Every aspect of the wine and winegrape industry, from science and technology to trends and markets, came under the microscope as experts, economists, scientists and researchers from around the world shared their perspectives with thousands of industry professionals at the 26th Unified Wine & Grape Symposium (Unified), which wrapped up here today.
As the largest wine and grape industry show of its kind in the Western Hemisphere, the Unified offered some of the first insights on how markets, production and technology will shape the coming year. Coupled with 28 sessions featuring a record 128 presenters covering topics ranging from consumer trends to climate change, the Unified also hosted a two-day trade show of over 700 exhibitors.
“If you’re looking to stay competitive, get a full understanding of what’s happening in the wine and grape industry, and make key connections, the Unified Symposium is the place to be,” said John Aguirre, president of the California Association of Winegrape Growers (CAWG), co-presenter of the Unified with the American Society for Enology and Viticulture (ASEV).
With back-to-back large crops and oversupplied markets in 2018 and 2019, concerns of an oversupply dominated much of the conversation at Unified. That, combined with the growth of competing new beverage products, fueled interest in presentations addressing new market expansions, alternative wine packaging and trade war impacts.
Held for the first time at Cal Expo in Sacramento, the three-day conference made full use of the site’s eight conference rooms, as well as its 200,000-square-foot trade show space. Cal Expo will serve as the Unified’s site again next year from January 12-14, 2021, with plans to return to the newly renovated Sacramento Convention Center in 2022.
“Cal Expo had many positive attributes that worked well for our show this year,” said Dan Howard, ASEV’s executive director. “We’ve had positive responses to this temporary move from exhibitors and attendees, and we look forward to using insights gained this year to make the 2021 show even stronger.”
For more information, visit the Unified Wine & Grape Symposium website at www.unifiedsymposium.org.