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CEOs, CFOs and Wine Professionals Gather to Discuss Premiumization, Spirits and the Future of the Wine Industry

Wine Industry Financial Symposium brings together financial, business and strategic minds
October 02, 2017

Hundreds of the wine industry’s leading financial, strategic and business professionals gathered at the Wine Industry Financial Symposium last week to discuss trends, best practices and the future of the region and wine.

The day and a half event took place Monday, September 25 and Tuesday, September 26, 2017 at the Napa Valley Marriott Hotel Conference Center in Napa, California and featured a line-up of some of the wine industry’s most vibrant leaders, and dozens of wineries.

Bill Newlands, chief operating officer for Constellation Brands, delivered a keynote address focused on the consistency of change, better understanding the consumer and innovation in the wine industry.

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Bill Newlands addresses attendees to the Wine Industry VIP, Speaker and Sponsor Dinner
held at Robert Mondavi Winery last Monday Night.

“We don’t make wine easy to understand,” he said, following a reading of an, admittedly, made up wine description. His solution? Don’t chase consumer tastes; just give them the opportunity to enter the category easily, without the fear of looking “silly.”

Wineries represented at the Financial Symposium included: 3 Badge Beverage Corp., Amici Cellars Antinori California, Antica Napa Valley, Benessere Vineyards, Boisset Collection, C Mondavi & Family, Cakebread Cellars, Charles Krug Winery, Clos du Val, Clos LaChance Winery, Constellation Brands, Crimson Wine Group, CRU Wine Company, Cuvaison Wine Estates, Dana Estates Inc., Delicato Family Vineyards, Denner Vineyards, Duckhorn Wine Company, E & J Gallo, Fess Parker Winery & Vineyard, Foley Family Wines, Francis Ford Coppola Winery, Groth Vineyards & Winery, Hahn Family Wines, Hall Wines, Iron Horse Vineyards, Jackson Family Wines, JaM Cellars, Jamieson Ranch, John Anthony, Long Shadows Vineyard, Matthiasson Family Wines, O'Neill Vintners & Distillers, Opus One Winery, Pahlmeyer Winery, Plata Wine Partners, Precept Brands, Presqu'ile Winery, Price Family Vineyards and Estates, Purple Wine & Spirits Co./Sonoma Wine Co., Robert Mondavi Winery, Rodney Strong Vineyards, Roots Run Deep Winery, Sonoma-Cutrer, Taransaud, The Hess Collection, The Wine Group, Trinchero Family Estates, Vinum Cellars, Weibel Family Wines, Wente Family Estates, William Chris Vineyards, William Cole Vineyards and Wilson Vineyards – Clarksburg.

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Liz Thach, MW (above) and Ray Johnson of the Wine Business Institute at Sonoma State University presented the results of this year's Executive Survey. With the help of Carmen Castaldi of Rodney Strong, Peter Mondavi Jr. of Charles Krug Winery and Mike Reynolds of Hall Wines, the duo reviewed the trends and issues concerning the top wine company CEOs.


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Robert Trone, co-founder of Total Wine & More, discusses some of the potential downsides of premiumization. As a retailer, he's mostly all for it, but premiumization does present some challenges for wineries looking to source grapes for bottles priced under $15.


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Carol Reber, senior vice president and chief marketing officer for Duckhorn Wine Company, joined in on a discussion on hot to bring $20 to $40 wines into the market. She was part of a panel featuring Bill Leigon, Scott Edwards and Dan Zepponi.


About the Wine Industry Symposium Group

The Wine Industry Symposium Group is a subsidiary of Wine Business Monthly, and operates with the mission of providing a critical platform for important communication and dialogue between the multiple facets of the wine business and the lending community. For more information visit or call (707) 666-2525. Like the Wine Symposium Group on Facebook at and follow on Twitter at

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