The SOMM Journal

October/November 2014

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Page 102 of 120

102 { THE SOMM JOURNAL } OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2014 { events } THE "WOMEN OF THE VINE" GLOBAL SYMPOSIUM, THE FIRST OF ITS KIND conference enabling women across all sectors of the wine industry and the world to connect, network, mentor and collaborate, will be held March 13–15, 2015 at The Meritage Resort and Spa in Napa, CA. The two-day Symposium will feature diverse seminars and panel discussions focused on the personal, family and business dynamics of today's women in wine. Educational programs include such topics as life/work balance, being confident in a male-dominated industry, honing your leadership skills, communication tactics to be seen and heard, negotiation tips, succession plans and success stories/case studies by women in wine. Networking events and a Grand Tasting Gala Event also will be held. "Today, women are increasingly visible as leaders in every aspect of our industry," says Jan Barnes, VP Brand Director for Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery and member of the Symposium's advisory board. "In our own experience, the challenge is not only to retain the women we have working for our own company but also to ensure that they thrive while concurrently fostering the next generation of talent. The 'Women of the Vine' Global Symposium will be an outstanding opportunity to discuss these challenges and companion opportunities with our peers throughout the industry." Expected attendees include those involved with grape growing, winemaking, buying, distributing, marketing, sales and education, as well as sommeliers and wine media. Held during Women's History Month (March) the symposium will celebrate the achievements and advancement of women in the wine industry spanning the globe. According to the American Association of Wine Economists, only 9.8% of wine - makers in California are women. Approximately 10% of viticulturists and winemakers employed in the Australian Wine Industry are women and out of 219 professionals who have earned the title Master Sommelier, 21 are women. "Even though women are making great strides in the wine business, there is a short - age of networking and mentoring opportunities to ensure that women will continue to advance in leadership roles in the future," says Deborah Brenner, author of Women of the Vine: Inside the World of Women Who Make, Taste and Enjoy Wine and founder of Women of the Vine, LLC. "I am honored to organize this annual event to help women further their careers." THE TASTING PANEL's Publisher and Editorial Director, Meridith May, is a member of the Advisory Board, which also includes luminaries such as writer and critic Jancis Robinson, OBE, MW and Traci Dutton, Manager of Public Wine & Beverage Studies, The Culinary Institute of America. For more information go to The "Women of the Vine" Global Symposium THE UPCOMING 2015 EVENT IS THE FIRST OF ITS KIND DEVOTED TO ADVANCING WOMEN IN THE WINE INDUSTRY Deborah Brenner is the author of Women of the Vine: Inside the World of Women Who Make, Taste and Enjoy Wine (Wiley, $16.95).

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