Skip to content

California’s Future Comes into Focus at Fine Wine Summit in Napa Valley

Thought leaders engage in conversation with journalists, academics and industry leaders


SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. — For the first time in their collective histories, Wine Institute and Napa Valley Vintners brought together more than 125 key thought leaders at The Future of Fine Wine: California, to explore California’s role in the rapidly evolving and increasingly competitive future of global fine wine. The summit was held on Nov. 17, 2022, at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in St. Helena, California.

“This gathering has set a new launch point for everyone involved and started to open minds about dynamic consumer experiences around fine wine,” said Honore Comfort, Wine Institute’s Vice President of International Marketing. “With more than $1.4 billion in California wine exports and a goal to grow by $2.5 billion over the next decade, it is critical that this particular community sets a course to enhance the global fine wine market.”

Led by Pauline Vicard, executive director of ARENI Global, a fine wine think tank with a mission to help companies and decision makers build a sustainably secure and prosperous industry, the summit’s sessions offered a deeper understanding of the potential for California’s role in the global fine wine market, provided insights into emerging consumers and explored the role of sustainability in the California wine community.

Attendees and panelists included a range of forward-thinking fine wine representatives, educators, innovators and journalists, such as wine writer and educator Elaine Chukan Brown, Opus One CEO Christopher Lynch, Spottswoode Winery CEO Beth Novak Milliken, wine author Karen MacNeil, Decanter’s Clive Pursehouse, and more. You can view the panel items, speakers and topics here.

“The world is changing so rapidly,” said Vicard. “It is paramount that everyone involved in the fine wine ecosystem understand how these deep transformations impact the future of tomorrow’s fine wine production and distribution, and how these changes create both risks to be managed and opportunities to be seized.”

Outcomes from the day will create a foundation for future conversations and research, helping to build California wine’s presence in the global fine wine market and bolstering Wine Institute’s 10-year strategy to continue to grow exports of U.S. wine. California produces 95% of all U.S. wine exports, and is the fourth-largest wine producer in the world after Italy, France and Spain.


Headshot of Gino DiCaro

Gino DiCaro

Communications Director (916) 730-3443