More than 13,000 wine and grape professionals from around the globe gathered at the 19th annual Unified Wine & Grape Symposium (Unified) to learn about new trends, sample the latest products and, in the process, set another attendance record for the largest show of its kind in the Americas.
This year’s official total of 13,400 Unified attendees surpassed last year’s record audience by 1,000. In addition to a massive trade show featuring close to 650 exhibitors from every corner of the world, the three-day event provides a full program of sessions exploring wine and grape production issues, maximizing marketing opportunities and the industry’s latest production, supply and sales figures.
“Industry professionals clearly value the Unified as an ideal opportunity not only to tap into market and sales trend figures that shape their business but also to meet with suppliers, experts and colleagues,” remarked Lyndie Boulton, executive director of the American Society for Enology and Viticulture (ASEV), which co-organizes the Unified with the California Association of Winegrape Growers (CAWG). “The Unified’s signature “State of the Industry” session Wednesday morning set a positive tone for the show when analysts forecast a strong year for the American wine industry. That encouraging economic news seems to have translated into great energy on the exhibit floor, in the sessions and throughout the conference,” she said.
While the Unified focuses on American winemaking and winegrape production, more than 30 nations are represented among the guests, highlighting the global nature of the business. Each day of the three-day event includes sessions featuring panels of experts addressing four topic areas: grape growing, winemaking, marketing/public relations and business/operations. On Wednesday and Thursday, the event hosts an industry trade show.
“People are here because a resurgent economy, growing wine consumption and strong grape prices are fueling industry investment,” said John Aguirre, CAWG president. “Those looking to expand production or become more efficient are finding what they need at the Unified.”
Jointly organized by the ASEV and CAWG, the Unified Wine & Grape Symposium represents the collective experience, knowledge and background of the entire industry. For additional information and complete program listing with speakers and topics, visit the Unified Wine & Grape Symposium’s website at www.unifiedsymposium.org.