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2013 Conference Sessions
To keep your wineries and vineyards successful and profitable you need to be aware of the trends, challenges and opportunities that are ahead for the industry. The Wine Industry Expo conference sessions provide a glimpse into the coming year and beyond.
Ideas, information and predictions will be presented by some of the most experienced members of the wine and grape industry. Stay current on the latest developments in viticulture, finance, production, and sales so you are ready for 2014 and the years ahead.
Branding Your Vineyard
Nick Frey and Elizabeth 'E' Slater
Michael Brughelli - Bien Nacido Vineyards
Brian Clements - Turrentine Brokerage
Steven Sangiacomo - Sangiacomo Family Vineyards
Even during the “good times” selling wine grapes requires effort. In tough years, locating buyers willing to pay at a profitable level can be a real challenge, but not for every vineyard owner.
This session features vineyard owners and grape buyers discussing strategies that highlight the unique qualities of your vineyard and the potential impact on the value of the wines in which your grapes are used. Branding your vineyard not only brings recognition today, it can help to ensure your grapes remain in demand during the next downturn.
Michael Brughelli is the Sales Manager for the Thornhill Companies on the Central Coast of California. His role in this position includes management of fresh fruit sales for Bien Nacido Vineyards, Solomon Hills Vineyards and French Camp Vineyards, as well as winery services and storage sales from Central Coast Wine Services and Paso Robles Wine Services.
Michael is a fourth generation California farmer who has spent many hours in the vineyards of Santa Maria Valley. He has been involved in wine production management for the past seven years. His previous experiences allow him to bring the knowledge and expertise of a winemaker and apply it to this sales based role. Michael is a proud graduate of Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo with a Double Major in Wine and Viticulture, and Agribusiness. Additionally he also had concentrations in Wine Business Management and Marketing.
Brian Clements knows his way down the vine rows of the state of California. He knows how to bring growers and wineries together to craft agreements that work in the topsy-turvy world of winegrapes. A key partner at Turrentine Brokerage, Brian oversees grape sales and is personally responsible for tens of millions of dollars of Turrentine’s grape sales every year. His extensive experience has led to his presence as a speaker, addressing many winery and grower groups throughout the state.
Brian grew up in Fresno graduating from the viticulture program at Fresno State. After a training period at E&J Gallo Vineyards in Livingston, Brian moved into the Grower Relations Department and began purchasing grapes in the Northern San Joaquin Valley. He then became Gallo's grape buyer for Napa Valley and Southern Sonoma County. He also helped locate several of the ranches purchased by the Gallo Family within these regions.
Nick Frey retired May 2013, after serving as President of the Sonoma County Winegrape Commission since September 2006. Previously, Nick spent seven years as Executive Director of the Sonoma County Grape Growers Association (SCGGA).
Nick currently sits on the Santa Rosa Junior College Foundation Ag Trust Committee, Viticulture Advisory Committee and Shone Farm Foundation Board. Additionally, he has been active on the Sonoma County Harvest Fair Board, serving as President in 2013, Sonoma County Tourism Board and has been the Unified Wine and Grape Symposium Program Chair 2012 – 2014. In 2006 he received the Sonoma County Harvest Fair Friend of Agriculture award and in 2007 the Santa Rosa Chamber of Commerce Leadership Honors for Agriculture.
Nick grew up on a farm near Winterset, Iowa, received a BS in Agronomy from Iowa State University in 1970, and a PhD in Plant Physiology from the University of Minnesota in 1974.
Steve Sangiacomo is a third generation partner at Sangiacomo Family Vineyards, located in Sonoma. He and his brother Mike share responsibility of managing the family’s 1,700 acres of vineyards in Sonoma County’s Sonoma Valley, Carneros and Sonoma Coast appellations. Sangiacomo grapes are sold to more than 70 premium wineries, many of which vineyard-designate their wines with the Sangiacomo family name.
Steve is a board member and former chair of the Sonoma County Winegrape Commission. He is also a former chair and board member of the Carneros Wine Alliance. In 2009 he was designated Sonoma County Harvest Fair “Outstanding Young Farmer.”
Steve has lived his entire life in Sonoma Valley with the exception of his college years at St. Mary’s College in the Bay Area where he studied business and economics. His family has farmed Sonoma soil since 1927 and he grew up working in the vineyards from the age of 12.
FINANCE & ECONOMIC OUTLOOK
North Coast 2014 Financial Forecast
Rick Boland - Moss Adams LLP
Joe Ciatti - Zepponi & Company
Rob McMillan - Silicon Valley Bank
Ben Stone - Sonoma County EDB
What does 2014 have in store? What current influences should be considered when making decisions that affect tomorrow?
Financial thought leaders and strategic planners representing the North Coast wine industry weigh in on recent trends and how to prepare for and/or capitalize on the opportunities that lie ahead. This interactive session offers an assessment of recent happenings, short and long-term predictions, and provides the information you need to get the most of 2014.
Rick Boland has more than 25 years of senior level executive experience providing financial and operational leadership, and consulting advice to companies across a variety of industries.
He has served as CFO of ten companies on a full-time or consulting basis over the past 22 years. In addition, Rick has also co-founded several businesses and served in CEO and other executive leadership roles. This expanse of experience lends to his comprehensive background in commercial banking and turnaround consulting expertise. His industries of focus include food, wine, and other consumer packaged goods, as well as manufacturing, media, communications and more. Rick has guided numerous companies through complex business issues including mergers and acquisitions, operational and debt restructuring, implementation of accounting software systems and upgrading internal controls.
Rick has served on the Board of Directors and Board of Advisors for several companies and non-profit organizations. He has also authored various publications.
Joe Ciatti has more than forty years of respected wine industry experience, a deep network of industry influencers, and a long track record of high profile vineyard and winery transactions in California, Oregon and Washington. At Zepponi & Company, Joe’s long-standing relationships and track record of successes serve as an asset during negotiations. His understanding of the wine industry creates beneficial opportunities for both buyers and sellers.
He was born to be in the wine industry. Joe's grandfather, Guiseppe Bagnani, owned Geyser Peak Winery for several decades after Prohibition. His early accomplishments included establishing Joseph W. Ciatti Company and growing it into the world’s largest brokerage of grapes and bulk wines, with offices around the world. In 2005, he became Chairman and CEO of Vintage Wine Trust, a real estate investment trust devoted to vineyard and winery properties. Joe received his undergraduate degree from the University of Oregon.
Rob McMillan is EVP and Founder of Silicon Valley Bank’s Wine Division in Saint Helena. In 1992, he developed the division from the original concept to the where it is now regarded as the leading provider of financial services to the US fine wine business.
Rob's banking career started in 1981 and he has worked at Silicon Valley Bank since 1990. Moving though roles of increasing responsibility has included a term on Silicon Valley Bank's Managing Committee.
Today, Rob supports Silicon Valley Bank’s continuing growth and success in the Wine Business by managing a deal team and assisting the Division's clients and bankers through sharing his own experience and views on macro factors impacting the economy and the Fine Wine business. He helps improve the odds of success for the Bank's customers by presenting private interactive discussions on market trends to individual management teams within the Banks portfolio of clients.
Ben Stone was appointed as the Sonoma County Economic Development Board in 1986. Over the past 25 plus years he has been responsible for various economic development activities such as business relocation and retention services, sector research, forecasts, business development, film program, the Business Environmental Alliance, and the Sonoma County Tourism Bureau contract administration program development.
Ben received his Bachelors Degree at Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington and his Masters Degree at the University of Washington, Seattle, Washington. Ben has also served on several Boards over the years. He has served as Chair of the Business Administration Department Advisory Board at Santa Rosa Junior College, as a Board Member of the Sonoma County YMCA, the International Diplomacy Council, North Bay World Trade Association, National Alumni Board of Whitman College, and Sonoma County Museum. He is currently serving on the Board of the Swiss-California Foundation, the California Local Economic Development Association, the California Academy for Economic Development and the President’s Council at the Santa Rosa Junior College.
PRODUCTION / WINEMAKING
Trending Technology in the Cellar
Penny Gadd-Coster - Rack and Riddle
Matt Hughes - Six Sigma Ranch & Winery
Clark Smith - Two Jakes of Diamonds
Charlie Tsegeletos - Cline Cellars
Technology continues to develop and expand throughout the world at an exponential pace. The wine industry is no exception.
On this panel, winemakers and production experts discuss their technological successes and struggles. This discussion will cover new solutions for the cellar designed to make the production process more efficient ensuring an increase in wine quality, and controlling costs along the way. Learn from those that have used the technology themselves to help you to decide on your next winemaking investment.
Penny’s interest in wine began when her family moved to the Livermore Valley. However, it took a few years and the words of a friend to convince her that making wine was a career that did not require belonging to a winemaking family. In 1986 she landed a job as crush help at Jordan Vineyards & Winery, which lead to a 13 year career at Jordan. She was there for the inception of J Vineyards and Winery. In 1999 she was hired as the Assistant Winemaker for J, eventually working her way up to the Sparkling Winemaker position. In 2007, Penny left J to work as a Winemaker for Rack & Riddle Custom Wine Services. She also has her own brand, Coral Mustang, making Tempranillo wines.
Outside of wine, she loves cooking, fly fishing, gardening, traveling and motorcycling through the countryside on her Harley.
“Working for R&R has given me the opportunity to be an integral part of a new company that is being built from the ground up, just like my career”.
Matt Hughes has always stood out as a fan of "anything fermented" and for possessing an insatiable curiosity to challenge the learning process and expand his knowledge. Together, these two qualities prompted the start of Matt’s enological adventure that eventually led to his position of Winemaker at Six Sigma Ranch.
Today, his creativity and drive are backed up by ten years of hands-on winemaking experience. Matt has worked at wineries both big and small including Wildhurst Vineyards, Kendall-Jackson and Vérite Estate.
In 2009, Matt continued to extend his winemaking experience as he joined the team at Six Sigma Ranch. Here, he works to build and support the goal to identify, measure and monitor key quality metrics that have led to the recognition and acclaim these wines continually receive.
Clark Smith is the winemaker of Two Jakes of Diamonds and his own WineSmith label. He has gathered experience over four decades supporting his widely varied talents as a consulting winemaker, inventor, author, musician, videographer and teacher.
Author of the revolutionary Postmodern Winemaking from U.C. Press, his popular “Fundamentals of Wine Chemistry” short course created at UC Davis has received rave reviews over its 28-year run. Founding Winemaker for R. H. Phillips in the 1980s, he began WineSmith Consulting in 1990 and founded Vinovation, Inc. in 1992.
Clark holds two Adjunct Professorships, directing ground-breaking consumer research and teaching wine appreciation online for Florida International University and Wine Technology at CSU Fresno. He served for a decade on the O.I.V. Groupe d’Experts Sur la Technologie du Vin.
Smith is a leading expert on the relationship between wine and music, lectuing and consulting widely on the use of music to enhance wine enjoyment.
Charlie Tsegeletos earned his degree in Agricultural Science and Management/Plant Science from the University of California at Davis in 1979. Soon after, he began his winemaking career in 1980 at the age of 24 as an apprentice for Pendleton Winery. Over the next 20 years he gained an expansive range of experience working with a number of wineries.
Charlie joined Cline Cellars in 2002 and is responsible for winemaking and production for the winery’s Cline, Oakley and Jacuzzi Family Vineyard brands. He is also a professional wine judge and past President of the Sonoma Valley Vintner’s and Growers Alliance.
Charlie was raised in Northern California by an Italian mom and a Greek dad. Growing up, his family always had a bottle of wine on the table. His interest in wine was inherited through his great grandfather, Guippe Guidotti who, in the 1930s, grew grapes and made wine in Guerneville.
SALES / MARKETING
Driving Tasting Room Traffic
Beth Costa - Wine Road
Amber Moshin - Moshin Vineyards
Chris Parker - St. Supery
Colby Smith - CANVAS
Stand out from the crowd! What tactics will work to attract consumers to your tasting room vs. the competition?
Tourism, winery association and direct to consumer experts weigh in on the best methods they have seen and used to attract customers to their tasting rooms. They will discuss different ways to stand out amongst the numerous options and how to create an experience that not only brings visitors back, but also creates a new brand advocate. Learn from the experts when it comes to growing tasting room traffic and direct to consumer sales.
Beth Costa possesses 21 years of experience in the wine industry. Learning the ropes as a part-time tasting room employee for Kendall-Jackson, she soon became manager, then retail buyer. While at Kendall-Jackson she served on the Board of Directors for Russian River Wine Road. Her involvement led to her hiring in 2000 as the organization’s administrator, their first and only employee. That position expanded and grew quickly.
Now called Wine Road Northern Sonoma County, it represents nearly 200 wineries and 50 lodgings. Becoming Executive Director in 2003, Beth manages a staff of three, coordinates wine tastings in various cities, press dinners in different markets, oversees annual Wine Road events and ensures Wine Road is active on various social media platforms.
Beyond her role with the organization, Beth serves on the Advisory Committees for the SRJC Ag Department and Hospitality Department as well as the Sonoma County Vintner's Presidents Council.
Amber Moshin, co-proprietor of Moshin Vineyards and Winery in the Russian River Valley, wears many hats at the winery, focusing on sales and marketing. She first developed her interest in wine in the late 1980s after attending a winemaker dinner hosted by Robert and Margrit Mondavi.
In 1997 that she relocated from Orange County to Sonoma County and in 2003, met Rick Moshin, founder of Moshin Vineyards, and was immediately swept into helping build the brand. Their four-tier gravity flow winery and tasting room opened in time for harvest 2005. In addition to work at the winery, Rick and Amber travel to promote Moshin wines.
Amber’s efforts have facilitated a strong local presence in restaurants and have generated brand exposure through participation at local wine events. She is also the personality and photo presence behind the winery’s social media as well as leading label design, copywriting, and advertising.
Chris Parker serves as Hospitality Manager for St. Supéry Estate Vineyards & Winery, a family owned, sustainably farmed, estate winery in Rutherford. Onsite, as Hosptiality Manger, Chris develops and oversees each special event hosted at St. Supéry Estate ensuring a consistent and quality experience is offered to every visiting guest.
Beyond the walls of the winery, Chris’ position is chiefly responsible for community outreach to exceptional properties throughout the greater Bay Area. This outreach supports the greater recognition of the label and the unique experience offered to consumers.
Chris has unparalleled expertise in creating extraordinary guest experiences. His knowledge in these areas has led to his natural fit in brining the St. Supéry Estate Vineyards & Winery experience to the wide range of guests they encounter.
Colby Smith founded the Concierge Alliance of Napa Valley in January, 2009. In late 2010 Colby incorporated Sonoma County and the name expanded to The Concierge Alliance of Napa Valley and Sonoma, CANVAS. As the Executive Director and Co-Founder Colby is passionate about the mission – to elevate the quality of service by all Hospitality Professionals in Wine Country. The organization provides networking opportunities, education and a website with extensive hospitality resources to empower its members to have an outstanding impact on the visitor experience. Members of CANVAS have a positive influence on the economy of Wine Country.
Prior to starting CANVAS Colby was the Concierge at Villagio Inn & Spa in Yountville. Her experience includes work as a business, marketing and communications consultant for over 20 years. Additionally, Colby has authored a series of audiocassettes on "Managing Change & Transition," and another called "Divorce - Where Do I Grow From Here?"
2013 Session Director
Elizabeth Slater is the owner of In Short Direct Marketing and co-founder of the Wine Industry Network.
Elizabeth (E as she is known) specializes in all facets of creative strategic development, direct marketing, sales and customer service. E's business career has spanned a number of diverse industries providing her with an extensive range of knowledge and expertise.
Internationally recognized within the wine industry as a seminar and workshop leader, speaker and trainer, E presents her innovation jammed seminars with humor and enthusiasm. Her useful and easy to implement concepts and information are for wineries of all sizes as well as state associations and private groups.
In addition to training, she teaches classes in wine marketing for Sonoma State University and Santa Rosa Junior College, and is the marketing columnist for Vineyard & Winery Management magazine. Her focus is primarily direct-to-consumer sales and marketing in emerging markets.