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Wine workshop seeks to spur growth, collaboration in Paso Robles 

Wine workshop seeks to spurs growth, collaboration in Paso Robles

Over 170 members of the Paso Robles wine community convened for half-day industry workshop

– On Jan. 9, over 170 members of the Paso Robles wine community convened for DRIVE, a half-day industry workshop and panel addressing business planning and strategy. The event, organized by the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance and Full Cup Solutions, took place at Vina Robles Vineyards & Winery in Paso Robles.

Featuring local and national speakers, the workshop focused on teamwork, engagement, productivity, and brand strategy for winery businesses. The guest speakers, recognized subject experts in their fields, offered real-world examples for business excellence. Topics included creating a mission statement and pillars of intent for business communications, identifying an approachable and authentic brand identity, building a supportive team, and streamlining chain of command while empowering employees to make decisions.

Amanda Wittstrom Higgins, principal of Full Cup Solutions, led the half-day experience, which included speakers Elaine Chukan Brown, Susan Kostrzewa, Reilly Newman, Commander Jeff Gardner, and Scott Larson. Attendees comprised over 170 members of the wine alliance, including principals, executives, winemakers, and vineyard managers.

“There is no better time than now to grab the steering wheel of your business and chart your path to success,” Wittstrom Higgins stated. The event aimed to empower businesses with practical tools amid industry, economic, and category challenges.

The workshop provided concrete takeaways, including an accompanying workbook, calls to action by the speakers, and insights and impressions shared by attendees. “The event not only provided valuable knowledge, tools, and networking opportunities but also created a supportive and empowering environment for people who want to kick start their year,” Grower Relations Representative at O’Neill Vintners & Distillers Samantha Horn noted.

While sessions emphasized tools for businesses of all sizes, speakers shared personal anecdotes and examples. Accountability, clear communications, and team support were highlighted as crucial elements. “My exchanges after the session with audience members were incredibly encouraging as all were serious about directly implementing insights they gained during the DRIVE session to their business plans,” Susan Kostrzewa said.

The event concluded with a presentation by Gus Zhu, the first Chinese national Master of Wine, providing an informative and humorous discussion about wine tasting. A networking lunch featured a selection of Spanish and Portuguese wines, alongside a gourmet BBQ lunch and signature Paso Robles wines.

“DRIVE allowed people to grab onto key takeaways, leave with their hearts and minds focused, be inspired and feeling part of something bigger—the Paso wine community,” said Senior Vice President, Strategy & Business Development of DAOU Estates Maeve Pesquera. “Amanda’s content and presentation style provided learning for all attendees in the room at every level.”




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