Wine and fruit conference planned

An upcoming conference is expected to bring together people involved in the wine and fruit industries to learn new techniques, exchange ideas and network.

“There is a tremendous crossover in these industries. More producers are growing grapes and peaches or other fruit, so it’s a perfect fit,” said Sandie Cooper, administrator of the Colorado Association for Viticulture and Enology.

The grape growers and wineries trade group has joined with the Colorado Wine Industry Development Board and Western Colorado Horticultural Society to present VinCO 2012.

The conference is scheduled for Jan. 16 to 19 at various locations in the Grand Valley and will include seminars, workshops and a trade show.

While most participants work in the wine and horticultural industries, the conference is open to the public. Anyone interested in starting a vineyard, making wine or learning more about the wine and fruit industries may attend.

Seminars and workshops will cover such topics as blending and marketing hybrid grapes, comparative wine tasting, developing reduced-height and pedestrian orchards, flavor-vineyard manipulations, grape and fruit pests and diseases and improving the quality of a winery.

A presentation on marketing scheduled for Jan. 18 will feature three wine experts: Wayne Belding, master sommelier and publisher of the “Diving Into Wine” guide; Jeff Siegel, wine writer and founder of; and Janet Johnson, Western Colorado sales manager for Southern Wine and Spirits.

For additional information about VinCO 2012, call 464-0111. A complete conference schedule is available online from the Web site at