2017 Conference Schedule

Join the Quality Revolution!


Conference Schedule


Wednesday Feb. 22

8:00 AM

Registration / Check-In Opens for All Attendees

8:00 AM – 8:00 PM

Room: Atrium

10:30 AM

Workshops

10:30 AM - 11:30 AM

There are business challenges and opportunities facing the wine industry being addressed in Washington, D.C. and at the state level that every winery principal should be aware of. This session, led by WineAmerica and public policy experts, will highlight the issues and provide insider insights into what the industry can expect in the upcoming year and how you can help improve the business climate for wine in America.

With: Jim Trezise, Tara Good, Michael Kaiser, Larry D. Meyers, Donniella Winchell

10:30 AM - 11:30 AM

The "Quality Revolution" for the Eastern and Midwest Wine Industry begins in the vineyard. Despite extraordinary challenges from the weather, top quality winegrapes are being grown. Learn from leading viticulture professionals about the latest farming tends and vineyard innovations and their impact on what’s in the bottle.

With: Brian Yost, David M. Collins, Richard Olsen-Harbich, Joyce Rigby

10:30 AM - 11:30 AM

Producing a top quality product takes more than the just good intentions. It often requires an economic commitment as well. What are your options? Is an SBA loan the right choice? How does crowd-funding work? Luckily, in today’s world, there are many ways to access capital, including channels you may not have considered. Learn from a financial expert what the various options are from traditional and non-traditional sources, and the pros and cons of each.

With: Jeff Clark

1:30 PM

Workshops

1:30 PM - 2:30 PM

Stem inclusion can enhance tannin structure in wine, as well as impart flavor complexity. However, they often impart "green" characteristics, and can make the tannin structure more harsh and unbalanced. Stems can even decrease color intensity by acting as an adsorbent of pigment. The greatest challenge is finding the right balance of stem character and fruit character. The Winemaker's Research Exchange will lead a production workshop, including a trial tasting, sharing the results of two following projects:

  • Cabernet Franc Whole Cluster Inclusion (Keswick Vineyards): One block of Cabernet Franc was destemmed and separated into different T-bins, with T-bins having different levels of stem inclusion from 0%, 10%, 20%, and 30% for a total of 4 experimental lots.
  • Cabernet Franc Whole Cluster Inclusion (King Family Vineyards): One block of Cabernet Franc was harvested and separated into three bins. The first bin received 100% destemmed (but not crushed) grapes, the second bin received 60% destemmed (but not crushed) grapes and 40% whole cluster, and the third bin received 10% destemmed and crushed grapes and 90% whole cluster grapes, for a total of 3 experimental lots.

With: Michael Attanasi, Stephen Barnard, Matthieu Finot

1:30 PM - 2:30 PM

Increasing distributor consolidation, explosive brand proliferation, tension among industry tiers and a rapidly changing global marketplace threaten to undermine the mutual goal of suppliers and distributors – to sell their products and enhance the value of their brands. This session will highlight the advantages of meaningful partnerships between suppliers and distributors via the use of mutually beneficial agreements, managed expectations, shared promotional efforts and regular communication.

After a brief introduction to the concepts above, the presentation will focus first on how a small producer can successfully negotiate a distribution agreement - even when all the leverage seems to lie with the distributor. Attendees will learn critical strategies to bring to the bargaining table, including which key provisions of an agreement to fight for versus which ones to let go. We’ll then discuss managing the distributor relationship in order to optimize sales and brand exposure. Annual operating plans and performance metrics, tracking distributor performance, and the role that distributors expect producers to play in promoting their brands will also be discussed.

With: Suzanne DeGalan

3:00 PM

Workshops

3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Making wine in the East and Midwest is fraught with adversity. Meet true winemaking pioneers who, despite the challenges, have consistently produced well respected, highly-regarded wines. They will share the experiences, trials and successes they have faced over the years. Most importantly, they will talk about why they believe their regions are perfectly positioned for more success in the future.

With: Joshua Grainer, Jim Law, Frank Morgan, Richard Olsen-Harbich, Luca Paschina

3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Whether you’re a large producer or someone just getting started, we’re all aware that we’re living in the age of Big Data. We know it’s out there. We know it’s bound to be helpful to our business regardless of the amount we produce. Yet the beverage industry is lagging far behind in adopting the practices and tools that could truly raise us to the next level. Our own bottom line, and our delivery of consumer wine experiences, all stand to benefit. In this dynamic and informative session, a leading communicator and analyst shares insights on big data, its potential, and most importantly its applications in the day-to-day business of wine.

With: Cathy Huyghe

5:30 PM

Welcome Reception

5:30 PM - 8:00 PM

Enjoy a special networking event featuring a selection of Wine, Craft Beer, Spirits & Cider carefully paired with a variety of hors d'oeuvres prepared by the Marriott Wardman Park Chef.

Thursday Feb. 23

8:00 AM

Registration / Check-In opens for all attendees

8:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Room: Atrium

8:45 AM

General Session - State of the Wine & Beverage Industry: "The Quality Revolution"

8:45 AM – 10:00 AM

Damien Wilson, Hamel Family Chair of the Wine Business Institute at Sonoma State University, will lead the General Session that will look closely at the growth of the Eastern and Midwestern Wine & Craft Beverage industries.

The program will open with Wine vs. Craft, 2016 Scorecard. How did wine perform in 2016? How are wine drinkers interacting with spirits and craft beer and what is the impact on wine? How do east coast trends differ from west coast and national trends? Danelle Kosmal and Matthew Crompton with the Beverage Alcohol Practice at Nielsen, will provide an overview of the wine category's performance in 2016, both on and off premise, and discuss recent consumer trends that are influencing the wine category.

This will be followed by an interactive session featuring industry experts discussing the conference theme "The Quality Revolution" and sharing their perspective on what that means to the region.

With: Damien Wilson, Patrick Comiskey, Matthew Crompton, Monika Elling, Danelle Kosmal

10:00 AM

Trade Show Exhibit Halls Open

10:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Room: Halls B&C

11:00 AM

Workshops

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Almost every producer uses some form of social media, but are you making the most of it? Do you have questions on how to grow your subscribers? How to get followers to engage more? Which social media platforms work best for business? Learn from successful social media experts what works and especially what not to do. Social Media is not the way of the future, it’s the way of the present and this workshop will ensure you’re prepared to make the most of the channel.

With: Allison Levine, Luiz Alberto, Ryan Krill, Ami Opisso

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Often added to lessen green character, oak tannin is thought to help round out harsh characteristics and add to overall structure and mouthfeel, especially with under-ripe grapes. Granular oak is thought by some to enhance color stability in red wines, especially in low tannin varieties, and it is often used as a less expensive alternative to infuse oak flavor into wines without the use of barrels. The Winemaker's Research Exchange will lead a production workshop, including a trial tasting, sharing the results on the Effect of Granular Oak Additions on Color & Tannin Stability for the two following projects:

  • Granular Oak Trial Additions to Cabernet Franc Must (Sunset Hill Vineyards & Horton Vineyards): Cabernet Franc grapes have been harvested and separated into two T-bins, with one receiving 4 pounds per ton medium toast granular French oak. This project has been done at both wineries in order to reproduce this trial across different regions. A total of 4 wines will be poured here.
  • Granular Oak and Untoasted Oak Additions to Cabernet Franc or Petit Verdot Must (Veritas Vineyards and Winery): The grape variety to use has not been finalized, and will be a function of harvest conditions. Harvested grapes will be destemmed into 3 T-bins, one receiving 4 grams per ton of untoasted granular oak, another receiving 4 grams per ton of toasted granular oak, and another receiving no granular oak addition. A total of 3 wines will be poured here.

With: Michael Attanasi, Michael Heny, Emily Pelton

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

A commitment to quality doesn't end with what's in the bottle, that's just the beginning. If your package doesn't reflect the quality of the product, there's potential for confusion and conflict with consumer and trade. This interactive workshop, led by packaging experts, will look at innovations in packaging design and material as well as address questions like what is "quality packaging"? Does my package reflect my brand? What are the right steps when considering something new?

With: Cynthia Sterling, John Lawlor, Lissa McLaughlin, Ashley Sebastionelli

1:30 PM

Workshops

1:30 PM - 2:30 PM

Achieving greatness is a team effort, but it starts at the top. In this session you'll hear from successful winery owners that were willing to invest what it took to produce the very best product possible... and they're not done yet. In this session, you’ll learn about some of the “quality driven” decisions and what the results were. Also, why these owners believe the best is yet to come for the region's wine producers willing to challenge the status quo.

With: Joe Roberts, Ed Boyce, Chris Pearmund, Gino Razzi, Christine Vrooman

1:30 PM - 2:30 PM

Wineries across the country are successfully expanding their offerings to include craft beer, cider or distilled spirits. With an existing customer base in place, adding new products presents a great opportunity, but what hurdles can you expect to encounter? Is it worth the additional effort? How will your core customers react? In this session hear from wineries that have already expanded to other beverages and what their experience was.

With: Christopher O'Gorman, Jacob Halls, Matt Haney, Curt Sherrer

1:30 PM - 2:30 PM

Achieving simultaneous phenolic and enological maturity is a challenge that all winegrowers face. This is especially true in climates where complicating factors can include the onset of rain, early frosts and vines susceptible to Botrytis. In many cases, the harvest date ends up being determined by external factors and not by grape maturity. Application of LalVigne foliar spray, an organic yeast derivative, has been observed to result in the concentration of aroma precursors, mouthfeel and mature phenolic attributes in grapes and resulting wines earlier in the ripening season. This workshop will present the results of trials run during the 2016 vintage in Virginia at Tarara Winery on multiple varietals. Trials results will also be available to taste.

With: Denise M. Gardner, Jordan Harris, Megan Hereford

2:30 PM

Exhibit Hall Happy Hour

2:30 PM - 5:30 PM
Room: Exhibit Halls B&C
Friday Feb. 24

8:00 AM

Check-In opens for all attendees

8:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Room: Atrium

9:00 AM

General Session - From Here to There: A Look at the Wine and Beverage Industry Today and Tomorrow

9:00 AM – 10:00 AM

Paul Mabray, wine industry veteran and four time American Wine Blog Awards finalist as well as guest lecturer at UC Davis and many other symposiums will look at the wine and beverage industry’s approach to consumer engagement and impact of technology, today and tomorrow.

Following this, Damien Wilson, Hamel Family Chair of the Wine Business Institute at Sonoma State University will join Paul to lead an interactive discussion to explore in detail trends in the industry and best practices in building loyalty and brand equity with your customers.

With: Damien Wilson, Paul Mabray

10:00 AM

Exhibit Halls Open

10:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Room: Halls B&C

11:00 AM

Workshops

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Wine Bloggers are not new to the industry, but their level of influence and the communication channels they employ are evolving as quickly as the ever changing way consumers are gathering information. With the decline of traditional wine critics and the advent of multiple communication channels, bloggers have taken a front seat. So, how do you communicate with the new press machine? Reviews and scores vs experiences? Authenticity vs a well-crafted story? Each blogger has a unique angle and succeeding with these influencers requires understanding how the new paradigm. This panel of influential bloggers and public relations experts will discuss this topic from two sides. The bloggers will share their thoughts on what they are looking for and how to get their attention. The public relations experts will discuss tips who to work with and how it impacts the brand.

With: Tina Caputo, Luiz Alberto, Frank Morgan, Christopher O’Gorman, Joe Roberts

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

The first time a visitor walks into your tasting room should not be the last time. The experience they have is what leaves a lasting impression. From the greeting and the offerings of the tasting room to personalized wine club events, every little detail counts. Each experience at your winery should keep them wanting to come back for more, and wanting to share with friends!

Learn from professionals who have seen it all and who will share tools and tactics for turning a first time visitor into a brand champion.

With: Elizabeth "E" Slater, Jon Decker, Steve DiFrancesco, Leslie Frelow, Jeff Plack

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Do you play music at your facility? Is it an important part of your business? Have you ever been contacted by anyone asking that you purchase a license to play music? Have you been threatened with potential fines? Music Licensing is a complicated topic and this workshop will help create clarity with regard to when you need a license and when you don't. Subject matter expert, Tara Good of WineAmerica, will lead a panel of experts featuring Elizabeth Frazee of TwinLogic Strategies and Laura Knapp Chadwick of the National Restaurant Association, This interactive session will provide insights into what your rights are and risks involved, as well as action undertaken on the legislative front.

With: Tara Good, Laura Knapp Chadwick, Elizabeth Frazee

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Packaging is one of the most exciting and innovative fields in the wine industry today, but finding the most relevant and up-to-date information can be difficult – as can understanding the practical applications of closure choice. This session will not only cover the latest research into oxygen management, closure materials and the environmental impact of packaging, but it will include a tasting component that will allow participants to understand both form and function. Join Master of Wine Sheri Morano and Vinvention’s Chief Innovation Officer Malcolm Thompson for an informative and interactive session and tasting that will offer you unparalleled insight into today’s modern wine closures and the impact different oxygen permeability’s make on your wine.

With: Sheri Morano, Malcolm Thompson

12:00 PM

Exhibit Hall Food & Beverage Tasting

12:00 PM - 1:30 PM
Room: Exhibit Halls B&C

Sample a special selection of Wine, Craft Beer, Spirits & Cider paired with special prepared hors d'oeuvres by Wardman Park Marriott Chef.

Pricing

Members of these associations can receive 50% off the prices below.

Single-Day
Conference Pass  $395

Includes:
  • 1-Day Conference Pass
  • 1-Day Trade Show Floor Pass
  • Social / Networking Events
Register Now

Trade Show
Floor Pass, 2-Day $50

Includes:
  • 2-Day Trade Show Floor Pass
  • Social / Networking Events
Register Now

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