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Innovation + Quality 2018 Announces Ultra-premium Focused Session Lineup

Conference expands to two days, keeps focus on the latest innovations in enology and viticulture, those new technologies and processes that advance wine quality
by Press Release
April 11, 2018

NAPA, CA – Innovation + Quality (IQ), a one-of-a-kind forum for ultra-premium wineries focused on innovations that advance wine quality, is excited to announce the full schedule for the 2018 edition, now a two-day conference. IQ began as a commitment from the Wine Business Monthly editorial team to the concept of using innovation in the relentless pursuit of quality in the world’s finest wines. Now in its fourth year, the newly re-innovated IQ is the next step in fulfilling that promise.

Held May 23-24, 2018 at the Silverado Resort & Spa in the Napa Valley, IQ2018 has expanded to allow more time for attendees to participate in expert-led sessions, taste trials from fellow winemakers, catch up with peers and discuss the latest products from our sponsors.

For the first time, IQ now includes a social event, IQ CONNECT, as part of IQ. This opening night reception will feature wine, food and entertainment, all while raising funds to support smoke taint research. Held the night of May 23, more information can be found at

With topics hand-chosen by an advisory board of established, expert winemakers, here are the sessions featured at Innovation + Quality 2018.

A Comprehensive Interpretation of Cabernet: The Marchesi Antinori Perspective

With family estates and vineyards throughout Italy as well as in Napa Valley, Chile and Washington state, chief enologist and chief executive Renzo Cotarella has overseen a number of diverse quality improvement ideas and practices. As he leads attendees through a tasting of Marchesi Antinori’s wine production, he’ll discuss the methods, trials and tribulations of producing only the highest quality wines from Italy, the United States and Chile—three considerably different wine regions.

This is an incredible opportunity to learn from one of the world’s leading winemakers, as well as participate in a guided tasting of a selection of 100 percent-varietal and blended Cabernet Sauvignon wines from Marchesi Antinori:
- Marchese Antinori Chianti Classico DOCG Riserva 2015
- Guado al Tasso Bolgheri DOC Superiore 2015
- Col Solare Cabernet Sauvignon Red Mountain 2015
- Haras de Pirque Albis Maipo Valley 2015
- Antica Napa Valley “Townsend Vineyard” Cabernet Sauvignon 2015

What We Know (and Don’t Know) About Smoke Taint

The world’s foremost smoke taint researchers are converging at Innovation + Quality under one roof to provide insight into the leading explorations and investigations on a type of natural disaster that has affected winemakers and regions across the globe this year. What do we know about how smoke taint affects wine and how it spreads? Are there removal methods?

Moderator: Cyril Penn, editor, Wine Business Monthly
Tom Collins, Ph.D., assistant professor of enology, Washington State University
Anita Oberholster, Ph.D., assistant extension specialist in enology, UC Davis
Kerry L. Wilkinson, Ph.D., associate professor of enology, University of Adelaide
Wesley Zandberg, Ph.D., assistant professor of chemistry, University of British Columbia

How to Fall in Love with Phenolics and Keep the Relationship Fresh

In this session with a trial wine tasting, you will learn about the latest phenolics research as well as the various services available to analyze phenolics—and, perhaps most importantly, how you can use these measurements to make more informed decisions in the vineyards and winery.

Moderator: Cara Morrison, Chardonnay winemaker, Sonoma-Cutrer Vineyards
Gregory Gambetta, professor of viticulture, Bordeaux Sciences Agro and ISW – Bordeaux
Simon Faury, winemaker, Merryvale Vineyards
Elizabeth Kester, winemaker, Wente Vineyards
Adam Popp, winemaker, Austerity Wines

Taste trial wines from:
- Austerity Wines
- Merryvale Vineyards,
- Wente Vineyards

The Evolving Role of Oxygen in Fermentation Processes and Why We Should Care

We know that the small winemaking decisions and details matter—is oxygen manipulation one of those tools to make a great wine exceptional? When it comes to using oxygen as a tool in winemaking, it seems we have more questions than answers. Led by industry experts, this session will determine a standard definition of oxidative winemaking, as well as take a hard look at the methods of monitoring and measuring oxygen during fermentation, and whether it’s really worth a winemaker’s time and energy.

Moderator: Sam Tannahill, director of viticulture and winemaking, A to Z WineWorks
Molly Hill, winemaker, Sequoia Grove Winery
Genevieve Janssens, director of winemaking, Robert Mondavi Winery
David Ramey, owner and winemaker, Ramey Wine Cellars

Does Mechanical Harvesting Provide Superior Grapes?

Is it possible to receive higher quality fruit simply by mechanically harvesting grapes? This expert panel of ultra-premium and luxury winemakers will discuss whether or not mechanically harvested fruit is as good as, or better than, hand-picked grapes—and provide evidence in the form of wine trials to support their discoveries. This is not a session that will discuss the economics of mechanical harvesting; its sole focus is to determine whether the method is superior in the production of high-end wines.

Moderator: Corey Beck, president, Francis Ford Coppola Winery
Bob Bertheau, head winemaker, Chateau Ste. Michelle
Aaron Fishleder, winemaker, Nickel & Nickel
Rudy Marchesi, winemaker, Montinore

Taste trial wines from:
- Chateau Ste. Michelle Wine Estates
- Montinore Estate
- Ken Wright Cellars

A greater focus has been placed this year on winemaker trials, as well. The team at WBM has created a dedicated space to taste winemaking experiments, with the winemaker at hand, and discuss methods, results and more. Featuring 20 hand-picked trials, see and taste for yourself the results of trials on barrel and yeast options, nutrient timing, smoke taint removal methods, new stabilization and flotation techniques, as well as yield-quality tests and much more.

Tickets are available at a discounted rate through April 25. Don’t miss your chance to join hundreds of your peers for the most thought-provoking and informative conference of the year.

Register here

About IQ

Innovation + Quality (IQ) 2018 is the fourth annual forum for ultra-premium wineries focused on cutting-edge innovations that advance wine quality. In 2018, the conference has expanded to two days in order to deliver more session content and winemaker trials, as well as networking and collaboration opportunities. This premiere event will take place May 23-24, 2018 at the Silverado Resort & Spa in Napa Valley.

This event is produced by Wine Business Monthly, the leading print publication for the wine industry, in partnership with Napa Valley Vintners and the Napa County Farm Bureau. For more information, visit

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