Because so many people fly in for the Wine Tourism Conference, we are pleased to offer several outstanding events that will take place before and after the conference:
Tuesday – Wednesday, November 12-13
Join us for a pre-conference excursion in the southern Willamette Valley. Participants will fly into Eugene, Oregon, visit several wine tourism destinations in the area, eat dinner at King Estate, stay the night, and train up to Portland the next day. The excursion cost is only $50, including dinner and winery visits but not including hotel in Eugene and train ride to Portland. This excursion is only available to registered conference attendees. You can register for the excursion on the conference registration form. If you have already registered for the conference, you can register for the excursion separately.
You will fly, train, or drive into Eugene on Tuesday, November 12th. We have found a split flight into Eugene and out of Portland is not much more expensive than flights into and out of Portland.You will be staying at the Valley River Inn and, if you arrive in the morning, you can take the hotel’s free shuttle from the airport. At 1:15 PM, you’ll be picked up at the hotel and the excursion begins. If you arrive too late for that meeting time, we’ll pick you up at the airport as long as you arrive no later than 1:30 PM.
For those wanting to head north to Portland to participate in the Workshops (see below), you can shuttle to the Amtrak station and catch the 5:30 AM train (arrives 8:05) or the 9:00 AM train (arrives 11:35). Otherwise, we’ll take a tour of Eugene’s “Urban Winery” Territorial Vineyards & Winery (tentative) and the new Brewery District. You can then catch the 12:36 PM “Coast Starlight” train that has wine tasting onboard, arriving in Portland at 3:32 PM.
Tickets for this one-way on the Amtrak Starlight are $35.00 and you should book your train ticket yourself. Excursion organizer Eugene, Cascades & Coast have made arrangements with the Valley River Inn for a discounted room rate of $89 for November 12. To Reserve your room, please use this link and code: 1111EUGE. See the blog post for full details of the excursion.
Wednesday, November 13
Cost is $125 for one workshop or $200 for both the morning and afternoon workshops. You can register for the pre-conference workshops at the time you register for the conference or on this separate workshop registration form.
9:00 AM – 12:00 PM Workshop: Tasting Room Marketing – Increasing Visitation and Improving Sales This optional pre-conference workshop is directed towards winery marketers and tasting room management. Our expert presenters Dixie Huey, Michael Kelly Brown, and Brent Johnson will describe ways to increase visitation, improve the tasting room experience, and increase sales. In addition, we’ll present the results of a survey of Oregon tasting rooms, conducted by Byron Marlowe of Southern Oregon University, including what works and what doesn’t.
Dixie Huey is the founder of Trellis Growth Partners, a marketing consulting company focused on the wine industry. She has successfully guided over 80 epicurean businesses ranging from smaller family-owned ventures to international corporations. Within her 13 years of industry experience, Huey has worked as a buyer, media relations manager, marketing director, and educator. Michael Kelly Brown is Director of Consumer Sales and Marketing at Sokol Blosser winery. He has worked in the food and wine industries for many years, in both the US and Europe, and has presented at multiple direct to consumer symposiums. Brent Johnson is General Manager of Vin65, an e-commerce and website development company for the wine industry. He has been involved with Vin65 since its inception and has helped it grow to over 700 winery clients.
1:30 – 4:30 PM Workshop: Social Media for the Wine Industry This optional pre-conference workshop is a full three hours dedicated to social media, led by wine industry social media expert Andrew Healy of 3 Rock Marketing. Learn which social media outlets tend to work for the wine industry and which don’t; how to focus your time doing what needs to be done without using up too many resources; and how to use social media to engage with your audience, build a brand, and increase sales.
Andrew is the founder of 3 Rock Marketing, a Napa Valley-based marketing company that specializes in Social Media and Online Presence. Andrew has worked in almost every facet of the wine industry since graduating from culinary college in Dublin, Ireland. With retail stints at Harrods and Sainsburys & Oddbins, harvest experience on the Central Coast and in New Zealand, and marketing and sales experience with wines from every major wine producing country of note, Andrew truly brings with him a global perspective on the wine industry. His company’s clients include Visit Napa Valley, Flavor! Napa Valley, Napa Valley Vintners, Great Wine Capitals, Coppola Wines and Accolade Wine North America amongst many others.
Post-Conference Wine-Pairing Dinner at WVV
Friday, November 15
We have teamed with Willamette Valley Vineyards to offer an “Oregon Destination Experience” wine pairing dinner on Friday evening. The conference officially ends at 5:00 PM and you’ll have an hour on your own before our departure at 6:00 PM. At WVV we’ll meet Founder Jim Bernau and Winemaker Don Crank for a special winemaker dinner at their Estate Vineyard and Winery.
WVV produces high-quality, sustainably-grown Pinot Noir and other cool-climate varieties – earning the distinction as “One of America’s Great Pinot Noir Producers” by Wine Enthusiast Magazine. The winery’s Executive Chef, Eric Nelson, will prepare a fresh Northwest-inspired menu that will pair beautifully with their classic Oregon Pinot Noir. The winery will have just completed construction of its barrel cellars, tasting room, kitchen and hospitality suites. Jim and Don will also personally lead you through a tour of the new facilities while experiencing a bit of barrel tasting along the way. We’ll be back to the DoubleTree hotel by 10:30 PM.
The cost of the optional Friday evening dinner is only $25, including transportation. This excursion is only available to registered conference attendees. You can register for the excursion on the conference registration form.
Great American Wine Festival
Saturday, November 16
The first-ever Great American Wine Festival will take place from 3:00 – 8:00 PM on Saturday at the DoubleTree Hotel. Winery Associations attending the conference are eligible to stay and pour your wines at no charge (limit 25 associations). This is a great opportunity to present your wines to a new market, including an initial VIP, Trade, and Press hour. If you need help with your table, we can possibly provide you a knowledgeable volunteer via the Wine & Spirit Archive wine school. See website for details.