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2013 Midwest Grape Conference Biggest in Central USA

Submitted By: Tara Thomas, March 04, 2013
Conference sessions focused on topics for today's Midwest Wine Industry

St. Charles, MO – It’s official: the 28th Annual Midwest Grape Conference and Trade Show is the premier wine industry event in the Midwest, with over 1,600 in total attendance in 2013.

“Through outreach from our magazine, conferences and trade show events like this one, Vineyard & Winery Management believes in and will continue to support the Midwestern wine industry,” says Chairman Robert Merletti. “We remain deeply committed to the present and future success of the Midwestern industry, as well as the rest of North America.”

Organized specifically for the needs of the Midwest U.S. wine market, the conference and trade show was held February 7-9, 2013 at the St. Charles Convention Center in St. Charles, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis. Conference sessions focused on topics for today's wine industry, including enology, viticulture, and marketing issues, with special topics in basic viticulture, crop protection, TTB online services and new programs, and the Missouri Wine Technical Group’s members-only workshop featuring a Chambourcin tasting.

“Wine & Dine,” a formal evening including a specially designed six-course meal with wine pairings, was held mid-show, including the keynote address delivered by Master of Wine Tim Hanni. Hailed by the Wall Street Journal as “the Wine Anti-Snob,” Tim Hanni is an innovator, researcher, renegade and a relentless crusader against wine snobbery. At the heart of his crusade is a quest to find the fundamental elements that shape our taste preferences, and to understand, embrace, and cultivate the interest of all wine consumers, not just a select few. Tim entertained the audience with elements from his new book, Why You Like the Wines You Like.

A selection of Midwest wines were poured, including Missouri wines from Les Bourgeois, Stone Hill, St. James and Adam Puchta Winery.

The two-day trade show showcased nearly 150 vendors who offered everything from barrels, bottles, corks, chemicals, equipment, grapevines, irrigation, machinery, packaging, tasting equipment, and more. The expo included a vendor-sponsored lunch among the exhibit booths and Happy Hour featuring wine and microbrews. “The amount of traffic in customers and prospects exceeded our expectations and has provided our sales team with several good leads," said Scott Bashore of MPI Label Systems, Whites Creek, Tennessee.

Craft brewers were also invited to attend this event, since many suppliers service both wine and beer makers. In 2014, this event will expand to include the craft brewery market on a much larger scale.

"We’ll be expanding to include craft brewers for a number of reasons, but mainly because they’ve asked us for our support” stated George Christie, CEO of VWM.

"The 2013 Midwest Grape and wine conference was an amazing experience for attendees and visitors alike. The show brings attendees and buyers to a central location for an opportunity to establish strong business relationships. Criveller Group has attended this show for many years; however, the potential to reach customers expanded significantly with the new location (in St. Charles). We are very happy with the staff, show, and potential for business we carried away from the show this year,” stated Joel DeGonia of Criveller Group, a supplier of food and beverage supplies and services.

Next year's conference will return to St. Charles from February 11-13, 2014. For complete information about the program please see

Midwest Grape Conference and Trade Show is a division of Vineyard & Winery Management, the leader in wine industry professional development and North America's leading independent wine trade publication. This event proudly supports the Midwest wine trade through its affiliations with Missouri Wines, WineAmerica, the Missouri Wine Technical Group, and other key organizations who bring strength to the Midwest wine regions and the wine industry as a whole.

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Contact: Echo Wright, Conference Director
Phone: 707-577-7700 x106