2019 TFWA Annual Conference

Cool Springs Marriott, Franklin, TN: February 21 – 23

The Tennessee Farm Winegrowers Annual Conference will be held in conjunction with the Pick TN Conference for 2019. The conference will consist of our annual business meeting, election of new officers, and a selection of classes and workshops. Classes and workshops may be attended by both members and non-members provided they have registered for the conference. Registration will cover access to all workshops and presentations being presented by the TFWA and Pick TN. This will also include access to the Tradeshow floor, which will host a variety of vendors Thursday and Friday.

Tennessee Winemaker Dinner

Our Annual Winemaker Dinner has been moved to Thursday evening and will take place at Belle Meade Plantation. Details can be viewed by clicking on the TN Winemaker Dinner image below. Tickets for the dinner can be purchased through the link or in conjunction with your Pick TN Registration.

TFWA Conference Schedule and Speakers

Friday, 22 9:00am - 11:30am
TFWA Membership

Annual Business Meeting and Election of Officers

Our annual business meeting where members will have the opportunity to elect new leadership, form committees and vote on the business of the TFWA.

Friday, 22 - 1:00pm - 2:00pm
Stefan Maupin - Farm Bureau

Advocating for Agriculture: Current Issues for Direct Farm Marketers and Agritourism Operators

Issues in rulemaking and legislation or application of rules and law often arise that could significantly impact direct farm marketing and agritourism operations. This session will provide an update on current issues including property tax subclassification rules and guidance on how producers and organizations can best advocate their positions and needs to decision makers.

Friday, 22 - 2:15pm - 3:15pm
Jennifer Warrington - WISE Academy

Identifying Customer Types and How to Sell Your Product to Them

Not every customer is created equal. When you understand your customer through wine buyer profiles and how your guests relate to your winery, you can identify your customers’ needs and motivations and tailor your presentation accordingly. Figuring out who you are talking with changes how you talk to them.

This session is designed to help you understand the power of positive profiling (rather than pre-judging); it’s not only that it leads to more sales, but also customer satisfaction is actually much higher.

Friday, 22 - 2:15pm - 3:15pm
TFWA Panel

Getting into Grapes and Wine in Tennessee (Panel Q&A)

Does it make sense for me and how do I manage my expectations and set myself up for success? A practical look and discussion on the challenges and business models that exist in the Tennessee wine industry. Covering topics such as Vineyard Management, Buying Bulk Fruit and Juice, Events, Sales, Taxes, Legal Challenges and more.

Panelists include:
Don Collier – Owner, Collier Wine Group & Rocky Top Wine Trail
Kip Summers – President, Arrington Vineyards
Brian Hamm
– Winemaker, Keg Springs Winery & Belle Meade Winery
Joey Chessor – Winemaker, Grinder’s Switch Winery
Jonathan Ball – VP of Operations, Collier Wine Group & Rocky Top Wine Trail
Chuck Belt– Owner, Spout Springs Estate Winery and Vineyard


Friday, 22 - 3:30pm - 4:30pm
Jennifer Warrington - WISE Academy

Which Metrics Really Matter

How do you know if your tasting room team is winning or losing? Which Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) metrics are you using to keep score? Since team members respect what you inspect, it is these numbers – the ones you poke at – that your team will be sure to focus on if you do. Make sure you are inspecting the DTC metrics that really matter.  This session is designed to help you understand the complete DTC sales picture – you will know where to focus for improvements and understand what levers you can change to affect your bottom line.

Saturday, 23 8:00am - 9:00am
Adam Acampora - TFWA

Coffee with the Executive Director

Enjoy coffee while you get to know the Executive Director, talk about things to come, concerns, challenges, and opportunities that you face as an individual business or that you see on the horizon for Tennessee Wine Industry.

Saturday, 23 9:15am - 10:15am
Dr. Zach Hensen - UT Ag. Extension

Disease & Virus Management in the Vineyard

This class will provide background information on common grape diseases, including basic pathogen biology and disease epidemiology, to facilitate a better understanding of disease dynamics in the vineyard. I will also discuss cultural and chemical approaches to disease management and share the latest research on alternative disease management approaches.

Saturday, 23 9:15am - 10:15am
Rob Pinson - Waller, Lansden, Dortch & Davis, LLP

General Licensing & TTB Issues

Presentation on the step by step needed for getting your winery up and running, dealing with the TTB and all the legal issues around getting into alcohol.

Saturday, 23 10:30am - 11:30am
Dr. David Lockwood - UT Ag. Extension

New Vines & Trellis Systems

How deep should I set my vines? Do I need to pre-treat my vines before setting them? What type of Trellis system should I use for Chardonel? These are just some of the many questions growers have as they plant new vines. This presentation will help you get started in the right direction from site selection, to setting posts, and putting the vines in the ground.

Saturday, 23 10:30am - 11:30am
Jesse Goldstein - Fresh Brands

Branding & Packaging

Making a fantastic wine is just the beginning when you’re in the Wine Business. You have to surround your product with elements that resonate with your passion. Connect with your customer from the label and website to the sales person pitch.

Saturday, 23 1:00pm - 2:00pm
Melanie Beauchump - TN Department of Tourism

Working with your State and Local Tourism Department

Local state and regional tourism departments have one goal, to drive traffic from somewhere else to their territory.

Saturday, 23 1:00pm - 2:00pm
Clay Byrd - Adams & Reese

Overlapping Licensing & Taxes

Former TABC Director Byrd will be discussing the different types of licensing that exists and how they can interact with each other. Getting into specifics regarding Wine by the Glass and beer service at your facility and how to handle the taxes in those situations.

Saturday, 23 2:15pm - 3:15pm
Tara Good - Wine America

What is Wine America? 

The Vice President of Wine America will be on site discussing just what the organization does in DC to promote the growing wine production in the United States. This is an introduction to how they help our industry at the Federal level, from general initiatives and challenges, tax legislation and shipping laws to music licensing.

Saturday, 23 2:15pm - 3:15pm
Bill Alter - VESTA

VESTA – Addressing the Workforce Needs of the Grape and Wine Industry Through Registered Apprenticeships.

Looking for education and training opportunities?    VESTA provides industry-validated online courses in Viticulture, Enology and Wine Business Entrepreneurship, as well as field experiences and technical workshops.  Having trouble recruiting new employees and/or retaining current employees?  Registered Apprenticeships are unique flexible programs for employers to design programs that will enhance recruitment, advancement and retention of employees.  Services and funding provided through local job centers can provide support for both employers and apprentices.