Largest Winegrape Show in Western World Draws Nearly 14,000

Largest Winegrape Show in Western World Draws Nearly 14,000

The largest winegrape show of its kind in the Western Hemisphere, the 24th Unified Wine & Grape Symposium (Unified), drew a crowd of nearly 14,000 people to the Sacramento (CA) Convention Center this week.


Presented by two nonprofit organizations, the American Society for Enology and Viticulture (ASEV) and the California Association of Winegrape Growers (CAWG), the three days of symposiums included 23 presentations and panel discussions organized by a diverse panel of volunteers who recruited more than 90 experts to speak on topics ranging from wildfires and wine to vineyard mechanization. Complementing those talks was a two-day 170,000 square foot trade show that housed nearly 700 exhibitors.

“This was an extraordinarily successful show for our attendees,” says John Aguirre, CAWG president. “The Unified offers growers, winery professionals and suppliers the best opportunity to understand and learn how to take advantage of shifting consumer preferences, advances in technology and new businesses trends. If you want to understand what’s happening in the industry and how to stay competitive, the Unified is the place to be.”

Put on by the industry for the industry, the three-day show draws on some of the most respected industry experts.

“While we bill ourselves as a wine show for the Americas, we draw an audience of nearly 14,000 from all over the globe, including exhibitors from nearly 30 countries, with a diversity of languages animating the trade show floor,” says ASEV Executive Director Dan Howard. “You can feel the collective energy on the exhibit floor and registration halls where wine industry professionals greet each other, discuss the latest news and share strategies for staying abreast of changing markets, technologies, and regulations.”

Winegrape growers provided some interesting insights during the seminars, such as this one: “All 3 growers on panel agree that powdery mildew has gotten so bad the vineyards of the future need to be designed to prevent it. More light definitely, but the canopy needs to be raised farther from the ground.”

On The Move In 2020

In 2019, the Unified will return to the Sacramento Convention Center from Jan. 29-31. Immediately following the 2019 show, the Sacramento Convention Center will undergo a large-scale renovation necessitating a move in 2020. From Feb. 4-6, 2020, Sacramento’s Cal Expo will serve as the temporary host site, where organizers say the ample space, parking, and facilities offer an ideal alternative site.

“Cal Expo as a premier agricultural showcase is excited to host the Unified Wine and Grape Symposium in 2020,” says Rick Pickering, CEO and General Manager of Cal Expo and State Fair. “We look forward to working with Unified to make the transition extremely smooth and the 2020 show a huge success.”

The organizers of the Unified share that optimism. “We are confident that, while the 2020 show will have a slightly different feel, the quality of exhibits, presentations and networking opportunities will again deliver an invaluable service to all of our guests and the industry,” says Howard. “We’re excited to see the newly renovated center and plan to return to the Sacramento Convention Center in 2021.”