Friday, January 30, 2009

Unified Symposium, First Thoughts

Just getting back to my desk after three meeting packed days at the Unified Wine and Grape Symposium here in Sacramento. The first days seminars were mostly about sustainability. The second day, and most attended seminar, was the State of the Industry, where great information was shared about vineyard plantings, sales of wine, consumer attitudes and business issues. Yesterday was more marketing driven, with excellent information on marketing wine to the public, particularly millenials.

On Wednesday and Thursday there was the trade show, with two floors of tractors, barrels, corks and other vendors showing their wares. Here's me on the trade show floor. Although I wish I was on a tractor, this will give you a little view of what the trade show is like. I've been going to the meeting for over 10 years now, and it is very nice to meet up with old friends, learn what's facing the industry, taste some new wine and get some great swag. I now have two free wineglasses to commemorate the occasion, as well as two Riedel O glasses, a few corkscrews, some great "green" shopping bags, and lots of reading material.

The first time I attended Unified I was so surprised to see all the wine flowing at the trade show, and in some of the seminars. During the show, it is not unusual for people to be talking to a vendor with a glass of wine in their hand, and many times also in the vendors hand. Doing business this way is so foreign to many of my friends. When I've been at a hosted lunch and wine tasting at Unified and then stopped by to visit my husband at work, he experiences a culture shock. Drinking on the job for many is taboo--and especially for him. But in the wine world, it's work.

I'll report on some of the specifics soon. I hope to see you there next year.

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