Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Wineries Unlimited 2008: Most Successful in 32-year History

Santa Rosa, California (March 28, 2008) — Wineries Unlimited, the largest vineyard and wine trade show and conference east of the Rocky Mountains, and the second largest in the country, completed the most successful program in its 32-year history by setting new event records in attendance and scholarship fundraising. The event was held March 4-7, 2008 at the Valley Forge Convention Center, King of Prussia, Pennsylvania in suburban Philadelphia.

Over 1,500 wine industry personnel from 36 states as well as Washington, D.C. and four Canadian provinces participated in four days of seminars and two days of trade show exhibits. Three concurrent seminar tracks (viticulture, enology and finance/management/marketing) were conducted by a seasoned lineup of wine industry educators, consultants, association directors and executives. The trade show presented 727 exhibitors, 330 exhibitor booths and over 100,000 square feet of exhibitor space, bringing total attendance to over 2,200.

(Richard Leahy)

One hundred of those participants also enrolled in the full-day focus seminar “Sustainability Issues in Winery Layout and Design” moderated by Dr. Bruce Zoecklein of Virginia Tech. Exit evaluations by attendees indicated that 85% “would strongly recommend this session to others”.

“The trip up here was worth it just for this presentation alone,” said Fred Mindermann of Arrington Vineyards, Tennessee about the session “Advantages of Accrual Accounting Systems for Wineries” by speaker Dennis R. Urffer, CPA of Blue Bell, Pennsylvania.

The eighth annual Best of the East Grand Tasting and Gala was celebrated by a sellout crowd of 330. It featured gold and double gold medal winners from the 2007 International Wine Competition and a live auction benefiting the American Society for Enology and Viticulture, Eastern Section scholarship fund. Nearly $18,000 was raised in conjunction with a silent auction at the trade show, surpassing the 2007 record of $16,000. The single largest cash donor was Arthur Roberts of Arton Glass (Lively, Va.) who presented a check for $1,000 during the auction.

“This has by far been the best Wineries Unlimited we have attended in the last 10 years,” said exhibitor John McClain of McClain Ozone, Inc. of Napa, California. “Our sales were significantly higher than in previous years, and we were very pleased with the quality, politeness and effectiveness of the staff. We participate in several shows each year, and this is one of the best.”

Veteran marketing and communications consultant Steve Burns of O’Donnell Lane LLC delivered the keynote address “How to Brand a Wine Region as World-Class” at a Wine Theme Luncheon on Wednesday, March 5 that showcased chardonnay, rosÈ/blush wines, and apple wines/cider. “I was impressed with the enthusiasm of the eastern vintners and the quality of their wines,” said Burns.

Wineries Unlimited returns to the Valley Forge Convention Center (www.vfconventioncenter.com) in King of Prussia, Pa. March 10–13, 2009. Visit www.wineriesunlimited.com for updates.

Wineries Unlimited was launched in 1976 to provide eastern wineries with a regional venue to network and source equipment. It is a division of Vineyard & Winery Services, the publisher of Vineyard & Winery Management magazine (www.vwm-online.com), Wine Industry Index, and Wineries of the Index on compact disc, and the producer of seminars, conferences and trade shows (Tasting Room Profitability Conference, Wine Club Summits East and West, Managing the Winery Laboratory, and Marketing & Public Relations Conference) as well as three wine competitions (Grand Harvest Awards, International Eastern Wine Competition, and West Coast Wine Competition).