Meet the Wine Industry Game Changers Panel before the Thursday General Session + Breakfast

  • December 19 2023
  • Category: eNews
  • Tags: 2024

You’re invited to the Thursday general session for a light continental breakfast and networking with the speakers prior to the session.

This extraordinary session will build on last year’s momentum that generated exciting forward motion through hard conversations that addressed trends and issues with actionable takeaway. This will be a rare opportunity to sit down with Cathy Corison of Corison Winery, Theodora Lee of Theopolis Vineyards and Carole Meredith, Emerita, University of California, Davis – three incredible women who have been through their own set of sea changes and challenges who not only adapted and thrived but mentored others through it all. Be prepared to create a playbook of real, practical solutions and inspiration to guide your business.

Sponsorship opportunities are available for this session. View the Sponsorship Opportunities page for details.

For more information, visit Wine Industry Game Changers: A Deep Dive Conversation on the Future of Wine and How We Got Here.

Register now and save your seat for this special event.

The first woman Winemaker-Proprietor in the Napa Valley, Cathy Corison produces three Cabernet Sauvignons, hand-crafted without comprise from benchland vineyards between Rutherford and St. Helena. She makes wines that are both powerful and elegant, speak of time and place and are structured to grace the table and enjoy a long, distinguished life.

A wine appreciation course taken while studying Biology at Pomona College 50 years ago led to a life in wine. A master’s degree in Enology from UC Davis followed. Winemaking gigs included Yverdon, Chappellet, Staglin, York Creek and Long Meadow Ranch. Cathy founded Corison in 1987 and she and her husband, William Martin, built their winery in 1999.


Wine Industry Game Changers: A Deep Dive Conversation on the Future of Wine and How We Got Here (includes continental breakfast)

Corison Winery, California

Ms. Theodora Lee, a San Francisco law firm senior partner and trial lawyer at Littler, is the founder and owner of Theopolis Vineyards. Her passion for wine began upon her arrival to San Francisco from Texas in 1987, primarily due to the influence of her law firm mentors, many of whom owned vineyards. This led Ms. Lee to take several viticulture classes at UC Davis, before deciding to develop her own vineyard. In 2001, Ms. Lee purchased sheep land in the Yorkville Highlands of Anderson Valley, and began developing her vineyard. Finally, in 2003, Ms. Lee planted her vineyard, and adopted her Greek name, from pledging Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, and established Theopolis Vineyards.

In the wine world, Ms. Lee is known as Theo-patra, Queen of the Vineyards. Wine Critic Robert Parker bestowed upon wine made from grapes harvested from Theopolis Vineyards a stellar rating of 94-96 points, a spectacular showing for the vintner’s first harvest in 2006. Emboldened by the great fruit produced by the land, Ms. Lee, a bold and dynamic Texan, decided to bottle her own wines in 2014. In addition to bottling the richly intense and flavorful Petite Sirah, Theopolis Vineyards strikes a lighter note by bottling a Symphony, a white wine grape, which is a crossing of Muscat and Grenache Gris. Ms. Lee also bottles the unique Rosé of Petite Sirah, a Yorkville Highlands Pinot Noir, and a Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir. Recently, Theopolis Vineyards has expanded its production and is now bottling Theo-patra’s Cuvée Cerise and Theo-patra’s Cuvée Blanc series.

The Sunset Magazine International Wine Competition has consistently given wines from Theopolis Vineyards stellar Gold Medals. The San Francisco Chronicle International Wine Competition has bestowed on the Estate Grown Theopolis Vineyards Rosé of Petite Sirah a stellar Double Gold Medal. The San Francisco International Wine Competition has consistently bestowed Double Gold and Gold medals on the Estate Grown Petite Sirah. The September 2016 Issue of Somm Journal listed the 2013 Theopolis Vineyards Estate Grown Petite Sirah as Best in Class, meaning it is considered the best Petite Sirah in the world. The other wines from Theopolis Vineyards including the Yorkville Highlands Symphony, the Anderson Valley, Yorkville Highlands and Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir, the Cuvée Cerise and Cuvée Blanc series have consistently won either gold, silver and/or bronze medals at various wine competitions, including the Orange County Fair Commercial Wine Competition, The Press Democrat North Coast Wine Challenge, the Sommeliers Choice Awards , and TEXSOM International Wine Awards. Wine Critic Antonio Galloni Presents Vinous also has bestowed on wines from Theopolis Vineyards 90 plus Points. Wine Enthusiast Magazine has bestowed on wines from Theopolis Vineyards 90 Plus Points. The 2018 Estate Grown Theopolis Vineyards Petite Sirah received 96 Points, and Cellar Selection, the highest ranking ever given a Petite Sirah by that magazine. Indeed, that vintage was ranked No. 16 in the Top 100 Cellar Selections of 2021 by Wine Enthusiast. Theopolis Vineyards also has been featured in various publications, including Forbes Magazine, Bloomberg, Sunset Magazine, Wine Enthusiast Magazine, Sonoma Magazine, The Boston Globe, Bon Appetit, HuffPost.Com, San Francisco Chronicle, San Jose Mercury News, The Press Democrat, San Francisco Bay Times, Essence Magazine, to name a few. Theopolis Vineyards has been featured on various TV and Radio Shows, including Check, Please! Bay Area, PBS, KRCB TV, KGO, KTVU, ABC, CBS News, Black News Channel, The Ryan Scott Show and On-the-Go with John Hamilton, to name a few. In 2020, Ms. Lee was recognized as a 2020 Wine Industry Leader by Wine Business Monthly. In 2021, Ms. Lee was a Wine Enthusiast’s 22nd Annual Wine Star Award Person of the Year Nominee.


Wine Industry Game Changers: A Deep Dive Conversation on the Future of Wine and How We Got Here (includes continental breakfast)

Theopolis Vineyards, California

Carole Meredith
Professor Emerita, Department of Viticulture and Enology, University of California, Davis
Owner, Lagier Meredith Vineyard, Mount Veeder, Napa, California

Born in Wales, UK, Carole Meredith emigrated to California with her parents as a child and grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. She received a B.S. in Biology and a Ph.D. in Genetics from the University of California, Davis. After postdoctoral research at Michigan State University and a short stint in plant biotechnology research in the private sector, she joined the Department of Viticulture and Enology at the University of California, Davis, where she worked in grapevine genetics for 22 years. At UC Davis, her research lab pioneered the use of DNA profiling to investigate the origins of many wine grape varieties and the genetic relationships among them. She and her research collaborators determined the genetic and geographic origins of Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Syrah and many others. This research shed new light on wine history and dispelled long-held myths about the origins of classic wine grapes. Her discovery of the European home of Zinfandel in Croatia, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Zagreb, has provided California growers with a source for new clones and has revealed Zinfandel’s ancient history as a major wine grape in the Adriatic region.

Lagier Meredith Vineyard, on the east-facing slope of Napa’s Mount Veeder, is planted to Syrah, Mondeuse, Zinfandel and Malbec. Carole Meredith and her husband Stephen Lagier have lived and worked there since 1986. Although it is home to a grove of centenarian olive trees, the land had never previously been planted to grapevines. Carole and Steve have been producing their highly regarded Lagier Meredith wines from this vineyard since 1998. They have no employees and do the vineyard work and winemaking themselves.

Carole was named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1990 and Chevalière de l’Ordre du Mèrite Agricole by the Republic of France in 2000. She retired from UC Davis as Professor Emerita in 2003. In 2009, she was inducted into the Vintners Hall of Fame. In 2017, she was awarded a science medal (Red Danice Hrvatske) by the Republic of Croatia.


Wine Industry Game Changers: A Deep Dive Conversation on the Future of Wine and How We Got Here (includes continental breakfast)

Professor Emerita, University of California, Davis