Jeff O’Neill will open the 2020 Unified Wine & Grape
Symposium as the Keynote Speaker.
Jeff O’Neill is an entrepreneur and leader in the wine industry.
He entered the wine business in 1980 and founded Golden State
Vintners with a private equity group in 1985. Mr. O’Neill was CEO
of Golden State Vintners until its successful sale after 24 years
in business. In 2004, O’Neill acquired the Christian Brothers
Brandy facility & launched O’Neill Vintners & Distillers as an
innovative, privately-owned California winery producing premium
quality wines and spirits through vertically integrated
Cecilia Agüero obtained a degree in Agronomy from Univ. Nac. de
Cuyo, in Mendoza, Argentina. In 1997, she moved to California,
where she pursued a PhD in Plant Biology, graduating in 2003.
Cecilia has worked in the Dept. of Plant Physiology, Univ. Nac.
de Cuyo and the Dept. of Plant Sciences. Her research has been
focused on grape tissue culture and plant-pathogen interactions.
She has also taught viticulture at Santa Rosa JC. Currently, she
is a Specialist at the Walker lab, in the Dept. of Viticulture
and Enology, UC Davis.
Ibbi Almufti is an internationally recognized expert in hazard,
risk, and resilience and leads the Risk and Resilience practice
in San Francisco and Arup’s Americas Region Resilience skills
network. His background is in earthquake engineering.
Francisco is a Certified Crop and Pest Control Adviser who brings
over 30 years of experience in a variety of agricultural roles
related to viticulture and tropical fruits. From hands on
production, to research and teaching, he is passionate about
continuing to educate himself and sharing his findings with his
team, and the industry.
Acclaimed winemaker Kristen Barnhisel oversees all of J. Lohr’s
white wines production; she brings two decades of viticulture and
winemaking experience spanning three continents to her role.
While studying abroad, Kristen became one of the first women and
first Americans to work harvest for Ruffino in Italy. Kristen
went on to earn a Master’s degree in Enology from UC Davis, while
also working a number of coveted internships, including Warwick
Wine Estate in South Africa, Opus One in Napa, and Long Vineyard,
where she worked alongside her mentor and longtime family friend
Mark grew up in Colorado and graduated from Colorado State
University with a B.S. in Agronomy and a minor in Spanish. He
continued with graduate work at UC Davis with an M.S. in
Hydrologic Sciences. He was an exchange scholar at a Spanish
government research center in Cordoba, Spain studying runoff and
erosion in hillside olive groves. He began working for UC
Cooperative Extension in 2001, initially as a Viticulture Farm
Advisor for San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties; in 2018
his title changed to Water Management and Biometeorology Advisor.
Jeff Bitter is a life-long resident of California. Born into a
family vineyard operation, Jeff has always had a passion for
agriculture and specifically grape growing. Jeff is the President
of Allied Grape Growers (AGG), a 500-member statewide grape
growers cooperative marketing association. AGG markets nearly
$100,000,000 worth of grapes annually to wineries, shippers,
packers and dehydrators. In addition to managing AGG, Jeff is a
fourth-generation grape grower on land he and his wife own and
Danny Brager is the Senior Vice President of Nielsen’s Beverage
Alcohol Practice Area in the United States, supporting
relationships with Nielsen’s Beer, Wine, and Spirits clients, as
well as with key industry groups and the media. In this role,
Danny and his team supports the differentiated needs of Nielsen’s
Beverage Alcohol clients, and provides business information,
analysis and insights, focusing on the U.S. retail environment
and consumer/shopper – who they are, what and where they buy, and
Luca Brillante is Asst. Professor & Bronco Viticulture Research
Chair at California State University Fresno. Moving from the
scientific understanding of plant-environment interactions, his
multidisciplinary research work focuses on improving management
and profitability of vineyards through development and testing of
new cultural practices and machines, fusing viticulture with
digital technologies. He has conducted research activity in
Italy, France and California, in dozens of viticulture areas.
Janie Brooks Heuck, a Portland, Oregon native, is Managing
Director of Brooks Winery located in Amity, Oregon. Janie has
always had a commitment to social responsibility and the
environment, which is apparent through her work at the winery. As
of January 2019 Brooks is the only winery in the world to be
Demeter Certified for Biodynamics, a Certified B Corporation and
a member of 1% For The Planet.
Dr Dimitra Capone is an ARC Research Associate with The
University of Adelaide’s ARC Training Centre for Innovative Wine
Production. She has more than 24 years of experience in the area
of aroma and flavour chemistry and has co-authored on more than
60 peer reviewed publications as well as numerous technical
articles and book chapters.
Jean-Marie Cardebat is full professor of Economics at the
University of Bordeaux, where he leads the LAREFI research
center, and he is affiliate professor at INSEEC School of
Business and Economics. He is a Member of the ISVV (Scientific
Institute of Wine and Vineyard), of the AAWE (American
Association of Wine Economists), and of the advisory board of the
Journal of Wine Economics. He is now launching the European
Association of Wine Economists. Jean-Marie Cardebat has written
many articles and books dedicated to Wine Economics.
Lynn Carpenter is vice president of Marketing for Visit
California. Lynn oversees all of Visit California’s marketing to
create desire for the California experience, including
advertising, cooperative promotions, digital and interactive, and
content strategy. Lynn steers a marketing budget that has grown
from $6 million in 2006 to $131 million today. Under her
leadership, Visit California has marketed the state as a place of
abundance and opportunity, inspiring millions of visitors each
With more than 20 years of marketing, winemaking and viticulture,
sales, public relations, and export experience, Nicole is
responsible for all of the operations at Merry Edwards Winery.
Merry Edwards Winery, located in the Russian River Valley of
Sonoma County, is considered a benchmark among Pinot Noir
Dr. Federico Casassa received a BS in Viticulture and a MS in
Enology from the School of Agronomic Sciences in Mendoza
(Argentina), and a Ph.D. in Wine Chemistry and Sensory Analysis
from Washington State University (USA). He is an Associate
Professor of Enology with the Wine and Viticulture Department of
Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.
A native of Mendoza, Argentina, Leti had an early interest in
wine and agriculture which led her to obtain a Bachelor of
Science in Enology and Viticulture from Universidad Nacional de
Cuyo in her home town. After beginning her career in the wine
industry of Argentina, she broadened her experience by working in
California and New Zealand, ultimately arriving in Oregon to
pursue her true passion: growing premium quality Pinot noir and
Silvia received a degree in Agricultural engineering from the
University of Zaragoza, Spain and a second degree from La Rioja
University in Winemaking. She then traveled around the world
learning various methods of international winemaking. Silvia
spent four years as Production Manager in a wine cooperative in
D.O. Calatayud, worked in Germany in the Mosel area, and worked
at About Wine and Style Consult in Neustadt Weinstrasse. Silvia
joined ConeTech Iberica in 2015 as Production Enologist, quickly
becoming ConeTech’s Technical Director for Europe and finally
Leticia Chacon-Rodriguez is the winemaker and wine manager at the
University of California, Davis (UCD) ) LEED Platinum-certified
teaching and research winery for the Department of Viticulture &
Enology. She has more than 20 years of experience in the wine
production in California.
James Christie is the president and CEO of Bryant Christie Inc.
(BCI). BCI helps companies and associations open, access, and
expand international markets with a focus on the agriculture,
food, and beverage sectors. BCI also provides regulatory
intelligence information to exporters around the world though
BCGlobal, a suite of online regulatory databases. BCGlobal
offerings include pesticide and veterinary drug MRLs, contaminant
limits, and food additive regulations.
Remi Cohen is the Chief Operating Officer of Lede Family Wines,
encompassing Cliff Lede Vineyards in the Stags Leap District of
Napa Valley and FEL Wines in the Anderson Valley. Remi directs
the winemaking process from vineyard to bottle and is responsible
for top quality, small-lot winemaking expressive of appellation
and vineyard site. In addition, she oversees the sale of all
wines through the hospitality experience and the wine club
programs direct to consumer, and throughout the domestic and
Juliana Colangelo manages the West Coast office for Colangelo &
Partners, a wine, spirits and food focused communications agency.
She has been an integral member of the team since 2013 and has
worked extensively throughout the company on media relations,
client and team management and new business development.
Bob comes to us with 20+ years of experience in the wine
industry, that time spent primarily as a winemaker at Chateau St.
Jean in Sonoma County. He has recently finished a PhD in the
kinetics of wine oxidation. Currently, he is working at Beringer
Winery leading commercial winery innovation and precision
winemaking, including efforts towards energy efficiency practices
and improved fermentation performance
In April 2009, Monica Cooper joined UC Cooperative Extension in
Napa County as Viticulture Farm Advisor. Educated as a “Plant
Doctor” at the University of Florida, she has multidisciplinary
training in plant pathology, entomology, soils, and plant science
that she draws on to help growers diagnose vineyard problems. Her
applied research and outreach programs provide data-driven
technical information to the vineyard industry.
Joe Cotta grew up on his father’s 600 acre vineyard near Lodi,
CA. He received his BS from the California State University
Fresno in 2001 and his MS from the University of California Davis
in 2003. He worked as a viticulturist and grower relations
representative in the North Coast of California for Allied Domecq
Wines USA, before spending five years directing a vineyard and
consulting business in St. Louis, MO. He joined Ste. Michelle
Wine Estates in 2009 and continues to serve as the vineyard
manager for Cold Creek Vineyard.
Navdeep Dhillon is Farm Program Chief for USDA, Farm Service
Agency in California. Navdeep oversees all farm programs
administered by Farm Service Agency in California. She steers the
development and delivery of the programs legislated by US
Congress. Navdeep has been working with farmers and
ranchers for over 20 years.
Casey Di Cesare is the Assistant Winemaker and Enologist at
Scheid Family Wines. Casey received his BA from the University of
California, Los Angeles, where he competed in Track and Field and
found his love for wine. This love brought him up to the Central
Coast from Southern California where he took a job in the cellar
at Cinquain Cellars in Paso Robles. He later returned to his
native New York and received his master’s degree in Enology from
Cornell University under advisor Dr. Gavin Sacks.
Benoit Divol was born in Paris, France in 1977. Nineteen years
later, he moved to Bordeaux where he developed a passion for wine
not only as a noble yet social beverage but also as a fascinating
research topic. Among other degrees, he obtained a PhD in 2004
with a thesis focusing on the microbiology of noble late harvest
wines from the famous Sauternes region. The next year, he
relocated to Stellenbosch, South Africa for a postdoctoral
fellowship at the Institute for Wine Biotechnology.
Steve Dorfman joined the Ciatti Company in 2007 after working
with the Brown-Forman Corporation focusing on winemaking, grape
and bulk wine procurement and production of the Fetzer Vineyards,
Sonoma-Cutrer Vineyards and Bolla wine brands. During the 24
years at Brown-Forman Steve also worked with the mergers and
acquisition team around the world doing joint ventures,
acquisition and divestiture.
Will Drayton is the Director of Technical Viticulture and
Research Winemaking at Treasury Wine Estates (TWE), one of the
world’s largest wine companies. Will joined TWE in 2008 as a
Viticulture Intern at Etude Winery and has held many positions
within the viticulture and winemaking groups.
Emilie Eliason joined Crimson Wine Group in 2016 and is
responsible for overseeing and providing strategic direction for
the direct to consumer business. She also leads Crimson’s
innovation efforts to bring new wines and experiences to life.
Emilie was previously Vice President of Marketing at J Vineyards
& Winery where she managed marketing, public relations and
consumer sales. Emilie has fifteen years of extensive brand
marketing and direct marketing experience from her roles at
Gallo, Treasury Wine Estates, Diageo and Clorox.
Dr. Judith Ford leads strategic development and cross-sector
sustainability and resilience initiatives, which engage campus,
community partners and the wine industry. Her research team in
Sonoma State’s Wine Business Institute investigates the influence
of organizational culture on strategic response to natural
disaster and long term climatic change.
Matt is responsible for leading Vineyard Operations at Trinchero
Family Estates. Serving as Senior Director, he is responsible for
overseeing Vineyard activities at TFE properties throughout the
state of California.
Matt joined the company in 2012 as a Vineyard Intern and since
then has held various positions in the organization including
Viticulturist, Vineyard Manager, and was recently promoted to
Senior Director of Vineyard Operations. Matt serves on various
boards and has a personal interest in developing the next
generation of Vineyard Leaders at TFE.
Steve Fredricks joined Turrentine Brokerage in 1991 as a bulk
wine broker. Over the years he has established himself as an
expert in the sales of bulk wine and grapes, understanding market
cycles, and building long term relationships. Steve is currently
managing all Turrentine Brokerage operations and directly
responsible for Turrentine’s international relationships and
strategic alliances in France, Italy, Spain, Australia, Chile and
Named one of the Top 25 Most Extraordinary Minds in Sales &
Marketing by Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association
International, Andrew brings experience, passion and creativity
to every endeavor.
Andrew grew up in New Jersey (exit 153A) performing in every
community theater musical he could. After graduating in
marketing, Andrew worked the ranks of legendary New York venues
including: The Russian Tea Room, Windows on the World and the
Marc was born and raised in the grape growing region of Alsace in
France. He received his Master’s and PhD degrees from the
University Louis Pasteur in Strasbourg. He then worked on grape
viruses at INRA in Colmar, France before joining the Department
of Plant Pathology at Cornell University. His program emphasizes
translational research on virus diseases.
Martina Galeano is earning her master’s degree in the Viticulture
& Enology program at UC Davis. Originally from Mendoza,
Argentina, Martina earned her bachelor’s degree in Enology from
Universidad Juan Augustin Maza (Argentina). She then spent eight
years in commercial winemaking, with experience in Mendoza as
Tapiz winery’s associate winemaker, and internships in
Stellenbosch and Napa. Martina’s current research in the
Forrestel lab focuses on the effect of heat events on vine
physiology and berry and wine composition.
Amy Gardner founded WineTalent in 2004 to provide confidential
and individualized search services to the wine industry. With an
educational foundation in plant science at UC Davis, she first
worked in research and production laboratories. She quickly
realized her true interest in recruiting, and for the last 25
years has been matching companies and employees for long-term
placements. The relationships she has developed within the wine
business allows her to be able to find the right people for the
Tracy Genesen is the Vice President and General Counsel of the
Wine Institute, the public policy advocacy association
representing over a thousand California wineries and affiliated
businesses responsible for 85 percent of the nation’s wine
production and more than 97 percent of U.S. wine exports.
David Gluzman is the CEO of Folly Enterprises and co-founder of
BlackSquare, Inc. Gluzman has been a wine enthusiast since his
earlier career as a competitive cyclist brought him to the wine
regions of Italy. In an effort to encourage education and
discourage snobbery, he founded WineCollective.ca: a wine club
that started as a local project in Calgary. In a matter of years
it would become the largest wine club in Canada.
Greg Gonzalez grew up in Oregon, splitting time between Eugene
and Junction City where he worked on his family’s 10-acre Filbert
farm (hazelnuts). From an early age, he excelled at soccer and
eventually earned scholarships for academic and sports to South
Western Oregon Community College and California State University
Monterey Bay. In 2008, he earned his BA in Social and Behavioral
Sciences with emphasis on Geographic Information Systems and a
minor in Earth Systems, Sciences, Technology, and Policy.
Director of Industry Programs with Collaborative Testing
Services. He has been with CTS since late 2003 and at one time or
another has managed the Color, Paper, Plastics, Rubber, and Wine
Programs. He currently oversees the eight industry programs at
CTS and continues to run the Wine Program.
Scott earned a B.S. in Biology and holds professional memberships
in ASTM and the Rubber Division.
Wiley Hall is an environmental/analytical chemist with a Ph.D.
from the University of Delaware and over 10 years of experience
in the detection of toxic chemicals in foodstuffs and the
environment. In past positions he has worked on detecting
chemical weapon agents and toxic industrial chemicals in the
environment, the formation and reactions of airborne particles in
the atmosphere, and methods to prevent the release of methyl
bromide following post-harvest fumigations of agricultural
Harry Hansen is winemaker and general manager at Sterling
Vineyards in Calistoga, a Treasury Wine Estates property. Harry
has made wines in Napa Valley, the Central Coast and Carneros, in
addition to internal consulting in Chile, New Zealand, Italy, and
Mexico. With 30+ years of winemaking experience, and both a
Master’s in Enology (UCD) and MBA (Sonoma State), he is well
acquainted with the wine stability issues he will be addressing
and their potential effects on commercial wines. Harry lives in
Sonoma County with his wife Graciela, also a UCD Enology
Réka Haros is a Marketer who inherited together with her husband
a small winery in Italy in 2002. Before that, she was marketing
Danone yogurts in a saturated market and developing
communications strategies and advertising at Leo Burnett CEE for
P&G washing powders and tampons.
Esther Hernández-Montes obtained her Agricultural Engineering and
master studies in the Polytechnic University of Madrid (Spain),
and she completed a PhD at the University of Balearic Islands
(Spain). The main research of her PhD was to study carbon and
water balances in grapevines, focusing in determining carbon
gains and losses in different plant organs throughout their
development, considering the environmental and genetic
variations. Also, she studied how environmental factors and
vineyard management practices affect soil respiration and fruit
respiration in a vineyard.
Sandra Hess is a direct to consumer wine sales and consumer
engagement specialist supporting winey teams throughout the US,
Canada and Australia. In July 2013, Sandra founded DTC Wine
Workshops Consulting Agency, based out of the San Francisco
Bay Area, and also launched an online training division in August
2014. Sandra publishes the DTC Wine Case Study Series and is a
frequent speaker at wine industry events nationally and globally.
A recognized subject matter expert in DTC Wine Sales, Sandra has
been featured in Forbes, Wine Business Monthly and Wines & Vines.
Cristina Holloway is an HR leader whose mission is to improve the
working lives of people through communication and change
management, and aligning human capital with policies, resources
and business goals to create a strong and successful
organization. Cristina’s career has encompassed nearly 20 years
working in large corporations, as well as start-ups and
entrepreneur-led companies. She holds a Society of Human
Resources Senior Certified Professional certification, and an MBA
in Wine Business from Sonoma State University.
Rebecca Hopkins is an experienced wine communications strategist,
speaker, moderator, host, and writer. With a 27-year career in
the wine business in Australia and the US, in March 2018, founded
and launched “A Balanced Glass” – on online platform providing
education and resources to industry colleagues to help support
and maintain health and wellbeing while working in the beverage
Patricia Howe has over 30 years of production winemaking
experience and enological problem-solving, having worked at or
consulted for dozens of large, medium and small wineries across
the US. She has a BS in Fermentation Science, a MS in Food
Science (Sensory Science emphasis) from UC Davis, and a PhD from
Cornell University, where she contributed to the further
understanding of the chemistry of sulfur dioxide in wine.
Paul is the Analytical Laboratory Manager and Redwood Vineyards
winemaker for Bronco Wine Company in Ceres, CA, He serves as the
Assistant Chair for the Wine Institute Technical Advisory
Committee and leads its Wine Components Working group. He also
serves as the Assistant Chair for the Scientific and Technical
Committee of FIVS, a wine and sprits trade organization based in
Cathy Huyghe is the co-founder and CEO of Enolytics LLC, which
provides data-driven business intelligence to beverage alcohol
companies around the world.
She is a journalist for Forbes (on wine) and Inc (on
entrepreneurship), and author of the award-winning book, Hungry
for Wine: Seeing the World through the Lens of a Wine Glass. In
2019, Enolytics was a finalist for the Born Digital Wine Awards
in the Innovation category, and Huyghe was shortlisted as
Columnist of the Year by the Louis Roederer International Wine
Ray Johnson is the Executive Director of the Wine Business
Institute at Sonoma State, the first university in the United
States to offer a BS in Wine Business in 1998, the first to offer
a Wine MBA in 2008 and the first in the world to offer an
Executive Wine MBA in 2012.
Debbie grew up in California’s Central Valley and in 1994
graduated from CSU Stanislaus in Turlock California with a
Bachelor of Science degree in Geology. Right around that time,
Deb and her future husband spent time wine tasting in Sonoma and
she quickly realized this was something she truly enjoyed and
wanted to know more about. She joined EJ Gallo Winery in 1995 as
an analytical technician, followed by four years of wine
chemistry and research before finally joining the premium
Randy started farming table grapes, raisins, peaches, plums and
nectarines in Selma, CA when he was six years old with his
family. Randy has his own wine grape vineyards and a management
company, Kazarian Vineyard Development, which ranges year to year
up to 15,000 acres in any given year, since 1988. These vineyards
are located up and down the Central Valley, along with some acres
of Almonds. Randy’s management company is developing new
vineyards on a yearly basis.
Mari Kirrane was appointed the Wine Trade & Technical Advisor for
the Alcohol & Tobacco Tax & Trade Bureau (TTB) in 2003. In this
capacity she advises both the government and the industry on
technical winemaking issues. She is a member of the TTB
International Affairs Division and is an active participant in
negotiating Trade Agreements covering wine.
Jordan co-founded Free Flow Wines in 2009 and lead the growth of
the business for the first 10 years, and now serves on the Board.
He has been a pioneer in alternative packaging in kegs, cans, and
reusable glass. He co-founded EG Wine Co in 2016, one of the
leading can-only wine brands. Jordan also founded his own bottle
brand, Kivelstadt Cellars which is in 24 states, and manages his
family’s organic 10-acre Sonoma County vineyard.
While working as a baker in college, Hal Landvoigt’s fate was
sealed when he was handed a glass of red wine at a party. More
than 20 years later, Winemaker Hal Landvoigt is the driving
spirit behind Precept Wine, traveling the Pacific Northwest and
the world to source the finest grapes and cultivate uniquely
unpretentious styles of wine.
Brian Leahy served as the Director of the California Department
of Pesticide Regulation as an appointee in the Governor Brown
Administration and as Assistant Director of the Department of
Conservation in charge of the Division of Land Use Protection as
an appointee in the Governor Schwarzenegger Administration.
Before joining state service his roles included: Executive
Director of California Certified Organic Farmers; Staff Attorney
with Legal Aid of Nebraska; and owner/operator of Cherokee Ranch,
a 900-acre organic rice farm.
Craig Ledbetter graduated from California State University,
Fresno; with a BS in Agriculture Economics. He is the part of the
third generation that has joined Vino Farms, LLC, and the fourth
generation in California farming.
Jenny Lester Moffitt is a 5th generation California farmer and
Undersecretary at the California Department of Food and
Agriculture, where she was Deputy Secretary from January 2015 –
February 2018. Her original appointment by Governor Jerry
Brown was confirmed by Governor Gavin Newsom in early 2019. Jenny
engages stakeholders on issues that affect ranchers and farmers,
including climate change, biodiversity, land use, water policy,
and food security.
Steven Lindow is a professor of Plant Pathology at the University
of California, Berkeley, Department of Plant and Microbial
Biology. He studies the microbiology of plants with special
attention to the epidemiology of bacterial diseases of important
California crops. His work has also focused on the biology of the
causal bacterial pathogens to identify novel means of control of
Natalia Loscos Lupini is currently an Analytical Research
Scientist in the Chemistry Department at E. & J. Gallo Winery
where her focus is the analysis of the aroma and flavor of grapes
and wines. Natalia joined E. & J. Gallo Winery in 2010 as a
Post-Doctoral Researcher after completing her PhD in Analytical
Chemistry at the University of Zaragoza in Spain.
Julie Lumgair is a noted consulting and hands-on luxury tier
winemaker for J. Moss and other wineries and a fifth generation
family farmer. Her wines span fourteen vintages and 25 varietals
from nine of Napa Valley’s world class AVAs, Italy and Sonoma’s
Russian River Valley, Chalk Hill, Knights Valley and Alexander
Valley AVAs. Her calling cards are consistently producing wines
that garner acclaim, distinctly farming and expressing vineyards,
excellence in operations and a passionate attention to customer
delight and lasting relationships.
Brian Mackey joined Chateau Ste. Michelle in 2011 and was
promoted to Head Red Winemaker in 2018. While winemaking has long
been a part of his life through his family, his path to Winemaker
is an unconventional one. He has worked in publishing, software,
and for many years as a camera man on movies and television shows
in New York and Los Angeles. Throughout all of these careers
Brian has been driven by a desire to create something that
provides enjoyment and enriches people’s lives. At Chateau Ste.
Michelle he has found the perfect home for his various skills and
Nora McAuley is a Human Resources Client Manager at Trinchero
Family Estates. She joined TFE full-time in 2008 after interning
with the company and earning her degree in Business
Administration from Chico State. As an HR Generalist and Client
Manager, Nora has worked in both the Napa and Central Valleys,
engaging employees and leaders through recruitment, employee
development, performance management and succession planning. In
2015 she supported the organization through a large change
initiative as they opened a new facility, relocating many jobs
and hiring over 100 new employees.
Having grown up in the Napa Valley, Liz always knew it would be
her forever home. She spent eight years in the mid west
(Detroit), before coming home to roost. With a unique background
having a degree in Finance & Business Management, and 20 years’
experience in Direct to Consumer Experience marketing, she
approaches the multiple needs of the business balancing the
business and guest needs. Her career includes time with Diageo
and Pernod Ricard, followed by nearly six years with Gallo, and
to a small family owned luxury brand.
Darren Michaels was originally a fermentation technician of
fragment and whole antibodies at Scripps Research of Immunology
and entered the wine industry 18 years ago as a wine chemist for
Trinchero Family Estates, covering wine and beverage projects.
Christian Miller has worked in market research, brand and
category management for over two decades. He is the proprietor of
Full Glass Research, which provides economic and market research
and analysis for food and beverage producers and marketers. A
member of the original Wine Market Council Research Committee, he
also helped launch and continues to advise the Wine Opinions
national consumer and trade panels. Christian holds a B.A. in
Economics from Franklin & Marshall College and an M.B.A. from
Cornell University’s Johnson Graduate School of Management.
Luna’s Winemaker Shawna Miller graduated from Virginia Tech with
a forestry degree, then worked for several land management
agencies and university facilities across the U.S. After several
travelling harvest seasons, Shawna received a UC Extension
Winemaking Certificate from UC Davis, California, exchanging
trees for vines, and groundwater samples for barrel samples.
Shawna joined Luna Vineyards after working for several high
profile wineries throughout the Napa Valley, New Zealand, and
While Allison Moore was attending CSU Chico, an internship
opportunity with Sierra Nevada Brewery’s Research and Development
lab presented the realization that she could apply her B.S. in
Biochemistry to making beer or wine. Always more of a wine than
beer drinker anyway, after a short tenure she left the brewery
for E. & J. Gallo in Sonoma, where she worked several harvests.
Allison joined Trinchero Family Estates in 2014 and made the
Central Valley her home. She supervised a large team of
technicians in the analytical lab before joining the winemaking
team as Enologist in 2018.
Boyd’s dreams of being a professional Jai alai playing, spear
fishing, astronaut took a fortunate detour into winemaking. Early
in his career, Boyd met his first wife, Cara Morrison, during a
harvest in Monterey County and together they settled in Sonoma
County 19 years ago.
For the last 15 years Boyd has held several winemaking roles with
the E. & J. Gallo Winery. Currently, Boyd is focused on
collaborating with Winemaking and Marketing partners to bring new
products to life.
Lee grew up in East Tennessee and studied molecular biology at
the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga. Like any good molecular
biologist, he took a job as a beer brewer out of college and
learned about fermentation as a craft brewer. After a couple of
years brewing, Lee enrolled into graduate school to study Food
Microbiology at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. He fell in
love with all things wine when he took a part-time job at a new
winery in Knoxville, TN and began making small batches.
Michelle Moyer is an Associate Professor of Viticulture and
Statewide Viticulture Extension Specialist, based at Washington
State University’s Irrigated Agriculture Research and Extension
Center in Prosser, WA. She received her bachelor’s degree in
Genetics and Plant Pathology from the University of
Wisconsin-Madison, and her doctorate from Cornell University at
the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station, majoring in
plant pathology and working on risk assessment for Grape Powdery
Juan Muñoz-Oca is Executive Vice President of Winemaking,
Vineyards and Operations for Ste. Michelle Wine Estates,
overseeing production at all of the company’s properties in
Washington, Oregon and California.
Quality Manager at ETS. Debra joined the ETS team in 2015,
contributing her extensive experience as a quality manager and
analytical chemist. She is responsible for overseeing quality and
maintaining accreditation standards across all ETS locations.
Debra earned a B.S. degree in Chemistry with an emphasis on
biochemistry, and a B.A. in English. She holds professional
membership in AOAC, the American Society for Quality, and the
American Chemical Society.
David Orth, of Clovis, is principal of New Current Water and
Land, LLC, which offers strategic planning, program
implementation and water resource development services. Orth has
over 35 years of financial and management experience, serving
previously as general manager of the Kings River Conservation
District from 2002 until August of 2015 and as executive officer
of Friant North Authority from August 2015 until December 2016.
Matt Parker, CEO of Silverado, is responsible for all investment
and management activity for Silverado’s portfolio. Silverado is a
division of Westchester Group Investment Management and manages
approximately 20,000 acres of vineyards California, Washington
and New Zealand. Silverado supplies premium wine grapes to more
than 100 customers.
Sonia is a Laboratory Quality Manager at Gallo. She is a Quality
Assurance Professional recognized for developing and delivering a
comprehensive Staff Development Quality Systems Regulation
Training Program including ISO 13485, ISO 17025, FDA regulations,
International regulations and organizational development of
Exceptionally skilled at communicating and translating business
processes into functionality. Recognized as a trusted adviser, a
results oriented leader with passion for new technology,
computers and e-learning.
Dan Petroski was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. After attending
Columbia University where he played football, Dan went to work
for Time, Inc. While there, he earned his MBA from NYU and worked
his way up the ranks in magazine publishing. When the Wall Street
Journal tried to poach him, Dan took a moment to reflect.
Deciding a change of life was in order, he jettisoned to Sicily
for a year, where he interned at Valle dell’Acate. While Dan’s
intention was to return to New York to sell wine, a harvest
invitation from DuMOL in 2006 was too good to pass up.
Madeline Puckette is the chief design officer at Folly
Enterprises and co-creator of WineFolly.com. With a background in
design at California Institute of the Arts, she founded Wine
Folly, an award-winning blog dedicated to consumer wine education
using data visualization, internet communication strategy, and
With an extensive background in winemaking and winegrowing
Nicolas Quillé brings a distinct skill set to Crimson. Nicolas,
who joined Crimson Wine Group in April 2018, oversees all
winemaking and operational functions; ensuring the highest level
of quality to support Crimson’s mission of crafting benchmark
wines and creating uniquely wonderful wine experiences.
Taryn Ravazzini was appointed Deputy Director of Statewide
Groundwater Management in May 2019. Taryn leads the Department’s
implementation of the landmark 2014 Sustainable Groundwater
Management Act, and established DWR’s Executive Sustainable
Groundwater Management Office in January 2018. She served as an
executive advisor to the California Water Commission, having
previously held the position of acting executive officer for the
Commission in 2016-2017.
James A. Regusci (Jim) was born and raised a Napa Valley
third-generation farmer. In 1986, at just 19 years old, Jim
founded Regusci Vineyard Management (RVM). With just a white
pick-up truck and a strong will, he built a farming company that
today manages over 1,500 acres and custom farms an additional
1,300, as well as employs over 175 full-time employees. In the
mid-1990s, Jim and his late father, Angelo Regusci, returned
winemaking to their historical family property and bottled their
first Regusci Winery Cabernet Sauvignon.
Gaspar Roby’s career span a range of roles within the end-to-end
wine supply chain in large and small, public and privately held
companies. He began as a Viticulturist and Vineyard Manager in
Mendoza, Argentina, before moving to California, where he
continued his winegrowing career in the Napa Valley, working for
grape growers such as Andy Beckstoffer.
Susana Rodriguez Vasquez (Susy) is the winemaker for Peltier
winery (Lodi, Ca). She studied B.S. in Agronomy at Universidad
Mayor de San Simon (Cochabamba, Bolivia), to further continue her
studies in the US, focused on Organic crops at California State
University, San Luis Obispo. She received the Certificate of
completion IOIA/CCOF Organic crop Inspection training and the
Winemaker Certificate Program at UC Davis Viticulture Department.
John Roncoroni is a Weed Science Farm Advisor with the University
of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) in Napa county. John
received B.S. (Environmental Policy Analysis and Planning with an
emphasis in Agriculture) from UC Davis and began working in weed
control as a Staff Research Associate at UC Davis in 1983. He
earned his M.S. (Horticulture) from UC Davis in 1999. He became a
UCCE Weed Science Farm Advisor in Napa County and an IPM
affiliate advisor in March, 2007.
Pat Roney, CEO/Founding Partner, Vintage Wine Estates, is a
long-time wine industry executive and vintner. Pat Roney is at
the helm at one of America’s fastest growing wine companies.
Vintage Wine Estates was formed with the merger of Roney’s Girard
Winery and Windsor Vineyards in 2007.
Tim Ryan is Senior Director, Regulatory Affairs and Compliance,
for E. & J. Gallo Winery. He is responsible for ensuring
compliance with the relevant regulations in all areas of alcohol
beverage production, distribution and advertising, for both U.S.
and international markets. He also works through appropriate
trade associations to monitor and influence relevant regulations
on a global basis.
Tim earned Bachelor of Science and Ph.D. degrees from University
College Cork, Ireland (1987, 1991) and a Masters in Business
Administration from St. Mary’s (Moraga, CA) in 2006.
Heidi is Executive Vice President of Scheid Family Wines. She
joined the company in 1992 as Director of Planning and served as
Vice President of Finance and Chief Financial Officer from 1997
to 2001. Since 2001, her executive role has encompassed many
facets of the business, including sales and marketing for a
wide-ranging portfolio of wines for the company. During her
tenure, Heidi has helped expand Scheid’s vineyard holdings to 12
estate sites and taken the wines of the Scheid family to every
state in the U.S. and 13 different countries.
Dr. Bill Silver is the President of New Markets for CannaCraft
Inc., California’s largest producer of premium cannabis brands
including Care by Design, Absolute Xtracts, Gas, Loud and Clear &
Satori Chocolates. CannaCraft has been at the forefront of
industry innovation and advancement, setting the gold-standard
for legal and responsible cannabis businesses. Recently,
CannaCraft partnered with Lagunitas to bring HiFi Hops to market.
HiFi Hops has quickly become California’s best-selling sparkling
cannabis beverage and will soon be available across the
As the create sales force behind Smith Story Wine Cellars, Alison
Smith Story puts a heap of stock in the power of community. After
a decade of running her Austin, Texas boutique sales and
marketing firm for wineries and importers she was convinced there
was room for a new winery doing things old school by frankly
telling their true story powered by incredibly delicious wine.
“Kickstarted” with husband Eric in 2014, Smith Story is the first
winery to be fully crowdfunded.
Dr. Sommer joined the Department of Viticulture and Enology as
the Director of the Viticulture and Enology Research Center
(VERC) in the Spring 2019 semester. As Director of VERC, Sommer
provides research and administrative leadership by planning,
promoting, and administering all viticulture and enology research
programs. Responsibilities involve collaboration with other
research centers within the Jordan College and university, the
Department of Viticulture and Enology, other institutions, and
the grape and wine industry.
Born and raised in Chile, Rodrigo Soto has been involved in the
food and wine industry nearly all his life. His interest in wine
began with a summer job at the age of 14, and after growing
intrigued, decided to
study agronomy in university.
Rodrigo wrote his thesis on organic farming, and upon graduating,
spent the next ten years back and forth between California
Chile, further expanding his knowledge in organics and
biodynamics. Ultimately, Rodrigo brought these experiences to
Benziger in the Russian River Valley where he learned to
translate his biodynamic
Kryss Speegle works in bulk wine and spirits sales at O’Neill
Vintners & Distillers, the seventh largest winery in the U.S. and
one of California’s leading suppliers of bulk and exclusive
brands programs. She has held sales, winemaking and educational
roles in the wine industry for nearly 20 years, joining O’Neill
in 2011 as a lead winemaker.
Kryss has an M.S. in Food Science/Enology from U.C. Davis and a
Diploma in Wines and Spirits from the Wine & Spirit Education
Trust. She also teaches at the Napa Valley Wine Academy.
Chris Storm is the Director of Viticulturist for Vino Farms which
manages vineyards across the state on over 16,000 acres. In this
capacity, he leads a team of Viticulturists, Scouts and Vit Techs
in making viticulture, nutrition, irrigation, canopy and pest
Before joining Vino Farms, he was the Viticulturist for the Lodi
Winegrape Commission where helped develop and write the Lodi
Rules for Sustainable Winegrowing certification program and the
Lodi Winegrowers Workbook: A Self Assessment of Sustainable
Dale Stratton brings over 35 years of experience in the Beverage
Alcohol Industry to his role as an independent consultant. Dale
recently retired from Constellation Brands where he was the Vice
President, Commercial Insights working across their Beer, Wine,
and Spirits divisions. While at Constellation Brands he oversaw
consumer and shopper insights, consumer affairs, business
analytics, market research, category management initiatives and
the wine sensory program.
Keith Striegler earned his Ph.D. in Horticulture from Michigan
State University in 1990, his M.S. in 1982 and B.S. in 1979 in
Horticulture Food Science from the University of Arkansas. He has
been the Grower Outreach Specialist for E&J Gallo Winery
since 2014. Prior to that he was the Outreach Coordinator for the
National Clean Plant Network from 2012-2014. From 2006-2011 he
was the Director and Viticulture Program Leader at the University
Director of Analytical Services Laboratory, E&J Gallo Winery.
Over 20 years of experience in wine analysis field. Steve is
passionate about data quality and is a strong supporter of
Quality Management Structure and believes in continuous
improvement through application of standards and innovation.
Dave Terry is the Lead Viticulturist for Scheid Family Wines in
Monterey County. He received a graduate degree in Viticulture and
Enology from CSU-Fresno with an emphasis on vineyard
mechanization and its effect on canopy efficiency, vine
microclimate and grape/wine quality. Dave has also worked in
vineyards located within the San Joaquin Valley, San Luis Obispo
County, Santa Barbara County, and Washington State.
Dr. Liz Thach, MW (pronounced “tosh”) is a Wine, Food & Travel
Journalist as well as a Wine Educator and Researcher. Her current
position is Distinguished Professor of Wine and Management at
Sonoma State University where she teaches in both the
undergraduate and Wine MBA programs. Liz’s passion is wine, and
she has visited most of the major wine regions of the world and
more than 50 countries.
Erica grew up in Northern CA and studied at California
Polytechnic University in San Luis Obispo. Erica knew she found
her home at Jackson Family Wines after spending a summer working
at La Crema Winery in the tasting room. With a love of food and
wine Erica spent the beginning of her career in the distribution
side of the business working in both the off-premise channel and
on-premise channel for Regal Wine Co.
As President and CEO, Rick Tigner provides strategic leadership
and establishes long-range goals for Jackson Family Wines. Deeply
steeped in the art and business of wine making, he has been with
the company for more than 25 years.
He joined Jackson Family Wines in 1991, and rapidly advanced
through its sales department. Rick became Executive Vice
President in 2001 and was promoted to President in 2010. He was
named Chief Executive Officer in 2015.
Dr. Elizabeth Tomasino is an Associate Professor of enology at
Oregon State University and a core member of the Oregon Wine
Research Institute including management of the winemaker sensory
panel. Elizabeth’s Ph.D. in Oenology was earned from Lincoln
University in New Zealand and incorporated components of
microbiology, winemaking, sensory science, chemistry and food
science. Her knowledge of wine was expanded through multiple
industry experiences with E & J Gallo, Yalumba Winery, Robert
Mondavi Winery, Giesen Wine Estates, and Pernod Ricard NZ.
Dr. Gabriel Torres is originally from Colombia, where he got his
bachelor’s degree in Agronomy. After working for some years with
oil palm, Dr. Torres came into the US to do his PhD in Plant
Pathology at Michigan State University. He led the plant
pathology group at the Colombian oil palm research center, before
came back into the US to work as postdoctoral researcher working
on nematodes management on grapes at the Kearney Ag Center.
Marcia has over 20 years of professional winemaking experience.
She is a senior winemaker at Jackson Family Wines and is the head
Winemaker for Matanzas Creek Winery. She received her Bachelor of
Science in Agricultural Engineering, with an emphasis in
Viticulture and Enology at Catholic University in Santiago.
John Trinidad is a wine law attorney and partner at Dickenson
Peatman & Fogarty in Napa, California. He advises wine industry
clients on a broad range of legal issues, including licensing,
federal and state regulations, and business contracts. John is
also a lecturer at the University of California Berkeley School
of Law, where he teaches a course on wine law, and has been a
guest speaker at the University of California Davis School of
Law, Sonoma State University’s Executive MBA Program, and the
University of California Davis Executive MBA Program.
Mike Veseth (pronounced VEE-seth) is editor of The Wine Economist
newsletter (WineEconomist.com) and author of more than a dozen
books including Wine Wars (2011), Extreme Wine (2013), Money,
Taste & Wine: It’s Complicated! (2015), and Around the World in
Eighty Wines (2018). He is a sought-after speaker at wine
industry meetings both in the United States and around the
After beginning his career as a scientist in the wood products
industry, Cheney took cues from his identical twin brother and
jumped head-first into wine production. After chasing harvests in
New Zealand, Australia, France and numerous Oregon vintages,
Cheney found himself at the rapidly growing Union Wine Company.
For 10 years, Hardy Wallace has helped redefine CA Wine. As owner
and winemaker of Dirty and Rowdy Family Winery, Hardy has focused
on lesser known varieties, leveraged ancient and new methods, and
has been the leader in small winery wine marketing.
Hardy and his work has been featured in hundreds of publications.
His pioneering work at Dirty and Rowdy has influenced and
inspired wineries around the world.
As a speaker he has addressed groups from Google, Wharton, UCLA
Business School, and others.
A Napa Valley native whose father is also a winemaker, Nate grew
up with wine on the table and a drawer full of t‐shirts
emblazoned with winery logos. His first job after graduating with
honors from UC Santa Barbara with a BS in Biopsychology was as a
“cellar rat” at Groth Vineyards & Winery. “I loved that first
harvest, so I packed my bags, dropped my application for UC Davis
in the mail and went off to Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand to work
As the Director of Wine at ONEHOPE, Mari has played an integral
part in developing wine education for the brand and its
merit-based marketing platform, via ONEHOPE, which empowers
entrepreneurs to make an impact while making an income. In her
role at ONEHOPE, Mari also acts as winemaker and works with
partners to create wines that customers enjoy.
Geni Whitehouse, CPA divides her time between working as a winery
consultant at Brotemarkle, Davis & Co in the Napa Valley, working
with Mentor Plus to drive the accounting profession forward, and
writing, speaking, and tweeting at EvenANerd.com.
Her mission in life is to make boring subjects interesting and
she is seldom at a loss for topics.
John was raised on a farm outside of Saint Louis, MO, in Southern
Illinois where he worked in several aspects of farming and ag
retail before attending Southern Illinois University, where he
holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Agribusiness Economics and
a minor in Plant and Soil Science.
Damien Wilson was appointed in August 2015 as the inaugural Hamel
Family Chair of Wine Business Education with SSU’s Wine Business
Institute. He joined the Wine Business Institute from Burgundy’s
School of Wine and Spirits Business, after having established an
almost decade-long European professorial career, following his
initiation as an academic with the University of South Australia
Jennifer Jo has spent over 30 years joyously listening to the
signals of life and using that knowledge to innovate. Her
experience spans diverse industries/companies (E&J Gallo
Winery, The Gillette Company, Proctor and Gamble, Pepsi-Cola,
consulting firms), and numerous disciplines across the entire
supply chain (insights, brand and product development, quality
control, consumer relations, ad claims, and technology
development). No matter what the situation she believes that
human empathy drives better business results!
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