Tuesday, November 15
1:00 – 4:00 PM Optional Sonoma Vineyard Walk for conference attendees. Free guided walk (normally $125) at Michel-Schlumberger in Dry Creek Valley includes box lunch and tasting. We will contact registered attendees to give you the chance to participate and to arrange carpooling from the conference hotel.
Wednesday, November 16
8:00 – 9:15 AM Conference registration and Sponsor Meet & Greet
9:15 AM – 12:15 Wine Tourism and the Big Picture: How wine tourism fits into the global and local economies
- 9:15 AM: Welcome and introduction from conference organizers and the Wine Institute of California
- 9:30 AM: Overview of Wine Tourism from Caroline Beteta, President of the California Travel and Tourism Commission
- 10:25 AM: Economics of Wine Tourism with Barbara Insel of Stonebridge Research and Steven S. Cuellar, Ph.D., Department of Economics at Sonoma State University
- 11:20 AM: What Makes a Great Wine Region with Ray Isle, Executive Wine Editor of Food & Wine; Leslie Sbrocco, author of Wine for Women; and Sara Schneider, wine editor at Sunset Magazine.
12:15 – 2:00 PM Lunch on your own
1:15 – 1:55 PM Sponsor wine tasting
2:00 – 4:40 PM Growing Wine Tourism: Marketing your region, winery, or business
- 2:00 PM: Social Media as a Tool to Increase Wine Tourism with Liz Thach from Sonoma State University’s Wine Business Institute; Marcy Gordon, marketing consultant and author of Come for the Wine; and Joe Rosenberg from Google
- 2:55 PM: Promotions, Festivals, and Events with Paul Wagner, founder of Balzac Communications and Marketing; Vicky Hastings from Maxwell PR; and Elizabeth Martin-Calder and Martin-Calder Productions
- 3:50 PM: Ratings Drive Traffic with Todd Skelton from TripAdvisor
5:00 – 6:30 PM Evening reception with Napa Vintners
6:30 – 8:30 PM Banquet Dinner provided by Legendary Napa Valley
Thursday, November 17
8:00 – 9:00 AM No-host breakfast meeting of wine tour operators
8:00 – 9:00 AM No-host breakfast meeting of wine and tourism associations
9:00 AM – noon Improving the Wine Tourism Experience: Selling More of Your Product
- 9:00 AM: A Rising Tide Raises All Boats with Michael Mondavi, Mondavi Family Wines; Allen Shoup, Long Shadows Vintners; and moderator Clay Gregory, Legendary Napa Valley
- 10:00 AM: Customer Service with Dixie Huey of Trellis Wine Consulting and Allan Wright of Zephyr Adventures
- 11:00 AM: Improving the Selling Process with Douglas Thornley of Gould Evans/Baum Thornley; Angelica De Vere, Legendary Napa Valley; and Lynn Bruni of San Francisco Travel
12:00 – 1:30 PM Lunch on your own
1:30 – 2:45 PM Sharing Best Practices: We will hear from a panel moderated by Ray Johnson of Sonoma State University’s Wine Business Institute and including Jonathan Rouse of the Okanagan School of Business; Jim Fiolek of Santa Barbara County Wines; Danene Beedle of Missouri Wines; and Dr. Kyuho Lee of Sonoma State University. Come prepared to offer your own best ideas about what has worked to promote wine tourism and to take notes on what has worked with other areas.
2:45 – 4:15 PM Future of Wine Tourism: Group discussion to evaluate the conference; discuss whether, where, and when we should hold another; and come up with any other ideas important to the wine tourism industry.
Friday, November 18
Consider participating in the events of Flavor Napa Valley, an inaugural food and wine festival benefiting the Culinary Institute of America’s scholarship fund. Events are ticketed and you must provide your own transportation.