Shaping the UK wine industry for the future and developing your business today

Thursday 30th January 2020, Denbies Wine Estate, Dorking, Surrey

This was a WineGB Members Only event

Download the CONFERENCE FLYER for full details.

Download the CONFERENCE BROCHURE  here.

* There are only a limited number of Student tickets available. We are sorry but we are unable to provide Early bird rates for student tickets.


Sarah Abbott
Sarah Abbott MW

Sarah has worked in the wine trade for 20 years. She is the founder and CEO of Swirl Wine Group, a wine business strategy and communications company that helps the emerging and unsung heroes of wine activate their brand and access markets across Europe. She is also a speaker on wine and wine business, co-chair judge of the International Wine Challenge, and 2-times finalist of the Louis Roederer Wine Writing awards.

Laura Bielinski
Laura Bielinski

Laura Bielinski is the Sales Director, LOCALiQ, a full service media solutions provider. Part of the Gannett family that owns titles including USA Today, LOCALiQ supports client ranging from blue chip global organisations to SMEs as they transition into the digital marketing world. She has spent the past 16 years working in media solutions for a number of national and regional news brands including the Mirror, Sun and The Times.

Steve Charters MW
Dr Steve Charters MW

Dr. Steve Charters MW, MA (Oxon), PhD (ECU), is Professor of Wine Marketing and researcher at Burgundy School of Business in Dijon, responsible for developing teaching and research programmes focusing on all aspects of the culture, history and business of wine. He formerly worked at Reims Management School and Edith Cowan University in Perth. His research focuses on consumer behaviour, and wine and place (including terroir, wine tourism, and territorial wine management). Steve gained a PhD from Edith Cowan University in 2004, and is one of 390 members of the Institute of Masters of Wine. He has written and edited a number of books about the business and culture of wine and has published widely in academic journals, as well as writing more generally about wine Steve has his my own blog on the social and cultural context of wine at

David Cox
David Cox

David Cox retired from the drinks industry on 1st January 2018. Up until that date he was the Chief Executive of The Benevolent – The Drinks Industry Trade Charity, a role he took up in April 2013. The charity supports current and past employees of the UK drinks trade with practical, emotional and financial help.

David had been working in the drinks industry for over 32 years. Prior to joining The Benevolent he was the European Director of the trade body New Zealand Winegrowers, a role he held for just over five years. New Zealand Winegrowers is a generic organisation providing leadership, intelligence, export support and trade and consumer marketing to wineries and growers in New Zealand in relation to the European markets including the key market of the UK.

Justin Howard-Sneyd
Justin Howard-Sneyd MW

Founder - The Hive Wine Consulting, and owner of Domaine of the Bee

Justin founded The Hive Wine Consulting in 2013, and works with business across the wine world to increase their wine quality and improve their business performance. In addition, Justin heads up the Global Advisory Panel for the Global Wine Database, and acts as Wine Consultant to the Masala World Group whose restaurants include Chutney Mary, Veeraswamy and Amaya. He sits on the Council of the Institute of Masters of Wine, and is a Non-Exec Director of the BIB Wine Company. Prior to 2013, Justin was Global Wine Director for Direct Wines, and before this he spent 14 years as a wine buyer in the UK off-trade, including stints at supermarket chains Safeway and Sainsbury’s where he had responsibility for the sourcing of English wine. This culminated in almost five years in charge of the wine department at Waitrose, where he considerably expanded the range of English wines, and instigated and oversaw the planting of the supermarket’s Leckford vineyard.

In his early life, he worked in wine shops, ran a wine school, worked as a cellar-hand and assistant winemaker in four different countries. Since 2007, Justin has produced his own wine ( from 4 hectares of vines in the Roussillon region of the South of France, near the village of Maury. In 2015 he also launched his own, gold medal winning English sparkling wine – Hart of Gold (


At the conference we will be using for streaming questions during the presentations and panel sessions.

09:30 - 10:00

Registration and Coffee / Tea

10:00 - 10:15

Ruth Simpson

Welcome and introduction to the conference

Morning session: Looking to the future, shaping our identity over the next 10 years

10:15 - 11:00


Presentation of WineGB's proposed Generic Marketing Strategy: setting out its key marketing objectives

11:00 - 11:30

Sarah Abbott MW

Driving a wine region's marketing and identity: learn from other regions' generic initiatives

11:30 - 12:15

Justin Howard-Sneyd MW, David Cox, Mike Paul

The Issue of Supply Vs Demand:    Looking at our challenges as the industry moves forward and learning from other regions' experiences; identifying how to shape future markets as a region; playing a proactive part in shaping the industry's future over the next 10 years.

12:15 - 12:45

Expert Speaker Panel

Panel summary and interactive delegate discussion on the morning's sessions with Q&A

12:45 - 13:45

Afternoon session: How to communicate with and cater for today’s consumer

14:00 - 14:40

Laura Bielinski

Know your consumer and how to communicate effectively to them; understanding the changing face of media and communications tools now available and finding the best methods to reach your target customer.

14:40 - 15:20

Robert Joseph

What does the wine consumer want and what will they react to: how to communicate effectively to the consumer about wine.

15:20 - 16:00

Steve Charters MW

Effective direct selling to the consumer: Maximising on your cellar door offering to encourage customers how to maximise on cellar door offerings as an effective showcase for wineries as well as their virtual one.

16:00 - 16:30


Panel Session

16:30 - 16:40

Ruth Simpson

Conference close. All delegates are invited to the drinks reception.

16:40 - 17:30

Drinks reception and opportunity to visit WineGB Patron's stands.