Discounted registration ends June 20th.
Register now to attend the 38th International Sweetener Symposium in Napa, California, to be held August 4-9, 2023, at the spectacular Meritage Resort & Spa and the Grand Reserve at the Meritage. This year’s Symposium theme, “Crafting a Stronger Sugar Policy to Ensure Food Security,” will cover many pressing issues confronting the industry. Attendance is a must for all sugar industry leaders and stakeholders. As we approach renewal of the Farm Bill, our experts will assess the potential implications for U.S. farm policy and the U.S. sugar program with insights on how the new Congress’ views will shape the discussions. Farm Bill programs as well as changing trade dynamics will be important to evaluate in the context of rising costs of production. Market analysts will update us on the supply-demand outlook for U.S., North American, and world markets. See preliminary program below for more information.
In addition to the compelling program content, the Symposium schedule allows free time every afternoon to enhance your industry relations in this spectacular setting.
We look forward to seeing you in Napa.
Click here to download the Preliminary Program.
- Politics: The 118th Congress ushered in new Members and changes in leadership and Committees. With the reauthorization of the 2023 Farm Bill approaching, as well as 204 House members and 26 Senators who have never voted on sugar policy, how will the industry and American agriculture fare?
- 2023 Farm Bill: What lessons have Members of Congress learned from COVID, global conflict and climate disasters that will shape farm policy and strengthen food security? High input costs, falling farm incomes, legal threats to pesticides and scarce labor supplies present threats to farmers’ long-term economic survival. What will be needed?
- Trade Outlook: Global supply chain disruptions are magnified by geo-political uncertainty. What are the Biden Administration’s trade priorities with existing and future trade agreements? What does the continued erosion of the multilateral trading systems mean for sugar markets?
- Embracing Innovation: Innovation is key to climate and sustainability solutions. What will help U.S. sugar farmers meet some of the highest sustainability standards in the world? Genetics, crop protection, and clean engines are just a few of the best practices and continuous improvement.
- Food Industry Insights: Will the current barrage of new policy proposals change the food manufacturing landscape? How are food manufacturers responding to pressures surrounding nutrition, reformulation, and marketing, and what might this mean for the U.S. and global sugar industry?
Learn more about the Meritage Resort and Spa
This year’s Symposium will be held at the Meritage Resort & Spa, and the Grand Reserve at the Meritage. These luxurious sister properties are located within the same complex and offer exquisite room accommodations, a European spa, tasting rooms on-property, a bowling alley, swimming pools, arcade, dining, recreation, and more, as well as several golf courses located close by. The two hotels essentially create one venue with a quick 3-minute door-to-door walk. Both hotels offer a convenient stay since most Symposium daytime events will be held at the Meritage and the Symposium evening events at the Grand Reserve. The Meritage and the Grand Reserve hotels are ideally located to offer the best of Napa Valley. With a 10-minute complimentary shuttle ride, you can explore downtown Napa with its bounty of dining, tasting rooms, and shopping. Alternatively, you can drive, or arrange for private tours, to visit Napa’s fabled vineyards, rolling hills and stately wineries that make this region reminiscent of the Bordeaux region in the South of France. ASA’s special room rates at the Meritage start at $281 and up (exclusive of tax and fees).
****At this time, the Meritage Resort and the Grand Reserve are both sold out for ASA’s discounted group rate; however, ASA is maintaining a lodging waitlist. If you need lodging or help securing your preferred dates, email us at [email protected] to be placed on ASA’s lodging waitlist. If you have a confirmed reservation at either Meritage Resort and Spa or the Grand Reserve at the Meritage, please release any unneeded room nights or extra reservations at least 21 days in advance to avoid cancellation fees.***
Learn More about Napa, California
Located in northern California, the renowned Napa Valley is home to more than 400 wineries ranging from boutique to large scale operations, many highly acclaimed and praised by connoisseurs worldwide. The area’s success in winemaking has fueled an equal passion for food. Napa is home to two institutes dedicated to advancing the culinary arts, the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) and The American Center for Wine, Food and the Arts (COPIA). Nationally and regionally famous chefs have chosen Napa as the site for their signature restaurants, making Napa Valley one of the finest dining destinations in the world. The area also offers a wealth of California history and other recreational opportunities including bicycling, hot air ballooning, horseback riding, shopping, and mineral bath and spa resorts. With sun filled days and a dry climate, Napa offers low humidity and August averages temperatures of 83°(high) and 55° (low). For more information on Napa Valley visit https://www.visitnapavalley.com/, https://www.meritageresort.com/best-way-to-experience-napa-valley, https://www.napavalley.com/explore/.
AIR TRANSPORTATION: Getting to the Meritage Resort is easy with several commercial airports located within driving distance of Napa as follows:
- 70 miles from San Francisco International Airport (SFO)
- 63 miles from Oakland International Airport (OAK)
- 75 miles from Sacramento International Airport (SMF)
- 94 miles from San Jose International Airport (SJC)
- 34 miles from Sonoma County Airport (STS)
While traffic varies from the various airports, when comparing the SFO, OAK and SMF airports, the “drive time” is traditionally shortest from the Sacramento airport.
- Rental Cars & Parking: Rental cars are available at all major airports. The hotel offers complimentary self-parking for guests of the Meritage, and valet parking ($30/day) for guests of the Grand Reserve at the Meritage.
- Private Transportation Services: Private transportation services, such as limos, SUVS or buses, may be reserved for transportation to/from the airport. For more information, visit visitnapavalley.com
- Uber and Lyft: While Uber and Lyft may be available at the airport, availability of services for the return trip from the hotel to airport is less reliable. Additionally, some wineries require their guests to have confirmed transportation prior to accepting their wine tasting reservations; therefore, Uber and Lyft may not be the optimal option for wine tasting outings during your stay in Napa.
- Do I need a car in Napa? Once on property at The Meritage Resort / Grand Reserve Resort complex, you can enjoy several wine tasting rooms and recreational activities. Additionally, the resort offers complimentary shuttle service to downtown Napa (5-10 minute ride) which boasts a broad range of dining and wine tasting experiences, shopping and more. Several of the optional tour companies will pick up from the hotel. However, if you want to truly explore the Napa Valley on your own, a rental car is highly recommended.
Optional tours are being promoted to help you fully experience the Napa Valley. The tours are offered via independent tour operators. To register for optional tours, contact the tour operators directly. Optional tours require a minimum number of registrants to run. Advance registration by July 2 will help to ensure the tours will run. Please refer to the tour operator’s policy regarding cancellation. (Note: Optional tours are not official Symposium events.)
Ballooning Above the Vineyards
Depart the Meritage at sunrise and enjoy an event of a lifetime. Balloons Above the Vineyards will pick up at the Meritage’s main entrance at 5:15 a.m. and transport you to the Model Bakery at the Oxbow Public Market for coffee, pastries and a safety instruction. You will then be transported to your launch site to set sail with a qualified pilot, floating over Napa’s expansive wineries and experiencing the rolling panoramic scenery in stunning clarity. If the weather in Napa is not conducive to flying, the group will be transported to a neighboring county to take advantage of their lack of fog. At the conclusion of the sail, you will be transported back to the Model Bakery for a champagne toast (optional) and snacks. Recommended attire includes layers of clothing, comfortable walking shoes and sunglasses. Prices are $299 weekends and $269 weekdays (all ages). Must be at least 46 inches tall to participate. Tour cost includes transportation, balloon ride, and coffees/pastries. Add-ons available include a champagne toast ($20pp) and photo ($10 per photo. Make reservations directly with Balloons Above the Valley by calling 800-464-6824 or via www.balloonrides.com.
Wine Tastings and Tours
So many wineries … so little time! The famed Napa Valley is home to more than 400 wineries and 90 urban tasting rooms, all within a 30-mile span. These wineries range in history, setting, and style. Offerings may include wine tastings, behind-the-scenes tours of their cellars and caves, and picturesque settings. Many of these intimate wineries are family-owned and operated. There are several ways to experience Napa’s wineries; however, please know most wineries now require reservations and charge tasting fees. So be sure to plan early, call ahead and secure reservations. Also, most wineries require all visitors to be at least 21 years of age. A few options to experience Napa’s wineries include:
- Self-guided tours can be a fun option with a little advance planning. However, please know that most wineries now require reservations, as well as charge tasting fees ranging from $40pp and up. So be sure to call ahead and secure reservations. For a map of Napa wineries, visit https://www.visitnapavalley.com/wineries/winery-map/.
- Platypus Tours offers small group tours (usually 8-10 people) that provide an ideal experience of the Napa Valley. Your tour guide will pick up at the Meritage, provide a bit of history as you tour the Valley to experience three wineries and a box lunch. Prices range from $119-$139 per person, depending on the day. The wine tasting fees are additional but are typically discount, or possibly waived with purchase of wine. For more information, visit https://www.platypustours.com/wine-tours/join-in-tour-napa-valley/.
- Napa Valley Wine Trolley offers a daily tour, as well as an up-valley castle tour, where you’ll experience the Napa Valley aboard an open air trolley reminiscent of a classic San Francisco cable car. Offering historic local trivia with basic wine knowledge, while visiting wineries or urban tasting rooms. This tour departs from the Oxbow Public Market. Prices currently offered at $125 (exclusive of tasting fees). For more information, visit https://napavalleywinetrolley.com/
- Napa Valley Wine Train offers a 36-mile round-trip discovery to St. Helena and back, stopping at celebrated wineries along the way. For more information, visit https://winetrain.com.
- Beau Wine Tours offers customized wine tasting experiences. If you have a group of family members or colleagues, this might be a good option to experience a private and customized wine tasting excursion. For more information, visit https://www.beauwinetours.com/napa-valley-wine-tours/.
Explore Downtown Napa
Conveniently located just 10 minutes from the Meritage, you can easily make a day of visiting downtown Napa. This area is home to quaint eateries, trendy tasting rooms, high-end shopping and a growing collection of world-class art galleries. For a fun market experience, visit the Oxbow Public Market. Known as the “local gathering place for great food and wine in downtown Napa,” experience a variety of food vendors while perusing Oxbow’s 40,000 square foot marketplace or the scenic deck overlooking the Napa River. Another must stop is the Culinary Institute at Copia which offers a variety of ways to explore food and wine, ranging from dining, classes, shopping, gardens, and a museum.
Home to more than 150 restaurants, foodies flock to Napa Valley to discover locally inspired dishes prepared by world-class chefs. A hallmark of fine-dining, Napa Valley boasts numerous Michelin-Star rated restaurants. August is peak season in Napa so be sure to secure your reservations in advance. For a list of restaurants, visit www.visitnapavalley.com/restaurants.
August 4 (Friday)
1:00-5:00 p.m. – Registration
All Day – Optional Tours
August 5 (Saturday)
8:00a.m.-7:00p.m. – Registration
All Day – Optional Tours
6:00-7:00p.m. – Meet & Greet Reception
August 6 (Sunday)
8:00a.m.-9:00p.m. – Registration
All Day – Optional Tours
8:00a.m.-2:00p.m. – ASA Golf Tournament
7:00-9:00p.m. – Welcome Reception Gala
August 7 (Monday)
7:30-8:30a.m. – Breakfast Session
8:45a.m.-12:00p.m. – General Session
9:00a.m.-3:00p.m. – Spouse Tour
12:15-2:00p.m. – ASA Annual Meeting/Luncheon Session
Afternoon & Evening On Your Own
August 8 (Tuesday)
7:30a.m.-8:30a.m. – Breakfast Session
8:45a.m.-12:15p.m. – General Session
12:30-2:00p.m. – Luncheon Session
Afternoon – On Your Own
6:00-10:00p.m. – Finale Dinner
August 9 (Wednesday)
All Day – Departures