- Homepage for the Wine Industry

2019 CAWG Summer Conference in Sonoma June 25-26

by Press Release
May 23, 2019

Sacramento, Calif.—The 2019 California Association of Winegrape Growers (CAWG) Summer Conference will be held June 25-26 at the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa. Highlights include an educational speaker program, presentation of the 2019 CAWG Awards of Excellence and the inaugural CAWG Foundation Golf Tournament. The conference is open to CAWG members and non-members.

“We are pleased to host our conference in Sonoma this year, where growers in the county are nearing their goal of becoming the nation’s first 100 percent sustainable winegrowing region in 2019,” CAWG President John Aguirre said. “Our exceptional speakers will share their in-depth knowledge about current issues affecting businesses. In addition, attendees will be able to network with colleagues, honor outstanding leaders and enjoy some time away from the office and vineyards before the busy harvest season.”


Keynote Address

Speaker: Corey Beck, CEO, Francis Ford Coppola Winery

Francis Ford Coppola Winery has compiled an enviable track record of growth and expansion, and introduced new and innovative products to the marketplace. With a keen eye on current trends and future opportunities, Beck will share his vision for the winery and California’s wine industry.

Session 1: What’s Driving the Trend in Industry Acquisitions and Consolidation?

Speaker: Mario Zepponi, Zepponi & Company

Wine industry asset sales and consolidation continue to grab headlines. Who wins and who loses? And what does it all mean for growers and the wine category? Zepponi, a leading advisor to the global beverage alcohol industry on mergers and acquisitions, will provide an inside look at the fundamental drivers of recently concluded transactions that are reshaping the wine industry.

Session 2: Controversy and Fear Over Crop Protection Tools – What is the Real Story?

Speaker: Jay Vroom, Vroom Leigh Agriculture, LLC

The former CEO of CropLife America and a policy expert on crop protection products, Vroom will provide insight into some of the current controversies, litigation and public fears surrounding crop protection products. How can the public be assured these products are safe and will farmers continue to have access to these important tools?

Session 3: Strategies to Secure and Retain a Viable, Productive Workforce

Speakers: Mike Testa, Coastal Vineyard Care; Carlos Castaneda, Castaneda & Sons/Sarc, Inc.; Earl Hall, Hall Management Corp.

Vineyard workers are essential to the success of California’s vineyards, but growers struggle with labor shortages, rising costs and the ever-increasing burden of state regulations. Testa, Castaneda and Hall – all farm labor contractors – will share their insights and tips on how to succeed in a challenging labor climate.

Session 4: Utilizing the Crush Report to Make Sound Business Decisions

Speakers: Jeff Bitter, Allied Grape Growers; Gabriel Froymovich, Vineyard Financial Associates

The Grape Crush Report has a lot of useful data, but it isn’t useful unless you know how to use it. Industry experts Bitter and Froymovich will advise about how to best utilize this data for contract strategy, strategic investment and business forecasting. This is a can’t-miss session!


The evening of June 25, Andrew Hoxsey and Brad Goehring will be honored as the CAWG Grower of the Year and CAWG Leader of the Year, respectively. Hoxsey is a Napa Valley grower and one of the owners of Yount Mill Vineyards and Napa Wine Company. Goehring is a Clements grower and owner of Goehring Vineyards, Inc.


The inaugural CAWG Foundation Golf Tournament will be held at the Sonoma Golf Club (8:30 a.m. shotgun start), followed by an awards ceremony and reception. The foundation raises funds to provide scholarships annually to high school seniors pursuing higher education.


For registration, sponsorship and hotel details, visit (calendar & events tab) or call the CAWG office at 916-379-8995. The deadline to register for these events is June 14. Discounted room rates at the Fairmont are available until May 30. The conference is approved for three hours of professional development and .5 hours of integrated pest management continuing education units.

Copyright© 1994-2021 by Wine Communications Group. All Rights Reserved. Copyright protection extends to all written material, graphics, backgrounds and layouts. None of this material may be reproduced for any reason without written permission of the Publisher. Wine Business Insider, Wine Business Monthly, Grower & Cellar News and Wine Market News are all trademarks of Wine Communications Group and will be protected to the fullest extent of the law.