Grape Expos in Sonoma and Napa

Napa event Oct. 30 includes winemaking; Santa Rosa expo is Nov. 9

by Wines & Vines Staff
Grape Expos in Sonoma and Napa
Douglas Adams
North Coast, Calif. -- Now that virtually all the 2007 grape harvest is completed, growers get a short break from their labors before pruning season begins. It's a good time to kick the tires on new equipment at two North Coast California trade shows, the premier Napa Valley Wine & Grape Expo on Oct. 30, and the Sonoma Grape Expo Nov. 9.

Both grower-oriented events go beyond the mechanical, however, and feature seminars on everything from pest control to regulatory issues to managing red wine fermentation, to luxury wine marketing.

The Napa Valley event is the first of its kind, to be held at Copia in Napa from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., followed by a wine bar hour. The sponsoring agency, Napa Valley Grapegrowers, has been presenting a grape-oriented expo every other year at the Napa fairgrounds. This is normally the off year.

The organization's executive director, Jennifer Kopp, says times have changed, and the NVG has decided to change with them. "It used to be that we had grapegrowers on the one hand and wineries on the other," she said. "Today we have so many growers who have started making and marketing wine, and we have so many wineries that have added significant vineyard holdings. With a high percentage of our members making wine, we decided to start this program to give them a lot more information on the winery side."

A trade show will still be a big part of the event, with 75 exhibitors of vineyard supplies, equipment and technology, plus a wide array of other products and services for vineyards and wineries.

Seminars will run in two simultaneous tracks for most of the day. A few of the speakers are: Vic Motto of Global Wine partners and Bill Cascio of Glazer's Family of Companies on the luxury wine market; Arnulfo Soloria of Silverado Farming Co., presenting in Spanish on pest and disease identification; accomplished winemakers Bob Levy of Harlan Estate and Celia Masyczek, who consults for several Napa wineries, answering questions on fermentation for premium red wine production; Doug Adams of UC Davis explaining how the tannin assay he helped develop works; and a tasting of hang-time wines presented by Napa County Farm Advisor Ed Weber, based on a controlled study that used grapes harvested from the same vineyards at different ripeness levels.

Grape Expos in Sonoma and Napa
Ed Weber
Six other programs can be viewed at napagrowers.org, where people interested in attending the seminars should register online as soon as possible. The seminars were filling up as of Oct. 26. Those who only want to attend the trade show need not by tickets in advance, but may buy $10 trade show tickets at the door. Seminar tickets are $60 for NVG members and $90 for non-members and also include trade show access.

Ten days later in Santa Rosa, Calif., the Sonoma Grape Expo returns to the Sonoma County Fairgrounds Nov. 9 for a 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. agenda of speakers, training sessions and a trade show. Admission is free. Attendees register at the gate. The event is sponsored by American Vineyard magazine, and proceeds benefit the Santa Rosa Junior College Shone Farm Project.

A few of the speakers and topics are: Rhonda J. Smith of the UC Cooperative Extension, on Syrah decline; Nancy Irelan, research director of the Pierce's Disease & Glassy-Winged Sharpshooter board, with the latest research results; and Glenn Proctor of the Ciatti Co. with a review and outlook on the North Coast 2007; plus Nat DiBuduo of Allied Grape Growers and Nick Frey, president of the Sonoma County Winegrape Commission; and several others.

See http://malcolmmedia.com/snmexpo.htm for more details on the Sonoma Grape Expo.
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