By Jay Keller
At the Unified Wine & Grape Symposium, enthusiasts and industry professionals will “taste their way” across America while attending three days of what event organizers call “largest event of its kind in the western hemisphere.”
Organizers expect at least 12,000 people will attend the events that run from Jan. 29-31.
In attendance will be a combination of industry representatives and wine-lovers anxious to browse through displays of the latest wine industry science, technology, business developments and industry research.
And, let’s not forget wine: The annual wine-tasting event (Jan. 30, 4-6 p.m. PT) offers products from 17 associations across the United States.
“The Program Development Committee established a theme for each daily general session, with the afternoon breakout sessions expanding on those themes,” organizers say.
Events will open on Jan. 29, 9 a.m. – 4:15 p.m. PT, and the Trade Show will commence on the exhibit floor between 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. on Jan. 30 and 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. on Jan. 31.
Tuesday, January 29, will examine how the global wine business affects U.S. growers and wineries and Wednesday break-out sessions will look at U.S. production and sales trends in a “State of the Industry” discussion.
The final day of the symposium on Jan. 31 will focus on leading consumer trends and issues affecting wineries and growers, including building brands and how consumers respond to change.
Some of the issues confronting the wine and grape industry being discussed next week include fluctuating foreign currency values, export opportunities, tariffs or duties, vineyard acreage vs. crush numbers, global bulk-wine markets, inventories and supplies.
Organizers say at least 600 suppliers will feature their products and services during the trade show, also the largest of its kind.
First celebrated in 1995, the Unified Wine & Grape Symposium came about through the combined efforts of the the American Society for Enology and Viticulture (ASEV) and the California Association of Winegrape Growers (CAWG).
The event broke its own attendance record in 2012 with 12,400 guests filling the Sacramento Convention Center.