March 3-5, 2021

B.E.V. NY is the annual grape and wine conference presented by Cornell’s Finger Lakes Grape Program and the Enology Extension Laboratory, in partnership with the New York Wine & Grape Foundation. The conference invites academic and industry experts to present information that addresses important issues for the industry, and to do so in a way that provides practical information to those who attend.

New this year, the conference was held entirely ONLINE! This is a great opportunity for wineries and growers from across the state, and beyond, to take advantage of the great material presented. Virtual seminars took place over the course of the 3-day conference, with two hours each day dedicated to Business, Enology, and Viticulture topics. Business Sessions, organized by the New York Wine & Grape Foundation, are detailed below. Visit to view the full conference schedule.

NYWGF Members: Access B.E.V. NY Content for FREE!

Winery and Grower members of the New York Wine & Grape Foundation receive free access to the full set of recorded content from the 2021 B.E.V. NY Virtual Conference. Join or renew today to get instant access to this and more capacity building services!

If you have questions about this member benefit, need to request the password to access the recordings, or would like to know the status of your New York Wine & Grape Foundation membership, contact Jennifer Cooper at

Related News

woman holding glass of red wine to her nose to smell aroma. Blurry image of a man is seen in background.

Adaption and innovation to be key themes at upcoming Cornell virtual event for the wine and grape industry

Despite the pandemic, wine and grape producers, managers, researchers and industry professionals will have access to expertise spanning many different business, enology and viticulture topics at the upcoming B.E.V. NY [Business. Enology. Viticulture.] conference from March 3-5. All sessions will be virtual with a focus on how to not only adapt but innovate all levels of operations.

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Jancis Robinson holding a wine glass

B.E.V. NY Presents: Keynote Speaker, Jancis Robinson

Voted the world’s most influential wine critic in polls in the US, France and internationally in 2018, Jancis views herself as a wine writer rather than a wine critic. She writes daily for and weekly for the Financial Times. She is founder-editor of The Oxford Companion to Wine, co-author with Hugh Johnson of The World Atlas of Wine (4.7 million copies sold just before the 8th edition was published in October 2019) and co-author of Wine Grapes, each of these books recognised as a standard reference worldwide.

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Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Wine Industry Business & Policy Update

Plenary Panel | March 3 | 9 AM – 10 AM EST

Today’s Business Day panel kicks things off by addressing timely and practical issues related to policy, taxes, compliance, and business trends in the industry. The panel will be moderated by Julie C. Suarez, Associate Dean for Land-Grant Affairs, Cornell College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

Featured Speakers:

Pat Hooker, Deputy Secretary for Food and Agriculture, Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

In May 2013, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo selected Patrick Hooker to serve as a Deputy Secretary. In this capacity, Pat is the Governor’s liaison to the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, as well as the State Liquor Authority. Pat has been involved with agriculture policy his entire career, serving as the Commissioner of the Department of Agriculture and Markets, Director of Public Policy for the New York Farm Bureau, the Director of the New York State Senate Agriculture Committee and the Rural Affairs Advisor for the State Assembly Minority Leader. Pat grew up in rural Madison County, working on a neighbor’s dairy farm. In school, he was active in the Junior Holstein Club, as well as FFA, which he served as State President and received his American Farmer degree. Pat received his Associate’s degree from Morrisville State College and his Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Education from Cornell University. Pat and his wife Karen have two grown children, Erika and Mitchell. Together they own a 350 acre farm in southern Herkimer County where they produce maple syrup.

Steve J. Gross, Vice President of State Relations at the California Wine Institute

Steve Gross is Vice President, State Relations at Wine Institute, where he has been employed since 1986. Steve’s duties entail overseeing the activities of Wine Institute’s six State Relations Regional Counsels and Directors as they address state legislation affecting the wine industry, as well as coordinating Wine Institute’s legislative and regulatory activities with staff, contract lobbyists and member wineries. Steve regularly participates in national programs dealing with issues facing the wine industry, both on the legislative and regulatory levels. Steve serves on the Sonoma State University Wine Business Institute’s Executive Board. He also serves on the Board of the California Council for Environmental and Economic Balance (CCEEB). A native of Nebraska, Steve brought to Wine Institute knowledge garnered during his ten years of employment in the on-sale food and beverage industry, as well as extensive experience in political campaigns and legislative activism.

Jim Trezise, President of Wine America

Jim Trezise is President of WineAmerica, the National Association of American Wineries based in Washington, DC. WineAmerica has more than 500 winery members from 44 states, and focuses on national grassroots public policy advocacy to protect and enhance the business climate for the American wine industry. Jim was on WineAmerica’s Executive Committee for more than 25 years before becoming President in 2017. He also created and ran the New York Wine & Grape Foundation for 35 years, as well as the International Riesling Foundation for 10 years concurrently. He serves on many industry broads, judges in major wine competitions, and has received numerous awards for his contributions to the American wine industry.

Gregg McConnell, Farm Business Consultant at Farm Credit East, ACA

Gregg McConnell is a Business Consultant for Farm Credit East, ACA in the Finger Lakes region of New York. Since 1996, he has served dairy farms, cash crop farms, loggers, saw mills, wineries and other Ag related businesses first as a loan officer and now as a business consultant. Today, Gregg offers his clients expertise in financial analysis, business transition, and expansion planning and business management. Gregg is adept at coordinating business transfer and estate planning discussions among families as well as analyzing farm and business performance by demonstrating the relationship between business management strategies and financial performance. Listening carefully to clients and guiding them in reaching their personal goals is the thrust of his growing consulting practice.

Julie C. Suarez, Associate Dean for Land-Grant Affairs, Cornell College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Julie C. Suarez serves as the Associate Dean for Land-Grant Affairs for Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS). Cornell CALS is privileged to be New York State’s Land Grant partner, and consistently ranks among the world’s top five research institutions for agricultural sciences. Among other boards, she serves on Governor Cuomo’s Council on Food and Hunger Policy, the Agricultural and Forestry Committee of the Climate and Community Leadership Protection Act, the Industrial Hemp Task Force for the Department of Agriculture and Markets, the Clean Energy for Agriculture Committee for NYSERDA. She is also on the Boards of the NY Wine and Grape Foundation and the NY Cider Association. She holds a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in Political Science from the State University of New York at Albany, and is a graduate of Cornell University’s Empire State Food and Agricultural Leadership program. She began her career as a New York State Senate Fellow, serving as the NYS Senate Agriculture Committee Director and moving from there to helm New York Farm Bureau’s public policy division. She’s most proud of her two science inclined daughters and flock of backyard chickens, and happily resides in Schodack with her spouse.

How to Leverage Technology to Accelerate Sales

Workshop A | March 3 |  10AM – 11AM EST

The environment for selling wine has changed and you must change with it. A new “playbook” is required. In this session, Ben will demonstrate in detail the exact strategies wineries need to leverage to grow their sales in 2021. Key Takeaways will include 1) a clear checklist of exactly what you should (and should not) be doing with technology for sales; 2) practical, tangible strategies you can start using right away – most of which are FREE; and 3) tons of resources (most free) for taking your knowledge to the next level.

Featured Speaker:

Ben Salisbury, Salisbury Creative

For seventeen years, Ben led large national sales teams for Ste Michelle Wine Estates and Constellation Brands. He also spent many years working for distributors including Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits. For the past six years or so, he has focused on helping wineries and distilleries like yours dramatically accelerate their sales results.

Immediate and Long-term Business Model Adaptations in a COVID-19-Impacted Environment

Workshop B | March 3 |  10AM – 11AM EST

This session will outline the findings of a survey conducted at two wineries in the Finger Lakes region of NYS in October 2020 to gauge how changes to the tasting room due to the COVID-19 pandemic may have impacted customer satisfaction and purchasing habits. Findings showed interesting shifts in the main drivers of customer satisfaction given the changes to the tasting room. Key findings indicate customers who make reservations spend significantly more money than those who do not, customers seem to prefer some of the changes made to the tasting room due to the pandemic over previous procedures, and almost 50% of tasting room visitors may be able to be converted to online customers. This session will help marketing managers, winery owners, and tasting room managers decide which changes to keep in place even after COVID-19 subsides.

Featured Speakers:

Trent Davis

Trent is an applied economics researcher at Cornell University specializing in value-added agricultural goods and technology. He has worked on projects ranging from coffee production in Peru, cooperative management in Colombia, and numerous studies in the US looking at hop and grape production. In 2020 Trent and Professor Miguel Gómez (Cornell University) published a series of updated studies research cost of establishing and developing vineyards for wine production in the Finger Lakes and Chautauqua regions, as well as the first study analyzing the cost of establishing and developing a Concord vineyard in the Lake Erie area. They also recently published a Vineyard Enterprise Budgeting Tool allowing for vineyard managers/owners to estimate 25-year investment returns.

Miguel I. Gómez

Miguel has a MS and a PhD in Applied Economics from the University of Illinois. He is the Robert G. Tobin Associate Professor in the Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, Cornell University. He is Director of the Food Industry Management Program, which is globally recognized as the premier food industry education and research program. Prof. Gómez concentrates his research and outreach program on the economics food marketing and distribution. He has conducted extensive research focusing on the grape-wine value chains, from production to distribution to consumer issues.

Thursday, March 4, 2021

Today’s Business content addresses the challenges of building an outstanding wine brand. What brands have broken through the noise and elevated themselves to new ground – and how? What can we do, individually and collectively, to tell the story of New York wines in a way that builds recognition and sales?

Tools and Tips for Building a Successful Wine Brand

Keynote Address | March 4 |  9AM – 10AM EST

With a changing consumer demographic and preferences, distributor consolidation, and brand explosion, we can all agree the wine business is more competitive today than ever before. The key to success in this day and age is brand pull, recall, strength, notoriety, recognition → brand awareness. Juliana Colangelo, VP of California for Colangelo & Partners, and Dale Stratton, President of the Wine Market Council, will talk about why building an integrated and multi-faceted brand awareness strategy is fundamental to being a successful winery in this day and age. Using case studies and data, they will illustrate how each facet of an awareness strategy can work, and why they are successful for reaching your end consumer. Key takeaways will include:
· How to think about building an integrated awareness strategy for your winery.
· A breakdown of the PESO model as it relates to building a well-rounded marketing strategy.
· Case studies to show how each part of the PESO model can be implemented successfully by a winery or wine company.

Featured Speakers:

Juliana Colangelo, Vice President, West Coast Director, Colangelo & Partners

Juliana Colangelo has been a part of the Colangelo & Partners team since 2013 and has worked extensively throughout the company on media relations, client and team management and new business development. Juliana has developed a personal and creative approach to the business, providing excellent client service and building strong press relationships. She is dedicated to delivering results and working closely with clients to realize their communications goals. She has secured feature stories and placements on behalf of clients in top media outlets such as Bloomberg, WSJ Live, Market Watch, Chicago Tribune, Beverage Media, Wine & Spirits and more. Juliana has worked with a diverse range of wine clients such as: Wines of South Africa, Frescobaldi Toscana, Mulderbosch Vineyards, Charles Krug, Larkmead Vineyards, Kosta Browne and Kendall-Jackson.

Dale Stratton, President, Wine Market Council

Dale Stratton brings over 35 years of experience in the Beverage Alcohol Industry to his role as an independent consultant. Dale retired from Constellation Brands in May of 2019 where he was the Vice President, Commercial Insights working across their Beer, Wine, and Spirits divisions. While at Constellation Brands he oversaw consumer and shopper insights, consumer affairs, business analytics, market research, category management initiatives and the wine sensory program. Dale’s extensive work linking consumer and shopper insights and market analysis with business objectives and strategies enable him to translate insights into action. Dale is currently President of the Wine Market Council and is also involved in projects with Azur Associates, Pix Wine, and the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America’s SipSource Report. Prior to joining Constellation Brands in 2006, Dale spent 22 years working at E&J Gallo where he began his career. During his tenure, he covered a wide range of responsibilities that included distributor management, account management, strategic insights and Lean Six Sigma. Dale has a bachelor’s degree in Journalism with a concentration in Public Relations from Colorado State University and an Executive MBA from Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College.

Telling Your Grower & Winery Story to Media or Buyers

Workshop A | March 4 |  10AM – 11AM EST

The power of storytelling for both wineries AND growers is real. Learn lessons from the recent Modern Farmer Series from Lodi. This series was specifically designed to build growers’ grape marketing skills and, over time, and create a toolkit of materials to help sell grapes! Learn from the minds behind the program and explore how to adapt these tools and tactics for yourself.

Featured Speaker:

Dr. Stephanie Bolton, Lodi Winegrape Commission

Dr. Stephanie Bolton joined the Lodi Winegrape Commission in 2016, after earning a doctoral degree in Plant Pathology with a focus on grapes & wine. She has extensive experience in the wine industry, including educational program development and communications with growers, wineries, and consumers. At the Commission, Stephanie works closely with LWC staff, committee members, and growers to lead efforts and direct programming in research, education, grower communications, and sustainability under the rigorous LODI RULES program. She is the LWC’s main liaison for the grower community and is dedicated to actively supporting their ever-changing needs for a progressive, successful future.

Presentation & Engagement Tools for Virtual Wine Experiences

Workshop B | March 4 |  10AM – 11AM EST

The new, exciting DTC channel of Virtual Experiences (VX) is here to stay. Today wineries are successfully reaching more new customers, selling more wine and signing up more wine club members through virtual experiences. Winery VX programs range from private virtual tastings, to both public and corporate virtual group events. This session will review some keys to winery VX success from relevant design and sales techniques, to upping your virtual presence and building engagement with groups of all sizes.

Featured Speaker:

Lesley Berglund, WISE Co-Founder & Chairman

Lesley is an accomplished wine industry entrepreneur and CEO with a focus on change management. Over the past 30 years in the wine industry, she has started up the equivalent of nine new businesses, acquired and integrated four companies and led during periods of dramatic change. As co-founder and former CEO of the Ambrosia Wine Catalogue/the Winetasting Network (which she sold in 2004) she has deep experience in consumer direct marketing of fine wines. Lesley has served on the board of eleven wine-related companies and trade associations. In 2008, she co-founded the WISE Academy, which provides education, training and certification for winery consumer direct professionals across wine regions throughout the United States and in New Zealand. In 2014 she co-founded SOLVE Services which provides financial analysis, planning and decision support services for wineries. Today she spends most of her time coaching winery leaders through growth related challenges and opportunities. Beyond wine, Lesley is a member of the YPO where she has held numerous local, regional and international board and leadership positions. Lesley is also a third generation Napa Valley native from a grape growing family, with a BA from Wesleyan University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Friday, March 5, 2021

Today’s Business content looks to the next frontier – The New York Wine Brand in the context of the global market. Listen in on this conversation as we discuss the production, promotion, and market challenges & opportunities for New York as a premier wine region deserving of premium trade and consumer attention worldwide.

New York Wines & Our Place on the World Stage

Keynote Address | March 5 |  9AM – 10AM EST

We are happy to welcome Jancis Robinson for this important discussion focusing on the market challenges & opportunities facing New York as we forge a path to becoming globally recognized as a premier wine region.

Featured Speaker:

Jancis Robinson holding a wine glass

Jancis Robinson, OBE, ComMA, MW

Voted the world's most influential wine critic in polls in the US, France and internationally in 2018, Jancis views herself as a wine writer rather than a wine critic. She writes daily for and weekly for the Financial Times. She is founder-editor of The Oxford Companion to Wine, co-author with Hugh Johnson of The World Atlas of Wine (4.7 million copies sold just before the 8th edition was published in October 2019) and co-author of Wine Grapes, each of these books recognised as a standard reference worldwide. The 24-Hour Wine Expert (2017) is a slim paperback guide to the practical essentials of wine. She travels all over the world to conduct wine events – often for the global literacy initiative Room to Read - and in 2018 launched her own hand-made, dishwasher-friendly, ideal wine glass. In 1984 she was the first person outside the wine trade to pass the rigorous Master of Wine exams and in 2003 she was awarded an OBE by Her Majesty the Queen, on whose cellar she now advises. In one week in April 2016 she was presented with France's Officier du Mérite Agricole, the German VDP's highest honour and, in the US, her fourth James Beard Award. She now has six, including being the only wine writer elevated the James Beard Cookbook Hall of Fame. She loves and lives for wine in all its glorious diversity, generally favouring balance and subtlety over sheer mass.

Keynote Host: David Kermode

David is a journalist, writer, broadcaster and international wine judge with two decades of experience in print, online, TV and radio and a passion for the drinks world. Starting his career in local journalism, David became a radio broadcaster at London’s LBC, then moved to TV, where he edited the award-winning BBC Breakfast, Channel 5 News and also worked in senior management roles at Sky and ITV. After gaining a Diploma at London’s Wine and Spirits Education Trust, David launched Vinosaurus, with the simple mantra ‘things to try and why’. David appears on ITV’s ‘This Morning’, hosts ‘The Drinking Hour with David Kermode’ on Food FM, co-presents a monthly wine hour on BBC local radio and has appeared on BBC Radio 4, Talk Radio and Sky News for his insight on topical issues in the drinks world. David also writes for trade publications The Buyer and Harpers, luxury magazine Club Oenologique and Waitrose Drinks.

Thank you to B.E.V. NY Diamond Sponsor, American National Insurance!

American National offers a broad variety of life insurance, retirement annuities, accident and health insurance, pension plan products and services, credit insurance, and property/casualty insurance for personal lines, agribusiness and targeted commercial exposures. Products are distributed through career agents, independent marketing organizations and multiple line exclusive agents as well as direct distribution channels.

Marketing Your Misunderstood Wine

Workshop A | March 5 |  10AM – 11AM EST

From Riesling to Merlot, we know that some wines are simply misunderstood by Consumers and that this has a tremendous impact on sales. This session will explore ways that producers in Oregon approached the challenge of championing the oft-misunderstood Riesling varietal. Janie Brooks Heuck, Managing Director at Brooks Winery and Chair of the WineAmerica Board of Directors will share success stories born of commitment, collaboration, consistent messaging and, ultimately, just getting Riesling into the glasses of wine enthusiasts. Though examples may focus on Riesling, the tools and tactics will be applicable to other varietal brand challenges.

Janie Brooks Heuck, Managing Director at Brooks Winery, Chair of WineAmerica

Janie Brooks Heuck, a Portland, Oregon native, is Managing Director of Brooks Winery located in Amity, Oregon. Janie has always had a commitment to social responsibility and the environment, which is apparent through her work at the winery. As of January 2019, Brooks Winery became a Certified B Corporation, a forward thinking company that uses the power of business to solve social and environmental problems. The winery has also recently partnered with 1% For The Planet. 1% of all gross revenues at Brooks will directly benefit a qualified not for profit approved by 1% Of The Planet.
Janie had no intentions of being in the wine industry – other than being a proud and supportive sister to the founder of Brooks Wines, her brother, Jimi Brooks. Upon Jimi’s unexpected passing in 2004, Janie quickly found herself responsible for the business operations of the winery. Eager to gain knowledge of the wine industry as quickly as possible, she surrounded herself with Oregon’s highly respected winemakers and business advisors and enrolled in a Viticulture and Enology course at UC Davis to increase her acumen in the industry.
The outpouring of generosity and guidance extended by the Oregon wine community took Janie by surprise. She soon realized what a successful brand her brother had created and what a visionary Jimi was with restoring the reputation of Riesling, biodynamic farming and blending practices. As time evolved, Janie continued to gain experience, which resulted in the desire to carry out Jimi’s wish – for Brooks Wines to be more than a winery, a family legacy that he hoped one day would be continued by his son Pascal. With fourteen years at the helm, Janie continues her commitment to keep Brooks in line with Jimi’s vision.
After all, it is a family legacy for her as well. Janie has been volunteering her time to run Brooks since 2004 and the sole owner is Jimi’s son, Pascal. Since his passing, Janie has increased the production from 3,500 cases to 20,000 cases. In addition, she is President of the Board of Directors of International Riesling Foundation, Vice Chair of the Board of Wine America and the media committee for the International Pinot Noir Celebration.
Brooks has been able to maintain the same vineyard sources and winemaking style, while growing the business to meet the consumer and market demands. Janie has also moved the production of Brooks Wines from other wineries, to its own space perched high on the hilltop in the Eola Hills AVA. A 13,000 square foot building for production and hospitality area were built in 2014. It continues to be one of the busiest tasting rooms in the Willamette Valley and has received many accolades including Top 5 Wineries Not To Miss In Oregon (USA Today) and Top 100 Destinations in Oregon (2017, 2018 and 2019). The Brooks story has captivated many through the documentary American Wine Story and the Fox TV Show Strange Inheritance.
In 2009, Janie and her husband purchased the 20-acre Eola Hills Vineyard (now known as Brooks Estate), which has some of the oldest Pinot Noir and Riesling in the Willamette Valley. Brooks continues to focus on Riesling, Pinot Noir and Aromatic whites producing over 50 labels in 2017 with almost half being Rieslings.
Janie and her husband, David, reside in Pebble Beach, California with their two children Emily and Ryan. Janie enjoys exercising and being involved in the community where she resides. She is continuing wine studies and has achieved her Introductory Level of the Court of Master Sommeliers and is currently studying for the Level 3 Wine and Spirits Education Trust.

The Importance of Wine Label Design in Branding and Sales

Workshop B | March 5 |  10AM – 11AM EST

Buying wine is rarely straightforward. Research from Nielsen reveals that about 62% of the time, “consumers are considering multiple options leaving huge opportunities for labels to make an impact.”  In addition to providing basic compliance and educational information, wine labels impart a feeling – either good or bad. Learn more about how labels can connect with consumers, and how that impacts buying trends.

Featured Speakers:

Michael McDermott

Michael McDermott is the designer and sole proprietor of his namesake design company and is known for creating iconic wine labels like Favia, Matthiasson, POE, Donkey & Goat, Mommenpop and remodeling historical labels like Merry Edwards, Eisele, Clos Du Val, Hess Collection. Over the course of his 20-year career, he has created or remodeled over 500 + brands and labels for wineries and spirits brands. He has worked with some of the most esteemed producers and winemakers including - Paul Hobbs, Andy Erickson, Helen Keplinger, Celia Welch, to name a few. McDermott and Hess Collection won the Nielsen Design Impact award in 2019. Michael currently lives in the Coombsville area of Napa, California with his wife, winemaker Samantha Sheehan, and their two children, Owen and Cash, and their Lurcher dog named Jet. His Napa studio is a veritable museum of ephemera related to wine labels and art, and is the site where he researches, creates and presents. Thoughts on label design and branding can be found on here.
Details about his studio and collaboration with wife Samantha can be found here.

Meaghan Frank, General Manager, Dr. Konstantin Frank Winery

Meaghan Frank is the fourth generation of her family to manage Dr. Konstantin Frank Winery in the Finger Lakes. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University and two post-graduate degrees: one in Wine Business from the University of Adelaide, Australia and one in enology from Cornell University. Meaghan has earned her Wine Spirit Education Trust (WSET) Level 4 Diploma in Wine and Spirits and Champagne Master Level from the Wine Scholar Guild. Since joining the winery in 2013, some notable achievements include adding unique visitor experiences and creating a super-premium line of wines paying tribute to the women of the Frank Family.

Paul Hobbs

Regarded as an international visionary for his accomplishments in the vineyard and winery, Paul Hobbs combines his childhood roots on the family farm with an innovative scientific approach to refine the art of winemaking. He is recognized across the globe for breaking with tradition and forging new paths in the pursuit of excellence; both in stewardship of the land, and the crafting of wines that represent the purist concept of place. Today, Paul is the owner and winemaker for Sebastopol, California based wineries, Paul Hobbs Winery and Crossbarn; Hillick & Hobbs in the Finger Lakes, New York; as well as his international partnerships, Viña Cobos (Mendoza, Argentina), Crocus (Cahors, France), Yacoubian-Hobbs (Armenia) and Alvaredos-Hobbs (Galicia, Spain).