In addition to offering an extensive array of cutting edge products and services found on the trade show floor, the 2016 WIN Expo also features seven educational sessions that address challenging questions that face the North Coast wine industry.
This year’s sessions will cover a range of topics from innovations in production to vineyard branding to cutting-edge marketing and the opportunity to appeal to a unique consumer group that hold massive potential for the growth along with the impact and opportunities presented by the anticipated legalization of marijuana.
Finally, the annual Harvest Recap and Look Ahead to 2017 remains a “must attend” session for vineyard & winery owners and executives looking for the most current information needed to wrap up the harvest and be best prepared for a successful year ahead.
The ability to immediately access a world of information through the always-present mobile phone is impacting the purchasing process like never before. In the hyper-competitive wine industry environment owners and marketers must stay up-to-date with the newest applications and make sure their brands are present.
This session taps into that digital sixth sense by offering side-by-side comparison of some of the most popular and cutting-edge wine apps. Hear from founders and executive level leaders in these companies to understand how their product can become part of your efforts to raise consumer awareness of your brand and ultimately motivate the purchase of your product.
Additional Reading: Q&A with Scott Stanchak
Additional Reading: Q&A with Joshua Saunders
This interactive, winemaking focused session, will discuss the major ellagic tannins and oak aroma compounds present in oak products including dry oak and oak extracts. Functionality and fates of chemical compounds will be reviewed and brandless / anonymous data will be presented on three different oak products recently introduced to wineries across the country. Moderated by BSG Wine, attendees will have the opportunity to taste results and question participating winemakers and educators from trials performed over the last year.
The legalization of recreational Marijuana appears to be a forgone conclusion for the State of California. This session led by well-known and respected wine writer, Tina Caputo, will explore what legalization means and how it will impact the North Coast wine industry.
Fortunately, there are other wine producing regions where this has already occurred; each panelist represents a state that beat California in the race to legalization. They’ll share years of experience and what the impact legalization has had on their local wine industry along with the threats and opportunities that it has created.
The North Coast Wine Industry Expo “State of the Industry” brings together local industry thought leaders to share insights from the recently completed harvest and its impact on the year ahead.
This year’s session will be led by Brian Clements of Turrentine Brokerage who will deliver an overview of the 2016 harvest and the likely impact it will have on the bulk wine and grape market for the coming year.
The panel discussion will also address changes and enforceability of vineyard contracts and what to keep front of mind when making critical decisions for your vineyard and wine business moving forward.
Additional Reading: Q&A with Brian Clements
Additional Reading: Q&A with Chris Louton
Already controlling more than $1.3 trillion in spending power, the millennial generation is just now moving into their prime earning capacity. The wine industry must answer the question of how to better appeal to this generation. While millennials reject the traditional constructs of product marketing, they embrace innovative alternatives that enable them to connect with brands more intimately than ever before.
This session will explore how wineries can leverage the opportunity to better connect with prospective millennial customers. The moderator and panelists of this session have defined themselves, not only as experts in appealing to this generation through their professional endeavors, but by also offering unique insights into the millennial mind as every person on stage is proud to be referred to as a “Millennial.”
Additional Reading: Q&A with Jessica Altieri
Additional Reading: Q&A with Richard Yau
Today’s marketplace for grapes and wines is very competitive. Positioning your vineyard to stand out is critical to the long term sustainability and success of your brand and business.
Join Karissa Kruse, President of the Sonoma County Winegrowers and learn firsthand how four Sonoma, Napa Mendocino and Lake County growers have positioned themselves and their vineyards to stand out in today’s competitive market. This seminar will explore grower and winemaker partnerships, how to create a consumer experience in your vineyard and furthering brand loyalty.
With the election behind us and a new administration in place, what changes can the North Coast wine industry expect from Washington, D.C. and Sacramento? This complimentary session, let by Jim Trezise, Executive Board Member, WineAmerica & President of the New York Wine & Grape Foundation and Edgar "Pete" Downs, Acting President, Family Winemakers of California, will lead the conversation and provide updates on legislative issues on the agenda at the state and federal level and who’s fighting on the industry’s behalf. This interactive session will also explore what you can do to ensure the viability of your winery or vineyard operation.
This complimentary session is available to anyone registered with an Expo Floor Pass, or any Conference Session pass.
After visiting a small, antiquated winery in Mexico during college, Adolfo Alarcon knew he wanted to become a winemaker. He deferred his winemaking dream for a career as a chemical engineer at Du Pont and IBM, during which he earned his MBA. Ten years later he graduated from the University of California, Davis, with a master’s degree in viticulture and enology.
Adolfo’s 20 year winemaking career has taken place at wineries in Tuscany (Antinori), Alexander Valley (Stonestreet) and Napa Valley (Grgich Hills, Franciscan, Charles Krug and Acacia). He brings a wealth of experience and passion for winemaking to Trinchero Family Estates where he works as Winemaking, Technical Liaison.
He is fluent in Spanish, French and Italian; enjoys cooking and the outdoors. At gatherings of friends and family he can be counted on to entertain by singing and playing the guitar and the piano. Adolfo is an accomplished mountain climber—he once climbed Mount Aconcagua in Argentina (over 22,800 feet!), the tallest mountain in the Western Hemisphere. Adolfo and his wife Nancy, have two sons named Rodrigo and Diego.
Jessica Altieri is a pioneer in the world of digital wine lifestyle entertainment, creating the world’s first digital wine lifestyle network, Wine Channel TV Digital Network.
Altieri engages novice wine drinkers and experienced wine enthusiasts around the globe with fun, fresh and creative content featuring leading wine lifestyle brands.
Altieri is a Certified Sommelier from the world renowned Court Of Master Sommeliers, and a California Wine Appellation Specialist® (CWAS) and travels the world annually to continue her education and knowledge of wine regions and trends. Jessica is also the author of Kiss My Glass, “NO-BS” Wine Guide, sold in selected Walgreens stores.
Jessica is a sought after Professional Wine Competition Judge, and was selected to judge at the prestigious San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. Altieri works with some of the world’s leading Trade Associations.
We are always excited to share great news about great people in the world of wine, but “super excited” to announce the selection of Jessica Altieri to Wine Enthusiast TOP 40 UNDER 40 TASTEMAKERS 2016. It’s a “who’s who” list of dynamic tastemakers from around the USA.
Chris has a strong background in farming and agriculture. He studied at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and graduated with a B.S. in Agribusiness Mgt. After farming organic vegetables for a number of years in Sonoma County he began his grape career with Sonoma Grapevines where he expanded his knowledge of viticulture and grape growing and also completed his AS in Viticulture from the highly respected SRJC.
In 2000 Chris went to work for Lloyd Vineyard Management in Healdsburg, California and then branched out on his own with his partner and wife, Tanya , and started Bowland Vineyard Management. Chris currently manages over 400 acres of ultra-premium wine grapes in both the Russian River and Bennett Valley AVAs.
Rick Breslin has always been passionate about delivering products that combine elegant design with frictionless and meaningful user experience.
Rick has delivered talks on the subject of leveraging innovation in order to drive measurable business results, specifically on mobile platforms. His previous speaking engagements include conferences in both the digital marketing and beverage industries.
In 2009, Rick founded Hello Vino – the wine industry’s first mobile marketing platform reaching consumers at the point of purchase through its smartphone apps.
At its core, the Hello Vino app recommends specific wines by meal selection, personal taste preferences and wine-buying occasions such as holidays, delivering highly-relevant content to consumers while making their purchase decisions – the apex of contextual marketing.
The Hello Vino platform bridges the gap between the digital and physical worlds – converting digital marketing efforts into “offline” retail impact due to the advent of smartphones and the connected consumer.
Born in Astoria, Oregon and growing up in the Pacific Northwest, Michael Brown has a deep love for this part of the world. Prior to joining Sokol Blosser Winery, Michael’s experience in the food, wine and hospitality industry crossed nations. Early in his career, he spent three years in Europe managing restaurants, bars and clubs in the Czech Republic and Scotland. He returned to the United States in February 2000 and became a manager at Jo Bar and Rotisserie in Portland, a family-run business that heightened his interest in the fine dining industry and enriched his knowledge and passion for wine.
Following this, Michael became the general manager at Portland’s famous Bluehour Restaurant. During his three years at the restaurant, he continued to grow his wine education through the Court of Master Sommeliers. Today, Michael is the vice president of consumer sales at Sokol Blosser Winery, where he has spent the last seven years successfully growing the winery’s business, including the development and opening of its new award-winning Tasting Room.
Michael currently lives in McMinnville, Oregon with his wife Maria, two daughters (Mirabel and Beatrice) and their two dogs, Dante and Clover.
Tina Caputo is a wine, food and lifestyle writer who regularly contributes to ZesterDaily.com and Sonoma magazine, among other publications. She began her career in the communications department at Wine Institute, and went on to become the assistant director of communications at Maisons Marques & Domaines USA. She spent five years as the managing editor for Wines & Vines magazine before moving on to become the editor-in-chief of Vineyard & Winery Management magazine, a position she held for more than seven years.
With over 25 years of experience, Brian is a wine business veteran who has worked with small high-end growers and wineries and also with the largest players in the state. Brian is Vice President and Partner at Turrentine Brokerage, his responsibilities include managing Turrentine’s industry-leading grape brokerage team and working with clients throughout California, including the North Coast, Central Coast and the Central Valley. A featured speaker at many wine business events, Brian is an expert in how to effectively balance risks in a volatile market and how to anticipate supply cycles. He has personally negotiated well over $500,000,000 in wine grape contracts, including spot market sales, multiple-year agreements and planting contracts.
A graduate of Fresno State with a Bachelor of Science degree in Plant Science/Viticulture, he lives in Sonoma County and enjoys time with his family and participating in tennis, racquetball and scuba diving.
Aimee Cronin has worked in nearly every facet of the beverage industry: retail, hospitality, winery, agency, importer, distributor and technology.
Prior to joining Drync, her wine career started at a boutique winery in Long Island, followed by brand management and sales for Pernod Ricard, Moet Hennessy and New England’s largest distributor, Martignetti Companies. At Drync, Aimee has developed sales and marketing partnerships with companies like eBay, Wine.com, TBS, Esquire, Uncorked, Food and Wine Magazine and Wine & Spirits Magazine, as well as large and small retailers across the country to leverage the company’s $4.5 million dollar mobile commerce and marketing platform.
Suzanne DeGalan is a partner at Hinman & Carmichael LLP. Her practice includes counseling on alcoholic beverage licensing and distribution issues, direct to consumer laws and protocols and tied house and regulatory compliance. Suzanne regularly consults with and negotiates on behalf of clients with respect to distribution agreements, state franchise laws, distributor termination and other issues regarding alcoholic beverage importers, distributors and sales agents.
Suzanne was previously an associate attorney at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and at Shartsis Friese LLP, where she specialized in corporate and business law with an emphasis on intellectual property and mergers and acquisitions. She earned her law degree at the University of California, Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall) in 2006. Prior to becoming an attorney, Suzanne was a publishing executive and book editor, with extensive experience in award-winning food, wine and travel publications as well as national bestselling business books.
Edgar B. “Pete” Downs has been selected as Acting President of the Family Winemakers of California, the trade organization of more than 400 wineries, primarily family owned and producing less than 5,000 cases annually.
Downs retired in 2012 from 20 years of service at Kendall-Jackson to launch his own consulting firm, and has been an active board member of Family Winemakers and head of the legislative committee. Jess Jackson, along with Bill McIver of Matanzas Creek, Patrick Campbell of Laurel Glen and Bryce Jones of Sonoma-Cutrer, founded Family Winemakers in 1990 to expand opportunities for smaller wineries to market wines directly to consumers, and fight for reasonable rules and regulations that allow family wineries to prosper and remain multi-generational operations.
Downs will provide leadership as the organization examines how best to achieve member goals following the retirement of long-time President Paul Kronenberg. Expanding market opportunities remains the principal goal, says Downs, along with representation for smaller wineries in agricultural issues, and reform and modernization of regulations governing winery operations, including direct to consumer sales and marketing.
Just last year the American Society of for Enology and Viticulture chose Downs for a special Merit Award for his industry contributions while serving as Senior Vice President of External Affairs for K-J, a role which found him prominently involved at the state and federal levels on a broad array of issues. He served as President of ASEV, as Chairman of the national trade association Wine America, and as a Board member, in addition to Family Winemakers, of the Sonoma County Wineries Association, American Vineyard Foundation and the Coalition For Free Trade. He was appointed by the California Secretary of Agriculture to the oversight boards tackling Pierce’s Disease and the Glassy Winged Sharpshooter.
He began his career in 1973 as a chemist with Italian Swiss Colony in Asti, leaving to become Research Director at Korbel before arriving at Chateau St. Jean as a sparkling winemaker, helping to establish the winery in Graton and overseeing custom programs for a variety of wineries including Gloria Ferrer, Shadow Creek, Sebastiani and Cueno. In 1992 he became General Manager of Kendall-Jackson’s Vinwood, Lakeport and Edmeades wineries before he became the winery’s chief ambassador for trade organizations and community affairs.
Downs currently works in the marine unit of the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office as an active participant in the Volunteer in Policing program and formerly served as a Board member of Friends of Henry One, a non-profit organization supporting the Sheriff’s aviation unit. He was awarded the Air Medal with one Oak Leaf Cluster after flying 77 missions during the Vietnam conflict as an in-flight fueling specialist for the US Air Force Strategic Air Command. He is a graduate of the University of California at Davis with a degree in Fermentation Science.
Michael Giese began working with Hope Family Wines in 2014. In his role with the winery he oversees all marketing efforts for their family of brands including Treana, Liberty School, Troublemaker, Austin Hope and Candor. In his work promoting the Troublemaker brand, he strives to use non-traditional and experiential wine marketing methods. Whether it’s inviting consumers to “Kiss a Troublemaker” with their booth at the Boston Wine Expo, brand engagements at major music festivals or summer pool parties, his efforts appeal to the millennial mindset to cut loose with a brand that offers enjoyable wines in a relatable tone.
When not appealing to the troublemaker in us all, Michael enjoys mountain biking and taking in beauty of the San Luis Obispo community he calls home with his wife Tressa. Recently, they welcomed their own little troublemaker to the world, their daughter Olivia.
Karissa was named President of the Sonoma County Winegrowers in May 2013 after serving as Director of Marketing since 2012. Additionally, she serves as the Executive Director of Sonoma County Grape Growers Foundation.
Karissa earned a BS in Economics and an MBA in Marketing from Wharton School of Business at University of Pennsylvania. She has 20 years of marketing, brand management, strategic planning and business development experience with companies such as General Mills, Universal Studios, Mattel and Dairy Management. She is a partner in Argot Wines and owns a vineyard on Sonoma Mountain.
She serves on the Boards of the Sonoma County Alliance, United Way of Wine Country, Sonoma County Tourism, Sonoma County Harvest Fair and Santa Rosa Chamber of Commerce. Kruse has been the recipient of a North Bay Business Journal Women in Business Award, a 40 under 40 Award, and the Marshall Memorial Fellowship.
Chris Louton joined St. Francis Winery & Vineyards in 2013 after nearly seven years on the winemaking team at Napa’s Beringer Vineyards, where he focused on the luxury tier of wines including Private Reserve Cabernet and Chardonnay as well as Knights Valley Cabernet.
Chris originally studied biology at UC Davis. After taking a winemaking class his senior year, he decided to return to UC Davis to study Enology and Vitaculture and took a job as a harvest intern at Schramsberg Vineyards in Calistoga. After graduation, he stayed at Schramsberg for four years working as an Enologist and later as Assistant Winemaker.
At St. Francis, Chris oversees production of all Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc programs. Chris brings cutting edge knowledge and finely honed hands-on experience to his role as winemaker. His goal is to create wines that are approachable, yet compelling, and always a true expression of Sonoma County.
Sabrina Lueck is the Instructor of Enology at Walla Walla Walla Community College. Her program is focused on the use of cutting edge technology to develop practical winemaking and grapegrowing skills.
Sabrina entered the Washington State wine industry in 2010. She was so impressed by the quality of the fruit and the cooperation of the community that she decided to stay! Walla Walla Community College Enology & Viticulture has over 150 graduates working in the wine industry across the globe. College Cellars wines have won more regional and national awards than any other student-run winery in North America.
Sabrina’s main interest is the relationship between processing techniques, chemistry, and microbiology and the impact of those relationships on flavor and aroma of white wines. Sabrina has been a featured speaker at grape and wine industry conferences in Washington, Colorado, and North Carolina. She is currently pursuing a distance Doctorate in Oenology and is completing her WSET Level 3 Award in Wines and Spirits.
In her limited spare time, Sabrina enjoys throwing boules on the pétanque terrain with a glass of rosé in hand. She is a proud daughter of Canada and a graduate of Cornell University.
John Mackie is a business lawyer focusing on wine and food law, finance and lending, business organization, mergers and acquisitions and real estate. Mackie serves as the Managing Partner of Carle, Mackie, Power & Ross, LLP, a firm located in Sonoma County, California. Mackie completed approximately ten years in government as California’s Deputy Secretary of Business, Transportation and Housing. Mackie practiced real estate and business law in several Bay Area firms before founding his own firm in 1998.
Mackie is very active with many aspects of business, wine and food and the visual arts, as a consumer, an advocate, a lawyer, and as a board member of many non-profit and trade organizations. He has held such posts as Trustee and Chair of the Finance Committee of Sonoma Academy, Board Member of the Luther Burbank Center and the Sonoma County Museum, and Trustee of The Oliver Ranch Foundation.
Richard Mansfield has been producing ultra-premium wine in California, Oregon, and Europe for over thirty-nine years. His passion for working with single vineyards and transforming those vineyards into wines that respect and mirror their individual characteristics has lead him to discover unique vineyards and create wine that unlocks one hundred percent of the potential inherent within the terroir.
Richard’s Masters in Viticulture and Enology from Geisenheim and a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from the University of Oregon have strengthened his understanding in all aspects of premium wine production, from vineyard to bottle.
Todd has been riding bicycles since his first hand-me-down Schwinn. He had a paper route at age 13, saw his first road biker a few years later and used money that was supposed to be for college to buy his first road bike. Never liking to sit still and drive, he’s dragged bikes to everywhere he’s lived including, Rome, San Diego, Seattle, Zurich, and now Portland and Honolulu.
Todd has done bike tours all over the west coast, Canada and Europe. Todd started Pedal Tours to give visitors and locals alike the experience of pedaling the most bike friendly large city in America. Pedal Bike Tours provides sightseeing tours by bicycle and bike rentals in Portland, Oregon.
Todd’s objective is to make Oregon the number one bicycle tourism state in the country with Portland its home base and thereby help the state develop a tourism-based economy, rather than timber-based economy.
Steve Sangiacomo is a third generation partner at Sangiacomo Family Vineyards, located in Sonoma, California where his family has farmed since 1927. He grew up on the ranch and began learning the ropes from his father and extended family at a young age. As far back as he can remember, he clamored co rag along with his father and uncles during early morning frost protection after which he enjoyed a special treat -- doughnuts. He cook co the fields early and recalls jumping off a tractor co race co seventh grade orientation. In his early 20s he began learning the family business from the ground up and in his 30s he and his brother Mike cook over the reins.
Today Steve shares responsibility with his brother for managing the family's 1600 acres of vineyards as well as grape sales co more than 70 premium wineries, many of whom vineyard-designate their wines with the Sangiacomo name. He flat out loves his job, particularly the wide variety of responsibilities spanning the agricultural, strategic, and operational aspects of the business.
He has lived his entire life in Sonoma Valley with the exception of his college years at St. Mary's where he studied business and economics and an internship at the Xerox Corporation. He never wavered, however, in his desire to return to the ranch.
Steve is a board member and former chair of the Sonoma County Winegrape Commission where he has taken a lead role in its sustainability initiative. He is a former chair and board member of the Carneros Wine Alliance and also serves on the Development Committee of the Sonoma Valley Education Foundation. He was selected as a North Bay Business Journal’s "Forty under 40" Award recipient in 2013.
A natural athlete, he calls upon his earlier experience as a high school basketball, football and baseball player as well as college football co serve as a volunteer coach. He was an Assistant Football coach at Sonoma Valley High School for fifteen years and today coaches Little League baseball and CYO basketball.
Steve lives in Sonoma with his wife, Connie, and their sons Drew and Sam. When not in the vineyards or spending time with his family, he enjoys playing golf and basketball.
Scott Stanchak is the creator of Winery Passport, the wine industry’s most popular mobile app for winery tourism. Winery Passport was named the top travel wine app by Food & Wine Magazine in 2015 and has been featured in Forbes, Wine-Searcher.com, SiriusXM Radio and by Apple.
Stanchak also leads mobile marketing, beta and emerging platform strategy for the nation’s leading newspaper, teaches e-commerce marketing in the master’s program at NYU and is the founder of BakBurner Digital. The company’s apps, which also include Brewery Passport, have been featured in Forbes, Fortune and Yahoo!. Stanchak is also a well-regarded speaker, having presented in front of audiences at Apps World, CES, Fast Company Innovation Festival and VentureBeat's Mobile Summit.
Stanchak has been a leader in digital strategy for over 10 years, including developing and executing mobile and web strategies for multimillion-dollar brands such as NBA, AT&T and Fox News Corp.
Philip Wolf, "the MasterMind behind Cultivating Spirits" - Newsweek 2015, is a Cannabis aficionado, business owner and philanthropist. During his 7-year tenure in the Cannabis industry he has worked with and consulted among the industry leaders and most trusted brands. Wolf has opened dispensaries, established grow operations, founded high-end tour companies, conceptualized Cannabis pairings, and founded the first ever Cannabis Wedding Expo.
Wolf founded Cultivating Spirits with the idea to show mainstream America how Cannabis show be treated. “Cannabis should be treated like a fine wine. It harmonizes so well with food when you have the right pairings.”
Cultivating Spirits is Colorado’s premier responsible Cannabis tours and Event Company. Cultivating Spirits partners with some of Colorado’s most reputable and esteemed food, wine and Cannabis industry establishments and dispensaries.
“Cultivating Spirits has pioneered the emerging cannabis hospitality scene, hosting dinners, tours, classes, parties and more in Colorado.” – High Times 2016
Richard Yau graduated from MIT in 2010. He is an ROI-driven digital marketer with $5 million in campaign management experience.
Yau began his career at Boston-based startup NutraClick, where he helped grow the business to $65M in revenue by year four. As Director of Business Development, he ran campaigns that directly acquired over 200,000 subscription customers and helped Nutraclick's products achieve national distribution in GNC, Walgreens, and CVS.
Yau is the CEO and Co-Founder of Bright Cellars, the personalized wine club designed to bring wine to millennials. Bright Cellars' audience has primarily been the social media demographic: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram users as well as bloggers and their audiences.
As a result of feedback from Bright Cellars' algorithm, Bright Cellars has partnered with winemakers to develop custom offerings that have earned a dedicated millennial following, with membership growing over 5x in the last year.