The Future of Fine Wine: California 2022

Drafting a collective vision for the future of California’s fine wine ecosystem.

Thursday 17th November 2022, In-Person, Napa

Venue: Culinary Institute of America at Greystone, 2555 Main St, St Helena, CA 94574

Join thought leaders in the wine community for a half-day summit, The Future of Fine Wine, on Nov. 17, 2022, at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in St. Helena. This event is presented ARENI Global, Wine Institute, and Napa Valley Vintners.

The summit will explore the future of fine wine and include sessions and panel discussions that offer a deeper understanding of what fine wine consumers want and the future role of sustainability. Iconic and forward-thinking fine wine producers will engage in conversation with journalists, academics and industry leaders.

Session One – 9am- The Evolving Definition of Fine Wine

What is fine wine? And why defining it matters?

While the wine ecosystem, from production to distribution, seems to agree on what Fine Wine is not – a wine of poor quality, that’s mass produced, made using short cuts and widely distributed – there is little agreement on what a “Fine Wine” actually is. The very idea that we need to describe the meaning and attributes of Fine Wine is sometimes even dismissed. So why initiate a global dialogue to define it? It is our view that a clear and transparent definition of Fine Wine is essential to its development, reach, future success and, to some extent, its survival.

In this session, ARENI will present some exclusive insights extracted from the fourth edition of its Define Fine Wine Whitepaper, to be published in January 2023.

Main themes to be addressed:

  • Why does having a global definition for fine wine matter?
  • What could a global definition achieve?
  • What does it take to be fine?
  • How is this concept understood by trade and consumers? If they don’t share the same vision, how can we explain the differences?
  • How has the definition evolved since we started our exploration

Session Two – 10am- Futureproofing our Wine Ecosystem: Next Steps on Sustainability

From production to distribution, what steps should the fine wine ecosystem prioritise to be truly sustainable? 

A panel conversation moderated by Elaine Chukan Brown. With Michelle Bouffard – CEO, Tasting Climate Change; Dr Akilah Cadet – Founder, Change Cadet; Allison Jordan, VP Environmental Affairs, Wine Institute of California; Beth Novak Milliken – CEO, Spottswoode winery

Main Themes to be addressed:

  • What can an integrated sustainable approach look like for a fine wine winery/estate?
  • California has already invested a lot on sustainable viticulture. What’s missing? What’s next?
  • How can we proactively manage the social impacts of fine wine production and distribution?
  • Is profitability the same as financial sustainability? If not, how can we define, assess, and measure financial sustainability? Why does it matter?

Session Three – 11.15am -The Fine Wine Consumers: Profiles, Behaviors and Motivations

Who is the fine wine consumer? Is fine wine one market, or many?

Fine wine consumers are a very specific segment of the wine market. Their profiles, needs and expectations can vary substantially from other wine consumers. From collectors to investors, they all respond to different motivations and buying patterns, that ARENI has been studying for the last four years, gathering both quantitative and qualitative data. This session will explore key insights from ARENI’s latest research on fine wine consumers, and what it means in terms of successful marketing and communication campaign. 

Main Themes to be addressed:

  • Who are “the Fine Wine consumers”? Where are they? How do they buy? What do they drink?
  • Do High Networth Individuals share similar buying profiles? How to meet HNWI’s expectations?
  • Who are the consumers who can influence Fine Wine sales? How can they be identified? In which communities can they be found? How and where do they engage with Fine Wine?
  • What comes next for Fine Wine? How are Fine Wine consumers likely to react to change and disruption? What are the levers of change needed in order to adapt and thrive?

Session Four – 11.45am – The Place and Role of California in the Global Fine Wine Market

What are the principal levers of success for California’s fine wine globally?

In Conversation with Christopher Lynch- CEO, Opus One Winery; Evan Goldstein – President, Master the World; Karen McNeil – Author and Speaker; Tonya Pitts – Wine Director, One Market Restaurant.

Main Themes to be addressed:

  • What is currently the place of California’s fine wines in the global fine wine marketplace?
  • What are the strength and weaknesses of the region now and tomorrow?
  • Looking ahead, what are the forces of changes that will favour -or slow down- the expansion of California on its main exports markets?
  • Who could be the main gate openers for California fine wines?

Closing remarks

by Virginie Boone – Journalist; Jason Haas – Proprietor, Tablas Creek; Clive Pursehouse – US Editor, Decanter Magazine.

Define Fine Wine – California is a member-only, in-person event. For more information on registration or to request an invitation, contact us at [email protected]