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Leading Economists, Authors and Strategists Gather for Ahead of the Curve 2017 to Examine the Napa Brand


NAPA, CA (March 6, 2017) – On Wednesday, March 8, the Napa Valley Grapegrowers will present Ahead of the Curve 2017: The Big Brand Called Napa Valley. This half-day symposium and luncheon offers a rare opportunity to hear from top experts in their field as they explore the vineyard’s role in promoting the Napa Valley brand and the quality wines that come from our land.

Moderated by Kelli White, sommelier and well-known author of Napa Valley Then & Now and Associate Editor of Vinous, Ahead of the Curve 2017 is proud to feature a dynamic group of speakers who will introduce thought-provoking ideas and share their own insight and strategies around these critical questions:

  • How can we develop vineyard strategies in light of brand and market trends?
  • What is the role of Napa Valley vineyards and our sense of place in the San Francisco market?
  • Does the vineyard story give our wine brands authenticity? And, how important are vineyard identities and/or sub-AVAs to brand marketing strategies?
  • Napa is ahead of the curve when it comes to wages, benefits and social equity efforts for farmworkers – should this be incorporated into our stories?
  • What else could we be doing to support Napa’s farmworker community?
  • With the high costs of land, how do you make buying a vineyard in Napa a sustainable business venture?
  • And more!

The keynote address will be given by Dr. Orley Ashenfelter, the Joseph Douglas Green 1895 Professor of Economics at Princeton University and former President of the American Economic Association of Princeton University. Dr. Ashenfelter will present his controversial and provocative research and data on how weather determines the quality of the wines produced. Initially applied to an analysis of red Bordeaux wines, he will make comparisons to Napa and ultimately attempt to answer the question – do vineyards & vintage really matter?

Another highly anticipated presentation will be given by Maisie Ganzler, Chief Strategy & Brand Officer at Bon Appetít Management Company, and Dr. Giovanni Peri, Professor of Economics at University of California Davis, who will present a compelling look at how Napa Valley’s wages and benefits compare to other industries and their impact, along with social equity and sustainability initiatives, on a brand.

In addition, other distinguished speakers will be sharing their unique perspectives about consumer trends and the future of the Napa brand including: Remi Cohen (Lede Family Wines), Shannon Staglin (Staglin Family Vineyards), Gillian Balance (Treasury Wine Estates) Peter Granoff (Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant and Oxbow Wine & Cheese Merchant) and John Conover (PlumpJack, CADE & Odette Estate).

Now in its 9th year, this year’s symposium is one you will not want to miss and will be followed by a seated luncheon afterwards. It will take place at 8:00 AM to 1:30 PM on Wednesday, March 8th at Brasswood Estate located at 3111 St Helena Hwy in St Helena.

A full schedule and registration form can be downloaded here. Based on the popularity of this event, early registration is highly recommended as it does sell out quickly.

Admission is $200 for NVG members and $300 for General Admission.

For more information, please visit www.napagrowers.org or phone (707) 944.8311.

Support for this event is provided by premier sponsors Merrill Lynch; Voth, Heflebower & Association and Bank of America.

About Napa Valley Grapegrowers

NVG is a non-profit trade organization that has played a vital role in strengthening Napa Valley’s reputation as a world-class viticultural region for 42 years. Its mission is to preserve and promote Napa Valley’s world-class vineyards. NVG represents over 690 Napa County grapegrowers and associated businesses.

For more information, visit www.napagrowers.org. Follow Napa Valley Grapegrowers on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram.

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