by Elizabeth Hans McCrone
The 7th annual North Coast Wine Industry Expo (WIN Expo), the second largest wine industry trade show in North America, has bolstered the conference portion of its program this year to address the increasing complexity of issues facing the wine industry.
According to Wine Industry Network (WIN) President and conference organizer George Christie, broadening the scope of the conference sessions is all about recognizing contemporary wine industry needs.
“This business isn’t getting any less competitive,” acknowledges Christie. “That’s why the educational component has evolved into a much bigger piece. It’s important to touch on all the main points; how do we make better wine, grow better grapes, and be more effective with our sales and marketing strategies? That’s exactly what we’ve designed these sessions to do.”
To that end, the conference is organized into three main tracks: Winemaking, Wine Sales & Marketing, and Wine Business Strategy & Leadership. All three tracks feature interactive sessions to facilitate greater subject emersion, insights, and value for the attendees.
For example, the Winemaking Track will present a “Wine Mouthfeel Workshop,” a hands-on session designed to help attendees better understand how winemaking practices and additions affect mouthfeel and improve wine balance. Participants will learn to improve red wine mouthfeel during fermentation, balance wine mouthfeel pre-bottling and fine tune mouthfeel in sparkling wine at disgorging.
Another session, called “Exploring the Impact of Fructophilic Yeast and Fructose During the Fermentation,” looks at the use of fructophilic yeast strains and tastes through trial wines with the winemakers who conducted the trials.
Sessions on “Oxygen Management: Closures and Aging,’ which focuses on sensory profile differences, and the “The Effect of Oak and Grape Tannin in the First Year of Aging,” which both include actual trials tasting, are also offered in the Winemaking Track.
The Wine Sales & Marketing Track features sessions on “From Tasting Room Visitors to Digital Consumers,” “Investing in Staff Training,” “How to Refresh and Evolve Your Brand,” and a session titled “Wine Writers: Who Are They? Where Are They and What Are They Looking For?” This interactive workshop includes wine writers and publicists who provide an overview of the current public relations landscape, how best to garner positive press coverage, and winery best practices that have done the most effective job in capturing media attention.
The Wine Business Strategy & Leadership Track features two different conference sessions on “The State of the North Coast Wine Industry.”
The first, “Harvest Recap and 2019 Grape and Bulk Wine Forecast,” presents a comprehensive review of the 2018 harvest an update on the current state of the market with Brain Clements of Bryan Foster with Turrentine Brokerage.
The second “State of the Industry” session is an interactive roundtable discussion with Damien Wilson with Sonoma State University’s Wine Business Institute and will feature industry experts in winery operations, production, wholesale and DTC sales for a robust discussion on where we are today what trends the industry can expect in 2019.
The Business Strategy & Leadership Track also presents “Branding & Packaging: Balancing Business, Artistic, and Legal Considerations in the Creation of a Great Brand,” and “Achieving Excellence in the Luxury Wine Market.”
All three tracks and twelve total educational sessions are stacked with wine business experts featuring broad industry experience and valuable lessons to share.
Registration for the 2018 WIN Expo opened August 22, 2018, and a limited number of early bird conference passes are available. For more information on individual sessions and speakers or to register for the WIN Expo trade show and conference visit www.wineindustryexpo.com/conference.