John Aguirre serves as president of the California Association of
Winegrape Growers (CAWG). CAWG advocates for public policies,
research and education programs, and sustainable farming
practices to enhance the business of growing California
winegrapes. The association represents the growers of more than
50-percent of the gross grape tonnage crushed for wine and
concentrate in California.
I have been teaching and researching in viticulture +25 years. My
fields of expertise are vine water relations, varieties agronomic
response and viticultural practices, in general. I have
coordinated the books Fundamentos del Riego en la Vid and Guia de
Campo de Viticultura.
I am actually working on the usefulness of hyperspectral indexes
applied to viticulture to assist in irrigation management and
Sparkling wine has been part of Eva Bertran’s life since the day
she was born when her father placed a drop of it on her lips.
Descended from a family of wine merchants, Eva was raised in
Barcelona, the capital of Catalonia.
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 400+ 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 is the former Senior Vice President of Nielsen’s Beverage
Alcohol Practice Area in the United States, where for close to 20
years he led teams that supported relationships with Nielsen’s
many Beer, Wine, and Spirits clients, as well as with key
industry groups and the media. In that role, Danny
succinctly provided data driven analysis and insights, focused on
the U.S. retail environment and consumer/shopper – who they are,
what they buy, and why – and what to expect looking ahead.
Chris Carpenter is winemaker for many of Napa Valley’s most
prestigious wineries, including Cardinale, Lokoya, La Jota
Vineyard Co., Mt. Brave, Caladan, and Hickinbotham Clarendon
Vineyard in South Australia’s McLaren Vale. Over the past two
decades, Chris has earned a reputation for taming Napa Valley’s
mountain tannins and creating legendary Cabernet Sauvignon. He
works closely with the vineyard team to nurture and then manifest
the unique character of each vineyard block in elegant wines with
great depth, mountain character and historic pedigree.
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.
Mimi grew up on her family’s vineyard, Bethel Heights. Growing up
working in the vineyard and winery, Mimi gained such an
appreciation for the industry that she promptly left home after
high school. Armed with a BA in History and Classics from Tulane
University, Mimi spent the next year working in various National
Forests across the west. Her adventures fueled her passion for
studying botany, forestry, and ecology.
Kassidy Clark is the Director of Marketing for ONX Wines in Paso
Robles, CA. While attending Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, she begun
working as a tasting room associate for a few different wineries
and fell in love with wine and the process of winemaking. She
then went to intern for a well-recognized Central Coast marketing
firm, where she learned her skill of marketing and communicating
for wineries. She saw the opportunity for growth ONX Wines had
and became passionate about being a part of that growth.
Remi Cohen joined Domaine Carneros as CEO in 2020, bringing with
her twenty years of experience in all facets of the fine wine
business, from vineyard management and winemaking to sales,
marketing, and brand development.
Vice President, International Marketing
In her role as Vice President of International Marketing, Honore
draws on her 18 years of international wine marketing,
association management, and brand strategy experience to promote
exports sales of California wines while building the brand for
California wines on a global scale.
Dr. Nick Dokoozlian is the Vice President of Winegrowing Research
at E&J Gallo Winery in Modesto, CA. He also serves as the
Research Chair for the National Grape and Wine Initiative, and is
an Associate Editor of the American Journal of Viticulture and
Prior to joining E. &J. Gallo, Dokoozlian was a member of the
Department of Viticulture and Enology at the University of
California, Davis. Dr. Dokoozlian received his PhD in Plant
Physiology from the University of California, Davis.
Although she was born and raised in Sonoma County, Shannon did
not grow up in agricultural. It was not until her fourth year at
UC Davis, while studying Genetics that she took the Introduction
to Winemaking course, and discovered her passion for the wine
industry, specifically the vineyards. A light went on, and she
realized that rather than working inside for the rest of her
life, she could still learn and apply her love of science, but
work outdoors, and more importantly, have a career that allowed
her to move back to her hometown.
A graduate of Stellenbosch University with a dual degree in
viticulture and enology, I became involved while at university in
clonal research at the school’s experimental farm, where I was
responsible for crafting over 100 wines. Following graduation, I
traveled to California to join Jordan Vineyards & Winery as a
harvest intern. Over the next 12 years, I held positions of
increasing responsibility at Jordan, ultimately becoming
Associate Winemaker under founding winemaker Rob Davis.
Vinny Eng is a community organizer and founding member of SF New
Deal – a rapid relief nonprofit formed in response to COVID-19.
The organization provides financial support for local small
businesses who provide meals to San Francisco residents facing
food insecurity. To date, SF New Deal efforts have delivered over
1.2 million meals and disbursed over $12 million. He is an award
winning wine director and general manager and was named a Food
and Wine Magazine Sommelier of the Year in 2019.
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