Each year over the last decade, the Wine Industry Network (WIN) has organized and hosted the WIN Expo in Sonoma County. This year’s will take place tomorrow, November 30, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds. 

First launched in 2012 with an exclusive focus on the wine industry in Sonoma, Napa, Mendocino and Lake counties, it is the second-largest wine industry show in North America, typically drawing several thousand wine professionals to Santa Rosa. 

George Christie is WIN’s President and CEO and a co-founder and partner in Saini Vineyards in the Dry Creek Valley. A resident of Healdsburg since the early 1990s, he and Elizabeth Slater launched WIN in 2009 as an online directory. It is now one of the leading B2B marketing and media companies covering the wine industry. WIN also publishes the Wine Industry Advisor news site and Afternoon Brief daily news email. 

Part trade-show, part educational conference, WIN Expo brings members of the wine trade together around four main tracks: Winemaking and Production, Sales and Marketing, Business Strategy and Leadership and Vineyard and Growers. 

These educational components continue to grow every year, with speakers, sessions and chances to learn and engage with peers. Last year saw an 11.5% increase in attendance. 

Here are a few of this year’s highlights: 

9:30-10:30 a.m. 

Irrigation Accountability: Cutting Edge Tech to Increase Efficiency and Lower Costs 

Moderator Laurel Marcus of the California Land Stewardship Institute will lead a panel discussion on water management, joined by Ryan Decker from Clos du Val, Taylor Jones of Star Lane and Dierberg Vineyards, Ernie Wilson of Tule Technologies and Devon Wright of Lumo. 

11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. 

State of the North Coast Bulk and Wine Grape Markets 

Todd Azevedo, Greg Livengood and Glenn Proctor, all of Ciatti Company, will look at this year’s harvest and provide insights into the current wine grape and bulk markets.  

11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. 

Soil Carbon Tracking: Monitor, Quantify and Report 

Adam Koeppel of Agrology leads a discussion on monitoring soil carbon sequestration, from soil testing to vineyard-level data, giving growers insight into how to detect carbon loss and better understand soil health. Speakers include Nick Filice of Silver Oak, Miguel Garcia from Napa RCD and Ben Mackie of Napa Green. Of note, Agrology is also a partner with Sonoma County Winegrowers in its Farm of the Future initiative.  

1:30 p.m.-2:30 p.m. 

Restoring Soil Health: Tracking Data to Prove the Impact 

Mark Neal of Neal Family Vineyards will speak about how soil health leads to vine health and how he employs regenerative agriculture programs on his Howell Mountain estate. He’ll be joined by Garett Long of Troon Vineyard, Julian Malone of Sea Smoke and Rita’s Crown, and Caine Thompson of O’Neill Vintners. 

Exhibits will be set up in the Hall of Flowers, Grace Pavilion and outdoors. Exhibiting companies involved in the vineyard side of the wine business include Lumo, Verdi, HotSpot AG, Adobe Associates, Advanced Viticulture, Advancing Eco Agriculture as well as local nurseries like NovaVine, and harvest equipment providers like Pellenc America. 

The individual educational sessions can be attended for $80 each. An expo floor pass for the trade show is $30. Or get it all for $259. 

As an FYI, WIN Expo provides discounts to members of the Sonoma County Winegrowers to receive a free expo floor pass or $30 off conference sessions. Use code SCW2023.