Wine Industry Network Provides Business Resources for Lake County Wine Growers

Where can a Lake County winery consultant find information on vendors for his clients? In 2008, the answer was hard to come by. At that time George Christie, a veteran of the industry, was researching vendors and was struck by the lack of available information—finding only bad online versions of old print directories.

“It was that experience that led me to think there had to be a better alternative for both buyers and suppliers,” says Christie.

That alternative became the Wine Industry Network (WIN). Christie had worked for large and small wineries, both family-owned and corporate for more than 20 years. He created WIN in 2009 in order to provide winery and viticulture professionals with a source to research products and services more easily. He is now the organization’s President and CEO.

“WIN is an affiliate sponsor of the Lake County Winegrape Commission because we believe associations like LCWC play an important role in driving success for their members,” explains Christie.

WIN provides many services to the Lake County wine growers, including the Wine Industry Advisor, an online publication featuring news articles and editorial content relevant to the industry. The Afternoon Brief, an email summary of daily news headlines and top stories, is sent out daily to 27,000 subscribers. Other services provided by WIN include WINJobs and WINData.

WIN is perhaps best known for its North Coast Wine Industry Expo (WIN Expo), begun in 2012 and now the second largest wine tradeshow in the country. Held at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds every December, WIN Expo is unique for its convenience to North Coast wine growers. This year’s conference and tradeshow takes place on Thursday, December 1, 2016.

WIN Expo 2015

“The location of the WIN Expo in Santa Rosa makes it convenient for local growers to go to work for a few hours, stop in to the conference and tradeshow, and get back to work by the end of the day,” Christie says. “In addition, it takes place in early December just as the industry is rolling into its planning phase for the following year. Tasting traffic and industry travel have died down by that time, allowing winery staff to take a break from day-to-day operations and really think about needs for the upcoming year.”

The tradeshow features 300 high-caliber exhibitors—both suppliers and service professionals—showcasing innovative products and services and offering pricing specials on end-of-year purchases. Held in two adjacent buildings at the fairgrounds, the Hall of Flowers and Grace Pavilion, the tradeshow draws more than 3,500 attendees. This year, WIN Expo exhibitors will offer #EXPOdeals—one-day-only, end-of-year deals and discounts.

The 2016 conference features six educational sessions that address challenging questions facing the North Coast wine industry:

  • Unlocking the Digital Sixth Sense: Living in a Mobile World
  • Phenolic Secrets: Exploring Finishing Tannins in Maturation and Blending
  • Marijuana and Wine: Understanding New Competition to Build New Opportunities
  • Harvest Recap and Look Ahead for 2017: Anticipated Changes in Vineyard Contracts, Bulk and Grape Market
  • Insights into the Millennial Mind: Tapping into Their $1.3 Trillion Spending Power
  • Standing Out Amongst the Vines: The New Normal in Vineyard Marketing

The Harvest Recap will include information on the Lake County fires. In addition, there will be a number of exhibitors at the tradeshow that deal with smoke taint, an especially important topic this year.

Lake County Wine Growers are invited to attend the WIN Expo and receive free access to the trade show floor using a special promotional code: LCWG2016. A Harvest Special discount on educational sessions is available through October 31st. To register for the WIN Expo visit and for more information on the Wine Industry Network visit:

Calendar of Events

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
LCWC Executive Committee Meeting 2:00 pm
LCWC Executive Committee Meeting @ LCWC Office
Feb 12 @ 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Agenda – LCWC Executive Committee, February 12, 2019
LCWC Board Meeting 3:00 pm
LCWC Board Meeting @ LCWC Office
Feb 12 @ 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm
Agenda – LCWC Board Meeting, February 12, 2019