Unified Wine Symposium Showcased Trends

Wine Industry Gathered in Sacramento 

By Muriel Bañares Miller, Brown·Miller Communications

Every facet of the wine and grape industry, from science and technology to trends and markets, was examined and discussed at the 25th Unified Wine & Grape Symposium (Unified), which wrapped up Jan.  31

The largest wine and grape trade show of its kind in the Western Hemisphere, the Unified drew thousands of industry professionals from all over the world eager to hear about the impact of regulatory changes, trends, technology, research, and issues shaping their business decisions.

At Unified, the wine industry exhibits their products and services.

Presented by two nonprofit organizations, the American Society for Enology and Viticulture (ASEV) and the California Association of Winegrape Growers (CAWG), the Unified’s comprehensive format responds to the wine and grape industry’s critical need for information, discussion and connections.

“If you want to understand what’s happening in the industry and how to stay competitive, the Unified is the place to be,” said John Aguirre, CAWG president. “The Unified draws nearly 14,000 from all over the globe, including exhibitors from nearly 30 countries. For 25 years, the Unified is where industry leaders and professionals meet to discuss the latest news and share strategies for staying abreast of changing markets, technologies and regulations.”

Put on by the industry for the industry, the three-day conference draws on some of the most respected industry experts. The three days of sessions included 26 presentations and panel discussions organized by a diverse panel of volunteers who recruited nearly 100 experts to speak on topics ranging from digitalization in the vineyards to how cannabis is affecting the wine industry. Complementing those talks was a two-day, 170,000-square-foot trade show that housed nearly 700 exhibitors.

In 2020, the Unified will be at Cal Expo, a temporary host site, due to the Sacramento Convention Center’s large-scale renovation that will close it down starting this summer. With the Unified set for February 4-6, Cal Expo will provide an alternative to the Convention Center with ample space, parking and facilities for a conference of Unified’s size.

“Cal Expo, as a premier regional event facility, is excited to host the Unified Wine and Grape Symposium in 2020,” says Rick Pickering, CEO and General Manager of California Exposition and State Fair.  “We look forward to working with Unified and the City of Sacramento to make the transition extremely smooth and the 2020 show a huge success.”

The organizers of the Unified share that optimism.

“We are confident that, while the 2020 show will have a slightly different feel, the quality of exhibits, presentations and networking opportunities will again deliver an invaluable service to all of our guests and the industry,” says ASEV Executive Director Dan Howard. “We’re excited to return to the newly renovated Sacramento Convention Center in 2021. It will offer opportunities for expansion, including additional nearby hotels.”

Viticulturist Mark Greenspan Confirmed as ASEV President

Announced TODAY, Mark Greenspan, president of Advanced Viticulture Inc., has been confirmed to serve as the American Society for Enology and Viticulture (ASEV) 2015-2016 president. Greenspan succeeds Lise Asimont of Francis Ford Coppola Presents to lead ASEV’s 12-member board.

mark greenspan
Mark Greenspan, president of American Society for Enology and Viticulture

“Throughout my career, ASEV has been the go-to source for reliable, thoughtful research and science that has been critical to my success and that of my vineyard clients. It’s a real honor to serve as the Society’s new president and to hopefully carry on the impressive work of Lise and the other dedicated ASEV past presidents,” said the new ASEV president. 

Greenspan, a Sonoma County resident, provides premiere vineyard consultation in water management, nutrient management, precision viticulture and vineyard design, establishment and management. He has operated Advanced Viticulture for over 10 years. Previously, he was the viticulture research manager at E&J Gallo, responsible for viticulture experiments in the north coast vineyards and collaborative projects throughout the state of California. He is a monthly contributor to Wine Business Monthly and periodic contributor to other trade publications. He presents at local, national and international events, and is a certified crop advisor (CCA) and certified professional agronomist (CPAg). Mark has served on review panels for the American Vineyard Foundation and Viticulture Consortium – West and Viticulture Consortium – East. He is a member of Sonoma and Napa Viticulture Technical Groups, Sonoma County Farm Bureau and Napa Valley Grape Growers Association. He’s a former director of the UC Davis Trellis Alliance and sponsor of the Sonoma County Winegrape Commission.

As an active 25-year ASEV member, Mark has held several ASEV positions and served as a reviewer for the American Journal of Enology and Viticulture (AJEV). He has served on the best paper review committee, annual meeting technical abstract review committee, annual meeting program committee, and as sessions chair. He received the ASEV Best Viticulture Student Paper Award in 1991. 

ASEV has also confirmed two new directors: Patty Skinkis, associate professor at the Department of Horticulture at Oregon State University, and Hans Walter-Peterson, viticulture extension specialist at Cornell Cooperative Extension. In addition, the Society has announced its 2015-2016 executive team members: Nichola Hall of Scott Laboratories, confirmed as first vice president; James Harbertson of Washington State University, elected as second vice president; and Tom Collins of Washington State University will serve as secretary-treasurer. Additional Board members continuing current terms are: AJEV Science Editor Linda Bisson and Technical Program Director M. Andrew Walker, both of the University of California, Davis; and Directors Lise Asimont of Francis Ford Coppola Presents, Kristen Barnshisel of J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines, and Kay Bogart and Anita Oberholster, both from the University of California, Davis.

Formed in 1950 as a professional society dedicated to the interests of enologists, viticulturists and others in the fields of wine and grape research and production, the ASEV’s membership of more than 2,000 includes professionals from wineries, vineyards, and academic institutions and organizations around the world.  In addition to publishing the AJEV, the Society also hosts its National Conference (slated for Monterey in June of 2016) and co-presents the Unified Wine & Grape Symposium in January with the California Association for Winegrape Growers. For more information, visit www.asev.org.