Session Topics & Tracks
9:30am - 10:30am
11:00am - 12:00pm
12:30pm - 1:30pm
2:00pm - 3:00pm
The presence, or absence, of aromas can make the difference between a good wine and an exceptional one. However, once certain aromas escape the fermenting tank, they are gone forever. How can winemakers prevent aroma-loss? Are there ways to retain aroma without tampering with the fermentation process? Join this panel of winemakers who have experienced success in aroma retention. Learn their processes, what lab analyses conclude and - most importantly - how the results have affected completed wines.
Omnichannel strategy is the practice of promoting your brand across multiple communication avenues, with the goal to create a comprehensive and seamless experience for your customer. From online interaction, to brick-and-mortar experience, to dinner table presence, having a clear and authentic brand connection for consumers is key for the success of your business. Within the last year, dramatic shifts in consumer purchasing behavior have elevated the importance of creating a recognizable brand identity; retailers and marketers have had to adapt quickly in order to continue delivering an engaging customer experience that not only reaches new customers but remains relevant to the most loyal ones.
Executive Director / Affinity Creative GroupRead Bio
Marketing Manager / MartinelliRead Bio
Director of Marketing / Rombauer VineyardsRead Bio
Creative Director / Affinity Creative GroupRead Bio
Creative Director / Affinity Creative GroupRead Bio
This session, presented by industry veterans and category experts, Brian Clements of Turrentine Brokerage, Dale Stratton from Azur Associates, SipSource, and Wine Market Council, and Danny Brager from Azur Associates and former leader of Nielsen's Beverage Alcohol Practice, will recap the 2021 harvest and provide an update of the current state of the bulk wine market and grape/wine market with a specific emphasis on the North Coast. In addition, the panel will present sales data, highlighting consumer trends in the marketplace, and cyclical activities that have historically impacted the region. The session will also touch on other North Coast events and/or occurrences that must be factored in when forecasting and planning for 2022 and beyond.
Owner, Former SVP / Brager Beverage Alcohol Consulting, Nielsen's Beverage Alcohol PracticeRead Bio
Vice President, Partner / Turrentine BrokerageRead Bio
President / Wine Market CouncilRead Bio
Consumers are demanding more clean-crafted and organically-labelled wines. As a result, ingredient labeling is making its way onto wine bottles. This new reality necessitates innovative winemaking tools that can replace chemical inputs, such as SO2. This session will explore a variety of options for winemakers looking to produce "clean," organic, and low/no SO2 products with a focus on white wines and principles that extend into rosé production as well.
Young Millennials and adult GenZs have officially entered the wine consumer category and wineries are grappling with how to reach these "digital natives." In order to thrive in the new digital-driven age, wineries must break out of the box of stale social feed posts, eBlasts, and Search Engine Marketing, and rethink their DTC channels to focus on experience-driven consumer engagement. Learn how some wineries are pioneering this effort with mobile experiences while engaging up-and-coming wine enthusiasts beyond the tasting room.
The Glue / WISE AcademyRead Bio
General Manager / Farm Collective Napa ValleyRead Bio
Founder / Red ChirpRead Bio
Hospitality & DTC Manager / Judd's Hill Winery & MicroCrushRead Bio
Over the last several years, the bulk wine industry has gained serious momentum; it now offers a diverse range of business opportunities for large, medium, and boutique wineries alike. Join Caterina Tucci from the World Bulk Wine Exhibition to learn more about current and future prospects within the bulk wine industry. This session will touch on how changes in the US economy coupled with the pandemic, has streamlined opportunities in this sector of the industry and how you can best utilize bulk wine to enhance your wine business.
North Coast growers are no strangers to drought. With droughts seemingly growing in frequency and intensity, viticulturists are facing new struggles with water regulations and competition, sometimes resulting in complete loss of irrigation access. Where do we go from here? Join this panel of viticulture experts as they discuss vineyard management techniques to use during these drought periods (and conversely during periods of ample to excessive rainfall) and share their own methods of practical vineyard management during the dry years.
It is widely held that early extraction of monomeric anthocyanins reduces tannin polymer length, resulting in smaller colloids with greater surface area, more refined texture and greater aromatic integration. Many technologies have been recently devised to overcome pectin inhibition of extraction. This session will explore accentuated cut edges and how they provide a simple, effective, and economical approach. The results of nine controlled trials from the 2020 harvest will be explored, including data trends from sensory and phenolic analysis along with observations by participating winemakers. Attendees will have the opportunity to taste and compare controlled trials from the 2020 and 2021 harvests.
Winemaker & Consultant / WineSmithRead Bio
Project Manager & Research Director / Della Toffola USARead Bio
CEO Della Toffola USARead Bio
Co-Founder / VinovationRead Bio
A new generation of wine consumers has entered the market and the world of wine clubs is evolving from the status quo. With these changes in expectations and needs, wineries are struggling to sign up new members and retain existing members with the standard wine club structure. More and more wineries are moving towards user-choice clubs to offer customers flexibility—but is this enough to keep up with consumers' rising expectations? This session, presented by Commerce7, will explore the current landscape of wine clubs and modern subscriptions, what top-performing wineries are doing to retain members, and how wineries can leverage industry and consumer trends to ultimately modernize and grow their club.
As an agricultural-based industry, increasing a wine business’ sustainability effort and decreasing its carbon footprint is of the utmost importance. The questions are: How can a winery enhance its sensitivity to the environment while still maintaining a viable, thriving business endeavor? What changes can your winery make to support a sustainable future? What resources are available to support your sustainability goals? This session, led by sustainability experts and early champions of International Wineries for Climate Action (IWCA); will address those questions and discuss the efforts made internationally to offset the impact our industry has on the environment, as well as present solutions readily available to wineries of all sizes looking to incorporate changes to lower their carbon footprint and move towards a more sustainable future.
Without question, artificial intelligence (AI) is and will continue to transform viticulture practices. In this session technologists will weigh in on the scientific breakthroughs that have led to the current capabilities of AI systems, the automation and AI systems currently in production viticulture, and the promising automation and AI products of the future. The panel features growers who can speak to their experiences with cutting edge viticultural technology. They will explore how they evaluate potential new tools, best practices for implementing them in the field, and how to create a team culture willing to experiment with and adapt to these innovations. Whether you are ready to move your vineyard into the 21st century or are simply looking to learn more about this technology, this session will provide valuable insights and first-hand feedback.
Co-Founder & CEO / Tule TechnologiesRead Bio
Director of Viticulture / Foley Family WinesRead Bio
Assistant Professor of Biological and Agricultural Engineering and Viticulture and Enology / UC DavisRead Bio
VP of Farming Operations / Nichols FarmsRead Bio
Chief Digital Officer / Monarch TractorsRead Bio
Every wine barrel has unique qualities, which typically lead to different sensory outcomes—even when the wine, cooperage, and barrel type are all the same. However, relatively little work has been done to evaluate individual barrel performances on a chemical level and what those potential differences mean for wine quality. Technology has been used to collect free SO2 measurements for relatively large quantities of barrels across multiple wineries, barrel groups, and wine varietals. Join this session to understand the data collected, what actions it prompted from the winemakers, and what your next steps are to incorporate this technology into your own cellar.
Maintaining a quality website is a given for wine producers; however, it wasn’t until the lockdown of 2020 that wineries were forced to lean on their online stores at a level they never had before. Now, there's no turning back, as the expectations of consumers continue to fuel remarkable wine e-commerce growth. Now it is time for wineries to start proactively looking at the benefits of e-commerce and mobile commerce to enhance your DTC sales. Join this panel of experts to learn how mobile commerce is the new must-have DTC channel, and how the mobile experience can help them achieve sustainable business growth in the digital age for wine.
Founder / Pair AnythingRead Bio
Winemaker, Managing Partner / Baker Family WinesRead Bio
President & Owner / Creative Wine Concepts, Scott Harvey WinesRead Bio
Director of Communications, Sales, and Exports / Honig Winery & VineyardRead Bio
Well beyond direct results of the pandemic, both 2020 and 2021 have been very active for mergers and acquisitions markets for the wine industry. International Wine Associates has been actively tracking the various elements driving this increased activity and anticipates these trends will continue for the next few years. During this session, join experts as they dive into the background and reasons behind this and future projections about how the market will continue to develop in 2022 and beyond.
Regenerative viticulture takes farming back to its roots—figuratively and literally. It's by no means a modern concept: this farming method was the only farming method for many years before conventional techniques and technology took over. But this ancient agricultural practice has resurfaced in modern vineyards, touted as a step above sustainable, organic, and even biodynamic viticulture. At its core, regenerative farming is farming that uses natural processes to build restorative elements within the farmed space and the broader ecosystem. It is "farming in service of life," as Paul Dolan, fourth-generation winemaker and cofounder of Truett-Hurst, describes. Join this panel of experts to learn what regenerative agriculture practice means in terms of grape growing, its benefits over other sustainable measures, and best practices for transitioning a vineyard.
Managing Editor / Wine Industry AdvisorRead Bio
Co-Founder / Truett-HurstRead Bio
Viticulturist / Tablas Creek VineyardRead Bio
Sustainability Manager / Gundlach BundshcuRead Bio
Executive Director / Regenerative Organic AllianceRead Bio
Meet the Experts
Speaker Bios + Q&A's
Anna is a California native and graduated from Cal Poly SLO in 2013 with a degree in Food Science. She began her winemaking career by interning at various wineries throughout the wine regions of New Zealand, Virginia, and California. She worked her way up from Lab Technician to Assistant Winemaker in Northern California before starting with Scott Labs as a Technical Enology and Cellar Specialist in 2020. Anna lives in Sonoma County and currently works as a West Coast Production Manager for Scout & Cellar; a wine company producing clean-crafted wine and other beverages, such as wine-based cocktails or spritzers. She loves to make wine, cycle, and spend time with her family and friends.
Artem holds a BA in International Business from the University of Manchester, and an MBA in Innovation and Entrepreneurship from the University of British Columbia. Born and raised in Russia, Artem built a successful career as a private banker at Barclays in London, UK. Eventually, his love for the outdoors brought him to Vancouver, where he continues to pursue his passion for nature, people and technology.
Danny Brager brings a wealth of experience in the Beverage Alcohol industry to his role as an independent consultant.
He 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 (suppliers, importers, distributors, and retailers) 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.
In September 2020, Danny introduced Brager Beverage Alcohol Consulting, offering analysis services to beverage alcohol companies seeking to translate market data into authoritative, fact-based insights in support of their brand and corporate goals.
Danny was born in Calgary, Alberta and moved to Toronto where he graduated from the Schulich School of Business at York University in Toronto with an Honors Bachelor Degree in Business Administration. He relocated to Mission Viejo, California in 1993 where he now resides. He has four grown children - all Millennials across the age range.
Chik Brenneman is the Winemaker and managing partner for Baker Family Wines. After ten years of working and managing clinical laboratories in both the veterinary and human medicine disciplines, Chik graduated with a Master’s degree from UC Davis’s School of Viticulture and Enology. After graduation, he went to work for Amador Foothill Winery and Domaine de la Terre Rouge/Easton Winery in Amador County’s Shenandoah Valley. He then went on to become the production lab manager at Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi, in Lodi California. In 2006, Chik returned to the University of California at Davis to manage their winery. He helped design and build their new state of the art teaching and research winery, which opened in 2010. Chik retired from the University in March 2019 to devote full-time energy to Baker Family Wines in West Sacramento, California. Baker Family Wines produces about 1200 cases of hand-crafted wines per year. bakerfamilywines.com
"Ease of use."
"I think the answer here is simple, younger users are more tech savvy and have more patience to learn new trends. Older users want the same thing so that the experience does not have to be re-learned every time they use it."
"While e-commerce is good for business, the true wine experience is an in-person visit to the winery tasting room."
Stacy Briscoe is a Sonoma-based wine journalist and editor who produces content for several publications including Wine Enthusiast, SevenFifty Daily, and Wine Industry Network, among others. She also speaks at industry conferences, judges wine competitions, and is a WSET Diploma candidate. Follow her on her personal website: BriscoeBites.com.
Jason started his career at the storied West Texas winery, Llano Estacado in 2005, as a lab tech, coming fresh out of college with a Biochemistry degree from the University of Houston. After working eleven harvests in Texas, one in California, and one south of the equator in New Zealand, Jason earned the title of Winemaker for Texas’ second largest and second oldest winery at the completion of the 2015 vintage.
Jason loves the opportunity to work with Texas wine growers to produce unique wines. His passion for showcasing value-priced Texas wines to the public means he spends more time at every stage of winemaking to personally support and shape each wine to its fullest potential, through his postmodern winemaking practices he provides for Llano Estacado. Although maintaining Llano’s vast portfolio of wines has provided ample experience with multiple varietals, Jason’s inspiration continues to come from Italian, Spanish, and Southern French wines such as Montepulciano, Tempranillo, Syrah, and Rhône blends like Marsanne/Roussanne.
In 2011, after a non-linear career path in technology, finance, and design, Heather took her diverse skill set and combined that with her passion for wine, to help build the company Free Flow Wines from the ground up. With a mission to provide the best-tasting and most sustainable glass of wine, Free Flow Wines has pioneered the wine-on-tap category by providing a truly zero-waste package that perfectly preserves the quality of the wine – the reusable steel keg. With the belief that there is always an opportunity to refine and improve, she helped to expand Free Flow’s packaging services to include wine-in-can – the most sustainable package for single-serve wines. Today, Heather oversees all Commercial Business at Free Flow and continues to learn and educate others on the positive impact of sustainable alternative packaging for wine.
"As climate change is becoming more evident worldwide, I'm hopeful all wineries are beginning to realize the inherent value in reducing the carbon footprint of our businesses. There are ample resources available to support these efforts which can also improve business, increase sales and reduce costs. It's a win-win for everyone and this session will illustrate the next steps to make it easy for everyone to get started."
"The International Wineries for Climate Action is a collaborative working group of environmentally-focused wineries looking to reduce carbon outputs in the wine industry, through a science-based and collaborative approach. "
"There are ample local resources available in all communities that provide a wealth of information on how to get started with green business initiatives - from your local waste management authority, to organizations like the California Green Business Network. To assess joining the IWCA, go to https://www.iwcawine.org"
"We can instrument big change through small efforts. Don't be daunted - be curious, learn more, take action and inspire others."
With over 25 years of experience, Brian is a wine business veteran who has worked with small high-end growers and wineries and also with the largest players in the wine business. Brian is Vice President and Partner at Turrentine Brokerage. His responsibilities include managing Turrentine’s industry-leading grape brokerage team and working with clients throughout California, including the North Coast, Central Coast and the Central Valley.
A featured speaker at many wine business events, Brian is an expert in how to effectively balance risks in a volatile market and how to anticipate supply cycles. He has personally negotiated well over $500,000,000 in wine grape contracts, including spot market sales, multiple-year agreements and planting contracts.
Brian is frequently quoted in business and other media regarding wine business conditions and forecasts.
A graduate of Fresno State with a Bachelor of Science degree in Plant Science/Viticulture, he lives in Sonoma County and enjoys time with his family and participating in tennis, racquetball and scuba diving.
"In general, for most major varieties statewide, the 2021 yields were below winery expectations. Well below in some cases.This is one the of the reasons the grape and bulk markets have been very active all year long. So far, the quality feedback from wineries in very positive."
"Taking into consideration the short crop of 2021 and with limited quantities of bulk wine currently on the market for sale, the bulk and grape markets will continue to be active to very active in 2022."
"Basically, the same answer as above; Moving forward, the grape and bulk wine markets for most major varieties will, most likely, be in balance or in short positions. Understanding the markets in relation to what that means for the attendees respective business' will be important for 2022 and beyond."
As a 4th generation winemaker (and later, president) at Fetzer Vineyards in California's Mendocino County, Paul Dolan chose to make a difference in how the winery grew grapes and how the company did business. In his 27 years at Fetzer, he helped oversee its transition from a small family-owned winery to an employee-based organization, selling wine across the globe. Through his persistent efforts, his vision for Fetzer was realized: "...to be recognized as the environmentally, and socially conscious winery, committed to making the highest quality, best valued wines in the world."
He served on the boards of the Wine Institute and Business for Social Responsibility and is a founder of Wine Vision. He participated on President Clinton's Council on Sustainable Business, and he chaired the California Sustainable Alliance Board. He continues to advocate for sustainable business practices and organic farming based on the simple premise that his natural view of our relationship with the world is not only the right view, but also delivers better products and healthier lives.
Paul currently advocates for the possibility of the creation of a new contextual framework for farming by shifting from the current industrial model to a regenerative system designed to build resilience and vitality into the farm. To this end, Paul works with his son on their Biodynamic family farm, Darkhorse Farming Co. - found in the foothills of Mendocino. He also runs a small ultra premium winery in Dry Creek - committed to the principles of regenerative farming. He is also Chairman of the board for Gold Standard Certification Company - Regenerative Organic Certification which is built on the 3 pillars - Social fairness, Animal welfare and Healthy soils, while advocating for the value certification provides.
Haley Duncan is a third-generation vintner from Silver Oak and Twomey Cellars. Haley’s grandfather, Ray Duncan, co-founded Silver Oak in the early 70’s and her father, Tim Duncan has worked at the wineries for over 30 years. After graduating from Skidmore College in 2013 with a degree in Environmental Studies, Haley moved back to California to learn the family business first-hand, working in the vineyards, cellars and customer service department. She then became Project Manager for construction of the new Alexander Valley winery in Healdsburg, specializing in sustainability. Haley has applied her studies to help achieve the first LEED Platinum and Living Building Challenge (LBC) certifications for new construction in the wine business. During construction of the new winery, she also led sustainability initiatives at Silver Oak’s Oakville winery which became the first existing building certified LEED Platinum in July 2016.
"The wine industry depends on a stable climate to farm winegrapes, so we have a vested interest in addressing climate change. We need to do our part now to the minimize longterm effects of a warming world."
"International Wineries for Climate Action (IWCA) is a collaborative working group of environmentally committed wineries focused on a science-based approach to reducing carbon emissions across the wine industry."
"One of the easiest things a winery can do is to look into green power options from their utility provider. Investing in local renewably energy, whenever possible, is important and usually reasonably priced."
"I hope attendees take away at least one change they can make in their business to improve their sustainability efforts."
Mason Earles is Assistant Professor of Biological and Agricultural Engineering and Viticulture and Enology at UC Davis, along with a Co-PI on the National AI Institute for Next Generation Food Systems. He worked at Apple Inc. on machine learning and computer vision applications within hardware engineering for several years, and prior to that he developed novel methods in computational and experimental plant physiology.
Ed Feuchuk is marketer and mistake maker with over 15 years of experience building innovative DTC wine brands. As the General Manager for Farm Collective Napa Valley, Ed leads creative, strategic, and technical initiatives for brands like Tank Garage Winery, James Cole Winery, Regusci Winery, and T-Vine Winery. With a passion for authentic experiences and renegade marketing, Ed and his work have been featured in Adweek, the New York Times, Wine Spectator, and Playboy.
"A digital native is a person with innate technological fluency from having grown up in a world where computing devices, internet, and mobile connectivity are established and ubiquitous. They carry a set of skills and expectations of which modern technology plays a foundational role."
"A digital-native customer values the convenience, speed, and accessibility that technology enables in their consumer experience. These customers have an inherent trust of connected stores and transactions and are increasingly willing to adapt to evolving commerce trends and conventions. These customers are best able to leverage the benefits of online stores, subscriptions, and services."
"As a greater percentage of the consumer population shifts to digital natives, the growth and reach of e-commerce will continue to accelerate and evolve existing digital commerce concepts and shift more "offline" concepts into digital spaces. Traditional behaviors, like shopping at a grocery store, survived the first wave of digital transformation due to consumer habits and familiarity, but digital natives will continue to challenge theses ideas and create new opportunities for businesses."
"While the ongoing shift to digital won't surprise anybody, wineries continue to grasp onto their traditions and are reluctant to embrace means to create digital wine experiences and buying opportunities. Luckily, these ideas aren't mutually exclusive and there is a path for wineries to leverage technology in a way that fits their brand."
Lorenzo Forbice holds a PhD in Orthopedic Rehabilitation and Biomechanics at Facolta’ di Medicina, Universita’ di Chieti and practiced medical rehabilitation for 12 years. In 2002 he began providing mobile technology services to wineries all over Europe, mainly France, Italy and Spain as well as Israel, South Africa, South America and California, where he conducted research on improved solutions and equipment for VA, smoke and Brett removal. In 2020 he moved permanently to California where he serves as Project Manager and Research Director for Della Toffola USA.
Julien Gervreau is a Sonoma County, California native whose career in the wine industry has spanned more than 15 years and nearly all aspects of the industry, from production and operations to marketing and sales. In his role as Vice President of Sustainability at Jackson Family Wines, Julien focuses on setting organizational strategies and leading tactical implementation of water and energy efficiency, onsite renewable energy generation, GHG emissions reductions, and waste diversion. He also works closely in communicating JFW’s commitment to sustainability in the through brand, sales and distribution channels, as well as activating employee engagement.
Julien is passionate about designing, developing and managing sustainable business systems that enhance the triple bottom line of economic growth, environmental sustainability, and social equity. He employs integrated systems thinking, financial analysis and documented sustainability frameworks to guide business strategy that fosters healthy, more resilient entities, and drives operational savings.
Julien holds an MBA in Sustainable Management from Presidio Graduate School in San Francisco, and a BA in Anthropology and History from Connecticut College in New London, CT. When he’s not at work, you can usually find Julien at the beach or on the soccer pitch with his wife and two young children.
Jennie Gilbert is an experienced Technology Entrepreneur with a passion for designing software that helps businesses solve thorny problems. As a Founder of RedChirp, Jennie is obsessed with helping businesses meet consumers’ newly expanded expectations for virtual interactions. Calling and emailing may have been enough before, but now 89% of consumers want to text with businesses. RedChirp makes business texting easy: phone numbers, compliance, web chat, payments, phone and video calls, marketing campaigns and more.
A true nerd at heart, Jennie loves spreadsheets and a good data set to dig into; she recently completed a case study in collaboration with the WISE Academy testing 5 ways wineries can more effectively communicate with their prospect and customers through texting. Jennie is a frequent speaker at business conferences and the co-author of two books, "RE:Market: New digital techniques independent retailers can use now to compete better, grow faster and work smarter" (2017) and "RE:THiNK: 11 surprising things you should do now to win retail customers in the digital age" (2015).
When not in the office, Jennie spends time cooking with her husband and watching garbage truck videos with her toddler-aged son. Her most prized possession is their well-worn – and heavily stained – wine-tasting notebook.
"Digital Natives' daily lives has always included the internet and internet-connected devices. They don't remember a time without it! The immediacy, connection and sheer breadth of information the internet provides has always been at their ready disposal and significantly shaped how they learn, enjoy, procure and interact. "
"Caveat: I believe people are more similar than they are different, even across generational divides. The same forces that have impacted digital-natives have impacted every other generation too, just not always as much. That's why these trends are so important.
Here's one - Connection Speed. Digital natives may like to start by doing their own research: googling, browsing social media, etc. But when they're ready to connect with a business... they want to connect with a human being right now. Immediately!"
"The first digital natives are older than you may think! Elder millennial are 40 years old and entering some of their highest earning power years. The way they shop, connect and make decision isn't limited to their generation only. Older generations have adopted many of these characteristics too. Even small changes your business makes to cater to digital natives - especially those that reduce friction and increase convenience - can have positive impacts across the board."
"Don't recreate the wheel. You probably already value something that digital natives do too! Identifying and highlighting those common areas can be easier to do, and deliver more return, than you thought."
Tessa Gorsuch is a 5th generation Martinelli and grew up on the family’s Bondi Home Ranch vineyard in Sebastopol, CA. Growing up with both sides of her family in the wine business, Tessa had a passion for the industry at a young age. She received a BS in Wine and Viticulture and a minor in Agribusiness from Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo. Upon graduation, she worked as a cellar harvest intern making wine at a small winery in Healdsburg. Since then, Tessa has worked for wineries in Dry Creek Valley and Sonoma Valley, growing her experience in marketing, wine club management, tasting room management, events, hospitality, and more. In January 2020, she joined the family business as Marketing Manager and is thrilled to be back to her roots working in Russian River Valley. Tessa lives in Sebastopol with her husband and two young children.
Josh Grace is a Managing Director at IWA and has over twenty years of financial management, valuation, accounting, mergers and acquisition and corporate advisory experience, with a specialization in the wine and liquor industry.
Before joining IWA in 2002, Josh was a Financial Manager at Robert Mondavi where he worked on California vineyard acquisitions and on financial management of the company’s flagship Napa Valley winery. At IWA Josh has worked on a number of prominent wine industry transactions with a combined value of over $1.5 billion with the following companies among others, Diamond Creek, Burgess Cellars, Flora Springs, Merry Edwards, Wallula Gap Vineyard, Sierra Madre Vineyard, Calera, Beaux Freres, Chalone Vineyard, Talbott Vineyards, Hop Kiln Winery, Sagemoor Vineyard, Lancaster Estate, Sausal, Bonny Doon, Wild Horse, Havens, Davis Bynum, Chateau Potelle, Cline Cellars, and Wells Fargo that have included the sale of various businesses including Edna Valley Vineyard, Pacific Rim, Hangar One Vodka, Big House, Red Truck, DIAGEO, Treasury Wine Estates, Constellation, Grupo Codorniu, Brown-Forman, Gruppo Campari, Fosters, and many others.
Josh graduated from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, California with a BSc degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting.
Hilary Graves manages the farming at Booker Vineyard in Paso Robles CA, a CCOF Certified Organic vineyard. She is passionate about California water policy and preserving our Nation's agricultural heritage. In addition to her work at Booker, Hilary is active in her community by serving as an elected Director of the Estrella-El Pomar-Creston Water District, President of San Luis Obispo County Farm Bureau, and as a Director on the School Board at San Luis Obispo Classical Academy. Hilary graduated from CSU Fresno and Texas Woman's University. She also attended graduate school at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo where she studied Crop Science. Hilary and her husband Simon live and farm in Creston with their two daughters.
Mark has over three decades of viticultural experience, comprised of scientific, technical and practical field efforts. Mark’s academic background includes a B.S. in Electrical Engineering, an M.S. in Viticulture and a Ph.D. in Agricultural Engineering, all from the University of California, Davis. He is one of very few private practitioners who have been elected as an honorary member of Gamma Sigma Delta, the agricultural honor society and is also a member of Tau Beta Pi, the engineering honor society. He holds CCA (Certified Crop Advisor) and CPAg (Certified Professional Agronomist) certifications from the American Society of Agronomy. He holds a Pest Control Advisor (PCA) license with the state of California.
Mark is a regular contributor to wine industry publications, and has penned a viticulture column for Wine Business Monthly continuously since 2005. He served as President of the American Society of Enology and Viticulture (ASEV) from 2015 to 2016. Advanced Viticulture was founded by Mark in 2005 as a vineyard consulting firm. Since then, it has grown to be a full-service vineyard development, management, consulting and technology provider to California’s wine industry.
Mariangela Guarienti was born in Verona, Italy. She attended the University of Padova in the Faculty of Agronomy department from 1979 to 1984. Throughout her career, Guarienti has gained global expertise working for a few different companies all over the world focusing in the Agriculture and food-based industries. These companies include: Agmin Italy Srl, Antares Ltd, Italian Chamber of Commerce in Chile, and Oliver Ogar South America. In 2009, Guarienti founded Della Toffola USA, where she brings her many years of expertise to her role as Founder and CEO.
Nichola Hall has a BSc (HONS) in Microbial Biotechnology and a Ph.D. in Yeast Physiology and Fermentation Science both from University of Abertay Dundee, United Kingdom.
Dr. Hall has held various positions in the wine industry: Director of Microbiology at Bronco Wine Company, Ceres, CA (2002-2007), Technical Consultant at Vinquiry, Inc., Windsor, CA (2007-2009) and is currently at Scott Laboratories, Petaluma, CA employed as the Technical Director for the Fermentation and Enology department (2009 to Present).
From 2009 to Present, Dr. Hall has been co-winemaker at Mathew Bruno Wines focusing on Sauvignon blanc, Chardonnay, and Cabernet Sauvignon. In 2019 Dr. Hall became one of the instructors for the Quality Control and Analysis in Winemaking course which is part of the UC Davis winemaking certificate program.
Dr. Hall is highly involved in different industry groups serving as President of the American Society of Enology and Viticulture in 2016-2017, Unified Wine and Grape Symposium program chair in 2020 and is a long-standing member of the AVF grant management Enology committee.
Jana Harvey brings 35 years of sales and marketing experience to the wine industry. A transplanted Midwesterner that got bitten by the "wine bug" came to California in the early 80's. During the resurgence of the premium wine business, she has worked in pioneering brands with industry leaders such as Manfred Esser of Cuvaison and Roy and Walt Raymond of Raymond Vineyards.
In 2004, Jana and her husband, Scott Harvey, founded Creative Wine Concepts. As President and due to her extensive 3 tier distribution experience, Jana opened 20 initial markets throughout the US. After the economic decline of 2008, it was necessary to find a way to sell less wine with higher profits. Jana was able to do this by embracing the “Direct to Consumer” model. She excelled in developing tasting rooms with a strong focus on building the wine club and ecommerce. Her early acceptance and embracement of social media has made her one of the leaders in using social media to build wine brands and create new sales. Creativity is one of her strengths and necessary for the ever-changing climate of the wine industry, as was just exhibited during the Covid-19 pandemic, in developing a virtual experience channel.
"More consumers are reaching our website from their phones rather than computers or tablets."
"If your strategy is to do a CPA campaign for a quiz, different types and questions would need to be different to Boomers vs. Millenials."
"A new idea they hadn't thought of to be inspired to try."
Stephanie Honig was born in Havertown, Pennsylvania. When she was six years old, she moved with her family to Buenos Aires, Argentina. Stephanie moved to Florida in 1994, where she attended Florida International University, graduating in 1997 with a Bachelor’s degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management. While attending FIU she also spent time in Europe, studying at the Oxford Brookes University in England. She then moved to Philadelphia and worked as a Sales Manager for Marriott Corporation.
In 2000, she moved to New York to pursue a career in the wine industry. While in New York, Stephanie worked as a Sales Manager for Clicquot, Inc., and in National sales for Rudd Winery. In 2005, she earned the WSET (Wine & Spirit Education Trust) Higher Certificate and the WSET Diploma. Stephanie left Rudd Winery in 2006 to import her own wine brand from Argentina. She also taught wine classes at the French Culinary Institute in New York and at Florida International University.
In 2006, she moved to Napa Valley and married Michael Honig. Stephanie travels the globe developing Honig’s international and national presence and handles communications for the business. She has chaired the Public Relations Committee and serves on the Marketing Committee and the International Ambassadors Committees at the Napa Valley Vintner Association. She is active in raising funds for Type 1 diabetes research and for gun violence prevention. She is certified as a Feng Shui consultant and is the founding board President of the Napa Valley Cannabis Association. Stephanie has also consulted with and developed the go to market strategy for Republic National Distributing Company in the CBD beverage industry. She lives on the Honig property in Rutherford with her husband Michael, their daughters Sophia and Lola, sons Sebastian and Santiago, and their dogs Hunter and Dulce.
"More social media, virtual tastings, zoom events."
"They need to be intuitive, quick and easy to use to appeal to all ages."
"Don't take your eye off the ball. We can all maneuver the evolution of business practices and opportunities if we react thoughtful and quickly. Those who are most involved benefit."
Rick Jones has worked for 40 years with technology providers and winemakers to mutually achieve their quality, stylistic and financial goals. A 1984 graduate of UC Davis, he co-founded Vinovation in 1992 and helped introduce flash détente to the North American market. A native of Flint, Michigan he has experienced firsthand the damage that complacency and static thinking can cause to an industry.
Zach Kamphuis is the General Manager at Commerce7. He's been working there for the past two and a half years since its inception, helping wineries create better consumer shopping experiences through all DTC sales channels.
"Members are expecting more flexibility with their packages, in terms of products they get, quantities, shipment frequency, shipment dates, etc."
"Members are becoming used to this more personalized experience through their other subscription services."
"Clubs that are focused on curation, convenience, and flexibility for their members, and do a great job of communicating this extended value."
"Giving members even more flexibility and convenience leads to higher club conversion rates, average order values, and retention."
Dr. Kaan Kurtural joined the Department of Viticulture and Enology at UC Davis November 2015 as the Cooperative Extension Specialist in Viticulture. Dr. Kurtural’s research focuses on three main parts: 1) improving production efficiency in vineyards by applying principles of canopy and crop load management using vineyard mechanization and applied water amounts; 2) identifying quality improvement traits in berry composition by translating fundamental research into applied production practices in vineyards; 3) evaluating alternative methods of control invasive species in vineyards.
Dr. Kurtural has statewide appointments and travels California’s grape growing regions providing extension and outreach to grape growers, working with county farm advisors and conducting research projects. He and his laboratory team are based at UC Davis’s Oakville Station in Napa Valley. His research interests include precision viticulture; vineyard mechanization for optimizing crop load, yield efficiency and sustainability; whole grapevine physiology; and irrigation deficits, scheduling, application and their interactive effects with cropping levels on vine and grape flavonoid biosynthesis.
After graduating from Cal Poly in 2012 with a degree in Fruit Science, Jordan began working for Monterey Pacific Inc. assisting in the management of a vineyard on the famed San Bernabe Ranch in Monterey County. After 4 years working for MPI, he started his current job as Viticulturist for Tablas Creek Vineyard in Paso Robles CA. He is a true believer in the regenerative farming movement. When not in the vineyard, Jordan can be found on a kayak hunting for lingcod and halibut, or on a river hunting for trout and steelhead.
Kara came to California in 2010 after earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Horticulture and a Master’s degree in Plant Pathology from Penn State University. She went on to earn a CA Pest Control Advisors license and has worked as a Viticulturist in vineyard operations of all sorts throughout Napa and Sonoma Counties. Kara became the Director of Viticulture for Foley Family Farms in 2016 working with an ever expanding portfolio of diverse vineyards all over the state of California and Oregon. She heads a small team focused on precision agriculture utilizing technology to increase farming efficiency and sustainability and to adapt to a changing climate.
Heather McCarthy is the Director of Marketing for Rombauer Vineyards where she leads the Napa Valley family-owned winery’s marketing efforts throughout the U.S. and internationally. She joined Rombauer with over ten years of wine industry experience, including brand marketing positions at some of California’s top wine producers. McCarthy is a graduate of Sonoma State University’s Executive Wine MBA program and holds an undergraduate degree in Journalism and Wine and Viticulture, from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. It is McCarthy’s passion for wine marketing and her admiration for the culture of family-owned wineries that led her to her current position at Rombauer.
Randy Morse is a Canadian author, publisher, broadcaster, and Director of Communications for British Columbia-based AromaLoc. Randy’s background includes a stint in wine sales with the Pernod Ricardowned V&S Group in Stockholm. A recipient of the Friends of Canadian Broadcasting’s prestigious Dalton Camp award, he enjoys climbing, cycling, and sharing an after-work beverage with hard-working winemakers when not extolling the virtues of AromaLoc’s remarkable technology.
James has always had a passion for agronomy and technology. He participated in a project at his family's farm in 2013 with the aim to provide better remote monitoring solutions. The project grew from a pure monitoring project into a full farm irrigation automation trial a few years later. After several years of increased yield and quality benefits, James saw the potential of the technology and decided to start Hotspot Ag to expand deployments outside of Nichols Farms. He holds a degree from UC Davis in Crop Science and Management and continues to manage the Nichols’ farming operations.
Robert Nicholson is a Principal and founder in 1990 of International Wine Associates (IWA), the leader in New World wine industry mergers & acquisitions by the number of deals closed and total value of transactions. IWA has completed over 70 separate wine business sales for a combined value of over $2 billion closed, including the sale of some of the most prominent winery estates in California, Oregon and Washington and over 10,000 acres of premium vineyard.
Before establishing IWA in 1990 Robert was Vice President of Christian Brothers in California. He also held U.S. and international positions with Seagram in New York and with Louis Eschenauer (subsidiary of U.K’s Lonrho) in Bordeaux when the company owned Chateau Rauzan Segla, Château Smith-Haut-Lafitte and Chateau Olivier, among other Bordeaux estates.
Robert was educated in England at Millfield and studied oenology at the University of Bordeaux. Robert is an active industry commentator at U.S. and international conferences and speaks fluent French.
"We have seen an unprecedented surge in wine industry M&A activity in the last few years; this trend is likely to continue into 2022, for the next 12 to 18 months, or for as long as interest rates remain low; we will see some significant transactions take place as sellers recognize that now is a good time to sell & buyers take advantage of the low cost of money & the opportunity to make some important acquisitions."
"One of the key impacts of the pandemic has been on the negative effect hospitality industry. Another imact is the current shortage of labor across all industries."
"Some well-established wineries have experienced unprecedented increase in their DTC sales."
"That wine consumption in the USA will continue to increase as more Americans discover the true joy that wine can bring to our lives."
Rosa has had over a dozen years' experience in the Napa hospitality industry both in restaurants and wineries. Her experiences have given her skills to track business metrics to forecast and plan for the future, created a network of community and industry leaders, as well as driven her to obtain her WSET Level 1 certification. In her current role as DTC & Hospitality Manager at Judd's Hill, Rosa oversees the DTC team, events, inventory, marketing, and more. Rosa constantly tries to find creative solutions for driving visitation and sales both in person and virtually for Judd's Hill. In her spare time, Rosa is a Certified Stott Pilates instructor at The Pilates Reserve in Yountville, CA.
"A digital native is someone that has grown up with digital technology and is very comfortable with it in daily life."
"They not only like to find the newest tech , they like to understand it and share it. There is also an instant gratification."
"I think consumers will continue to appreciate and work with companies that offer the ease of technology, driving companies to adapt and shift the way they do business."
"Hospitality and sales are always about giving the customer what they want. Adapting to new ways of doing business will make you more apealing to consumers. It will also bring the convenience of technology to your staff."
Ed Rice is the Executive Director at Affinity Creative Group, Mare Island, CA. With over two decades in agency management, Ed has extensive experience in account supervision, brand strategy, identity, design, and client development. From Wharton undergrad to U.S. Naval Officer, to Lucas' THX technology marketer, to Landor Associates Managing Director and more, Ed has enjoyed a great ride. Ed says his current time at Affinity Creative Group is particularly gratifying, as the agency and its multi-discipline team members offer clients the best of all worlds—experience, talent, and passionate, entrepreneurial drive.
Cassi is a U.S. Army veteran. In 2009 she retired and moved to Lubbock,Texas from Germany and worked as a paramedic and trauma surgical technician. In 2014 Cassi decided to go back to college at Texas Tech University to obtain a Master’s degree in Analytical Chemistry. She was recruited into the Plant and Soil Science Program where she then decided to complete a dual study program within both colleges. While working nights at a custom crush facility in the High Plains, Cassi graduated with a Master’s in Analytical Chemistry and a Bachelor’s degree in Plant and Soil Science.
In 2018 Cassi started her career with Llano Estacado as the Laboratory Manager after working in the Texas wine industry. After three years and four harvests of helping lead the Llano winemaking team, Cassi was promoted to Assistant Winemaker where her talents in chemistry and artistry will be further honed.
Cassi is extremely passionate about the Texas wine industry, and about exploring the best expressed varietals for the Texas High Plains. While searching for the best Texas varietals, Cassi enjoys exploring unique and hard-to-find wines from all over the world.
Christy Serrato is an award-winning Innovator and the CEO & Founder of Davis-based winetech company, Pair Anything, Inc., that is pioneering food enjoyment through wine personalization. With the PairAnything App, wineries gain a mobile-first Direct-to-Consumer channel to engage consumers with pairing recommendations and e-commerce. It won the 2019 UC Davis Business Competition for Food & Agriculture Innovation.
Ms. Serrato brings her leadership in digital transformation to the world of wine to bridge the divide with emerging and overlooked consumers. She has been recognized for product innovations and holds an international patent. Christy graduated from UC Davis with a B.A. in Economics. She is the driving force for startup ventures as the Director of the nonprofit Sacramento Entrepreneurship Academy, of which she is a Founding Fellow.
"Future of DTC trends mobile commerce. Yet, an alarming 84% of users have experienced difficulty completing a mobile transaction."
"Wineries adopting mobile DTC strategies, need to think about personalized marketing — through machine learning. With a mobile DTC channel, wineries can connect directly with customers outside the tasting room and improve brand loyalty. They can also collect valuable firsthand customer information as well as their transactional behaviors. Using data-driven personalization in the DTC marketing strategy, wineries can create desirable mobile consumer experiences and differentiate themselves."
"Check if their online website is optimized for mobile viewing and try out the mobile shopping experience. That’s a great place to start in developing their mobile DTC strategy. "
Tom is the CEO and founder of Tule (pronounced "too-lee"). Tule helps hundreds of growers make irrigation decisions across California. With their new A.I. product, Tule Vision, growers take pictures of their vines and get the midday leaf water potential. With their sensor product, Tule provides growers with crop water use measurements, water stress measurements, applied irrigation measurements, and irrigation recommendations. In his free time, Tom enjoys reminiscing on his time schooling Kelly Graves, CEO of Santa Rosa-based winery automation company Vinwizard, in one on one drills during lacrosse practice at UC Davis. Tom has a Bachelor of Science degree in Viticulture and Enology and a Doctorate in Horticulture and Agronomy, both from UC Davis.
Midwestern grown, and Southeastern educated, Meghan joined Bundschu Company in 2020 for a fresh perspective on sustainability and farming. After graduating with her Masters in Global Sustainability and Climate Change, Meghan promptly shipped out West to support Bundschu Company’s agricultural endeavors amid shifting industry trends due to environmental concerns. Since then, Meghan has focused on positioning our vineyards and winery for further long-term success and resiliency through principles of regenerative agriculture and sustainable technologies. Animal-obsessed and nature-driven, you'll likely find Meghan out in the vines with a furry friend or two.
Mr. Benjamin "Ben" Slaughter, ARA is the leader of the new agriculture specialty practice group within Colliers International Valuation & Advisory Services which currently includes 10 team members. Ben brings over 20 years of independent fee valuation work exclusively with rural and agricultural properties for all major lenders, institutional investors, government agencies, private landowners, attorneys, and accountants. He has spent a significant portion of his career efforts specifically in the wine space and is regularly involved in the valuation of wine properties in all California growing regions, plus Oregon, Washington, and a few select projects in other parts of the US. Ben has written and instructed several short courses on these topics and owns and operates his own almond orchard in central California.
Clark Smith is author of Postmodern Winemaking, winemaker for his own WineSmith and consultant for hundreds of wineries. He has developed a series of wine technologies that have revolutionized winemaking throughout the world. His popular "Fundamentals of Wine Chemistry" crash course has received rave reviews from 4,500 winemaking professionals since 1984. He was named Innovator of The Year at the I+Q Conference in 2016 and listed among the 48 Most Influential People in the Wine Industry, by Wine Business Monthly, in 2018.
BASc. and MASc. Mechanical Engineering from the University of Waterloo, David is currently pursuing his PhD at the University of British Columbia where his research is focused on optical diagnostics and energy systems. He has worked as a sales engineer for Toshiba, a space systems engineer for the Canadian Space Agency, and a consultant for RDH Building Engineering. David's focus at BarrelWise is to direct product development and manufacturing, and to ensure the technology portfolio is aligned with the needs of the current and future customers.
Cynthia Sterling is the Creative Director for the brand design team at Affinity Creative Group, Mare Island, CA. Using her 25+ years of design experience in the wine and spirits arena, Cynthia works closely with clients to clarify their brand vision, articulate brand personality, and establish core brand attributes. Before joining forces with Affinity in 2019, Cynthia was Founder and Creative Director of Sterling Creativeworks, a strategy, branding, and packaging design agency dedicated to building outstanding premium wine, spirits, and food branding solutions. Cynthia adds creative expertise to Affinity with significant category experience, clever insight, and a deep understanding of the power of creativity to influence consumer behavior in both on-premise and retail venues.
"Creating a seamless, cohesive and robust brand experience across multiple channels, such as social media, packaging, web experiences, etc. The messaging and visual expression across all channels is both consistent and relevant in order to build a brand relationship with consumers."
"Drizly, Instagram, in-store advertising, QR codes on packages."
"Wineries often focus on telling consumers about their winemaking process or vineyards. While winemaking and sourcing are important credibility drivers, people want an emotional connection to your brand. Instead of "trying to be authentic," look for the real stories behind your brand, especially the human stories and unusual ways you do things and why."
"Ask yourself, what would it mean for "you to do you" vs. watching what others are doing and doing the same?"
"Think holistically about your brand, and consider how it's expressed across all channels to ensure you're building a seamless, rich and relevant experience for consumers."
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. Dale’s extensive work linking consumer and shopper insights and market analysis with business objectives and strategies, enable him to translate insights into action.
Dale is currently involved in projects with Azur Associates, Emetry, Wine Market Council, and Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America’s SipSource Report.
Prior to joining Constellation Brands in 2006, Dale spent 22 years working at E&J Gallo where he began his career. During his tenure, he covered a wide range of responsibilities that included distributor management, account management, strategic insights and Lean Six Sigma. Dale has a bachelor’s degree in Journalism with a concentration in Public Relations from Colorado State University and an Executive MBA from Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College.
"Spirits are outpacing Wine and Beer by a significant margin in growth. This is especially true in the on-premise as operators reopen after the pandemic."
"The shift in sales across channels, DTC, e-commerce, off/on-premise, will continue to be in flux but have changed for the long term."
"Growth in the wine category is going to be more difficult going forward and we, as an industry, need to address how we are going to overcome current and future challenges."
Caterina holds a Degree in Agronomy. She has worked in Haiti and Santo Domingo before joining the wine world. Within the wine sector, she has carried out her work in diverse wineries in Italy and Spain performing duties both in oenological production and in export. In 2010, she joined the WBWE team as head of the Italian and Australian markets; and after more than 12 years devoted to the fair, she is currently the WBWE’s Project Manager. She is an executive MBA at ESADE.
"No doubt, bulk wine has been made since wine existed, i.e. wine in bulk is the first step in the wine business. Every bottled wine has formerly been bulk wine.
For those who haven’t yet discovered the possibilities provided by globalization, selling bulk wine offers producers the opportunity to capitalize their business —both a percentage of it and globally— by lowering expenses and, simultaneously, reducing carbon footprint. As we look to the future, with regards to wine bottling and packaging at destination, there are only benefits.
If you are a wine purchaser, the WBWE is your trade fair. You will get the opportunity to taste the latest harvests from across the world in just two days; you will be able to choose between high-quality wines made from dozens of diverse grape varieties from over 20 different countries.
The WBWE has always encouraged a sustainable and cost-efficient business model. Packaging at destination has turned into a new business opportunity adjusted to new times and to new possibilities. The world is changing and the wine industry cannot be less."
"At the WBWE, we can find a vast display of quality wines elaborated from across the world. The wineries’ professionalism and also their excellence enable the final consumer to enjoy fine wines with a good quality-price ratio.
Emerging countries from Eastern Europe, Argentina, Chile, French regions, Spain and Italy have taken advantage of the numerous possibilities of working in this market.
The WBWE has always been interested in showing the new trends for the market’s future; therefore the new packaging methods have always been part of our forum for debate. Design, alternative packages and bulk wine all go hand in hand, providing infinite creative possibilities. Canned wines are both helping to introduce the wine culture to a different age range and to opening new market niches worldwide. At the WBWE’s conference, we have Robert Williams and Dennis Doorakkers, the two most informed international gurus on this topic.
However, canned wine will not be the sole key aspect, as wine on tap and bag-in-box wine will also have a key role at the fair. The increase in consumption in households during the pandemic has triggered the purchase of bag-in-box wine for convenient domestic use.
The market has to adapt itself to a creative, convenient and sustainable environment; this situation alongside the quality of bulk wines leads to a perfect interaction... the #bulkwinerevolution."
"We find ourselves in a post-pandemic situation, climate change is having a major impact on harvests and the wine industry is rapidly changing. The market has to adapt itself to these new circumstances. This crisis has proven to us the ever-changing wine reality and the importance of new technologies; however, it has also proven that face-to-face trade is irreplaceable. We are aware of the sector’s difficulties, but also of its needs. Hence, we are the first face-to-face International Wine Fair taking place this year in the West.
Wineries have to adapt themselves to these new circumstances and must seize these new opportunities, the fluctuations and the new market positioning. Additionally, wineries also have to be extremely attentive and come to the WBWE21 truly prepared since competitiveness will be very high this year.
We have to think about the final consumer as currently the "passive" consumer no longer exists. Nowadays, consumers need to know all the stages of the supply chain of the goods they buy; with regards to wine, this means knowing the process from the production to its distribution. Consumers value the wine industry's adaptation to an environmentally-friendly and sustainable world."
Jennifer is an industry professional with 20+ years of experience, including 11 years with WISE. She began her career in the wine industry working for Lesley Berglund (Co-Founder & Chairman of WISE) at Ambrosia Wine Catalogue/The Winetasting Network, shortly after completing her BA in English Literature. In her role as The Glue, Jennifer oversees WISE Operations which includes spearheading the WISE Mystery Shopping Program (now over 5,000 shops); oversees content development; coaching; account management of WISE wineries; oversees marketing programs; moderates WISE Cabinets; coordinates, schedules, and communicates with coaches, attendees and winery partners for a robust class schedule of 30+ courses and onsite training programs throughout California, Oregon, Washington, New York and more.
In Jennifer’s free time, she can be found with her nose buried in her Kindle or puttering in her yard. She also loves to travel, spending time with her family and friends across the globe.
"Comfortable with using all kinds of technology, eager to learn and master."
"The leading edge will become more common place - they're the ones doing the testing and helping businesses make decisions on what makes sense for their customers... and bring the rest of the customers along (not all, but a lot)."
"There are many ways to market to all types of customers - what makes the most sense for each winery's brand? For their target market? And what's holding them back from incorporating more ways to communicate with customers? We are ever-changing, so businesses need to keep up with it."
Elizabeth Whitlow's role as the Executive Director of the Regenerative Organic Alliance (ROA) is the culmination of over 20 years working for systemic change in agriculture systems. Whitlow began her career as an advocate for shade-grown, fair-trade, and organic coffee growers in Central America. Since then, she has worked across the spectrum of elevated certifications, both in farming and ranching. She is now leading the charge for regenerative organic agriculture, managing the holistic and high-bar Regenerative Organic Certified™ (ROC™) standard. The ROC is the North Star of certifications, building upon the USDA Organic label through the pillars of soil health, animal welfare, and social fairness. She resides in Sonoma County, California tending to her micro-farm and an array of animals, promoting community-driven, local food systems.
Chris Whitney serves as Chief Digital Officer for Monarch Tractor, the world's first fully electric, driver-optional, smart tractor. Chris has been on the cutting edge of automation in Silicon Valley, Singapore, and his native England for over 30 years. He has played key technical roles at British Telecom, HP, and other leading companies. He earned his Bachelor's degree in Computer Science from Teesside University and a Masters in Information Systems Engineering from the London South Bank University.
Justin Witt is the Creative Director for the digital team at Affinity Creative Group, Mare Island, CA. Justin has spent his career designing and developing brand-centric, strategic, and engaging digital media for clients across California’s Wine Country. With a passion for connecting brands with their audiences at the emotional level, Justin enjoys inspiring the imagination of clients and their consumers through beautiful design and impactful marketing strategies and experiences.