Recap of Day 1 at the Eastern Winery Exposition

This is the second year for the Eastern Winery Exposition and the first year I attended. According to Richard Leahy, Conference Manager, in just two years the conference has grown to become the second largest wine and trade show conference in the country. On Tuesday evening, a wine reception was held. Many of the winemakers brought wines to the reception. The atmosphere was jovial, lots of people were having fun tasting wines, reacquainting with friends and munching on the foods.

The first day of sessions started early at 8:15 am. I attended a session called Avoiding Oxidation in Small Wineries presented by Tom Payette. Tom’s manner of presenting was easy going and quite understandable by experienced winemakers and beginners. The second session focused on Lab Trials for Fining Agents presented by Peter Bell and Tom Payette. Both presenters were easy to follow and offered great advice on fining wines including broadening the definition of fining to include acid additions or subtractions. The third session looked at When and Why You Do Wine Analyses by Dr. Barry Gump. Dr. Gump also had an easy going presentation. During the presentation, a slide that showed the traditional way to use a hydrometer was quickly overturned by the speaker. One does not need a cylinder twice the width of the hydrometer, said Dr. Gump, just slightly larger than the diameter of the hydrometer will suffice. Dr. Gump also pointed out that some analyses of wine is meant for research purposes and has little bearing on making the wine and selling it.

We had lunch in one of the ballrooms, offering an opportunity to sit down and chat with people at your table. During the afternoon, I joined a panel and presented my talk on Turning Customers into Brand Ambassadors. Also on the panel was Patty Held from Missouri and Brian Roeder from Virginia. We definitely needed more time for our panel presentation and had no time to field questions. The next presentation was also a panel that looked at Social Media for Winemaking. Patty Held, Kris Chislet and Laurie Forster all gave the attendees much to think about. Something that I took from the presentation is the possibility to create a mobile version of our website and perhaps create an app. The app idea sounds intriguing and I already have several topics for apps.

During the evening we had a lovely dinner in a ballroom. The Second Annual Eastern Winery Exposition Industry Celebration Dinner was a nice end to a busy day. Laurie Foster spoke to the diners with her comedy act. Winemaker and owner of Presque Isle Wine Cellars, Doug Moorhead received the 2013 Lifetime Achievement Award.

On our next day, it is on to the trade show.


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