Napa Sonoma SBDCSanta Rosa and Napa, California

“For me, making the migration from the employee to business owner world was a huge step in many ways, not the least of which was learning all about how to market my business effectively. A colleague directed me to the SBDC. To say that my meetings with the SBDC were focused and productive is a major understatement. I always say you walk away from those meetings with a detailed list of marching orders! The SBDC is a real cheerleader and strategist for us small-business folk.”

Ann Reynolds

BACKGROUND
Ann started her career in 1989 in a tasting room. Then she moved into the winery lab at Beringer Vineyards, and eventually managed the lab for Sterling Vineyards. She also did some cellar work before focusing on compliance and tracking.  Along the way, she developed winemaking record systems for Sterling Vineyards,Viansa Winery, Caymus Vineyards and Conundrum Winery.

Ann worked for six years as Winemaking Records Coordinator forCaymus Vineyards, and she soon realized the value of her skills to understand the complex regulations for winemaking compliance. She spotted a crucial need in the wine industry and filled it.

She applied her penchant for details and even wrote a book on wine label compliance. Plus she has strategically established herself as an expert consultant in winery compliance. 

CHALLENGES
Wine laws are confusing, frustrating and a giant hassle for most everyone. There are so many records, confusing forms, and endless due dates. The laws change constantly, and they are different in different states. Ann leaped from corporate comfort/success to freelance consulting and this was a risk.

ACTIONS
Ann actually enjoys winery record-keeping and compliance, and most of all, sharing her expertise with owners, winemakers, growers, general managers, cellar masters, lab techs, and tasting room staff.  
She has mastered the industry-specific Winemakers Database software and consults for wineries to make their licensing, record-keeping, and reporting requirements light-years easier and less time-consuming. Wisely, she became a trainer for the database software and shares booth space with Winemaker’s Database at high tech tradeshows. This is strategic cross marketing.

RESULTS
Ann designed The Compliance Tune-Up to address federal compliance permits and licenses, winemaking records, reports, labels, and taxes. She consults with small and mid-size wineries, home wine makers, and wholesalers to untangle all the requirements, forms, deadlines, and acronyms in winery compliance. She writes an assessment and a system for wine compliance in less time for less money, with easy access to data and immediate answers to hard questions.
Ann teaches the Winery Compliance and Recordkeeping in the Viticulture and Winery Technology program at Napa Valley College. “She has been a great resource for our students, who give her rave reviews on course content and presentation. There is no question that she is a real
expert on the subject,” said Dr. Stephen Krebs, Program Coordinator, Viticulture & Winery Technology at Napa Valley College.

Ann also designed a Wine Compliance webinar, used as key marketing strategy to attract new clients plus serve her existing clients. The seminar teaches ways to make winemaking compliance run smoother. She also wrote and self-published a book called The Inside Story of a Wine Label and sold out a short-run printing of 350 copies. Volume II with updates was just released and is available on Amazon.

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