Laura Larson started her early career working within the hospitality business in various roles. Her passion for meeting and working with people of all levels and her studies in sales and marketing set the stage for a 25 year successful sales management career within the Information Technology Sector.
Working for Global 500 software companies, Laura had the opportunity to develop innovative business development strategies with B2B and direct to consumer programs from the ground up. During her career she hired, managed and trained some of the company’s top sales performers.
While working in the Bay Area, Laura moved to the Napa Valley and became more intimately engaged in the local wine Industry. She noticed a widening gap as many wineries integrated their hospitality programs into direct to consumer sales. Leveraging the sales and marketing expertise which drove success throughout her Corporate career, she soon began consulting wineries to help them shore up market strategies to better qualify, capture and grow loyalty among more customers, and ultimately help them sell more wine.
In 2015 Laura and her husband launched their own boutique wine label, and became her own small winery client. She learned first hand some of the challenges vintners face positioning their brand and the widening field of competition. Leveraging her sales and marketing background and winery owner experience, Laura structured Virtual Vines’ project-based services portfolio around relationship-based sales and marketing methodologies to support each DTC selling channel- the Tasting Room, Website, Social Media, Outbound Digital Marketing and Loyalty Programs.
In addition to project-based services, Virtual Vines hosts a live webinar based training program, “DTC WebTracks”, so wineries inside and outside of Napa can gain access to staff and manager level training remotely– from anywhere on any device.
Since launching Virtual Vines, Laura has developed an extensive client list, obtained a Sommelier certification from the Court of Master Sommeliers and is an active member of the DTC Hospitality Community.
She serves as an Advisory Board Member for the Napa Valley Hospitality Forum, volunteers with the “Free the Grapes” coalition and serves on the Steering Committee for the DTC Wine Symposium.
Laura has always enjoyed writing, and is a contributing editor with Napa Valley Life Magazine as well as the Wine Industry Advisor, where she is a monthly contributor to features focused on winery & hospitality experiences.