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Full Session Lineup Announced for First-Ever Central Coast Insights Online

The Central Coast Insights event addresses the economic and financial issues, challenges and trends that affect the vintners, wineries and grape growers of the California's Central Coast wine industry.

PASO ROBLES, CA -- Central Coast Insights has announced the program for its 25th annual event and very first digital conference, set for Wednesday, Aug. 26 and Thursday, Aug. 27.

For the first time in its history, Central Coast Insights, the economic and financial conference for the Central Coast wine industry, will be held as a two-day webcast, bringing expert speakers and guidance on vineyard and winery economics, financial issues and business, sales and grape-growing trends.

The Central Coast Insights event addresses the economic and financial issues, challenges and trends that affect the vintners, wineries and grape growers of the California’s Central Coast wine industry. This conference attracts wine industry professionals from all corners of this vast region and beyond, and covers topics across the entire spectrum of the wine business from finance, to appellation diversity, to legal and regulatory issues, to the global wine market, to land use and water issues, to consumer behavior, as well as the hottest topics that winery executives face today.

To learn more about the conference and to register, please visit

Below are highlights of the agenda:


9:00 am - 9:05 am

9:05 am - 9:35 am
RETAIL KEYNOTE | The Rise of Off-Premise
Phil Markert, director of liquor, Albertsons, Vons and Pavilions

Pantry loading. More meals at home. Phenomenal sales growth. The retail environment has shifted as spikes in e-commerce, lockdowns and changing economies continue to shape how shoppers make purchasing decisions. How does the director of liquor at one of the nation’s largest grocery chains view these trends, and how has he adjusted his practices to keep up with the times? Join Phil Markert of Albertsons, Vons and Pavilions as he discusses how the wine retailer is evolving its strategy and find out where he sees opportunities for Central Coast wine brands in the lead up to an unprecedented OND season.

9:35 am - 10:15 am
State of the Wine Business: Present and Future
Maeve Pesquera, senior vice president, DAOU Vineyards & Winery
Jeff Bitter, president and chief education officer, Allied Grape Growers
Carol Rounsaville, general manager, Denner Vineyards & Winery
Chris Shackleford, chef/sommelier, Trelio

By now we are all well aware that there is a “new normal” upon us and “business as usual” has been completely redefined. This panel of industry leaders will look at what’s happening in the vineyard, in the winery and in the tasting room, sharing insights about the current situation and their plans moving forward. Join this group of innovative thinkers as they address the wine industry’s key issues and offer enterprising yet feasible solutions.

10:20 am - 10:50 am
DISTRIBUTION KEYNOTE | Winning With the New Wine Consumer
Joseph Gardner, vice president fine wine, Republic National Distributing Co.

How can Central Coast wineries and distributors work together to promote the region, and the wines? It begins with innovation. Join Joseph Gardner, vice president of fine wine at Republic National Distributing Company as he reviews the state of wine distribution, the action steps wineries can take to get their brands noticed, and best practices to accelerate engagement. He’ll also review key trends in the market, some of the challenges RNDC faces in bringing wine to market and how his company plans to rethink its strategy for the future.

10:50 am - 11:20 am
When Supply Outweighs Demand: Dealing With The Grape Glut
Audra Cooper, broker, Turrentine Brokerage
William Goebel, broker, Turrentine Brokerage

The Central Coast grape supply, like much of the West Coast, is not matched by the demand, and growers are feeling the pain of it. When will the cycle shift? Join Audra Cooper and William Goebel of Turrentine Brokerage as they look at pricing, availability and trends resulting from the lows of this cycle. The good news is that no boom or bust is permanent in the wine business.

11:25 am - 12:20 pm
Experience and Ease in E-Commerce
Steve Tamburelli, co-founder, Vinitas Wine Group
Luke Kohler, director of product,
Shannon Muracchioli, director of DTC and marketing, Clos du Val Winery

We knew it was important before, but now e-commerce has proven to be fundamental in an age of tasting room closures. Still, effective sales are all about curating an experience that accurately represents your brand and values - how do you achieve that for your customers at home? Selling successfully online means bringing your tasting room and hospitality to life online. This panel will walk you through the steps you need to take to ensure your online presence is a true sales driver.


9:00 am - 9:05 am
Welcome to Day 2 of Central Coast Insights

9:05 am - 9:55 am
The Tenuous Future of the Restaurant Industry and How Wineries Can Help
Mary Melton, beverage program consultant, Trellis Wine Group
Marcello Cancelli, area wine director, Boka Restaurant Group

It’s not unfair to say that the industry that had to make the greatest pivot through the coronavirus crisis was the restaurant industry—but two experts say that there are silver linings amid this immense change. Those that were capable and nimble were able to rethink operations and create new to-go opportunities and lasting partnerships with other businesses—efforts that will pay off in the long run. Join on-premise experts Mary Melton and Marcello Cancelli in a conversation about how restaurants have adjusted, what they’re looking for in wine lists, the value of Central Coast wines and the future of the on-premise.

9:55 am - 10:25 am
What to Expect in the M&A Market in 2020-2021
Jenny Heinzen owner, Jenny Heinzen Real Estate

Whenever the threat of a recession or difficult times loom, the industry starts talking about winery and vineyard sales. What will this next chapter bring? Jenny Heinzen will look at who’s buying and selling, what types of transactions we might see, as well as how to prepare your business if a sale looks like the best possible exit strategy.

10:35 am - 11:25 am
Keep Delivering: The New Winery Experience
Adam Monteil, co-host, Liquid Lunch
Mitchel Sjerven, proprietor, Bouchon Santa Barbara
Nikki Smith, tasting room and marketing manager, Brecon Estate

Experiential marketing is key to gaining and maintaining consumer attention, but new restrictions and regulations require some often less-than-hospitable practices. Still, it is imperative that a winery’s program is a well-rounded and engaging one. How can we train our employees to deliver welcoming and warm sentiments in an honest and authentic way—one that will ingratiate clients to our brands, businesses and products—while wearing a mask?

11:25 am - 11:55 am
The Economics of Water: How Paso Robles Is Creating Sensible Solutions To Reduce Water Use
Nearly $1 billion and 10,000 jobs. That’s what wineries, grape growers and other farms in the Paso Robles AVA generate each year for the local economy, according to a recent CalPoly economic impact study. Faced with making mandated cuts in water use amid the state’s long-running drought, community leaders are banding together to enact smart and fact-based solutions to save both the region’s water tables and the thousands of jobs created by wine, winegrowing and wine tourism.

11:55 am - 12:25 pm
Hedging Your Bets in a COVID Economy
Tim Quinlan director and senior economist, Wells Fargo Securities

In the face of news reports about fickle stock markets, volatile consumer loyalty and spending, and rising unemployment rates, beverage businesses are looking to economic indicators, key trends and opportunistic approaches to create growth strategies and build brand equity. Join Tim Quinlan of Wells Fargo Bank as he shares the international market forces he’s watching and provides insights into the ways to prepare any business.

Click here to register for Central Coast Insights


About Central Coast Insights
Central Coast Insights is an annual educational seminar addressing the economic and financial issues, challenges and trends that affect the vintners, wineries and grape growers of the Central Coast wine industry. Join winery principals, owners, CFOs and executives, winemakers and wine marketers, as well as those who conduct business in the financial and economic sectors of the wine world.

SAVE THE DATE: Aug. 26-27, 2020; Online

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