Advisors Elevate Wine Packaging Conference

Proven brand builders, creative directors and trade executives help shape Aug. 17 program

by Jim Gordon
Joe Wagner Wines Vines Packaging Conference advisory board
Joe Wagner, founder of Copper Cane Wine & Provisions and the keynote speaker at the 2015 Wines & Vines Packaging Conference (above), is one of the advisory board members for the conference, which returns Aug. 17 in Yountville, Calif.
Yountville, Calif.—An all-star team of vintners, creative directors and wine trade executives has helped to create an outstanding lineup of topics and speakers for the third annual Wines & Vines Packaging Conference taking place Aug. 17 in Yountville.

The advisory board’s role in shaping the wine packaging conference and trade show was to recommend session topics directly relevant to winery personnel and find the most knowledgeable speakers about design, materials and techniques for creating eye-catching, best-selling packaging.

This year the conference moves to the spacious Lincoln Theater in Napa Valley. The new advisory board and location will elevate the level of usefulness and creativity in the one-day meeting for winery owners, marketing executives, winemakers, operations and purchasing managers and other industry professionals. (See wvpack.com for details and to register.)

“This is the essential meeting day for every winery that wants to improve its packaging look and performance,” said Chet Klingensmith, publisher of Wines & Vines.

The new advisory board includes prominent wine brand builders who capitalized on great packaging to pave the way to success: Joe Wagner of Copper Cane Wine & Provisions in Rutherford, Calif., who developed the fast-growing Meiomi brand that Constellation Wines bought last year for $315 million; Lisa Ehrlich of Sonoma County’s Purple Wine & Spirits, whose innovative Avalon, Calista and Cryptic brands use bottle-printing, wrap-around labels and other envelope-pushing design elements; and David Pearson of Napa Valley’s Opus One, who has pioneered packaging security as a vital tool in maintaining the prestige of an international luxury brand.

Bringing great input about the creative process are the principals of two award-winning package design firms: David Schuemann of CF Napa in Napa, Calif., and Tony Auston of Auston Design Group in Emeryville, Calif., as well as Andrew Rice, who oversees all design for the large and diverse Trinchero Family Estates portfolio.

Adding technical perspective about the wine and packaging interface are Hend Letaief, Ph.D., technical director of Enartis USA (formerly of California State University, Fresno), and Thomas Houseman, winemaker at Anne Amie Vineyards in Carlton, Ore.

Three other professionals with intensive experience in wine packaging round out the advisory board: Curtis Mann, director of wine, beer and spirits for Raley’s Family of Fine Stores in Northern California; Dixie Lee Huey, founder of Trellis Growth Partners wine marketing firm in Camas, Wash.; and Jane Firstenfeld of Vallejo, Calif., a contributing editor for Wines & Vines who writes numerous articles about wine packaging each year.

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