Wine Packaging Conference this Wednesday

Full-day event takes place at Lincoln Theater in Napa Valley

by Andrew Adams
wine packaging conference wine buyers
The wine buyers session will return to the Wine Packaging Conference on Wednesday in Napa Valley.

Yountville, Calif.—From developing a cohesive and attractive brand strategy to ensuring all those packaging elements work seamlessly on bottling day and then stand out on the retail shelf, the fourth annual Wines & Vines Packaging Conference will delve into every aspect of wine packaging.

Winemakers and winery owners with new brands will find insights about how to differentiate their products in a crowded marketplace, while companies with established brands should find the tools they need to remain competitive.

The full-day conference at Lincoln Theater will include sessions about effective packaging design, successful redesigns, what the wine trade want in packaging and best practices when it comes to bottling. Leslie Sbrocco, host of the television show “Check Please! Bay Area” will lend her charismatic wine expertise to the event as emcee. In between sessions, attendees can learn about new products and meet new wine packaging suppliers at the trade show.

Several of the industry’s top designers will also be on-site for “speed dating” sessions, in which they will provide frank feedback about new or planned packaging and design for wine brands. Attendees will have the chance to meet with several designers during the speed dating session taking place during the event.

Corey Beck, director of winemaking and president of Francis Ford Coppola Winery in Geyserville, Calif., is one of the conference’s highlight speakers and will discuss some of the successes and failures with the winery’s openness to packaging innovation.

Later in the day, experts with Nielsen will provide analysis on several successful wine brand packaging redesigns. The insights will include comments and researchers from consumers. Another session, featuring Shelley Lindgren, wine director and co-owner of A16 and SPQR restaurants, and Curtis Mann, wine buyer for Raley’s Family of Fine Stores, will discuss what the wine trade look for in wine packaging.

Just as some winemakers like to have winemakers from other wineries taste their wines to escape “house palate,” designer David Hanson-Jerrard of 4Parts Design will discuss similar approaches to get a fresh look at the design elements and packaging strategy of a wine brand.

It’s not just aesthetics. An afternoon panel discussion will provide insights and best practice tips for ensuring a smooth bottling day. Pat Henderson, winemaker at Kenwood Vineyards in Sonoma Valley, will discuss what he’s learned from his more than 30 vintages of winemaking experience, and representatives from two major bottling suppliers will provide their tips to make sure everything goes smooth.

Allison Jordan, executive director of the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance, will lead a panel of experts discussing how best to incorporate sustainability in wine packaging. Jordan and executives from three large wineries will discuss options such as lightweight bottles and new closures as well as the value of adding sustainable certification logos to labels.

The conference takes place from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and also includes an awards ceremony for the winners of the Wines & Vines Packaging Design Awards. Attendees of the conference can vote for their pick for People’s Choice winner.

Attendees will be able to enjoy a light breakfast and coffee supplied by the Ohm coffee truck as well as lunch and the opportunity to sample wines from three tasting bars featuring different wine packaging.

All-day registration is $199 and an exhibits and lunch pass registration is $50 for winery personnel. For more details, including the complete schedule and to register visit wvpack.com. On-site registration is also possible at the Lincoln Theater at 100 California Drive in Yountville, Calif.



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