2018 Hill Country Wine Symposium

2018 Hill Country Wine Symposium

January 11-12, 2018

  Tickets are no longer available - Join us next year!

2018 Hill Country Wine Symposium

January 11-12, 2018

Horseshoe Bay Resort

EMAIL US if you are interested in becoming an Exhibitor, Sponsor or Grape Exchange participant.


Thursday, January 11

8am - Registration Opens

8:30am - Welcome, THCW Board

9am-10am - Breakout Sessions

          BUSINESS: Wine Club Panel - Moderator: Susie Tucker & Lindsay Kana, VingDirect. Panel: Jesse Barter, 4.0 Cellars; Leigh Behrens, Mauritson Winery; Tiffany Stetson, Goose Ridge Estate Winery

          VINEYARD: Maintaining Vineyard Health & Productivitiy - Justin Scheiner, Texas A&M University

                              Maintaining vine health is not only important for fruit production, it’s also needed for resistance to certain pests and diseases, and winter hardiness. This presentation will discuss how to maintain grapevine health and avoid unnecessary stress.

10am-10:30am - Exhibitor Break

10:30am-11:30am - Breakout Sessions

          MARKETING: The Consumer-centric Winery (with tasting) - Moderator: Matt McGinnins, Pen & Tell Us. Panel: Phil Price, Fall Creek Vineyards; Lorena Seidenberg, Capital Farm Credit

                                  This interactive tasting presentation will explore how wineries can stay attuned to market demands without chasing fads. We will have a lively discussion about the delicate balance of wineries staying true to their core personality, while understanding that they are not selling wine to people just like them. Wineries can’t build a business on making and trying to sell just the style of wine that the owners and winemakers like. We will discuss methods of effectively tapping into consumer sentiment to stay abreast of market demand. The session will incorporate sales and marketing topics for wineries who want to compete with global players. It will include a tasting session with feedback from consumers and wine professionals.

          WINERY: Achieving Wine Stability in Warm Climates - Luke Holcombe, Scott Labs

                          Achieving wine stability, by managing the chemical, physical and microbiological factors of winemaking.  Special attention will be paid to the interplay between spoilage microorganisms/Dissolved Oxygen/Molecular SO2.  Volatile Sulfur Compounds: their origin, expression and treatment will be covered as well.

11:30am-1pm - Lunch & Exhibitor Break  - High Plains Winegrowers Report, Andy Timmons

1pm-2pm - Breakout Sessions

          BUSINESS: Structure of Running a Winery Business panel. Moderator - Moderator: Fredrick Osterberg, Pedernales Cellars.  Panel: John Rivenburgh, Rivenburgh Wines; Andy Timmons, Lost Draw Vineyard; Stephen Baxter, Fiesta Winery

          VINEYARD: Unravelling Pierce's Disease - Jim Kamas, Texas A&M University

                               What Technologies are Here Now & What Looks Promising?  This presentation will give a brief overview of how Pierce’s Disease Has Progressed in California and    growing regions East of the Rockies over the past 20 years and will review new available and promising technologies that can offer us a permanent, sustainable solution.

2pm-2:30pm - Exhibitor Break

2:30pm-3:30pm - Breakout Sessions

          MARKETING: Should we Judge a Wine by its Label? - Brock Estes, Fly Gap Winery & Julie Kuhlken, Pedernales Cellars

                                  In this session Brock Estes and Julie Kuhlken take you through the process of designing wine labels. They will look at all the questions you should be asking yourself before finalizing your packaging, such as: Who is my consumer? Who would I want to pick up my bottle? Where are my bottles displayed – only in the tasting room, or also on retail shelves? Will consumers remember my wine and recognize it when they see it again? What are the basic types of labels and which one is right for me? Using examples from their own portfolios, they will explain the choices they made when designing in order to help you guide a graphic designer to create your own eye-catching packaging.

          BUSINESS: Show Me More Than The Money - Donna Rene Johnston, Wine Texas Friendly!

                                Several recent national publications, including Forbes and The Balance – a national HR publication, have surveyed large groups of workers in various fields to find out why employees leave. The surprising answer? Larger paychecks are not always key to keeping the best and the brightest.  This session will look at ways to compensate and connect with employees that go beyond the expected. We will talk about the purse and the personal to give you tips and tools for employee recruitment and retention.

3:30pm-4pm - Exhibitor Break

4pm-5:30pm - THCW Annual Owners & Membership Meeting (THCW MEMBERS ONLY)

6:30pm-8pm - Grape Exchange sponsored by Texas Department of Agriculture/GO TEXAN

  • Bingham Family Vineyards
  • Farmhouse Vineyards
  • Lewis Wines
  • Lost Draw Cellars
  • Messina Hof Winery
  • Sprayberry Vineyard
  • William Chris Vineyards


Friday, January 12

8:30am - Registration Opens

9am-10am - Breakout Sessions

          WINERY: Rosé Production Methods – Églantine Chauffour, Enartis

          MARKETING: Thinking Outside the Tasting Room; Build your brand and generate sales all year long - Danielle Twilegar & Errica Williams, BriteIdea

                                  When the consumer isn't coming to you, you go to the consumer. We'll cover different ideas tasting rooms can take advantage of to bring their brand to the consumer during slow foot traffic seasons. We'll also discuss how to leave a lasting impression and drive sales at events.

10am-10:30am - Exhibitor Break

10:30am-11:30am - Breakout Sessions

          WINERY: A New Frontier in White Wine Oxidative and Microbiologic Stability: How to Avoid Spontaneous Malolactic Fermentations and Preserve Freshness - Guillermo Soto, VASONGROUP

          BUSINESS: Building the Bridge from Winery to Market - Moderators: Jennfier Beckmann, Kuhlman Cellars & Daniel Kelada, Vinovium.  Panel: Sam Hovland, Sammelier Services; Tristan Maldonado, Hops & Vines Distribution; Scott Ota, High St Wine Co; Jim Cubberley, Specs Wine & Spirit

                              As Texas wines gain traction in the wholesale market, how do wineries gain and keep new placements?  Join us for a panel discussion with 3 active industry leaders speaking about the challenges of wholesale distribution and how to thrive from cellar to market.

11:30am-1pm - Lunch & Exhibitor Break - THCW Scholarship Awards Presentation

1pm-2pm - Breakout Sessions

          MARKETING: Elevated Guest Experience - Lindsay Kana & Susie Tucker, VingDirect

                                  Tasting room teams are the face of the winery for your visitors. Are you providing the best hospitality possible? Ensure your team is making memories for your guests.  You'll learn: What a guest values from a wine tasting experience, How to make better connections with winery guests, What prevents you from building relationships with guests, How to identify the 4 guests types and connect their interests to your winery.

          VINEYARD: Post Harvest & Winter Operations to Hit the Ground Running in the Spring - Fritz Westover, Westover Vineyard Advising

                              Many growers but the breaks on vineyard management once the fruit is fermenting in the winery. Learn about what you and your staff could be doing in the post harvest to winter months to be sure you and your vines are ready when buds burst in the spring. Grapevine dormancy, nutrition, and winter vineyard maintenance of vines and trellis will be discussed. 

2pm-2:30pm - Exhibitor Break

2:30pm-3:30pm - Breakout Sessions

          VINEYARD: Phages of Xylella: a potential treatment for Pierce’s Disease - Dr Carlos Gonzalez, Texas A&M University

          BUSINESS: Navigating the Distributor Network - John Gerber, Glaziers

3:30pm-4pm - Exhibitor Break

4pm-5:30pm - Winemaker Vintage Update.  Moderator - Matt McGinnis; Panel - Tim Drake (Montepulciano), Paul M Bonarrigo (Sagrantino), Josh Fritsche (Mourvedre), Penny Adams (Sangiovese), Allan Fetty (Cab Franc), John Rivenburgh (Sémillon), others TBA

5:30pm - Symposium Close



Regular (November 16 - December 22):

     THCW Member 2 day, $150          THCW Member 1 day, $125     

     Non-Member 2 day, $250              Non-Member 1 day, $175

Late (December 23 - January 8):

     THCW Member 2 day, $200          THCW Member 1 day, $175     

     Non-Member 2 day, $300              Non-Member 1 day, $225


LODGING - Horseshoe Bay Resort

There are TWO ways to make a reservation: calling the Reservations Call Center at (877) 611-0112 or going to this LINK.

THCW Hill Country Wine Symposium rate is available through December 7, 2107  (RATES EXTENDED TO MONDAY, DECEMBER 11)  - BOOK EARLY!









2018 Exhibitors

  • Alkaliminator, LLC
  • Allied Ag
  • Amcor Flexible Capsules
  • Austin Label
  • BE Implement
  • Bending Branch Winery
  • BriteIdea
  • C & C Sales & Marketing
  • Capital Farm Credit
  • Dan Humphries Sales
  • G3 Enterprises
  • Ganau America
  • GO TEXAN/Texas Department of Agriculture
  • HM Risk
  • Hoover Ferguson
  • Johnson & Associates
  • Novavine
  • O-I Packaging
  • Producer Supply
  • Scott Labs
  • Spectrum Wine Specialties, Inc
  • Sunridge Nurseries
  • Texas Tech
  • Texas Wine Company
  • WinStar Insurance Group