For Immediate Release
October 16, 2016
Contact: Maria Ruiz, Marketing Coordinator
Phone: 800.535.5670 x106


Registration is Open for the Newly Named
Craft Beverages Unlimited Midwest Conference and Trade Show

Santa Rosa, Calif. –Vineyard & Winery Management has opened registration for its 2016 Craft Beverages Unlimited Midwest conference and trade show.  Formerly known as Midwest Grape & Wine + Craft Brew, this B2B event enjoys an annual and devoted following for producers of wine, craft beer, and spirits.

The event will be held at the St. Charles Convention Center in St. Charles, Missouri from February 3-5, 2016. 

For the first time, the event producer has brought together three leading trade magazines to plan three distinct conferences under one roof.  Vineyard & Winery Management, Craft Beer & Brewing, and Distiller have joined forces to plan an extensive and varied event.  Planners include John Bolton, CEO of Craft Beer & Brewing, Bill Owens, President of the American Distilling Institute’s Distiller magazine, and Danny Wood of Midwest Wine Press on behalf of Vineyard & Winery Management.

“This has allowed us to use established experts in their field to plan relevant and timely sessions and source the best possible speakers to address current regional issues,” says event producer Robert Merletti, President/Publisher for Vineyard & Winery Management magazine.  The conference provides a wide and diverse offering of courses in enology, viticulture, marketing, craft beer making and distilling.  Highlights include the following:


  • Midwest Vineyards and Wineries: Guide to Current Best Practices.  Speakers: Dr. Dean Volenberg, Assistant Extension Professor, Viticulture and Winery Operations, Grape and Wine Institute, University of Missouri and Todd Steiner, Enologist, Ohio State University
  • Sustainable and Organic Viticulture in the Midwest. Moderator:  Danny Wood, Midwest Wine Press.  Q&A Panelists: Alexia Gannon, Owner of Clover Meadow Winery, Wisconsin and Colleen Gerke,  Owner, Jowler Creek Vineyard & Winery, Missouri
  • Grape Breeding Across the Midwest: Emerging Grape Varieties and Optimizing Norton. Speakers: Tom Plocher, Plocher Vines, Hugo, MN and Dr. Chin-Feng Hwang, Professor, Grape Breeding & Genetics, Missouri State Fruit Experiment Station, William H. Darr School of Agriculture, Missouri State
  • VESTA Workshop:  Wine Chemistry.  Speaker:  Dr. Barry Gump, Professor of Beverage Management, Harvey Chaplin Eminent Scholar Chair
  • The Nuts and Bolts of Distillery Start-up.  Speaker:  Karen Binder, co-owner and head distiller, Grand River Spirits, craft distillers of Red Eye Corn Whiskey and Grand River Bourbon
  • Exploring Additional Revenue Opportunities in the Craft Beer Marketplace.  Moderator/Speakers:  John Bolton, CEO, Craft Beer & Brewing magazine and Pro Brewer Panel

See complete course information at

The Trade Show will take place February 4-5 and  showcase hundreds of companies exhibiting goods, services, and the latest innovations.

Early Birds can save 10% on several courses through 12/15/15.  In celebration of its inaugural year in Asheville, trade show passes are being offered free of charge.  Association members receive special discounts during the checkout process.  All attendees also receive a one year subscription to Vineyard & Winery Management magazine, the leading wine industry trade publication.

Register online at or by phone at (866) 483-0172.  Those wishing to purchase a trade show booth should contact Elizabeth Taggart at ExecutivEvents,, (303) 530-0205 x16. Interested members of the press should contact Maria Ruiz at 800-535-5670 x106 or to receive a press pass.



Craft Beverages Unlimited Midwest is a division of Vineyard & Winery Management, the leader in wine industry professional development and North America's leading independent wine trade publication. This event proudly supports the eastern wine trade through its affiliations with key organizations who bring strength to the eastern wine regions and the wine industry as a whole.




For Immediate Release

June 11, 2015

Contact: Suzanne Webb, Conference and Trade Show Director
Phone: 707.577.7700 x108


Craft Beverages Unlimited 2016 moves to Asheville, North Carolina and the Midwest Grape & Wine + Craft Brew Event Gets a New Name


Santa Rosa, Calif. –Vineyard & Winery Management (V&WM) will relocate its Craft Beverages Unlimited conference and trade show from Richmond, Virginia to Asheville, North Carolina.  The event will be held at the U.S. Cellular Center in downtown Asheville from February 10-12, 2016.

Formerly known as Wineries Unlimited, this event enjoys the title of longest running annual B2B wine industry event in the eastern U.S.  With the addition of spirits and craft brew to the conference, the event will now be called Craft Beverages Unlimited East. 

V&WM has also officially changed the name of its Midwest conference and trade show to Craft Beverages Unlimited Midwest.  Previously known as Midwest Grape & Wine + Craft Brew, the new name will match its new identity and unify the brand with its sister show in Asheville.  The annual B2B event will return to the St. Charles Convention Center in St. Charles, Missouri February 3-5, 2016 with a structure and strategy similar to the Asheville event.

When asked about the move to Asheville, V&WM President and Publisher, Robert Merletti said, “After five years at the Greater Richmond Convention Center and the expansion into other adult beverages, it was apparent the event needed a venue in a location that better suited broader audience outreach.”

 “Asheville was chosen for a number of reasons, not the least being known as ‘Beer City’,” added Merletti.  According to, Asheville, per capita, has one of the highest rates of craft brew consumption in the Southeast. Accolades include being named Beer City USA for four years in a row, Forbes Travel Guide 5 Beer Cities To Hit This Summer and CNN’s 8 Best Beer Towns in the USA.

The city has been named as one of Frommer's' Best Places to Go in 2015 and notes that “Asheville's national profile has risen to qualify it as the Austin of the East—accessible, youth-friendly, affordable, and the place to go for a sweet lifestyle.”  Nestled in the Smokey Mountains, its offers outdoors activities, an artists’ community, and is home to the world famous Biltmore Estate.

In an unprecedented maneuver, a coalition of three leading beverage trade magazines are coming together to form an alliance and create three distinct conferences together under one roof: Craft Beer & Brewing, The American Distilling Institute, and Vineyard & Winery Management.  These industry leaders will work to develop their own high level program within their own discipline under the general heading of Craft Beverages Unlimited in Asheville.   All have distinct brands with niche magazines and established audiences.  Their expertise and strategies will help create relevant content for their own specialized session tracks to ensure a healthy turnout.

“North Carolina has an active and growing wine industry.  This move has sparked enthusiasm and support from the North Carolina Winegrowers Association,” according to Merletti.

“Asheville is hot spot for craft beer in the U.S.  We couldn’t be more excited about helping bring this great event to the world-class craft beer community of Asheville, NC. The rapid growth of the craft beer industry in Asheville makes this location perfect.” according to John P. Bolton, CEO, CO-Founder of Unfiltered Media Group, LLC, Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine.

“Asheville is also very close to both Kentucky and Tennessee, meccas for those making spirits in the U.S.” says Bill Owens, founder and president of the American Distilling Institute.

“Next year marks the event’s 40th Anniversary, and I couldn’t think of a better place to celebrate than Asheville, North Carolina,” adds Merletti.

Each event will include a two-day trade show.  Exhibit dates in St. Charles are February 4-5 and in Asheville on February 11-12, 2016.  Booths will be available for purchase soon.  Anyone interested in a trade show booth should contact Elizabeth Taggart at ExecutivEvents, (303) 530-0205 x16,


More information will be available online at and  Check back frequently for details as the program develops.






December 15, 2014

Clark Smith Upbeat About Midwest Wine Industry

by: Danny Wood, Midwest Wine Press

Clark Smith, winemaker, wine innovator and author, is one of the star speakers at Missouri’s upcoming Midwest Grape & Wine Conference in St. Charles. As editor of Appellation America he also keeps a close eye on emerging grape varieties and has a particular interest in the hybrid grapes grown in the Midwest. The California based Smith comes to this year’s conference excited about the future prospects for the Midwest industry. Despite the lower harvests across the region caused by 2014’s unusually cold weather, Clark says there’s a silver lining: a renewed interest in trying something new and replanting with emerging varieties.

Midwest Wine Press: What appeals to you about attending a wine conference in the Midwest compared to in California?

Clark Smith: One thing is that people don’t collaborate in California, no-one is breaking a sweat. In the Midwest you have this spark of aliveness and collaboration and panic! (laughs) That’s really fun to work with and it gives me a chance to help out. The challenges of the Midwest are vastly greater – part of our problem out here in California is that it’s just so easy to make wine – we don’t have hurricanes, floods or winterkill. Unlike in the Midwest, we don’t really have to innovate at all. We can just say, ‘Oh well, we’re just like Bordeaux.’ (click to read full article)

Article Link: 

Midwest Wine Press LARGE



December 8, 2014

Alternative Grapes Center Stage at 2015 Midwest Wine Conference

by: Danny Wood, Midwest Wine Press

Wines made from more than twenty little known grape varieties will be unveiled and tasted at the
upcoming Midwest Grape and Wine Conference in St. Charles, Missouri. Among those due to tickle
the palates of conference participants, about five originally bred by the legendary 19th century
viticulturalist, Thomas Volnay Munson. (click to read full article)

Article Link: 


 Midwest Wine Press LARGE



For Immediate Release 

October 14, 2014
Contact: Suzanne Webb, Marketing Director
Phone: (707) 577-7700 x108


Registration is Open for 2015’s Midwest Grape & Wine + Craft Brew
Conference and Trade Show

 Santa Rosa, Calif.  – Vineyard & Winery Management (V&WM) has announced that registration is officially open for the 2015 Midwest Grape & Wine + Craft Brew conference and trade show. 

For over three decades, this annual event has been serving wine industry professionals throughout the Midwestern United States. In keeping with current trends and market demand, the expanded two-day conference and trade show will now cater to producers of wine, craft beer and spirits creating one unified show.   

“For two years now, we’ve been testing the marketplace to determine the demand for a one-stop educational and shopping experience,” said Robert Merletti, event producer and president of Vineyard & Winery Management. “Many of our exhibitors service more than one industry and many wineries are exploring alternative business models that expand beyond wine.  Now is the optimum time to go ‘full beverage.’”

Midwest Grape & Wine + Craft Brew will take place March 10-12, 2015 at the St. Charles Convention Center in St. Charles, Missouri. 

There are several key strategies in place to drive conference attendance across all beverage platforms.  “We’ve taken extra effort to improve our wine education offerings while extending our reach into other adult beverage industries,” Merletti said.

2015 Highlights include:

“Postmodern Winegrowing Forum and Tasting” with winemaker Clark Smith, whose “Postmodern Winemaking” was hailed as Wine and Spirits Magazine’s 2013 Book of the Year.  These two experts will conduct a two-day forum on cutting-edge “Postmodern Winegrowing” for experienced grapegrowers and winemakers based in the Midwestern U.S.  Smith will be joined by Neal Kinsey, Owner, Kinsey Agricultural Services, and author of Neal Kinsey’s Hands-On Agronomy and Misha T. Kwasniewski Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Enology Program Leader, Grape and Wine Institute, University of Missouri.  This forum will include multiple classroom-style wine tastings, open to a limited number of participants.  Early registration is encouraged.  

Midwest Grape & Wine + Craft Brew is proud to announce Craft Beer & Brewing magazine as its event media partner.  Based in Colorado, Craft Beer & Brewing will develop beer education sessions and specialized tastings, and cross-promote the program to its established and continually growing craft beer audience. According to CEO and Co-Founder John P. Bolton,“All of us at Craft Beer & Brewing are so happy to be part of this event in St. Charles. We are also very pleased to be partnering with such a first class and genuine organization like Vineyard & Winery Management.  The synergy that exists between our two companies and the craft beer, wine, spirits industry is undeniable. That’s why we are so excited to help bring the craft beverage industry events that collimates education, exhibits, networking events, and tastings. As a multimedia company that publishes national magazine titles for craft beer enthusiasts, home brewers, and pro-brewers, we know and understand the challenges and opportunities that the craft beer market faces. Now we can play a role in uniting this perspective with the wine and spirits industry." 

The Viticulture Enology Science and Technology Alliance (VESTA) will conduct a two-day wine sensory evaluation course and Sonoma State University’s Wine Business Institute will offer courses on “Calculating the True Cost of Your Wine” and “Financial Strategy and Planning 

for Wineries.”

Bill Owens, founder and president of The American Distilling Institute, will be on hand to conduct a distilling workshop that includes an interactive field trip to a local distillery.

Featured guest speakers will include Danelle Kosmal, vice president of client services with Nielsen’s Beverage Alcohol Practice, and Constant Contact's Ron Cates,who is one of the country's top email and social media marketing experts.  EMyth business coaching will discuss relevant business and marketing topics necessary to thrive in today’s competitive marketplace.

Attendees may also opt for an on-site Riedel glassware wine tasting where attendees may take home the glassware set as a parting gift.

Hundreds of new and returning exhibitors will showcase products and services for all facets of the adult beverage industry at the two-day trade show.  Beverage tastings and lunch will be served on the trade show floor, allowing customers to socialize with vendors while shopping at the show.

Socializing will continue at an after-party at ”Q” Quintessential Dining and Nightlife, featuring beer, wine, and spirits with appetizer pairings and music.

For full details and to register, call 888.273.4533 or visit  To exhibit, contact Melissa Peterson at Boothboss, 715.824.5666,


About Vineyard & Winery Management

Based in Santa Rosa, Calif., Vineyard & Winery Management is an independently owned and operated multimedia company that produces an international wine trade publication, conferences, trade shows and wine competitions. The family-owned company publishes Vineyard & Winery Management magazine, which has the highest circulation of any North American wine trade publication. V&WM's conferences and trade shows include Craft Beverages Unlimited (formerly Wineries Unlimited) and the Midwest Grape & Wine + Craft Brew Conference. Its wine competitions include The Press Democrat North Coast Wine Challenge, Grand Harvest Awards, East Meets West (formerly International Eastern Wine Competition and West Coast Wine Competition), International Women's Wine Competition, International Wine Channel TV Awards, and U.S. National Wine Competition. See for more information.

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