image of Virginia wines and the Virginia wine industry.
      • Formally brief the Wine Board at its quarterly meetings on the status of all board funded initiatives and the marketing budget.
      • Substantiate all recommendations and proposals with supporting documentation.
      • Develop a comprehensive marketing plan based on Vision 2020.
      • Identify key strategies to achieve specified goals and an evaluation procedure to measure success for all initiatives.
      • Develop and implement successful public relations, social media and content marketing strategies they yield positive results for furthering the Virginia wine brand.
      • Garner Virginia wine trade support through activities to build relationships between opinion shapers, Virginia wineries, and Virginia wine distributors.
      • Complete all actions professionally and on time.
  2. Effectively provide services and operate the Virginia Wine Board Marketing Office located in the Richmond, Virginia. Office space is provided by the Virginia Wine Board. Attachment G provides information on the current   space.
    • Performance expectations for III.A.2:
      • Maintain office operations during normal business hours.
      • Coordinate requests for Virginia wine for special events with wineries.
      • Maintain ongoing communications with wineries, vineyards, media, trade partners and consumers about ongoing Virginia wine industry happenings.
      • Respond appropriately to press inquiries and all requests by the Governor or his cabinet regarding Virginia wine and keep the Wine Board Chair advised of all requests and action taken.
      • Provide information to legislators, consumer and business groups, and other key officials on wine industry initiatives and interests.
      • Act as a Virginia wine industry liaison with pertinent national, state and regional organizations and attend various events representing the Virginia wine industry as necessary.
      • Make presentations on the Virginia wine industry as necessary to various industry groups and interested organizations as schedules permit.
      • Provide meeting space for the Virginia wine industry constituents as needed.
      • Coordinate the Wine Marketing Matching Grant Program. The Wine Matching Grant program is managed by the Virginia Wine Board Marketing Office and is separate from the research, education and marketing grant programs funded by the Wine Board.The Matching Grant Program is designed to support Virginia wineries in promoting their products to consumers as well as to trade. The financial support offered in this program can be used to provide “seed funds” for new marketing initiatives to promote Virginia wines, foster partnerships among Virginia wineries and other community partners to achieve mutual marketing goals, and to promote Virginia wine in Virginia, regional, national and/or international markets. The Wine Marketing Office solicits proposals from the industry and facilitates the evaluation, selection and award process.
  1. Maintain and keep competitive Virginia wine website and electronic marketing program that includes current, relevant information and comprehensive information about each winery (links), their events, festivals, etc. The site should be easy to navigate and be a leader among wine industry websites.
    • Performance expectations for III.A.3:
      • Ensure the Virginia Wine website information is accurate, current and updated routinely.
      • Enhance to be the most comprehensive source of information on Virginia wineries, vineyards, and wines.
      • Build the search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM) to maintain a maximum search position for
      • Increase web traffic to Establish and provide metrics to measure activity.
  2. Organize Virginia wine industry sponsored trade and media events, such as, October Virginia Wine Month and the Virginia Wine Summit.
    • Performance expectations for III.A.4:
      • Maintain an accurate list of key stakeholders in promoting Virginia wines.
      • Develop an annual plan for major trade partner events to garner enthusiasm for and sales of Virginia wines.
      • Evaluate best methods to reach and influence trade partners with methods such as trade tastings, point-of-sale (POS) materials and other strategies.
  1. Develop and manage additional marketing programs sponsored by the Virginia Wine Board for the purposes of building the Virginia wine brand in an ever changing marketplace.
    • Performance expectations for III.A.5.:
      • Evaluate and define new opportunities for Virginia wines.
      • Build cost effective and efficient marketing programs to achieve intended results
      • Develop measureable results for each new initiative.
      • Work with the Virginia ABC to determine a method to track sales of Virginia Wine and report the results quarterly.
  1. Design, produce, and distribute an annual Virginia Wineries Guide as approved by the Virginia Wine Board for an additional two (2) years (2018 & 2019).
  1. Monitor and document important benchmarks for the Virginia industry including sales by distribution channel, number of wineries and vineyards and other important data. Survey and report other items as needed such as important education and research needs, winery marketing needs and priorities, as well as, changes in consumer habits and views of Virginia wines.
    • Performance expectations for III.A.6.:
      Accountable actions for Virginia Winery Guide include, but are not limited to:

      • Complete the data review and corrections, layout and design of the Virginia Winery Guide.
      • Virginia Winery Guide to be printed and ready for distribution by January 15, annually.
      • Responsible for printing and distribution of the annual Virginia Winery Guide.
  2. Provide postage and printing of approximately 250,000 guides. The associated costs may be listed as specific line item under the annual wineries guide budget request.
    • Performance expectations for III.A.7:
      • Annually survey Virginia wineries to determine  marketing priorities.
      • Annually survey trade partners (e.g. restaurateurs, sommeliers, distributors, wine shop owners, and consumers) to measure changes in brand awareness.
      • Assist 3rd party project managers with reaching vineyards and wineries for the Commercial Grape Report.

Skills and knowledge required for marketing director/primary project leader:

  1. Previous wine industry experience combined with analytical background and/or category management experience.
  1. Five (5) or more years of experience in consumer product marketing and/or market research.
  1. A bachelor’s degree or higher in marketing or related field, MBA preferred.
  1. Exemplary interpersonal communication skills.
  1. Ability to effectively interact with government officials, trade partners, etc. on key industry issues and concerns.
  1. Superior expertise in analysis, design, development and utilization of database marketing tools.
  1. Ability to prioritize and get things done in a rapidly changing environment.
  1. Strong creative writing skills.
  1. Strong attention to detail.
  1. Team player with enthusiastic outlook and innovative mind.
  1. Valid driver’s license.
  1. Ability to handle confidential and/or sensitive information in a professional manner.

Reporting Requirements:

  • The Contractor shall be required to submit an annual report on the Marketing Office. The annual Contractor’s report, including a Statement of Profit and Loss and a Balance Sheet, is due on or before November 1 each year. A report format is available from the Director of the Division of Marketing, VDACS.
  • Subsequent quarterly reports leading up to the annual report shall use the same reporting format.Security: Security of the Marketing Office and associated operations on the premises are the sole responsibilities of the Contractor.

Proposal due by 2:00 pm EST, on February 8, 2017 to:

Commonwealth of Virginia
Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Procurement Office
102 Governor Street, Rm. 240
Richmond, VA 23219

PadillaCRT and French-West-Vaughan have major operations in Virginia.

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