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Gathering Heralds New Technology

September 2008
 
by Paul Franson
 
 
Wine Industry Technology Symposium, WITS
 
Corporate marketing director Jennifer Lemming, vice president of channel development Andrea Johnston, and director of channel development Pascal Davis represent Inertia Beverage at WITS.
PHOTOS: Smoke Wallin/Wine Industry Technology Symposium
 
Napa, Calif. -- More than 300 attendees from wineries, technology suppliers and other organizations attended the fifth Wine Industry Technology Symposium (WITS) in Napa, where participants heard about trends in logistics that could affect their companies.

WITS co-founder and co-chair Lesley Berglund said topics for the symposium were determined by a select winery council, with key issues including the next generation of direct consumer interaction, notably online social networks. Other key topics included upcoming compliance issues, "greening" of the industry, collecting and using meaningful data, and strategic technical leadership. Berglund also announced that the conference is donating funds for technical research to the Wine Institute.

Wine Industry Technology Symposium, WITS
 
Smoke Wallin (left), co-chairman of WITS, talks with Jack Clare of Constellation Brands.
Wine Industry Technology Symposium, WITS
 
Scott Rounds (right) of Domaine Carneros gets animated with Tim Heaton of Wine Strategies.

The first keynote speaker, Ben Gordon, is an expert in logistics who outlined the many changes occurring in shipping, primarily due to the high cost of fuel. The second keynote speaker was Scott Shaw, whose promotional company Fishbowl is named after the common depository for business cards at many retail locations. His firm helps restaurants mount e-mail campaigns, and he said they've proven a very effective means to promote businesses.

Wine Industry Technology Symposium, WITS
 
Bob Barnes, chief information officer of Korbel, raises a glass of his brand's sparkling wine.
Wine Industry Technology Symposium, WITS
 
Scott Diehl (right) discusses Trade Pulse, where he serves as VP of corporate technology.

Breakout sessions in four tracks--technology leadership, consumer direct sales, trade sales and marketing, and vineyard and winery--followed the general session.
 
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Wine Industry Metrics
 
Off-Premise Sales » Month   12 Months  
December 2014 $776 million
3%
$7,866 million
5%
December 2013 $755 million $7,470 million
     
Direct-to-Consumer Shipments » Month   12 Months  
December 2014 $166 million
14%
$1,820 million
15%
December 2013 $145 million $1,576 million
     
Winery Job Index » Month   12 Months  
December 2014 155
27%
229
14%
December 2013 122 200
     
 
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