Building a model wine

Putting together performance, design and sustainability to create tomorrow’s brands

A Wine Marketing Exchange sponsored by Nomacorc/Vinventions

There are trade shows and seminars and networking events. And then there is this: A Model Wine. For our March 31 event we’ve put together a happening mix of speakers, topics and activities.

The Panel: Accomplished, compelling, inspiring


Bill Silver

Dean of the School of Business & Economics, Sonoma State University
A leadership and strategy expert, Dr. Silver has directed executive education programs for more than 75 client organizations including First Data Corporation, Newmont Mining, Coors Brewing, Kaiser Permanente, Hewlett Packard, and Lockheed Martin.

Terry Creaturo

Adult Beverage Coordinator, Kroger

As an Advanced level member of the Master Court of Sommeliers, Terry’s career has covered purchasing, and pricing in both on and off premise venues. Assortment selection and brand development are strong subsets within her marketing background, while training and associate development fall under her workforce management leadership. Terry has developed and honed these skills in her distinguished career with National Restaurant Management, the Hilton at Disney World, Harris Teeter, and Kroger.

Karissa Kruse

President, Sonoma County Winegrowers

As a leader of Sonoma County Winegrowers and Sonoma County Grape Growers Foundation, Karissa has been instrumental in the county’s sustainability initiative and is herself a partner in small vineyard and winery on Sonoma Mountain. She studied economics and marketing at Wharton School of Business, Pennsylvania, and now sits on the Advisory Committee for its Initiative on Environmental Leadership. She has 20 years’ experience in marketing, brand management, strategic planning and business development with companies including General Mills, Universal Studios, Mattel and Dairy Management. She is a Marshall Memorial Fellow and holds board positions with a range of organisations that promote tourism and commerce within Sonoma County.

Rob McMillan

EVP and Founder of Silicon Valley Bank’s Wine Division

Rob McMillan is the only banker to be named one of the Top 100 Most Influential People in the US Wine Industry and has been authoring Silicon Valley Bank’s State of the Wine Industry Report for close on 20 years. He is the founder of the Bank’s wine division, which is now recognised as the leading provider of financial services to the US fine wine business. A frequent media commentator, lecturer at several West Coast universities and regular blogger, Rob’s informed opinions are trusted by wine producers, importers and financiers alike. He has served on a variety of boards over the course of his career in diverse industries, and continues to do so today within the wine space.

Kevin Shaw

Founder and Creative Director of Stranger & Stranger

Kevin founded Stranger and Stranger in 1995, creating the world’s leading, multi-award winning drinks packaging company with studios in London, New York and San Francisco. Kevin was formerly Creative Director with D4, managing campaigns for Coca Cola, British Airways, Mobil and Coutts Bank. Before that Kevin spent 2 years with Collett Dickenson Pearce Advertising Agency as Design and Art Director working with, among others, Unilever.

Malcolm Thompson

Chief Innovation Officer, Vinventions

Malcolm leads Nomacorc’s strategy development and implementation processes as well as research and development initiatives. He joined Nomacorc in 2003 as VP of Technology and is now responsible for quality, sales, marketing, and business development globally. Before joining Nomacorc, he spent 22 years with Netherlands-based DSM Corporation, a global leader in life sciences and materials and one of Nomacorc’s original strategic supply partners. Malcolm has a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Dalhousie University and a master’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of New Brunswick.  

The Program: Informative, productive, rewarding

As marketers, the wine brands we admire most are the ones that break new ground. The brands that connect with consumers in unexpected, forwardthinking, even unorthodox ways. Those brands share three essential drivers:


Great brands are purpose-built, conceived for a segment, a psychographic, an occasion. They resonate with consumers because they deliver the right mix of quality and value.


Today it’s harder than ever for brands to differentiate themselves, harder to generate trial, harder to build share. Packaging design may be the single greatest way to add value.


The forces driving Sustainability aren’t just environmental; they’re economic and social, too. Great brands make the world a better place. They make consumers believe.

With these three drivers in mind, we’ve brought together a panel of wine industry veterans who’ll offer consumer insights, trends in sustainability, innovations in packaging and best practices at retail.

You’ll spend the morning listening and, after a delectable lunch, the afternoon teamed up with a leading wine marketer to take our Wine Innovation Challenge. It’s a fun way to interact with your peers to create a model wine.

Friday, March 31st

8:45 – 9:00
Registration and coffee

9:00 – 9:30
Welcome / Review of day’s agenda
Mary Jo Dale, Marketing Director, The Americas, Nomacorc | Vinventions

Learning by doing / How today’s workshop is structured and why
Dr. William Silver, Dean of the School of Business & Economics, Sonoma State University

9:30 – 10:00
Consumer perceptions of sustainability / Realities of social responsibility
Karissa Kruse, President, Sonoma County Winegrowers

10:00 – 10:30
Industry performance & market opportunity
Rob McMillan, EVP & Founder, Wine Division, Silicon Valley Bank

10:30 – 11:00
Packaging design & story / Innovate or stagnate
Kevin Shaw, Founder and Creative Director, Stranger & Stranger

11:00 – 11:30
Bringing it all together in retail: shelf strategy across product, placement, price & promotion
Terry Creaturo, Adult Beverage Coordinator, Kroger

11:30 – 12:00
The last detail / consistency, control, design and sustainability in wine closures
Malcolm Thompson, Vice President Strategy & Innovation, Nomacorc/Vinventions

Preview of the Wine Innovation Challenge
Lunch at Farm Restaurant

1:00 – 2:00
Wine Innovation Challenge
Attendees break into teams and collaborate to create a new kind of wine brand

2:00 – 2:30
Team Presentations
3-Minute Pitch / Teams present brand concepts / Winner selected & Awards given

Courtyard Mixer


photo of the exterior of the Carneros Inn at dusk

The Carneros Inn: A resort for wine lovers, a spa for wine minds


image of a map of CarnerosIf you don’t drive by The Carneros Inn on your way to work everyday then surely you’ve eaten at one of their three restaurants. Or maybe you’ve been to their spa for a massage, a facial, or a body wrap. Or perhaps you’ve swam in their pools or soaked in their hot tubs.

It’s a gorgeous setting and, for us marketing-types, a swell place to hang for a day. Yes, we’ll be working while we’re there but not all day. We plan on knocking off early enough for some bocce and beverages.


The Marketing Exchange: Meaningful engagement, substantial opportunities


The Exchange is a forum organized by Nomacorc. Now in our eleventh event, we bring together marketing leaders from across the wine industry to discuss current and future trends in selling and marketing wine. But mostly, it’s an opportunity to connect with others in our field to share ideas and grow as individuals.

While we focus on wine, we draw thought-leaders from many industries for their varied perspectives. We also invite select suppliers to participate in panel discussions or for presentations. However, the setting remains commercial free. Access to our events is by invitation only and we limit attendance to foster as much dialog as possible.

Here’s a look at some of the topics we cover.


Demographic profile of wine consumers. Drivers of purchase at retail and on premise. Industry trends based on heavy and frequent consumers or consumer segments like Millennials.


Which design trends from other product categories (perfume, fashion, electronics) might inspire wine packaging graphics and design? How would Steve Jobs have disrupted the wine industry?


How can brand management do a better job of serving the needs of different partners along the wine marketing value chain? What’s the right shelf strategy for you? What don’t retailers want from you?


What can we learn from trends in markets outside of the U.S.? What consumer acceptance issues are U.S. brands facing abroad? How do imports impact pricing and marketing here in the U.S.?​


What is the appropriate role of social media? What are the best ways to measure and value online conversations? How can wineries optimize for mobile?

How are new brands created? How are existing brands refreshed? When is it time to let a brand die? What are the best practices for testing new ideas and bringing them to market?

View on sustainability in wine from consumers, trade, distributors. What is its impact on business? Who is out in front on this topic?

Registration is Now Open!