One of North America’s largest trade and information seminars returns to the Sacramento Convention Center in late January.

The Unified Wine and Grape Symposium, Tuesday, Jan. 29, through Thursday, Jan. 31, will include a two-day trade show and multiple presentations over the three days.

Every year since 1995, two wine industry organizations, the American Society for Enology and Viticulture (ASEV) and the California Association of Winegrape Growers (CAWG) have presented the event to spotlight issues facing wine industry professionals as well as the trends of the future of grape growing and winemaking.

Registration opens at 1 p.m. Jan. 28, and the conference opens at 9 a.m. Jan. 29 with a general session entitled “How the Global Wine Market Affects U.S. Production.”

Since California’s wine industry plays a role in the world’s wine market, this session alone sounds too good to pass up.

In the afternoon Tuesday will be five break sessions, each an hour in length: Winemaking Regulatory Update;  Foreign Investments Within the U.S. Wine Industry; Mechanization Alternatives in the Vineyard; State-of-the-Art Customer Service; and Winemaking Distribution.

I could easily sit through all five, but I guess I’ll need to pick just one or two, won’t I?

Tuesday evening is the CAWG’s annual meeting and Awards of Excellence reception.

The trade show portion of the seminar opens at 9 a.m. Wednesday and continues until 6 p.m., and again from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday.

The general session Wednesday morning is entitled “State of the Industry.” The breakout sessions that afternoon include Solids Removal from White Juice Prior to Fermentation; Redevelopment and Replanting in the Current Environment; New Technologies and Digital Media; and Investing in West Coast Vineyards. Again, I’ll be the one you see running down the hallway from session to session. Wednesday evening ends with a regional wine tasting.

The final general session Thursday will be “Consumer Trends Affecting Growers and Wineries,” and will be followed by Grapegrowing, Winemaking and International Update: Production Methods For and Tasting of Three Varieties, which will be presented in both English and Spanish.

The afternoon sessions include Surviving Consolidation: How to Position Your Brand for Success; Evaluating Cabernet Sauvignon across Multiple Regions; and Strategies for Future Sourcing Requirements.

All seminar details, costs — per day or per session — and information about lodging can be found at the main website, unifiedsymposium.org. Registration closes Jan. 22.

Events such as this one bring both national and global perspective to an industry that, in my opinion, deserves to be on the cutting edge of technology.

The wine industry on the Central Coast attracts millions of tourists annually, who in turn spend millions of dollars buying locally produced wine, eating in restaurants and overnighting in hotels.

“Unified,” as it’s known in the industry, offers those who grow wine fruit, make and sell wine the chance to hear experts’ views on the state of grapes and wine.

Freelance writer Laurie Jervis can be reached at winecountrywriter@gmail.com. Her blog is www.centralcoastwinepress.com

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