Participant FAQs


Where will The International Chardonnay Symposium be held?

The various events will be held throughout Avila Beach, Pismo Beach, Edna Valley on California’s Central Coast. Located mid-way between Los Angeles and San Francisco, the region enjoys the convenience of the San Luis Obispo Airport, Amtrak, and shuttle services from larger airports.


What are the dates of the 2016 International Chardonnay Symposium?

The International Chardonnay Symposium will be held May 12-14, 2016 in Pismo Beach, Avila Beach and Edna Valley on California’s Central Coast.


How does my winery participate?

If your winery is interested in participating, please email Elissa Wiese at There is a limited amount of space and spots are filled on a first come basis.


Who will be the audience at this three-day event?

The event attracts winemakers, sommeliers, media, trade, foodies, wine enthusiasts and tastemakers from across the globe to enjoy and study the world’s favorite grape.


How much does it cost to participate in the Grand Tasting?

Participation cost is $300 for the Grand Tasting. This also gives you the opportunity to pour at the Pét-Nat, Sparkling Wine & Oysters Gala – if you have are currently producing a Pét-Nat or Sparkling Wine (must bring 2 cases). In addition, participants are required to provide (1) bottle of wine for the silent auction that will accompany the Grand Tasting.


How many wines can we present at the Grand Tasting?

You may showcase up to (5) wines. Also, you may bring a special “under the table” wine of your choice to share with consumers.


How much wine is needed for the Grand Tasting?

We recommend you bring a total of (3) cases for the Grand Tasting. You will be in charge of bringing the wine along with you to the Grand Tasting. If you absolutely need to ship please email


What is included with the participation fee for the Grand Tasting?

Entry for two winery representatives, table, linen, two glasses, ice, bus tub, tabletop sign, participant profile listing (with click-thru to website) on the web site, listing in event program and promotion through social media and media outreach.


How many people are expected to attend The International Chardonnay Symposium?

2,000+ guests are expected to attend between the Grand Tastings, and the various seminars, dinners and other events.


Who will be the recipient of the auction lot proceeds?

A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Cal Poly’s Wine & Viticulture and Recreation, Parks & Tourism Administration Departments.


How are wineries chosen to participate in the Panel Discussions?

Opportunities for winemakers or principals to participate in seminars will be offered to wineries showcased at the Grand Tasting. The panel seats will be offered to wineries in two ways: they will be selected by the panel moderator in conjunction with The International Chardonnay Symposium Advisory Committee, or they are offered by The SOMM Journal to wineries opting for promotional packages.


How many panelists will be chosen to participate?

There are (6) panels and space is limited to (5-6) Chardonnay producers per panel.


How much wine will be needed for Panel Discussions?

This depends on the panel. Please email for more instructions.


What is the Vintners Wine Tech Symposium?

This event is reserved for winemakers only and is designed to be a sharing of the best practices using the Steamboat format. The event will be held Thursday, May 12, 9am–4pm, at the Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort & Spa in Avila Beach. Space is limited to (40) producers, and is on a first-come basis. Cost is $300 per attendee which includes lunch and the VIP BBQ at Greengate Ranch & Vineyard that evening.


What is the Sommelier Chardonnay Challenge?

Wineries are invited to submit one wine of their choice to be tasted and judged by a team of (20) sommeliers in a blind tasting format. The competition will be held Thursday, May 12. Winners will be announced at the La Paulée Dinner and Vintners Awards Ceremony Friday night, May 13, at Greengate Ranch & Vineyard.


How does a winery participate in the Sommelier Chardonnay Challenge?

Wineries can submit as many Chardonnays as they wish. We do ask that  you ship (2) bottles of each wine just to be safe. We will be providing shipment details shortly.


What is the La Paulée Dinner and Vintners Awards Ceremony?

The La Paulée Dinner and Vintner Awards Ceremony will be held at Greengate Ranch & Vineyard. The evening is an opportunity to showcase some treasures from the cellar with colleagues and enthusiasts. A sommelier will be assigned to manage the wines at each table during this multi-course gourmet dinner. Each vintner is encouraged to bring 2-3 bottles of wine to share with their table. The Vintner Awards Ceremony will also be presented by The SOMM Journal during the course of the evening. Cost is $90 for winemakers, $125 winery participants, $140 for all other attendees.


Do I need to be insured for the event?

We will be providing insurance details shortly.


Where should I ship my wines?


***All participants must bring their own wine to the Grand Tasting, La Paulee Dinner, Vintners Tech Symposium and Sparkling & Oysters Gala UNLESS they are International or Out-of-state wineries/brands.

International and Out-of-state wines, Auction Donation, Sommelier Chardonnay Challenge and Panel Discussion (selected participants) should be shipped to the address below NO LATER THAN MONDAY APRIL 18, 2016:

The Chardonnay Symposium
c/o Center of Effort
2195 Corbett Canyon Road
Arroyo Grande, CA 93420
(805) 712-0735

When shipping your wines to the address provided please be sure your boxes have the ICS Shipment Form placed on the outside.  ALL BOXES MUST HAVE THIS FORM. For more information on shipping wine – Read This.


Who owns and manages The International Chardonnay Symposium?

It is currently owned and managed by A Full Glass Productions, Inc, who purchased the event from the Santa Maria Valley Vintners & Growers Association in 2014. The Pismo Beach Hospitality Association (PBHA,) in a joint venture arrangement with Avila Beach BID, will own the event in the future. The event production is managed by Parker Sanpei. They can be reached at or (805) 543-2288.