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.
Dr. Maria Mar Alsina is currently a research scientist at the E.
& J. Gallo Winery, Winegrowing Research department. She
integrates the knowledge of vine water relations and their impact
on yield and quality with remote sensing techniques for
irrigation management in vineyards.
Torey has spent over two decades in the wine technology space.
First, as an area scientist at ETS Laboratories, working to
commercialize DNA testing for wine spoilage microorganisms. After
a brief stint working in human health diagnostics, he returned to
wine and joined Jackson Family Wines as the director of
Laboratory Technical Services. Torey currently serves dual roles
as director of applied research & development for the wine
company and as chief scientist for Sonomaceutials/WholeVine
Products, a startup, promoting valorization of wine grape
Lise Asimont started her career in the wine industry while
studying anthropology at Saint Mary’s College of California.
She devoted a junior thesis to the inner-workings of a
small winery in the Russian River Valley. While there, she
developed a love for winegrowing and went on to study with the
Environmental Horticulture graduate group at the University of
California, Davis with a specialization in Viticulture. She
studied under Dr. M. A. Walker at the University of California,
and conducted her master’s research on grapevine rootstock
resistance to root-knot nematodes.
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
Michael is currently working as a North Coast Sales Manager with
Grow West in Geyserville serving Sonoma and Napa as well as Lake
and Mendocino counties. Grow West specializes in Agricultural
Technologies, Transitional and Organic Farming: consulting and
product sourcing, as well as Fertilizer manufacturing and
In 1982, Michael earned a Bachelor of Science degree in
Agricultural Science and Management: Plant Science – Viticulture
from the University of California, Davis. He holds both PCA 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.
Tony Bugica represents the fourth generation of a farming family.
Attending the University of Nevada, Reno, he studied biology.
After college, he started Bugica Landscaping and Excavation.
During his 10 years as President of Bugica Landscaping, he
managed 120+ employees which included supervision of over 500
commercial and residential properties in the Reno-Tahoe area.
Tony’s company was honored with many awards in recognition for
its unique designs and beautiful landscapes, and as one of the
top landscaping contractors in the Reno-Tahoe area.
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.
Kimberly Charles’ name is synonymous with wine marketing at its
best level. Over her 30+ year career she has, through her
creative marketing efforts helped brands such as Taittinger
Champagne, Domaine Carneros, Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco
Superiore DOCG, Square One Organic Vodka, Cakebread Cellars,
Wente Vineyards, the region of Lodi, E. & J. Gallo among many
others attain a level of recognition and draw in the marketplace.
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.
Dr. Collins has been an Assistant Professor of Grape and Wine
Chemistry in the Viticulture and Enology Program at Washington
State University since 2015. He manages a research program
in wine and spirits aroma and flavor chemistry and teaches course
in wine chemistry and winery operations. Much of his current
research program focuses on the impact of smoke exposure on grape
and wine quality.
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.
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