Full Slate for Wine Packaging Conference

Randall Grahm to keynote annual conference focused on all aspects of wine packaging

by By Wines & Vines staff
The Wines & Vines Packaging Conference returns to the Lincoln Theater in Yountville on Aug. 9.

Napa, Calif.—His wines have always been packaged with a slightly irreverent style, most brands came with visually arresting labels and perhaps most notably in 2002 vintner Randall Grahm made a public spectacle out of holding a funeral for wine corks.

On Aug. 9, the iconic winemaker and one of the original Rhône Rangers will take to the stage of the fifth annual Wines & Vines Wine Packaging Conference to deliver a keynote address on his thoughts regarding wine packaging.

Grahm, who continues to make headlines for a bold experiment to develop new grape varieties from seed at his Popelouchum vineyard in San Juan Bautista, Calif., has never been shy in trying new wine packaging or expressing his opinions on the traditions of wine packaging. Grahm follows several other notable winemakers, designers and other industry experts who previously have been the keynote speaker at the conference that will be held at the Lincoln Theater in Yountville, Calif.

In addition to Grahm, the conference features several other speakers, panel discussions, a trade show and tastings to provide a full day of packaging insights and networking for wine industry professionals. Registration is now open and an “early bird” discount is available for those who register through wvpack.com. The conference takes place from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. and includes lunch with registration.

Other sessions of the conference include:

• A panel session on how winemakers and winery owners can navigate consolidation in the supply chain. Moderated by packaging and design consultant Lisa Ehrlich, the panel including glass manufacturer executive Rich Bouwer, Pedro Fernandes, general manager of Amorim Cork America, and G3 director of label operations, production and planning Mark Peters, will discuss what to do if your favorite vendors are bought or merge with other companies.

• The beverage alcohol experts from Nielsen return for what has typically been one of the most informative and popular sessions for the conference. This year Jessica Gaedeke, vice president of the company’s innovation practice, and Brad Mayer, senior vice president of marketing for Precept Wine, will discuss market research data on the types of packaging that sell wine.

• Wine on tap and in kegs has caught on with consumers, and the founder of Free Flow Wines Jordan Kivelstadt will discuss trends in alternative packaging with winemakers Alison Crowe and Nicholas Quillé. The panel session will not only cover the continuing sales growth of wine on tap and in cans but how winemakers can maintain consistent quality when packaging wine in these formats.

The full day conference concludes with a ceremony to announce and honor the winners of this year’s Wines & Vines Packaging Design Awards. Winners will be announced in the categories of best classic format, bust luxury design, best alternative format, best series, best redesign and best in show winner. The top 50 entries from the contest will also be on site at the conference so attendees can review them as well as vote for the “people’s choice” winner that will be announced that day.

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