Thursday, April 29, 2010

Wineries Unlimited Moves to New Location and Time Frame

This has been the spot for 34 years. No more!

Below is the press release from Wineries Unlimited. The move is a surprise, but not that big a surprise. The southern region, especially Virginia, has swollen with wineries, though New York still out numbers it almost 2.5 to 1. But the other southern states are also growing. The play by the Virginia wine industry is a smart one. Let's face it, the Pennsylvania wine industry never embraced the fair as an opportunity to showcase itself, it never played to the wine drinking crowd of WU. That was a massive lack of imagination by the Pennsylvania wine association. The folks in Virginia are too smart to let that happen. Watch for announcements fromVirginia vinters playing up events that will coincide with the fair. Virginia will use the fair to advance its image as a glam wine state on par with New York, Oregon, Washington, and California.

This is also an attempt to set up a stronger regional fair after Viniculture 2010 took a bite out of WU. It's the smart play for the WU. It does make getting to WU for many Northeastern vinters more difficult. How will this all fit out? The drive to Richmond is six hours or more from New York. Not the three it was to Philadelphia. And the New England attendees? How many of them will attend? And will Cornell step up their Viniculture program to counter this? Only the next five years will tell.

Regardless, the move shows the national shift taking place, as virtunally every state in the union has seen explosive growth in local wine manufacturing. Wineries Unlimited will remain a strong and important fair, and this move will help solidfy a new base for years to come. Hooray for Richard Leahy, one of the most important voices in East Coast wine. - CD

Santa Rosa, California (April 28, 2010) -- Wineries Unlimited, the second largest vineyard and winery conference and trade show in North America, is moving to the Greater Richmond Convention Center in Richmond, Virginia after a 34-year run in eastern Pennsylvania. Wineries Unlimited 2011 is scheduled for March 29 – April 1, a period that is approximately three weeks later in the season than recent shows. The new venue offers several advantages while the more southerly location and later dates are expected to provide better weather conditions for attendees traveling from other states. Wineries Unlimited ( has been produced by the wine trade publication Vineyard & Winery Management since 1976.

According to organizers at the magazine, the Greater Richmond Convention Center ( provides several amenities:
• a centralized location that services the entire Eastern wine industry
• a modern facility with substantial resources and room for expansion
• a wide variety of lodging, dining and entertainment options and price points
• a layout that will enhance conference sessions and the trade show (all exhibitors will be united on one level)
• easy access to freeways (I-95 and I-64), Richmond International Airport, and Washington, DC

In addition, Virginia has a growing wine industry with active tourism and trade organizations that welcome the move.“The outpouring of enthusiasm and excitement we’ve received in the State of Virginia — from the wine industry up to the governor — has been tremendous,” said Robert Merletti, publisher of Vineyard & Winery Management magazine.

“Virginia vintners are eager to learn the latest winegrowing techniques as well as establish beneficial vendor relations.”“We are thrilled that Wineries Unlimited has decided to move to Virginia,” said Governor McDonnell.

“Virginia wines have seen their standing in the domestic and global marketplaces grow in recent years and having Wineries Unlimited in Virginia will help us as we continue our efforts to promote Virginia wines both here and abroad.”

McDonnell also said that the estimated 2,000 people and $1.5 million in new revenue the event will bring to Virginia are consistent with the tourism and wine industry priorities included in his “Jobs and Opportunities” legislative agenda.

“The needs of Wineries Unlimited will be well served in Richmond,” said Ann Heidig, president of the Virginia Wineries Association. “The move confirms that our wine producers and wine regions are on the map.”

Annette Boyd, marketing office director of the Virginia Wine Board, said the move will create new opportunities for Virginia wineries: “Our growers and producers will have better access to the information provided by Wineries Unlimited, and the event will help showcase their wines to colleagues from other states.”

“Richmond lies in the center of Virginia’s rapidly-growing wine industry and is a prime location for Wineries Unlimited,” said Jack Berry, president and CEO of the Richmond Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau (RMCVB). “Wine industry representatives will enjoy our big-city amenities and small-town charm as well as Virginia wine.”

The last four editions of Wineries Unlimited were held at the Valley Forge Convention Center in suburban Philadelphia while a number of previous shows were located in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

Wineries Unlimited 2010 took place March 9-12 with attendees from 30 states as well as Washington, D.C. and four Canadian provinces participating in four days of seminars and two days of trade show exhibits. Total attendance was 2,343.