WITS 2011 – The place to be for TECHNOLOGY , STRATEGY & WINE

As you know, I’ve Co-Chaired the Wine Industry Technology Symposium (WITS) since we created it in 2005.  I’m very excited by the response to this year’s agenda (still shaping up) and our keynote speakers we announced.  Wines & Vines dis a fantastic story on it yesterday.  Here is a bit and you can go to their site for the rest…

Napa, Calif.—Since 2005, the annual Wine Industry Technology Symposium (WITS) has brought together experts from within and outside the wine business to help growers, wineries and marketers make the most of the newest tools available to them. It’s a moving target, and every year yields valuable insights for both techies and technophobes.

WITS is scheduled this year for Tuesday and Wednesday, July 12 and 13, at the Napa Valley Marriott. Last year’s symposium drew registered attendance of more than 300. Keynote speakers on Wednesday morning will be Leslie Sbrocco, TV host, author and consultant, who will deliver: “The Vision and Technology Behind Thirsty Girl,” a member-driven community celebrating women. Serial entrepreneur Tim Bucher, who has held executive roles with tech icons Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Michael Dell, will take on “Technology and Innovation.”

Wines & Vines, a WITS sponsor, spoke with panelists on a few of the many more specialized sessions to get some juicy details. For the complete schedule and speaker bios, visit wineindustrytechnologysymposium.com.

Here is our announcement on keynotes that went out earlier… contact me if you have any thoughts or ideas to make this year’s event the best ever.  And if you are a strategic thinker, President, GM, CIO or other leader in the wine industry and you want to hang out with your peers and some of the most innovative people in technology and strategy AND enjoy some great wine in Napa don’t miss this event!

Technology and Innovation Leader Tim Bucher & TV Personality and Head Thirsty Girl, Leslie Sbrocco to Lead Keynotes for the

Seventh Annual Wine Industry Technology Symposium®, July 12-13, 2011

May 19, 2011, Napa, CA – The Wine Industry Technology Symposium (WITS)®, the premier event showcasing innovation and strategic use of information technology and services for the wine industry, announced headline speakers for its seventh annual conference July 12-13, 2011 at the Marriot Napa Valley.

 

The symposium will open with a technology showcase and hands on experiential workshops on the afternoon of Tuesday, July 12, but the main event takes place on Wednesday, July 13 with the general session and keynote speakers.

Tim Bucher’s Keynote Address is titled “Technology and Innovation”

What do Microsoft, Apple, Dell and WITS all have in common? Alumnus Tim Bucher. Founder and current CEO of Tastingroom.com, Tim Bucher may be the only person in who has served in key executive roles for the big three: Bill Gates at Microsoft, Steve Jobs at Apple, and Michael Dell at Dell. He learned about innovation and business expansion from some of the leading technologists in the industry.

Bucher is a serial entrepreneur who has created several successful companies over the last 23 years, taking one of them public and selling four others for over $1 Billion. Besides Tastingroom.com, Bucher serves as the Chief Executive Officer and Chief Product Officer of Zing Systems, Inc. He founded Mirra, Inc., in 2002. He is also Founder of ispiri. Bucher serves as Chairman of the Board of Mirra, Inc. and ispiri. Mr. Bucher holds an MSEE from Stanford and a BSEE from UC Davis.

Bucher will share his unique perspective on business technology and innovation during his keynote address. Imagine the secrets you will learn from serial entrepreneur Tim Bucher.

Leslie Sbrocco’s Keynote Address is titled “The Vision and Technology Behind Thirsty Girl”

What do Check Please!, the Today Show, and Thirsty Girl have in common? Wine Maven, Leslie Sbrocco, Head Thirsty Girl.  An award-winning author, speaker, wine consultant, television host, and founder of the new multi-media company, Thirsty Girl, Leslie Sbrocco built this thriving multi-media company using 100% social media. Thirsty Girl is a member-driven community that celebrates women. “With glass, fork, and plane ticket in hand, Thirsty Girls live life to the fullest.”

Sbrocco has appeared on Check Please!, The Winemakers, and the Today Show as well as had her work published in outlets such as Epicurious.com, O the Oprah magazine, Coastal Living, Woman’s Day, Good Housekeeping and Glamour among others. She also has published two books, Wine for Women and The Simple & Savvy Wine Guide (William Morrow); she is currently at work on her third book, Adventures of a Thirsty Girl.

Sbrocco and her Social Media Coach Janet Fouts will provide a point-counter-point interplay of ideas put into action through the use of social media, content and live events in their keynote address at WITS 2011. Learn how she has grown Thirsty Girl from scratch to significance – all through social media in just one year.

J. Smoke Wallin, WITS founder and Co-Chair said “I find it incredible to contemplate the vast innovation that we have witnessed since the first WITS in 2005.  Companies like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn were either ideas or just getting started.  Apple was not in the music or handheld business. Giving us their unique insights on this rapid innovation both Sbrocco and Bucher will help us gain perspective on how the wine industry is adopting to and benefiting from it all.”

The afternoon on day two will include panel discussions with take home value, an exciting technology showcase and conclude with a rocking wine reception. Panels will have four tracks: Technology Leadership, Consumer Direct Sales, Trade Sales & Marketing and Vineyard & Winery Operations.

For more information about the event schedule and to register today, visit: www.wineindustrytechnologysymposium.com/schedule.html

About Wine Industry Technology Symposium (WITS)®

The Wine Industry Technology Symposium (WITS) was created in 2005 by a group of wine industry and technology professionals. The purpose of WITS is to address the unique information technology and services needs of the wine industry. WITS is dedicated to bringing the world’s leading wine industry professionals together with some of the world’s leading technology experts to foster learning and discussion. Panels of experts will discuss specific examples and case studies. www.WineIndustryTechnologySymposium.com

 

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Media Contact:

Lesley P. Berglund, co-chair, 707-246-6827

New York Wine industry booming

I just saw this report which points out what many of us have known for some time, that NY has a thriving wine industry. I thought it worth highlighting as we have a handful of NY based wine companies (some producers, some importers) joining our many other fantastic wines from CA and around the world at Wine 2.0 New York Nov 18.

Wine 2.0 New York - Invite

Wine 2.0 New York - Invite

Here is a partial list:
Bouke’
Dr Frank’s Vinifera
Fox Run Vineyards
Hudson Valley Wine Country
Hudson Chatham Winery
Milbrook Vineyards and Winery
Palaia Vineyard
Whitecliff Vineyard and Winery
Pasternak International
Palm Bay Imports

New York Wine industry booming

Source: Rocnow

Tom Tobin

November 7, 2009

Sour economy aside, New York’s wine industry – centered in the Finger Lakes – continues to sweeten.

New wineries are sprouting around the state, investments are growing and visits by tourists and wine lovers have increased by 21 percent since 2003, despite the recession, record gasoline prices in 2008 and rising prices again this year.

A survey by the National Agricultural Statistics Service, part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, found that the state wine industry not only has weathered the recession but has exploded in size, to 240 wineries.

More wineries have opened around the state since 2000 than in the previous 170 years, the survey said. And the expansion is unabated.

“In the seven months since the surveys were mailed in March, 33 new wineries have been licensed, bringing the state total to 273,” said Jim Trezise, president of the New York Wine and Grape Foundation, which commissioned the government survey.

The Finger Lakes region, with 104 wineries, has the largest share. Long Island, the Hudson Valley and the Lake Erie region are considered the other centers of the industry.

But, Trezise said, “What’s most remarkable is that the strongest growth has been outside of the traditional wine regions. The Thousand Islands, the Champlain region and even New York City now have wineries.”

A separate study of the wine industry’s economic impact may be released this winter. The last such study said the industry had a $3.4 billion impact in 2004.

Smoke Wallin, Wine 2.0 Chairman Interview with Carla De Luca on new film: ‘AMERICAS WINE: THE LEGACY OF PROHIBITION’

Wine 2.0J. Smoke Wallin, Chairman of Wine 2.0, had the opportunity to interview filmmaker Carla De Luca Worfolk, Director, EP/Producer, and Writer of an amazing new wine film. Carla is an Emmy award-winning television and documentary producer. Her new DOCUMENTRY FILM ‘AMERICA’S WINE: THE LEGACY OF PROHIBITION’ is an amazing look at the history of the wine industry in America. I had the opportunity recently to ask Carla some questions about her experience making the film. Let us know your thoughts.

Carla De Luca Worfolk - Filmmaker Smoke in Vineyard

Smoke: Carla, what inspired you to make “America’s Wine: The Legacy of Prohibition”?

Carla: I had the opportunity to film the private luncheon celebrating the 70th Anniversary of Prohibition’s Repeal where a number of the venerable winemakers were honored. As several were in their 80s and 90s, I began thinking about their contributions and personal histories, and felt strongly that their story should be recorded before the passing of this generation. I also believed we should cover major policy issues which affect all consumers, such as direct shipping laws, health research, and the globalization of wine.

Smoke: Can you tell us a little about your experience growing up in and around the wine industry?

Carla: My father became President and CEO of the Wine Institute when I was about nine years old, which seemed very natural to me. Being part of a large Italian-American family, my parents and grandparents often had wine with their meals. The best part has always been meeting the people. I have very fond memories of visiting wine makers and their families, playing in the vineyards and sharing meals all through the years.

Smoke: What was your biggest surprise while putting this project together?

Carla: The biggest surprise was learning about how the boom in home winemaking in the early 20s created such an incredible demand for fresh grapes. I also marveled at all of the ingenious ways winemakers stayed in the business during Prohibition and recovered after Repeal. On a deeper level, these aspects really underlined for me the incredible optimism and determination of the wine makers and also immigrants who overcame great obstacles during that era, including Constitutional barriers.

Smoke: Besides our interview, who was your favorite interview and why?

Carla: Besides our interview, that’s truly a tough question. We interviewed remarkable people and had great experiences across the board. Because it was such a unique experience, our meeting with Brother Timothy has stayed especially vivid for me. He invited us to spend the day with him at his residence on Mont La Salle above Napa Valley. At age 93, he had difficulty walking, but he graciously hosted us all day, answering our questions and sharing other reflections with such brilliance and clarity. Over lunch we talked about everything from Prohibition to the Internet. He was an amazing individual.

Smoke: It seems you had all tiers cooperate in the making the film, who did you want to get involved by would not and why?

Carla: Actually, nearly everyone we asked for an interview accepted. A couple of people declined, mainly due to logistical reasons. We did hope to have a few critics of the wine industry, but in the end we felt very pleased that we had such credible credentialed people, and a number from outside the wine community, like Kevin Starr, Leon Panetta, Marion Nestle and Phil Lee, who gave us balanced comments.

Smoke: The cast of characters who did interviews was amazing. A number of these industry titans are no longer with us. Can you comment on the timing of putting the film together as it relates to this?

Carla:
We really felt like time was of the essence, knowing that a number of the people we wanted to capture on camera were at an advanced age. Several had not been interviewed in their later years and some had never been interviewed on camera. Recognizing this was one of the driving forces of the documentary, impacting our research and how we managed our schedule. We are extremely fortunate we were able to record them when we did.

Smoke: What can you tell the Wine 2.0 members “behind the scenes”? Any cool stories?

Carla: There were a lot of memorable moments, from 95 year old Dan Turrentine serving us his favorite drink besides wine, Dr. Pepper, to Tom Shelton surprising us after the interview with a complimentary tasting of some of Joseph Phelps’s finest wines. We also were very lucky after a camera failure which obliterated most of Kevin Starr’s first interview. We caught the problem just as we were packing up to leave. He graciously cleared the rest of his afternoon schedule to redo the interview. He was equally, if not more brilliant, the second time.

Smoke: I’m sure you had tough choices to make in putting the final cut together. What did not make the film?

Carla: It truly wasn’t easy to make choices and it took several months. In the end, we couldn’t include everyone we interviewed in the final film, but all of the interviews will become part of the Bancroft Library’s California Wine Industry collection. Also, believe it or not, we actually collected more than 3,000 still images, but only used 300 images in the final cut.

Smoke: What’s next for the film? Festivals? TV?

Carla: We just had a great premiere evening at the Napa Sonoma Wine Country Film Festival at the end of September. We’ve also received terrific awards – the Gold Kahuna Award, which is the top prize in the Documentary Competition at the Honolulu International Film Festival, and the Silver Ace Award for Outstanding Filmmaking from the Las Vegas Film Festival. Currently we’re focussed on outlining an edited-for-television version for national broadcast, and I’m glad to say there is strong interest. We’ll be keeping everyone updated on this and future screenings through the Bancroft Library’s website.

Barrel room shot from FilmAbout Carla De Luca Worfolk, Director, EP/Producer, and Writer
Carla De Luca Worfolk, an Emmy award-winning television and documentary producer, has enjoyed an extensive career across media, gravitating towards highly creative assignments with an emphasis on education, public service and policy. Throughout her career, the San Francisco Bay Area native has worked as an independent producer, magazine editor, writer, public relations executive, and paralegal. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree with honors from Santa Clara University, and a Master of Journalism degree from the University of California at Berkeley. During her years as a CNN producer in Atlanta, Worfolk supervised content for the highly-rated CNN Saturday/Sunday Morning program, a live, two-hour magazine show, and was also on the Emmy-winning team that covered the Olympic Park Bombing in 1996. America’s Wine: The Legacy of Prohibition is her first independent film.

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