Session Topics & Tracks
9:30am - 10:30am
11:30am - 12:30pm
1:30pm - 2:30pm
The sad reality for North Coast grape growers and winemakers is that smoke impact is, and will be, something to contend with ongoing. What progress has been made in this area? What new technology is being utilized? Is there a solution?
A team of industry and scientific experts will present the latest innovations on this topic and engage in a discussion regarding the continuing impact of smoke exposure, the lack of a clear method to test wines, the challenges of removal and how taking a different approach may be the answer.
Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Chief Marketing Officer / ConeTech, Advanced Beverage TechnologiesRead Bio
Flavor Chemist, Owner / Marsili ConsultingRead Bio
Director of Winemaking & Production / Shannon Ridge Family of WinesRead Bio
Cooperative Extension Specialist in Enology / UC DavisRead Bio
VP of Innovation, R&D / ConeTech, Advanced Beverage TechnologiesRead Bio
Automation and AI have already made a big impact in the vineyard and throughout the production process, but for small and mid-sized wineries the potential impact on wine sales may be the biggest game-changer of all!
What new technology is available and how is it impacting the direct and wholesale channels? What is automated wine marketing? Who's using it and what have the results been?
With new industry research and case studies from leading wine marketers, this session will teach you how even small wineries can impact customer engagement to multiply sales, customer satisfaction, staff productivity and competitive success.
If someone told you that you could increase your business by a whopping 50 percent through an affordable technology using the principles of preference based marketing, would you be willing to ... read more.
"Not everyone in your CRM is created equal. Some are more engaged, some purchase more, some are involved in wine club, some aren’t. Should you treat them all the same? No!" So opines Michael Wangbickler, President of ... read more.
Founder / In Short Direct MarketingRead Bio
President, Founder / The Engine is RedRead Bio
Founder & CEO / VinteractiveRead Bio
President / Balzac Communications & MarketingRead Bio
The job of the wine industry executive has been increasingly transformed, reshaped and disrupted. Leaders in operations, production, sales and marketing are faced with more challenges than ever. Increased competition, within and outside the industry, retaining top talent, integrating new technologies, all while maintaining growth and profitability, is the new normal.
Geoff Ables, Managing Partner for C5 Insight, and formally, Interim Customer Experience Director/Wholesale for Silver Oak Winery will present this action-oriented and inspirational program for wine industry leaders. The session focuses on 5 principles that organizations across many industries - from banking to winemaking to manufacturing to technology - are using to create more people-centric, disruption-proof workplaces. You'll hear wine industry case studies and tips highlighting how successful organizations are aligning better processes, employee empowerment, technology, big data, and culture to transform customer and employee engagement.
While the full impact of climate change on the wine industry remains to be seen, we are already beginning to see the effects of it. Increasing temperatures and changes in weather patterns will bring new viticultural and enological challenges to the industry. In some areas, climate change may bring rising potential alcohol levels, decreased natural acidity, increased potassium levels and higher pH. In other regions, fluctuations in weather patterns may bring more summer rains which means higher disease pressure and subsequent decreases in yield and quality.
In this panel, both winemakers and viticulturalists will share experiences in mitigating the impact of climate change, from grape to bottle. The attendees of this session will leave with information on practices and tools to help them address some of the viticultural and enological challenges associated with climate change.
The technology impact on wine packaging is drastically changing the way wineries can deliver information to consumers. From augmented reality to winemaker videos, the ability to engage and communicate with customers has never been better. Wine marketers can let their imagination run wild and designers are delivering. This session will highlight some of the latest and best examples of technology integrated packaging and what results have been experienced so far. Our panel of experts will also discuss costs, options and share their vision for where they see the future of wine marketing is heading.
What are customers looking for in wine packaging that most wineries are ignoring or missing at this point? Simply put, it’s the story. Says Peter Oberdorfer, founder and President of Tactic, "When consumers are considering ..." read more.
President / Calhoun & Company CommunicationsRead Bio
Innovation Manager / Bogle VineyardsRead Bio
Marketing Manager / The Wine GroupRead Bio
VP of Marketing / O'Neill Vintners & DistillersRead Bio
Founder / TacticRead Bio
Rules and regulations in the world of wine consistently change from year to year and from market to market. Layer on the impact that social media and technology are having on the industry and one can easily be overwhelmed with keeping up and avoiding legal issues.
This session will address legal topics relevant to the wine industry related to tied-house rules, distributor and retailer relationships and restrictions related thereto (gifts, consignment sales, incentive programs), as well as consumer events, offsite sales and what you can and can’t do on your social media channels. We will also discuss the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Tennessee Wine & Spirits Retailers Association v. Thomas and its impact on direct to consumer shipping by retailers.
Staying on top of the curve may be particularly important for the wine and alcoholic beverage industries, which are strictly controlled by a myriad of laws and regulations constantly in flux and made more complex by emerging technologies... read more.
Increasing public concern with sulfite content in wine is trending, driven by European consumers demanding wines made with lower SO2, and that trend is expected to continue, and grow, here in the United States. This is compelling winemakers to change their winemaking protocols, reducing the SO2 additions throughout the life cycle of winemaking. Given that SO2 has been one of the most commonly used wine additives for centuries, finding alternatives while keeping high quality wines is a challenge for today’s winemaking community.
What are winemakers in Europe doing differently and what have the results shown? What role have Non-Saccharomyces yeast strains played? What post-fermentation additions are showing the best results?
A panel of winemakers will address all of these questions as well as share their experiences and practices in this interactive session.
President & Winemaker / Disruption Wine Co.Read Bio
Product Manager, Winemaking Solutions / BucherVaslinRead Bio
Technical Manager North America / Laffort USARead Bio
In the wine industry's hyper-competitive environment, good scores, gold medals, a beautiful website and tasting room are great, but today it takes more than that to to achieve sales goals. Today, wineries need to work harder supporting sales off the shelf and wine lists. They need to not only generate traffic to their site or their tasting room, they need to drive demand for their product. How do successful producers create pull for their products to support their wholesale and DTC efforts? How do they strike the perfect balance between supporting their distributor, retail and restaurant partners and still manage to maximize their direct to consumer channel?
This session will feature channel experts to share their real-world examples of leveraging today’s technology to generate the pull needed to maintain price, profit and brand integrity.
The Wine Industry Network (WIN) 3-Tier Wine Symposium last May was designed to help small to midsize wineries understand how to succeed in today’s evolving wholesale channel. "Panelists said the days of feeling successful once you ... read more.
CEO / Astra DigitalRead Bio
Founder & CEO / WineCountry MediaRead Bio
West Coast Director / Colangelo & PartnersRead Bio
GM / Bluxome Street Winery, Instructor & Content Developer / WISE AcademyRead Bio
Chief Innovation & Growth Officer / Angelsmith, Inc.Read Bio
This important session will present an overview of the current state of the wine industry, with special emphasis on the North Coast. The expert panel, consisting of Glenn Proctor of The Ciatti Company, Dr. Robert Eyler, Dean, School of Extended Education at Sonoma State University and Mike Provance, CEO of 3x3 Insights, the industry-leading consumer analytics platform, will review the industry’s performance in 2019 in key markets, the impact of the general economy on sales along with a recap of the recent harvest along with an update on current conditions of the bulk wine market. Additionally, forecasts on how trends and activity in the broad market, and economy, may impact the North Coast wine, grape and bulk industry in 2020.
Editor / Wine Industry AdvisorRead Bio
Dean of the School of Extended and International Education / Sonoma State UniversityRead Bio
Partner / CiattiRead Bio
CEO / 3x3 InsightsRead Bio
Meet the Experts
Speaker Bios / Q&A's
Bestselling author and international keynote speaker, Geoff Ables is a thought leader on digital customer and employee engagement. Geoff's most recent book, "The LUCK Principle," delivers fresh insight and inspiration into creating people-centric digital workplaces. He has provided advisory services to dozens of organizations including Silver Oak, Nomacorc, Wells Fargo and Travelocity. His firm, C5 Insight, has twice been named an Inc 5000 company and advises clients on customer relationship management, and digital workplace leadership.
Kim Badenfort is the editor for the Wine Industry Advisor, and though his entry into the wine industry was incidental, wine country had already inspired him with a deep interest and appreciation for wine as well as the stories and experiences it has to offer. After joining Wine Industry Network in 2012 and managing the editorial program of the Wine Industry Advisor, his passion for wine and the industry has only grown, and he is excited to be in a position to use his background in rhetoric to help tell its stories.
As President of her own San Francisco-based, boutique public relations agency, Katie Ballou Calhoun offers clients a blend of big-picture strategy and nitty-gritty technique ranging from traditional PR and event execution to insight on earning and nurturing relations with social influencers and bloggers. Calhoun & Company Communications’ preferred clients include wine, spirits, epicurean and lifestyle brands.
Highlights of Katie’s 30 years’ experience include long-term relationships with Symington Family Estates, Foley Family Wines and E & J Gallo Winery, in addition to representing famed vintner and winemaker Warren Winiarski. The breadth and depth of her experience is showcased through her client history, featuring global brands, consortiums, distributors, corporate parents and family-owned outfits.
Recognized for her tasting skill, Katie has judged Sunset Magazine’s Sunset International Wine Competition, the San Francisco International Wine and World Spirits Competitions, and was a standing taster on Wine & Spirits Magazine’s tasting panel until the publication’s move to Los Angeles.
Mike has extensive operating experience through his work with four early-stage companies. Mike is currently the Founder and CEO of WineCountry Media, the leading digital platform for wine country travel and lifestyle products. Prior to founding WineCountry, Mike launched and provided executive leadership for three start-up companies in three different industry segments. Those businesses included KEMA Partners (financial services), Sparqd (digital content marketing) and TapDynamics (software-as-a-service). Mike was responsible for all operational and strategic activities including product development, business development, enterprise sales and marketing, financial management and strategic partnerships.
Prior to his entrepreneurial career, Mike spent 15 years as an investment banker advising public and private companies on capital raising and mergers and acquisitions transactions. Mike received a Bachelor of Science in Communications from Syracuse University.
Eglantine holds a double Master’s Degree in Viticulture-Oenology and Agronomic engineering from Montpellier SupAgro (France). Her international background, with winemaking and cellar experiences in France, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and five years in the U.S., gives her a comprehensive view of wines and processes around the world. At Bucher Vaslin North America, Eglantine is in charge of developing Lamothe-Abiet winemaking products in North America.
Working as a winemaker, research projects manager, technical support, and winemaking consultant, she enjoys helping winemakers optimize their process, troubleshoot difficult wines and has a passion for making rosés!
"The trend is actually a public concern that impacts everyone. I can see the same reaction coming for the US Market and consumers."
"Ethics: looking for more natural products. Health: SO2 is an allergenic compounds that can cause health issues."
"When the winemaking process is completely controlled, it is possible to make without so2. These wines are usually more expressive, more aromatic, smoother on the palate."
"The new tools available to winemakers to replace SO2. Where in the winemaking process SO2 is essential, where we can easily reduce its use and why. This session will help to think through the full winemaking process and understand at every step why SO2 is used and how we can reduce or eliminate its application by using alternatives."
"Reducing SO2 is a very complex topic which makes it challenging and interesting. It will be a very complete session, where we will look at the entire winemaking process with lots of discussion and interaction with attendees."
With more than a decade of experience in the wine industry, Ginelle Cloar has been on the cutting edge of marketing programs for some of the industry’s largest wineries. Cloar joined Bogle Vineyards in 2017, helping lead the family-owned winery into the augmented reality space and launching Bogle’s Augmented Reality Wine Labels app for the Phantom Wine brand. Cloar is dedicated to pushing the boundaries of this new technology and helps create unique experiences for consumers to build brand equity and awareness.
Prior to joining the Clarksburg winery, Cloar spent time with Treasury Wine Estates, earning the F17 “NPD of the Year” Marketing Award for the innovative Matua thermographic Chill Check label. At Bogle Vineyards, she continues to focus on packaging innovations like Photochromic and Thermochromic inks.
Cloar is WSET Level II certified and earned her Master of Fine Arts degree from Academy of Art in San Francisco with a focus in graphic and industrial design.
"The use of Augmented Reality has absolutely helped entice buyers to put more cases of Bogle wine on their floors. How do we know? Respondents to a recent survey unanimously cited the AR app as the most effective sales tool provided to them this year. Through app analytics, we can see the impact this innovative technology is having to ensure Bogle remains a top choice for buyers and consumers. We are continuing to build brand equity and awareness through this immersive and interactive story-telling platform."
"Bogle launched the Phantom brand more than a decade ago and now with the Augmented Reality Wine Labels app, consumers can have a real-time interaction with the apparition known as the Phantom. While ROI data is still relatively difficult to measure, we have seen a steady increase in downloads and expect consumers to use the app several times to show friends and family."
"While your imagination may run wild with possibilities to implement in the augmented reality application, there are still some creative and functional limitations to the technology. It is a misconception that you can create any kind of real-life animation you desire.
On the creative side, natural elements like fog, smoke, water, and fire are difficult to digitize and oftentimes look cartoon-like which causes issues for a brand that has those components in its story. From a technical aspect, the software can have a difficult time distinguishing between similar labels as well as darker labels with limited contrast ratios. As technology improves over time, we hope we will be to overcome many of these barriers."
"Augmented reality is an evolving technology and as the capabilities grow, we will all have more opportunities to engage and tell our brand’s story. If used properly, we will help give consumers a clear reason why they should choose our brand over the competition. This session should be a great way for industry members to discover how technology is being used and how we hope to leverage it in the future."
"Augmented reality and virtual reality are expected to expand in not only the wine industry but in other fields as well. We are already seeing medical, sports, toys, entertainment, NASA, and our Armed Forces adopting these technologies. Businesses, large and small, are witnessing the growth of these platforms and investing in them to help launch their new and upcoming products.
With the growth of AR/VR, an increase in smartphone capabilities (such as native AR applications) and the introduction of the 5G network, the “barrier to entry” that limits which companies can participate in the AR/VR space will be dramatically lower. AR/ VR is going to be a large part of marketing (in all industries) in the near future. Therefore, it will have a dramatic impact on the way we see the world and all of our lives as a result."
Juliana Colangelo has been a part of the Colangelo & Partners team since 2013 and has worked extensively throughout the company on media relations, client and team management and new business development. Juliana has developed a personal and creative approach to the business, providing excellent client service and building strong press relationships. She is dedicated to delivering results, and working closely with clients to realize their communications goals. She has secured feature stories and placements on behalf of clients in top media outlets such as Bloomberg, WSJ Live, Market Watch, Chicago Tribune, Beverage Media, Wine & Spirits and more. Juliana has worked with a diverse range of wine clients such as: Wines of South Africa, Frescobaldi Toscana, Mulderbosch Vineyards, Charles Krug, Larkmead Vineyards, Kosta Browne and Kendall-Jackson.
Juliana moved to San Francisco in March 2016 to open the West Coast office of Colangelo & Partners. She has played an integral role in establishing a presence for the agency on the West Coast, making valuable media and trade contacts and gaining an understanding of the West Coast market for domestic and imported wines.
A graduate of Barnard College at Columbia University in New York City, Juliana developed skills in communication, event-planning, development and fundraising during her university studies and through various internships including positions with The Clinton Foundation and the Manhattan Borough President’s office. Prior to university, Juliana gained real-life communications and management skills by founding and operating Sisters on the Runway, a non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness for victims of domestic violence with an annual fashion show. She implements these communication, organization and management skills in her day-to-day work at Colangelo & Partners.
Juliana completed her WSET Level II certification in Spring 2014 and her WSET Level III in January 2017. She also completed the Italian Wine Professionals certification in October 2015 and is currently working on her MBA in Wine Business at Sonoma State University.
"Selling wine today is more challenging than ever, for a laundry list of reasons. But distributor consolidation is perhaps the biggest reason why a focus on creating pull is more important today than ever before. Consolidation makes it more difficult for wines to be successful in the market, as distributor salespersons and responsible for selling increasingly growing portfolios. The brands that can create their own pull, by both consumers and buyers, have the greatest chance of being successful. Also, more opportunities to create pull because of social media/digital marketing."
"Strong trade relationships. Sommeliers, beverage director, retail store buyers - they are often the gateway to the consumer. Make them your ambassador and keep your wines top of mind through communication, social media and events. A consistent presence in the press (wine publications as well as mainstream)."
"How to create and maintain relevance for your wine in the market for trade and consumers. Ideas for creating news and building press awareness."
With a background in both design and entrepreneurship, Chris Denny co-founded The Engine is Red in 2008. Now at 16 full-time staff between Santa Rosa and Minneapolis studios, Chris leads the Engine team—developing inspired brand strategies, campaigns, and interactive experiences for national and regional clients. Chris has been named one of North Bay Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 and has also been featured by a variety of media, including Fox Business News, USA Today, Adweek and CNN Money.
"New platforms and lower barriers to entry are allowing independent and smaller wineries to reach new audiences in ways that used to be restricted to only large advertisers. And for all of us, personalization tools are allowing us to deliver dynamic and relevant content that our guests actually love to engage with (ie. No more boring newsletters)."
"Most industries see these tools in a bigger picture. For some wineries, there is a notion that digital and automated marketing should be confined to our wine club members only. This narrow view can severely limit a brand’s ability to grow their audience, reach new guests, and raise sales."
"Automated and digital marketing isn’t difficult nor is it mere snake oil. Together we can filter through the buzzwords and hype and find real solutions that can help wine marketers realistically leverage new tools today."
Daniel Dycus began with a summer job as a Viticulture Technician on the East End of Long Island in 2005. Driven by the scientific method, he received his undergraduate degree in Biochemistry and Cellular & Molecular Biology from The University of Tennessee while working on the ecology of native fermentations. Daniel attended graduate school at Washington State University where he worked with Dr. Carolyn Ross on wine sensory-related to Brettanomyces and predicting wine character via data mining and machine learning. Ready to experience hands-on winemaking, Daniel moved to California where he worked in various cellars located in Dry Creek Valley, Stag’s Leap, Oakville, and on Pritchard Hill. After six years of honing his hands-on work for premium wineries, Daniel’s passion for research led him to LAFFORT®, where he is currently the Technical Manager for North America. In this role, Daniel will be leading the conversation between Laffort, universities and wineries, working closely with the Laffort R&D team in Bordeaux, and leading technical presentations in North America.
"Without sounding like an alarmist, I would say SO2 has been known to cause health concerns. In the 1970s, a gentleman in California with sulfite allergies died after eating at a salad bar that had been sprayed with a “keep fresh” solution containing about 2,000 parts per million of sulfites. This incident prompted the Food and Drug Administration to consider sulfite regulations, including labeling. Wine has fewer than 150 ppm, and many have much less. Regardless, in 1986, labeling laws required a “contains sulfites” warning on every bottle of wine made in or imported into the United States. As consumers look for healthier foods and beverages in their lives we can expect the trend in Europe to continue here in the USA. Why add harsh chemicals when you don’t have to?"
"Food Safety, a desire for natural products, and because we don’t require sulfites as much as we used to. Sulfites work well for controlling microbes in wine. For a long time, it was our only defense. This just isn’t the case anymore. "
"It means fewer food allergies related to SO2. It’s easier to obtain organic certification for the winery as there are limits to the total amounts of sulfur a winery can use. Sometimes less is more, we think this is one of those moments."
"Attendees can expect to learn about using yeasts as an agent for bio-control."
"This session is an invitation to examine how we can work with nature and natural products to find balance across multiple winemaking styles."
Dr. Robert Eyler is Dean of the School of Extended and International Education at Sonoma State University. Dr. Eyler is Professor of Economics and Director of the Center for Regional Economic Analysis at Sonoma State University, where he has been teaching since 1995. He earned a Ph.D. from the University of California, Davis in 1998. He earned a B.A. in Economics at CSU, Chico in 1992. Dr. Eyler also serves on the board of directors of Redwood Credit Union, a $5.5 billion nonprofit financial cooperative.
Bahaneh Hobel is a Partner at Dickenson Peatman & Fogarty in Napa and heads the firm’s Alcohol Beverage Law group. Bahaneh’s practice focuses on all aspects of alcohol beverage law and regulation for wineries, breweries, distilled spirits plants, importers, wholesalers and retailers. Bahaneh has worked extensively with state and federal alcoholic beverage agencies throughout the U.S, including the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control and the Alcohol & Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau. Bahaneh’s areas of expertise include trade practices (dealing with issues related to, among other things, advertising, sponsorships and special events), festivals, celebrity brands, state and federal labeling regulations and approvals, franchise laws, distribution agreements, winemaker agreements, third party marketing, contests and sweepstakes and direct shipping laws. Bahaneh received her J.D. in 2001 from the Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California, Berkeley and served as a law clerk to the Honorable Richard C. Tallman on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit before commencing her law practice. Bahaneh is also a member of the Craft Beverage Lawyers Guild. Bahaneh lives in Napa with her husband Cameron, a wine importer, and her two children. Bahaneh is also co-owner of Hobel Wines, a small winery located in the Napa Valley.
"Those that want to stay ahead of the issues and focus on learning as much as possible from industry experts."
"The session will zero in on legal topics relevant to wine business, including tied house rules, distributor and retailer relationships, gifts, and consignments and incentive programs, consumer events, off site sales, and social media regulations. The question is, essentially, how can you reach more customers in legal ways in a climate where the alcohol beverage laws are so restrictive? My goal as always is for participants to understand the complications and to put these questions and issues on their radar so they are not caught unprepared."
"Many of the same issues the wine industry has dealt with in 2019 will still be a focus in the coming year, especially with ongoing concerns such as access to markets, DTC shipping, excise tax payments and changes coming down the pike regarding TTB labeling and advertising."
Ray Marsili has published over 30 papers on food and flavor chemistry in chemistry journals. He has edited four books on flavor, fragrance and odor analysis. He has 30 years' experience as an R&D analytical laboratory manager/flavor chemist for major national and international food and ingredient companies. Today, he is an independent analytical flavor consultant, with a laboratory at Rockford University, Rockford, IL.
Born and raised among the vineyards in Sonoma County, Marissa has always had a deep passion for wine, and a love for the incredible sense of community within wine country. Her natural talents and personal pursuits in the creative field led her to focus on art & design, earning a degree in Industrial Art from San Francisco State University. After college, Marissa worked in the Bay Area as a Merchant for Restoration Hardware, overseeing product development, brand identity, and creative development of all consumer touchpoints at a luxury level. In time, Marissa’s desire to work back in Sonoma County reignited her passion for wine and led to her role in Brand and Marketing with The Wine Group. For the last five years, Marissa has applied her expertise in luxury brand building to help develop key brands in the company’s portfolio; namely, Benziger Family Winery, Imagery Estate Winery, and Tribute Wines.
Having grown up in the Napa Valley, Liz always knew it would be her forever home. She spent eight years in the midwest (Detroit), before coming home to roost. With a unique background having a degree in Finance & Business Management, and 18 years’ experience in Direct to Consumer Experience marketing, she approaches the multiple needs of the business balancing the business and guest needs. Her career includes time with Diageo and Pernod Ricard, followed by nearly six years with Gallo, and to a small family owned luxury brand. Liz is now the General Manager of Bluxome Street Winery, an urban winery located in the SOMA neighborhood of San Francisco. Liz can relate to the challenges faced by large, publicly traded wineries, corporate family owned wineries, and to smaller family owned brands. That breadth of experience has allowed Liz to see how different strategies work for different brands and implement the right solution. She is also an active contributor and instructor for the WISE Academy, which seeks to grow the skills of DTC professionals and managers at all levels across the country.
Joy Merrilees has been making wine in Lake County and abroad since 2002. While finishing her Plant Science and Landscape Design degree at Humboldt State University she skipped across the globe spent a year abroad at Lincoln University in New Zealand. Out of college she worked from the ground up, from pruning and vineyard management company in New Zealand ,10 years honing her skills under Jed Steele, and numerous more harvests abroad in the Willamette Valley, Central Otago, Marlborough, and Margaret River. She has now been at the healm of the Shannon Ridge Family of Wines portfolio as the Director of Winemaking and Production since 2014. Along with her experience she is continually educating herself at UC Davis, and Sonoma State. Joy and her husband Bruce have their own vineyards in Lake County.
"Smoke impacted is the correct word to use. There are varying levels of smoke impact and those levels help to decipher the level of wine manipulation you may or may not need later. Smoke tainted sounds like everything is ruined and is not fixable."
"Burying our heads in the sand won't make this problem go away. We need to put effort into finding the right solution for each individual situation."
"This is not the last smoke event California will have. We need to learn from these events as much as possible, to mitigate issues in the future."
An expert in brand building and marketing, Christine Moll brings over 18 years of spirits experience to O’Neill Vintners & Distillers, the 7th largest winery in California. Christine currently serves as Vice President of Marketing where she is responsible for overseeing the core marketing strategy for all brands, including Line 39, Robert Hall, Day Owl Rose , and Harken. As head of the department, Christine oversees Marketing & Communications for the company and brands as well as portfolio strategy and innovation.
Prior to joining O’Neill Vintners & Distillers, Christine was with Campari America where she was Category Marketing Director. During her tenure, she was credited for driving the growth of a complex portfolio of brands, including Espolon Tequila. She began her career with Bacardi USA, where her focus was the launch and growth of several spirits brands including Bombay Sapphire Gin, D’usse Cognac , and Corzo Tequila.
Originally from Guatemala where her family still resides, Christine came to the United States for college. She has lived in Boston, Miami, San Jose and currently lives in San Francisco where she enjoys the lively restaurant scene, cooking, and traveling.
Education - Bachelor of Science in Biology and a Master of Science in Viticulture and Enology.
The bulk of my career was spent working commercial research blocks across the coast and interior of California. That experience has come as a researcher, viticulturist, and outreach specialist. Now specializing as a Ranch Manager and director of viticulture for Beckstoffer Vineyards – Red Hills based in Lake County. I oversee the technical operations and advise on methods to effectively and efficiently drive operations based on vine physiology, phenological progression, and seasonal variables. I’ve brought my expertise and knowledge to the Beckstoffer operations in an attempt to produce the highest quality Cabernet Sauvignon possible.
"I believe many of the issues are the same for international and domestic winegrape growers and winemakers. We are seeing a greater number of sporadic weather events, increased temperature extremes (cold and hot) and more growing degree days impacting plant vigor. We’ve witnessed the impact of sporadic weather events seemingly increase over the past decade influencing growers from Spain to Argentina and here in the US, where hail storms and floods have ravaged entire growing regions. These events obviously impact production, but perhaps the bigger issue is the steady increase in potential plant vigor. This increase can have a tremendous impact on fruit and wine quality. As a winegrape grower, our mantra is ‘vine balance’ and the trick for us moving forward is maintaining that balance in the midst of a changing climate."
"Finding solutions to help deal with the impacts of a changing climate is critical for sustaining our industry. We have been bombarded with the ‘premiumization’ of the wine industry. How do we continue to drive quality while simultaneously dealing with climate struggles?"
Debbie gained over 20 years of marketing and business development experience in the retail food and beverage industry, with two major corporations. With Starbucks Coffee Company she rose through several positions including Regional Food & Beverage Manager and National Category Manager to become Category Director / International Marketing. With ARAMARK she had a similar progression through several marketing roles to become Vice President of National Business Development. Debbie joined ConeTech in 2015.
Arthur O’Connor started his career in wine early, growing up in Mildura Australia. He has run vineyards and wineries in Argentina, Australia, California and Spain. Working on all levels of winemaking and viticulture but always with a common goal of expressing the maximum potential possible from every vineyard and with every wine.
He was most recently the Director of Winemaking for Group Codorniu, based in Barcelona, responsible for all winemaking at the oldest wine company in Spain. With eight wineries in Spain, one in Argentina and one in Napa. During this time he was also President of Artesa winery in Napa and co-founded Locations Wines with Dave Phinney.
While at Codorniu, he led an impressive quality turn around project, creating the “Gran Crew” project, designed to bring out the best in the people, wineries & vineyards. By the time he left Codorniu, it was once again considered a quality leader in all the regions it operated in, creating many 90+ wines and importantly creating an incredible team of winemakers.
Prior to Codorniu he was Chief Winemaker for Seppelt Wines in Australia, leading another quality turn around project. He spent six years in California, three as Director of Viticulture for Hambrecht vineyards in Sonoma County, converting 8 properties, totaling 500 acres over to organic and three years at Bonny Doon Vineyards in Santa Cruz. He has run wineries in many of the premium wine regions in Australia, starting out after Roseworthy College working alongside Philip Shaw, during the early years at Rosemount Estate.
Arthur has now returned to Healdsburg, CA and is currently the President/Winemaker for Disruption Wine Co, making wine in Eastern Washington, making his own wine in Spain and Sonoma. He has recently started consulting, mentoring & coaching winemakers.
Having worked all over the world, in many different cultures and winemaking philosophies, he has always challenged the status quo for winemaking & viticulture, challenging those he works with to push to find hidden potential, by setting up trials and exploring new pathways and thinking.
Peter is a 25 year veteran in digital entertainment and CGI. Peter has co-founded several well regarded digital post-production firms, including the interactive/UX firm Float Hybrid Entertainment, the Academy Award and Emmy Award-winning visual effects studio Giant Killer Robots, as well as Hollywood's original previsualization firm, Pixel Liberation Front.
With the founding of Tactic, Peter has joined forces with a team of other seasoned digital artists, combining his past experience as a visual effects artist and supervisor with interactive visualization and storytelling through involvement in interactive projects, interactive experiences and products centered around new digital formats: AR/VR/MR/XR, mobile apps, visual effects, as well as real-time 3d environments and experiences made with game and visualization engines. Tactic's augmented reality projects within the wine and spirits industry has allowed him to design these experiences for brands such as "19 Crimes", "The Walking Dead Wine", "Jack Daniels Old No. 7", among others.
"Augmented reality (AR) has helped with sales within the wine and spirits industry across the board. That said, the awareness campaign around an AR experience has to be multi-pronged in order to generate an initial audience, either through out-of-home campaigns or having packaging cues that guide users to the AR experience or have social media promote the AR experience. For example, 19 Crimes used a series of demos across 9 states, alongside tastings of the product, which gave the AR campaign an initial push and did this alongside a PR push that got some coverage in regional media. From there, the AR experience, over the following 2 months, had a steady build, ultimately growing to millions of sessions with the app, which translated into an increase y-o-y in sales of 104%."
"Given the three-tier nature of wine sales, the AR experiences we've done in the industry have given the industry a direct connection to their consumers, and via the real-time analytics available, we've been able to see that users typically engage with our AR experiences anywhere from 1 1/2 min to 3+ minutes, depending upon the particular experience. This engagement by users around AR has led to the ability for brands to do direct messaging via push notifications within the app, notifying users of new varietals and products, promotions, coupons, etc. In the case of Living Wine Labels, Treasury reported over a tenfold increase in social media activity around the 19 Crimes brand after launching the AR campaign as part of their integrated marketing strategy."
"Every use case for AR is different. Augmented Reality often works best on evocative imagery, imagery that tells a story, or has a distinctive visual that serves as the source material. Tactic is able to "evolve" a variety of existing marks or logos, but we've found that the act of animating imagery that already has some distinctive visuals as part of the label or packaging is the most effective and engaging thing for users to see enhanced, where the mark or logo itself inspires some visual interest to begin with. Labels that are less iconographic, or less visually engaging to begin with may have less basis from which to "jump off the page" in an AR campaign."
"There is an ever-increasing set of platforms from which one can experience augmented reality (AR) in the world: bespoke apps, web-based AR (AR embedded within websites), Snapchat Lenses, Spark AR, which covers both Instagram and Facebook AR executions) among others. Tactic creates experiences for all of these and can inform the user about the differences between these various types of AR in the world. We will also discuss different types of AR activations, whereby some are location-based, some require products or images to trigger, while others may "spawn" on an open space like a tabletop, an open area of carpeting, or on an open lawn. We will talk about all of those types, and distinguish between them."
"Augmented Reality is a growth industry in the area of marketing. Per Search Engine Journal, Deloitte identified that almost 90 percent of companies with annual revenues of $100 million to $1 billion are now leveraging AR or VR technology. For smaller firms, a poll conducted by Purch revealed that 10 percent of marketers utilize AR, and 72 percent are planning to in the coming year. Given that both Apple and Android devices are being purpose-built as AR devices, as announced in their rollouts of flagship products such as the iPhone 11, the Pixel 4, and rumored head mounted devices from Google Ventures backed Magic Leap, and an upcoming 2020 rumored AR device from Apple... the outlook for growth in branded AR experiences is expected to be very strong in the coming months and years."
Oberholster’s research focuses on both the vineyard and the winery. In the vineyard, the influence of growing practices, disease and environmental factors such as climate change on grape ripening and composition is investigated. In the winery, the influence of different winemaking techniques on wine composition and quality is studied. The link between grape and wine composition and final wine sensory characteristics is of great interest. Sustainability in both focus areas are important and alternative practices to enhance sustainability is investigated. Her work has been cited 724 times and she has presented her research at international and national conferences, seminars and workshops 97 times. In her extension activities she leads a team that facilitates interaction among several grape and wine industry stakeholder groups through in-person meetings, state-wide workshops and seminars as well as electronic communication tools. She serves on the Board of Directors for the American Society of Enology and Viticulture (ASEV), and is a member of the ASEV, American Chemical Society and International Polyphenols Group. Oberholster acts as reviewer for 24 different peer-reviewed journals.
"Attendees can learn what we actually do and do not know about the impact of smoke on grapes and wine. And when you have a smoke impacted wine, what are your options for treatment."
"Unfortunately, the frequency of wildfires is predicted to increase. This is our new reality and we have to find ways to deal with the impact thereof better. The grape and wine industry sustained significant financial losses due to the impact of wildfires close to winegrape growing regions. We need to be able to make informed decisions and find ways to minimize the impact thereof."
As the Chief Growth & Innovation Officer for Angelsmith, Carin is responsible for helping clients develop strategies to increase sales and leads. She created Intercept & Influence™, a process that brand’s better understand their buyers path to purchase.
Currently, she is a certified Facebook Advertising Planner, Google Analytics and Search Certified and recently earned a Website Conversions Optimizations Certificate.
Her personal brand experience includes La Tortilla Factory, Kite Hill Cheese, Hilton Hotels, Chevron Products Company, Rodney Strong Vineyards, Autodesk, Gloria Ferrer Sparkling Wine, California Pizza Kitchen, Carmax, Outback Steakhouse, Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, Johnnie Walker, Palms Casino Resort Las Vegas, Smashburger, Mary’s Pizza Shack, Tanqueray, Taco Bell Foundation, KFC and others.
Her personal passions include great wine, great food and big happy Labradors. But her driving force every day is her partner and husband Eric Oliver and their gorgeous daughter. She lives and works in Los Angeles.
"Brands can wait around and hope buyers will choose their wine or marketing departments can generate interest and excitement about their brand to ensure success. The question is: Do you want to want to influence sales or do you want to wait for them to happen? The correct answer is to get out there and make some noise! There is way too much competition to use ‘hope’ as a marketing tactic. Wine is a parity product - most buyers and consumers don’t know the difference between the brands (and most wineries do a piss poor job of truly defining their key differentiators), so it really comes down to marketing. Market well or die."
"Generating demand for brands is really hard. Most brands, especially wineries, really struggle with this. Many marketing pros will tell you that you need a great story and that’s about where their recommendations end. You need a great story that resonates with your consumers, not some random story that sounds like every other wine brand."
Generating demand comes down to 6 key steps:
- Great product - this is the cost of entry. If you don’t have a great product, get out of the game.
- Compelling story - Why does your wine brand exist for consumers. How does it make their lives better, make them happier, help them get a job, find the love of their life. You brand’s compelling story has to have benefits for the consumer. If yours doesn’t, start over. Make it real, back it up with evidence.
- Influence Gatekeepers - Gatekeepers need to know that the brand has support in their market. They need to be reassured you’re going to be there for them and that the brand is going to sell.
- Know Your Consumer - know who is buying your product, know what’s important to them, tell them how your wine is going to fit into their lifestyle.
- It’s a Numbers Game - If you can’t get your message out to a large number of people, then you won’t be successful driving retail sales.
- Intercept & Influence™ - Reaching the right people at the right time with the right message through advertising, neckers and earned media all working together.
- Embrace Failure - Don’t be afraid to test your plan and fail. But learn from that failure.
"Attendees can expect to learn from some of the brightest minds in the business. The individuals on this panel all have years of experience actually running campaigns. They can expect to hear about: Gatekeeper Case Study - Two case studies on successful retail programs that generated buyer engagement and ultimately consumer sales for a small brand and one for a large brand."
Glenn is a partner at the Ciatti Company where he brokers wine and grapes between buyers and sellers. He has over 28 years of experience relating to wine supply strategy, wine-grape quality and production, brand strategy, and business development. He was previously the Vice President of Winegrowing for Diageo Chateau and Estate Wines, and before that was a Director at Benziger/Glen Ellen Winery during its rapid growth in the early 1990’s. Glenn has served on the Board of Directors of the California Wine Institute, American Vineyard Foundation, California Association of Winegrape Growers, Healdsburg Future Farmers Country Fair, and was President of Winegrowers of Dry Creek Valley. Currently he serves as a board member on the Sonoma County Winegrape Commission, the Unified Symposium Program Committee, and the Wine Industry Financial Symposium Steering Committee.
"The 2019 Harvest was not the 2018 Harvest – in 2018 we had a historically large harvest – in 2019 we had a normal Harvest and the quality to date appears to be very good. So as an industry we still need to work through the 2018 Wine inventory we have in the tank – but having a more normal 2019 harvest at high quality should help us be closer to being balanced as we move forward. But there is still a lot of work to do to get to that point."
"Times may continue to be difficult for grape sellers as we move forward into 2020. We think it is important to put energy and effort into your existing relationships and make sure your current buyers finding value in the relationship they have with you. Buyers will have choices as we move into 2020 and you want to make sure you are their first choice when they think of their needs this coming year. Also, continue to look for efficiencies in your operation – how can you optimize your return given the current market conditions, also if you have older, non-productive, or diseased vineyards – now may be the time to remove those vineyards and put your resources into your vineyards that have the greatest opportunity for a return."
"Our industry and community are very resilient and I am very confident we will all work together to make sure those that were affected by the Kincade Fire fully recover and get back on their feet very quickly. It was amazing to see how well the first responders handled the rapidly moving fire – they worked tirelessly and did a tremendous job in limiting damage, many buildings were saved and – more importantly – no lives were lost. Definitely certain individuals were more affected than others – but in general – I don’t believe that the fires will have any lasting effects. The best thing we can all do is let our customers know that Sonoma County is open for business and for them to come and enjoy the great wines we offer!"
As CEO of 3x3 Insights, Mike leads a company that helps brands and retailers reach an elusive breed of consumer – the discerning drinker who shops in independent package and liquor stores. Mike and his team of industry and technology experts shape the independent drinking customer journey by applying product and consumer insights to the challenge of putting the right product in the right customer’s hands through the right experience. Mike is a digital and technology strategy expert who has built groundbreaking technology businesses launched award-winning digital properties over 25 years in financial services, information services, and healthcare industries.
"View of variation across state markets in the competitiveness of north coast wines" "A unique perspective on pricing strategies across subcategories for north coast wines in our independent retailer network" "Merchandising and promotion opportunities based on sell-out shopping basket patterns"
"The north coast wines exhibit great variations in their basket patterns, but within the set some consistencies can be found — some wines from the same varietal are clearly winter wines and swap positions with others consistently in the basket. Also, a view in the product performance in the network can create price-taking opportunities for some brands and volume-capture opportunities for others where price drops can make them more competitive."
Born in Mexico in the State of Jalisco, attended the School of Enology in Montpellier, France, and is one of the most recognized and awarded winemakers in Mexico. Head Winemaker at Casa Madero since 1978, his passion for the making, personality and quality of his wines led him to obtain 865 national and international awards, making Casa Madero the most recognized winery at the international stage. Has collaborated in harvests in Argentina, Chile, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. Was a key promoter for the development of the Wine Industry in Mexico, and together with Casa Madero, supported 18 new winegrowing projects in the State of Coahuila.
Currently is the representative of the Mexican Government and the Mexican Wine Industry at the OIV’s Technical and Scientific Committee, and participates at the IWTS. WINE INSTITUTE. in USA. His continued work, both in the winery and vineyard, where every lot of grapes his selected personally and every fermentation is cared for and managed by him, shows the passion and dedication he has for each of his wines. For all of this, Paco is nowadays one of the most important representatives of the Mexican Wine.
Jose Santos holds a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry and Master of Science in Viticulture and Enology by Porto University, Portugal. Working in the wine industry for the last almost two decades, Santos joined Enartis (part of Esseco Group) in 2006 to lead the Portuguese branch. In 2010, after the integration of Vinquiry, Inc. (California leading supplier of laboratory services, laboratory supplies and winemaking products) in the Enartis International Network, Jose joined the US team of Enartis as Director of Sales, currently being President and CEO. With a broad international view of the winemaking business, Jose is a Product Specialist for Enartis, with extensive knowledge of cutting-edge technologies for winemaking.
Ron Scharman is CEO of Astra Digital Marketing Services, headquartered in Napa, California. This full-service agency specializes in social media and content marketing, SEO and SEM, email marketing, and other digital solutions for wineries, with clients in California, Oregon, Washington, and Europe. He also has been an instructor for 6 years at Sonoma State’s Wine Business Institute, where he teaches courses in Direct to Consumer Marketing and eCommerce for the Wine Industry. Prior to Astra, he was COO of Chatterbox Wine Marketing and VinoVisit.com, Napa-based companies which offered digital marketing, relationship-based wine telesales, visitor reservation services, and other DTC marketing services. Previously, for 7 years he was President of eWinery Solutions, a leading provider of complete DTC wine ecommerce, POS, and CRM software for wineries. Prior to that, he was COO for New Vine Logistics, a Napa based DTC wine fulfillment company, and served as CEO of the Morrell Wine Group in New York, as well as holding major COO and CEO positions with several national specialty retail chains. He also spent 7 years in investment banking in New York City with major financial institutions. Mr. Scharman received his MBA in Finance from Cornell University's Johnson School of Management, and his B.S. degree in Agricultural Economics from Cornell University.
Elizabeth “E” Slater, is an inspirational staff & management trainer & coach, With a proven track record of increasing sales for small and large wineries through teaching persuasive customer service and sales skills, Elizabeth’s insights motive and galvanize both staff and managers.
A much sought after trainer and speaker at wineries and conferences throughout the United States and Canada, Elizabeth is noted for her extensive knowledge, enthusiasm, humorous delivery and easy rapport with winery staff and management. Her ability to engage and connect with her audience is infectious and the information is results-oriented easy to implement.
As founder of VinterActive LLC, a pioneer in the development of preference-based direct marketing and its successful application in the wine industry, Bryan St. Amant has helped wineries across the U.S. increase sales and improve customer satisfaction by leveraging the best practices of DTC wine marketing. As Research Director of the VinQuest Consumer Direct Wine Sales Report and author of multiple consumer research studies in the wine industry, Bryan is an expert advisor on the size and dynamics of the U.S. consumer direct wine sales channel. Bryan holds an MS from M.I.T. and a BS from UC Berkeley. His work has been featured in books, magazines and seminars, including CFO Magazine, Inc., CNN Money, eMarketing Magazine, Integrated Direct Marketing, Tasting Room Profitability Show, Direct Marketing Association, Wine Marketing Report and the Wine Industry Network.
"At the beginning of this decade, automated marketing in the wine industry consisted of simple data feeds from winery POS systems to email marketing solutions. Most wineries still sent “email blasts” to all their customers, but at least the process was becoming automated.
In the middle of this decade, as competition grew among winery POS systems, we saw some vendors use their own home-grown messaging systems to start offering customer-triggered email messages. Costs were high and the technology was hard to master, but these early integrations were key to the evolution of automated marketing in the wine industry.
In the last year or so, we’re seeing a new generation of automated marketing solutions in the wine industry. Winery POS vendors, specialized software providers, and standalone email marketing solutions have introduced new programming interfaces (APIs) that can pair any winery POS with any email marketing system. With more vendors offering solutions for the wine industry, costs and complexity have declined so that even small wineries can benefit from automated wine marketing."
"Even small wineries who don’t yet have access to automated marketing software can benefit from marketing messages that are integrated with transactional emails, such as order confirmation and shipping notifications. In 2018, such automated marketing emails generated $1.83 of revenue for each message sent. For wineries looking to grow sales, this simple tactic can grow incremental revenue, without growing your workload."
"If you’ve ever purchased anything online from a major national brand, you’ll see the cutting-edge of automated marketing technology, including AI-driven product recommendations, micro-personalization, customer preference centers, remarketing technology and fully automated conversations. Historically, the wine industry is a late-adopter of marketing technology. But with growing competition, I expect we’ll see these marketing techniques crossover soon."
"For wineries new to the idea of marketing automation, this session will show you how recent breakthroughs in technology allow even small wineries to profit from automated wine marketing.
For wineries already using automated wine marketing, this session will share new industry benchmarks and best practices for using marketing automation in the wine industry.
And for any winery looking to build their business in the face of growing competition, I hope this session will give you ample food for thought and new inspiration to achieve your goals."
"For much too long, the proven benefits of personalized, customer-triggered marketing have been out-of-reach for the small and mid-sized wineries that make up the majority of our industry. Now with many tasting rooms reporting lower visitor counts and more competition from other wine country attractions, motivated wine marketers have seen the writing on the wall…adapt or die. Since the time is right for wineries of every size to seek out new ways to compete, the information shared in this session could make a real difference for the wine industry professionals who attend."
Balzac is a leading marketing communications company for the worlds of beverage, food and travel. Before following his heart to wine country, Mike followed his head to Silicon Valley where he spent eight fast-paced years in communications. Armed with a “live to eat” motto and an evident passion for wine, Mike entered Balzac’s life 14 years ago and became the agency’s President in 2016.
A disciple of Walt Disney, Mike thinks it’s fun to do the impossible. He believes leadership, imagination, and innovation require a level of fearlessness and he encourages his team not to play by the rules. They are driven by the stories that inspire people to share in a dream. It’s this philosophy that has guided successful campaigns for more than 70 global wineries and regions from a dozen countries. Mike holds a WSET Level 4 Diploma. He is also a Certified Wine Educator (CWE) and WSET Certified Educator.
Balzac Communications and Marketing is a Sharpspring Silver Partner and is Hubspot Certified. It will soon be a Commerce7 partner agency, and continues to look for additional partnerships to enhance its services and provide greater power to its clients.
"It’s becoming more accessible to producers. It’s been available through services such as Hubspot, Sharpspring, and Marketo, but you’ve needed someone with the experience and knowledge to effectively use these platforms. More recently, we’re seeing basic automation tools creep into the email services like Mailchimp and AWeber, but wine specific eCommerce platforms such as WineDirect and Commerce7 are also adding functionality. The trick is to know which platform to use and how to leverage it in the more effective and efficient manner. That’s where you need expert help, such as our agency."
"Forms and drip campaigns. Every winery should be using simple forms on their websites/social channels to capture customer leads, and have that capture automatically trigger a drip campaign to keep the producer top-of-mind. The Marketing Rule of Seven (developed in the 1930s by movie industry studio bosses) states that a prospect needs to “hear” your message at least 7 times before they’ll take action to buy that product or service. You’ve got one through the website, and a second with your confirmation email. By using a drip campaign to reach that prospect more over the coming weeks and months gets you close to those seven touches."
"How many personalized emails do you receive from Amazon every week? Are you a member of an airline or hotel loyalty program? What about a subscription service like Dollar Shave Club or Birch Box? These businesses all get how to automate email marketing. They use customer data to personalize their messages and give them the content they want. They’ve honed it to science. The wine business, in general, is far behind the leaders."
"Attendees should walk away with a better understanding of what marketing automation is, what it can do for their business, and how to get started. They should be inspired to implement some sort of automation in their own programs starting today."
"Personalization and bespoke experiences are the marketing trend of the future. While it may seem counterintuitive to implement automated marketing to attain better personal engagement, that is exactly what it can do. The whole purpose is to give the customer what they want and at the same time save yourself the time and expense of implementing programs that are inefficient. "
Lawrence Wu, Jr. graduated with a Food Science degree from the University of Washington and received an MBA from Bellamine University. Larry has over 30 years experience in the food and beverage industry working in the areas of product ideation, development and commercialization. Larry has held multiple leadership positions within Research & Development at Starbucks, Brown-Forman, Campbell Soup, Kraft Foods and Bossa Nova Beverages, Iconoculture and Sky Valley Foods. Larry originally joined ConeTech as a consultant in the area of Business Development and is now the Vice President Innovation and R&D with Advanced Beverage Technologies, and General Manager and Co-Founder of SpiriTech.
"I personally do not believe there is much of a difference between Smoke Tainted, and Smoke Impacted Wine. I am used to hearing “smoke tainted wine” in conversations and in written form, and have only recently heard and read “smoke impacted wine.” Perhaps it is all in semantics...“Taint” seems to have a very negative connotation, with a heavy bias as a defect in wine, much like cork taint. Smoke Impacted gives the industry a little more breathing room, is a little less biased to the negative view, but basically it means the same thing."
"The session is designed to help attendees hear what is going on in a clearly delivered format without the panelists holding back any punches. It will be real. We don’t need to walk on eggshells, because it doesn’t help. We want to get a dialogue going around something that will not be going away. One of the panelists will share her experience with smoke impacted wines and how she was able to continue operations successfully. So much so that she has a workable and reliable plan for any future events. The winery's diligence, transparency, and eagerness for solutions helped them ask questions, then learn, apply, and achieve good results. I think all winemakers and vineyard managers can learn something from her experience."
"Brush and forest fires are not going away and unfortunately negatively affect winery/vineyard operations on a global scale. Raising awareness, starting dialogues, and creating cooperative environments are the keys to helping fire-affected wine businesses. We are promoting a chance to combine talents, resources, and ideas in a new environment."