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Immerse Yourself in Packaging Innovations

Wines & Vines Packaging Conference announces speakers and topics

by Jim Gordon
don sebastiani sons wine bottling
Packaging experts from wine industry leaders such as Don Sebastiani & Sons (seen during bottling) will speak during the Learning to Love Bottling Day panel at the Wines & Vines Packaging Conference.
Napa, Calif.—Winemakers, winery executives, operations managers and marketers will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the fast-changing subject of wine packaging at the Wines & Vines Packaging Conference on Aug. 20. Magazine staff designed the one-day event, which will be held in the former Copia building in Napa, to educate winery personnel about packaging innovations through expert presentations, formal tastings and the ability to touch the latest bottles, labels, closures, capsules and cartons.

Five conference sessions, two tastings of closure trials, a light breakfast and full lunch are included in the efficient weekday schedule. A trade show will take place simultaneously in the same building for attendees to take advantage of during four breaks in the day’s program. As of this morning, all but one exhibitor space had been taken. The immersion experience includes a tasting bar featuring wines in a variety of packaging types, a lunchtime opportunity to open and use various package formats, and a post-conference reception with a tasting of kegged wines.

Conference organizers have enlisted experienced users of packaging innovations to guide their peers. Like the registrants, many of the speakers work in wineries, and they are leaders in adopting new packaging supplies and technology to help protect and successfully sell their wines.

The winemakers from CADE and Plumpjack, and Terlato Family Wines will share their exhaustive trials with various closures. The CEO of Opus One Winery will speak about why his team decided tamper-evident closures were vital for their bottles. The winemaker from Don Sebastiani & Sons will speak about preparing different styles of wine for bag-in-box, screwcap, cork and other package types. A winery purchasing manager will share how to handle logistics around screen-printed bottles.

An industry screwcap entrepreneur will speak not about screwcaps but about better bottling practices for screwcaps. A noted package designer will speak about how wineries can get the best service from designers, and so on. Details about the speakers and conference sessions are provided below.

The $195 registration price includes all conference sessions, one closures tasting breakout, a light breakfast, catered lunch, hosted tastings and reception. To view the day’s schedule and register, please click here


Learning to Love Bottling Day

wines vines packaging conference
Greg Kitchens
wines vines packaging conference
Rich Armstrong

The moderator of this session, Don Neel, editor of Practical Winery & Vineyard, recruited a panel of professionals to help winemakers and purchasing/supply managers breathe easier when their bottling day (or week, or season) arrives. Greg Kitchens, winemaker at Don Sebastiani & Sons, will speak about Bottling Multiple Products. Rich Armstrong, senior director of mobile bottling for G3 Enterprises, will speak about Supply Chain Management and Preparations for Smooth Bottling. Tim Keller of VinPerfect will address Better Bottling Practices for Success with Screwcaps.

wines vines packaging conference
Anita Oberholster
wines vines packaging conference
Tim Keller

Effects of Closure Types on Wine Quality and Shelf Life, with tasting
(registrants choose A or B)
Session A: A new way to measure OTR
Dr. Anita Oberholster, cooperative extension specialist in enology at UC Davis, will present the groundbreaking new methodology developed under Dr. Andrew Waterhouse to measure oxygen-transmission rates during closure trials using color change.

wines vines packaging conference
John Conover
wines vines packaging conference
Danielle Cyrot

John Conover, general manager of Plumpjack Winery and partner CADE Estate Winery, together with Danielle Cyrot, winemaker at CADE Estate Winery, will present 2011 Sauvignon Blanc wines under three closures—natural cork, screwcap and synthetic—from their trial in cooperation with UC Davis, plus two 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon wines from their ongoing natural cork vs. screwcap trials.

Session B: Comparing screwcap types

wines vines packaging conference
Doug Fletcher

Doug Fletcher, vice president of winemaking for Chimney Rock and Rutherford Hill wineries, will present his extensive research comparing various screwcap types and liner types from multiple manufacturers using Merlot and Pinot Grigio.

The Importance of Tamper-Evident Packaging
David Pearson, president of Opus One winery, shepherds one of America’s most collectible wines to domestic and international markets. With the brand’s high price, emphasis on exports and global visibility, protecting it from tampering and counterfeiting is a high priority. Pearson is perhaps the most informed California winery executive on packaging that helps preserve a wine’s integrity during and after shipment to market.

wines vines packaging conference
David Pearson

Evaluating Anti-Counterfeit Technology
Tina Vierra, associate publisher at Wines & Vines, will present a practical approach to comparing the latest advancements in track-and-trace solutions for wine packaging using a new white paper by researcher Eric Przyswa of French engineering school MINES Paris Tech as a guide to evaluating the best technology for your winery.

Advances in Labels and Screen Printing
Winery personnel will present the new manufacturing methods and refined application techniques they use to enhance bottle decoration. (Speakers to be announced.)

wines vines packaging conference
Curtis Mann

Connecting the Dots Between Packaging & Sales
Curtis Mann, senior business manager of wine, beer and spirits at Raley’s Family of Fine Stores, will cite examples of creative and unusual packaging that has helped spur increased sales of wine from the shelves of more than 250 Raley’s, Bel Air and Nob Hill markets. As the former wine insights manager for IRI Worldwide and current wine buyer for the Raley’s group, Mann knows the power of packaging in the off-premise market.

Implementing an Innovative Design

wines vines packaging conference
David Schuemann

David Schuemann, principal of CF Napa, will speak about the process in which wineries, designers and suppliers need to collaborate when creating or changing their packaging. CF Napa has created hundreds of new brands and restaged even more existing brands, maximizing their strategic positioning. The 35-year-old firm’s clients span the gamut from growers and producers to retailers.


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