The Date and Time: Tuesday, April 24, 2018 8AM to 6PM
The Event: Growing Success and Profit: the First Ontario Craft Wine Conference & Trade Show
The Venue: Beanfield Centre
The Target Audience: Winery owners/presidents, winemakers, production, sales staff and industry suppliers.
The Quote/Background: "We are really excited to bring the Ontario Craft Wine Conference & Trade Show to the Ontario market. The opportunity to learn, share, collaborate and do business all in one day will benefit all aspects of the sector, from wineries, to suppliers, to stakeholders." – Sue Ann Staff
The Highlights: This was the first annual one-day Ontario Craft Wine Conference & Trade Show, featuring presentations from wine industry professionals and experts. Topic streams included: retail marketing, finance, government/regulatory, and technical matters. There was a keynote, some panel discussions, and demonstrations. There was also a 9500 sq.ft. trade show with wine industry trade suppliers displaying products and services. I was there mainly to sample wines and to attend the technical seminars (appassimento research, sustainable winemaking, and wine trends). Unfortunately, none of the 12 programs were repeated, nor were there videos or transcripts. So if you were interested in topics that were concurrently presented, then you needed a second - or more – attendee to take notes and to participate. "Wine trends" and "sustainability" went up against each other, which was unfortunate, especially since sustainability is a wine trend (as is "appassimento", but at least that panel held no conflict for me). Specific topics of the panels included export markets, the value of the appellation, brand protection and intellectual property, selling VQA wines in Ontario, banking matters, DTC (direct to consumer sales), and grant application writing. The keynote address was given by Erica Crawford who described how Kim Crawford wines came about, with its emphasis on business models, branding, routes to markets, screw caps, distribution networks and sales. It was a "how we did it" story in top down fashion, with no assets and no hidden costs to the company. A virtual winery before the name was used. They led the way with NZ sauvignon blanc exports, which in total now comprise 86% of all wine exports from NZ. After lunch, Deloitte presented its third annual review, now found at -- http://www.vqaontario.ca/Library/Documents/OntarioWineandGrapeIndustryPerformanceReport_2017_FINAL_optimized.pdf
The Wines: There were two dozen wines for tasting at the lunch buffet. I did not try them all.
**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Flat Rock Cellars Chardonnay 2016
-Hare Wine Crown Land Red (Cabernet Franc) 2015
-Hidden Bench Estate Chardonnay
-Cave Spring Cellar Riesling Estate
-Closson Chase Chardonnay 2016
-Smoke and Gamble Cabernet Merlot 2014
-Henry of Pelham Classic Riesling 2016
-Norman Hardie Niagara Chardonnay 2015
-Stratus Wildass Rose 2017
-Reif Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Kacaba Cabernet Syrah 2016
-Rosehall Run Vyd Righteous Dude Riesling 2016
-Frisky Beaver Shades of Grey Chardonnay
-London Burn Wine Company Viognier 2016
-Malivoire Rose Vivant 2017
-Sue Ann Staff Sauvignon Blanc
-Niagara College Teaching Winery Balance Viognier 2016
-Oxley Estate Pinot Gris 2017
The Food: lunch buffet included french fries, smoked salmon and cream cheese on rye, sliced AAA roast beef on ciabatta, pasta salad, tomato salad, and squares for dessert.
The Downside: I was told that there were no transcripts or videos available, but that Powerpoint presentations could be requested from the presenters.
The Upside: a great way to make contacts and to keep up with the wine industry.
The Contact Person: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 88