2020 CCC

Wednesday, January 29, 2020 - 4:45pm

MGGA Cold Climate Conference 2020 Press Release

January 25, 2020


The Minnesota Grape Growers Association (MGGA) will host the 14th annual Cold Climate Grape and Wine Conference February 20-22 at the Mayo Civic Center in Rochester, Minnesota.

The Cold Climate Conference brings experts from coast to coast across the northern tier together in one venue where they share their knowledge and insights with attendees.

Registration can be made online at www.MNgrapes.org where applicants will have the option to purchase admission to the conference by the day or as a full-conference package. Discounts are available for MGGA members, students and those registering four attendees or more at a time.

This year’s conference theme is “Get a Clear Vision in 2020.”

Event agenda

The opening day of the conference (Thursday, Feb. 20) features a tasting proficiency and fault identification class from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Lunch is included.  Those wishing to register for Thursday’s tasting proficiency and fault class must act quickly, as enrollment is limited to 45 participants.

The session will be led by Jennie Savits and Erin Norton from Iowa State University’s Midwest Grape and Wine Industry Institute. Savits and Norton are dedicated enology specialists committed to developing and sharing industry best practices tailored specifically to cold-hardy wine grapes.

There will be a welcome reception with trade show exhibitors and bar from 4:00 to 6:00 pm. The annual meeting for MGGA members is called to order at 6:15 in Suite 104.

Sessions Friday and Saturday are divided into three separate learning tracks: winemaking, viticulture and business practices. All three tracks and the event tradeshow begin each day at 8:30.

The Membership and Awards Dinner begins Friday at 7 p.m. at Four Daughters Winery. Buses will be available to transport attendees between the Mayo Civic Center and the winery.

Winemaking Track

Winemaking track attendees of the will hear wine makers and vineyard managers discussion the industry’s newest grapes, Itasca and Petit Pearl. Maturing, aging and filtering wine will be key themes in addition to topics ranging from winemaking fundamentals like wine stabilization and barrel selection to advances in chemistry and techniques like cryoextraction.

Viticulture Track

The viticulture track is designed to give both new and veteran growers insights from some of the industry’s top experts regarding topics such as soil health, plant nutrition and vine pathogens. Cornell University pathogen expert Wayne Wilcox will lay out cold climate grape management strategies.

Business Practices Track

The business track this year focuses on a winery’s profit center, its tasting room. Track leaders will cover topics like tasting room construction, employee management and training, as well as wine clubs and social media promotion that help increase sales after a customer’s visit. 

Craig Root will share tips for making wineries more money with track attendees he has gained from 30 years of revitalizing tasting rooms and increasing winery sales. Root is a global consultant from St. Helena, California. 

Business track attendees will also get to peek inside the head of some of the metro wine scene’s most influential people, including sommelier and wine educator, Jason Kallsen. Kallsen will show attendees how wine education directly contributes to improved winery sales.

The conference hotel connected to the Civic center via skywalk is The Kahler Grand Hotel. A link to The Kahler is available on the Cold Climate Conference registration site.

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For more information Please contact

Jenny Ellenbecker

Minnesota Grape Growers President

Minnesota Grape Growers Cold Climate Conference Chair