MN Grape Growers Association Enlists Services of Richard Leahy, Bob Mignarri, Tom Payette and Lisa Smiley for their 7th Annual Cold ClimateGrape and Wine Conference February 17-19, 2011
MINNEAPOLIS, MN – Thomas W. Martell, President of the Minnesota Grape Growers Association (MGGA), is pleased to announce the services of four seasoned, experienced and respected wine industry professionals for their upcoming Cold Climate Grape and Wine Conference.The Cold Climate Grape and Wine Conference is a major event for the wine industry in the cold climate states and Canadian provinces.It’s exciting to witness the growth of the cold climate grape & wine industry and the contributions of this conference to that growth trajectory,” says Martell. “The addition of industry luminaries Richard Leahy, Bob Mignarri, Tom Payette and Lisa Smiley bring professionalism and style, plus a tremendous educational opportunity for our conference attendees.” Leahy joins the Cold Climate Grape and Wine Conference with 13 years of experience coordinating the seminar program for Wineries Unlimited. Martell adds, “It was satisfying to witness the rapt attention to the keynote address Leahy gave at the 2010 Cold Climate Conference. Richard Leahy is well-known and respected throughout the wine industry through his former position as the East Coast Editor for Vineyard & Winery Management. We are thrilled to bring his experience and expertise to our conference.”
“I’m very pleased to work with my accomplished colleagues Lisa and Bob, with the MGGA Board and the Board’s Conference Co-chairs Terri Savaryn and Rudy Jungwirth,” says Leahy. “When I gave the keynote address this year and every seat was taken at 8:30 a.m., I knew this conference was a must-attend for the many members of the cold climate wine industry. Their energy and enthusiasm are inspiring, and I’m glad to contribute my skills and experience to build the reputation of this conference.”
Bob Mignarri, owner of Quality Event Management, has more than 28 years of experience producing trade shows. He formerly collaborated with Leahy on the well-known Wineries Unlimited Conference as its Trade show manager. His dedication helped grow the trade show from 34 exhibitors in 1994 to 221 exhibitors last year. “We became aware of Bob’s professionalism within the wine industry and among its suppliers through his work with Wineries Unlimited. We’re confident that his networking and expertise will help take our trade show to the next level,” says Martell.
Lisa Smiley, member of the MGGA, and a Board member of the American Society for Enology and Viticulture, Eastern Section, is no stranger to the Cold Climate Grape and Wine Conference, serving as conference director in 2006 and 2007. ”Lisa is a familiar leader in the cold climate grape and wine industry,” explains Martell. “She is enthusiastic about sharing her expertise. She and Richard complement one another in terms of ideas, energy and their passion for the wine and grape industry.”
The MGGA is also excited by the debut of a day-long workshop Thursday, Feb. 17 on “Starting Your Winery Successfully Step-by-Step”, chaired and moderated by winemaking consultant Tom Payette. A frequent speaker at the Wineries Unlimited trade show, Payette is well-known and respected in the Eastern wine industry, and writes a technical column for Vineyard & Winery Management magazine.
About the Cold Climate Grape and Wine Conference:
The focus for the three day Cold Climate Grape and Wine Conference is on the opportunities and challenges facing growers and vintners in the Upper Midwest and other cold climate growing areas. It features three concurrent seminar tracks covering viticulture, enology and marketing plus a trade show and a half-day evening program for those new to or just entering the wine industry. The 2011 Cold Climate Grape and Wine Conference will be held at the Sheraton Bloomington Hotel from February 17-19. Last year’s 450+ conference attendees represented 16 states, WashingtonD.C. and three provinces. Attendance is expected to grow 15% in 2011. Online registration and more conference details will be available at www.mngrapes.org
About the MGGA:
The Minnesota Grape Growers Association was founded in 1976 and is dedicated to advancing the art and science of growing grapes and producing wine in cold climates. Current membership is over 700 and represents growers, wineries, suppliers and enthusiasts from Minnesota, the upper Midwest, eastern USA and Canada. In addition to its annual Cold Climate Grape & Wine Conference, the Association sponsors educational workshops, tours, and tastings, and co-sponsors the International Cold Climate Wine Competition. For more information visit: www.mngrapes.org