Last month, in California’s capitol city, the crowds at the trade show at the Sacramento Convention Center were spilling out into all sorts of new areas, and it seemed like the 17th annual edition of the Unified Wine & Grape Symposium was the largest ever. The results are in, and it was. A record 12,200 people attended the nation’s largest winegrape conference, held in late January.
This year’s show attracted 500 more people than in 2010. Add the 22 additional booths in the west lobby of the Convention Center, and the 2011 Unified Symposium was by far the biggest to date.
“Both the record attendance and the outlook of many of our speakers point to an upswing in the wine industry’s economy,” said Lyndie Boulton, executive director of the American Society for Enology and Viticulture, which co-organizes the event with the California Association of Winegrape Growers.
Boulton urged winegrape growers to start making plans for next year’s 18th Unified Wine & Grape Symposium, which will be held from January 24 – 26, 2012, at the Sacramento Convention Center.