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HomeWine10 Years In: WIN Expo Celebrates Its First Decade

10 Years In: WIN Expo Celebrates Its First Decade


The Annual North Coast Wine Business Expo (WIN Expo) is the most important commerce present and convention centered completely on Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino and Lake counties, and is the second largest wine business present in North America.

By Barbara Barielle


After I approached Wine Business Community President & CEO George Christie for a narrative concerning the 10-year anniversary of WIN Expo, I requested about exhibitors which have been concerned within the occasion. He replied, “The business’s greatest suppliers exhibit yr after yr and so they have been for the reason that starting.”

George Christie, Wine Industry Network President & CEO
George Christie, Wine Business Community
President & CEO

That, in a nutshell, demonstrates the success of the North Coast exhibition, which brings business suppliers along with  vineyard and winery professionals throughout the down time between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Nonetheless intimate (however not small, by any means), this one-day occasion within the coronary heart of Wine Nation is now the second largest wine commerce present within the nation. It’s additionally turn into a reunion of kinds for folk throughout all aspects of shopping for and promoting, expertise and equipment, and manufacturing, winery, winemaking and wine distribution industries.

A fantastic and loopy thought

WIN Expo was born, says Christie, partially from the frustration of some distributors on the lookout for extra entry to vineyard and winery operations within the North Coast. “Different areas had devoted commerce reveals and conferences, however there was nothing particular to this space. Launching a brand new business occasion simply felt like the suitable factor to do,” says Christie

However regardless of the perfect intentions, Christie admits, this was not a effectively thought out enterprise. “In June 2012, the thought shaped by way of a dialog with an business colleague. In July we launched it,” he says. “That first yr, we had greater than 200 exhibitor sign-ups inside just a few weeks. Then we thought, ‘Will anybody present up?’ Fortunately, greater than 2,500 attended in yr one.” 

Clearly, there was pent up demand and WIN Expo crammed a necessity. That first exhibitor corridor on the fairgrounds has since expanded to a number of halls with greater than 350 cubicles and upwards of 300 exhibitors.

Growing the classes

Amanda Diefenderfer, Big Red Marketing
Amanda Diefenderfer, Massive Purple Advertising

Amanda Diefenderfer, self-described proprietress of Massive Purple Advertising in San Luis Obispo, Calif., has been with Wine Business Community for the reason that inception of WIN Expo, first in a advertising capability and now overseeing the day’s instructional programming. In line with Christie, that is the world of the convention that has most grown and adjusted over time. “The convention portion of the present was an space that we discovered instantly deserved the lion’s share of consideration, from a planning perspective. The chance to take heed to and be taught from colleagues is a key part to propelling the North Coast Wine Business ahead” says Christie. 

“Kudos to George and his group for WIN Expo’s progress,” says Diefenderfer. “They discovered logistics rapidly and I moved on to creating the training classes fine quality and worth. I make it possible for we survey and reply to what the business desires.” 

“Our submissions for instructional  choices are top-notch; we’ve got entry to business leaders due to WIN,” continues Diefendorfer.  “Classes are cut up into 4 distinct channels: Winemaking [Heads up! A lot of opportunities to taste this year]; Technique & Management, which is able to embody introduce extra expertise into sustainability; Gross sales & Advertising, which is able to focus this time on nontraditional packaging; and Winery Operations, the place there’s an emphasis on expertise and sustainability as effectively.”

2021 WIN Expo

Typically seminar concepts and collaborations can spin off to much more exploration of the business. Diefendorfer cites, for example, when WIN Expo introduced leaders of the hashish business and wine business collectively to debate how the then-upcoming legalization of hashish may doubtlessly have an effect on vineyards and wineries. That session led the WIN group to discovered one other profitable occasion, Wine & Weed.

“Different classes which have stood out to me over time embody Winemaker Pet Mission, once we explored what occurs when winemakers enterprise into beer, cider and distilling,” says Diefendorfer.  “I even have appreciated among the cutting-edge classes about nontraditional packaging subjects masking canned and keg wine, for instance. This yr, we’ll cowl packaging pushed by eco-responsibility.”

Exhibitors weigh in

Ed Barr, P&L Specialties and Tom Beard Company
Ed Barr, P&L Specialties and Tom Beard Firm

Ed Barr, president of P&L Specialties and the Tom Beard Firm, was an exhibitor that first yr and can be again once more in December 2022. “It was effectively thought out, when it comes to its timing relative to the Unified Symposium [typically in January or early February], which supplies a extra informal venue that’s much less ‘sales-like’ and extra of a buyer/provider relationship alternative.” says Barr. “I feel WIN Expo is an ideal alternative to say ‘Thanks’ to our prospects and see what they’re as much as in an setting that isn’t a gross sales [meeting]. The WIN crew has constantly innovated the exposition over the previous 10 years to actually dial in the advantages for all concerned.”

Neil Foster, president of M.A. Silva, agrees. “WIN Expo has grown from a small present that centered on the very native West County corporations and vineyards right into a staple in our business for the complete West Coast,” says Foster. “It offers M.A. Silva a novel alternative to current our supplies to all kinds of potential companions. However equally as essential, it lets us carry a full complement of assist workers to the occasion to allow them to see the depth and selection that our business has to supply. It actually brings our whole neighborhood collectively to share data, information and greatest practices gained over the yr.”

A gathering place

Christie might be most enthusiastic about how WIN Expo has grown to be a yearly reunion, of kinds, for the North Coast wine business and past. “The occasion is so profitable due to its location — it’s straightforward for folks to get right here — and it’s the right business social occasion between Thanksgiving and Christmas.”

Neil Foster, M.A. Silva USA
Neil Foster, M.A. Silva USA

Foster agrees. “Definitely, it’s a nice likelihood to see all of our companions, potential companions and new faces in a extra native/communal setting. It offers us all an opportunity to share data, be taught of comings and goings, and it units a flag within the floor for a superb yr to return within the wine and spirits business.” 

This yr’s WIN Expo will happen December 1 on the Sonoma County Fairgrounds in Santa Rosa, Calif. Details about exhibition and attendance could be discovered at


Barbara BarrielleBarbara Barrielle

Barbara Barrielle was a longtime publicist in sports activities and wine earlier than going to the opposite facet as a wine, journey and leisure author. She additionally produces movies and has a documentary “Crushed: Local weather Change and the Wine Nation Fires” releasing in 2021. Present publications Barbara writes for are AARP Journal, Northwest Journey & Life, East Hampton Star, Napa Valley Register, Oregon Wine Press in addition to Wine Business Advisor. She lives in Healdsburg, travels extensively and research wine and languages.




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