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EWE: Bigger and Better in 2014

Eastern Winery Exposition events will include live auction to fund scholarships

by Linda Jones McKee
Lancaster, Pa.—Enology and viticulture students across the country will benefit from the latest feature to be added to the special events program of the Eastern Winery Exposition (EWE) scheduled March 3-6. Bob Mignarri, show manager for the conference, announced Nov. 22 that the March 4 “celebration dinner” would include a live auction to benefit the scholarship fund of the American Society for Enology and Viticulture-Eastern Section (ASEV-ES). For the past two years, EWE has held a 50-50 raffle to benefit students through ASEV-ES; Mignarri hopes that the live auction will generate more revenue for their scholarship fund.

ASEV-ES announces the winners of its scholarships at the annual meeting of the organization; it awarded seven $1,000 student scholarships in July 2013. Recipients included Sarah Bowman of Southern Illinois University, DeAnna D’Attilio of Virginia Tech, Aimee Hasenbeck from the University of Arkansas, Cain Hickey from Virginia Tech, Dylan Rolfes from Iowa State University, Jennifer Savits from Iowa State University and Lindsay Springer of Cornell University.

In addition to the live auction at EWE, Eastern Section has an online scholarship fund and also will be raising money with a 50-50 raffle at the Midwest Grape and Wine Conference (Feb. 4-7 in St. Charles, Mo.) and a silent auction at Wineries Unlimited (March 11-14 in Richmond, Va.).

Eastern Winery Exposition, which will be held at the Lancaster County Convention Center in Lancaster, Pa., is an eastern-oriented wine industry conference and trade show focused on providing vineyards and wineries in the eastern United States and Canada with a program relevant to their needs and interests. The conference was first held in 2012, and it has grown each year in the number of registrants and of companies taking part in the trade show. Mignarri told Wines & Vines, “As of Nov. 25, we have 161 exhibiting companies, and only 21 booths are left. Registration is also running 83% ahead of where it was at the same time last year.”

Sessions at EWE on March 4 and 5 will be divided into four categories: enology, money/management/marketing, viticulture and newcomers to the business. Speakers (the majority of whom are from the East) will include not only academics and extension specialists but also practicing winemakers and grapegrowers. Highlights of the two-day program will include two sessions about making better Bordeaux blends, led by a panel of experienced Eastern winemakers; viticulture sessions include topics such as reducing frost damage and new research about cover crops and bird deterrents. Marketing sessions will involve discussions about social media and website design.

Two special workshops will take place March 6: Denise Gardner, Mike Fiore, Jason Grizzanti and Thomas Earl McKenzie will present a workshop about distillation, which will be divided into three parts: quality issues, Grappa and eau-de-vie/fruit Brandy and liqueur. A second workshop, led by Gary Finnan and Elizabeth Slater, will address “four steps to creating the ultimate direct-to-consumer business.”

Wines & Vines is the official sponsor of the Eastern Winery Exposition. Currently 17 wine-related associations and organizations are supporting sponsors of the conference and offering their members EWE registration discounts.

For additional information about the Eastern Winery Exposition, or to register, visit the show’s website.

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