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Speakers

Diego Barison

Diego Barison

NovaVine

 

Diego Barison was born and raised in Calamandrana in the middle of the wine country in Piedmont, Italy. His family has always been in the wine industry, and owns a grapevine nursery.

While attending agricultural high school in Asti, he worked with an Aziende agricole associate producer of La VIRANDA brand.

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Lesley Berglund

Lesley Berglund

Co-Founder & Chairman WISE Co.

 

Lesley Berglund is an accomplished wine industry entrepreneur focused on driving industry change. She deep experience in consumer direct marketing of fine wines. Over the past 23 years she has started up seven new businesses, acquired and integrated four companies including the Ambrosia Wine Catalogue and the Winetasting Network (which she sold to 1-800 Flowers in 2004).

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Ian Blackburn

Ian Blackburn, CSW, JWE

Founder, LearnAboutWine.com

 

Ian drinks wine for a living and plans over 100 public and private events a year. He stays busy buying collectable wines for high profile clients, planning luxury wine trips for his membership, hosting corporate events, making appearances on radio, television and social media outlets and studying for his Master of Wine.

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Don Brady

Don Brady

Winemaker/Director, Robert Hall Winery

 

In July 2001, Robert Hall welcomed winemaker Don Brady to Robert Hall Winery. Brady, a 1984 graduate of Texas Tech University’s horticulture program, joined the pioneers of the new Texas wine renaissance re-establishing a thriving winegrowing industry.

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Jared Brandt

Jared Brandt

Winemaker, Donkey and Goat

 

Donkey & Goat is a family owned and operated winery located in Berkeley, California. Tracey and Jared Brandt craft their natural wines from Rhône varietals, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grown in the Anderson Valley, Mendocino Ridge and the undiscovered El Dorado appellation in the Sierra Foothills.

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Nick Cavarra

Nick Cavarra

Owner, Social Punch Marketing

 

Nick Cavarra is an Authorized Local Expert for Constant Contact and owner of Social Punch Marketing. With more than 25 years of experience in Marketing and Entertainment, Nick travels up and down the Central Coast and the San Fernando Valley presenting hundreds of “how to” seminars on engagement marketing, social media and mobile marketing.

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Vernon Crowder

Vernon Crowder

Senior Vice President and Senior Analyst, Rabobank

 

Vernon Crowder is a senior vice president and senior analyst for Rabobank’s Food & Agribusiness Research and Advisory (FAR) group. He manages the team, which analyzes and conducts market research on California agribusiness as well as the North American fresh fruit and produce sectors.

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Lance Cutler

Lance Cutler

Author/Featured Columnist, Wine Business Monthly

 

Lance Cutler is an author, publisher, artist, and highly honored winemaker. His most recent book, Continued Surveillance: Mostly Real Stories of the Wine Business is a hilarious collection of columns that ruminate on life in the Wine Country. He is also a featured columnist for Wine Business Monthly, and writes regularly for other magazines.

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Mike Dashe

Mike Dashe

Co-Founder and Winemaker, Dashe Cellars

 

Michael Dashe earned his bachelor's degree in 1978, studying biology, with an emphasis on plant physiology, at the University of California at Santa Cruz. In 1990, Dashe was offered the position of assistant winemaker at RidgeVineyards, where he worked with renowned winemaker Paul Draper.

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Dr. Richard DeScenzo

Dr. Richard DeScenzo

Microbiology Group Leader, ETS Laboratories

 

Richard DeScenzo is the Microbiology Group Leader for ETS Laboratories. ETS provides microbiological analysis for problematic fermentations using a combination of classical microbiology methods and molecular biology techniques. Dr. DeScenzo received his Masters in Plant Pathology and Ph. D. in Plant Biology at the University of New Hampshire, and conducted his postdoctoral studies on disease resistance genes in barley with the USDA/ARS at Iowa State University.

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Nat DiBuduo

Nat DiBuduo

President and CEO, Allied Grape Growers

 

Nat DiBuduo is the President CEO of Allied Grape Growers, a winegrape grower’s winegrape marketing association representing near 600 members throughout California for over 50 years, producing over 275,000 tons annually. Prior to joining Allied in May 2000, Mr. DiBuduo was employed at Capital Agricultural Property Services, Inc. as the executive manager (1994-2000), where he had the responsibility of managing approximately 22,000 acres of agricultural land throughout California and Arizona.

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George Donati

George Donati

General Manager, Pacific Vineyard Co.

 

George Donati, a fourth-generation agriculturalist on the Central Coast, received his degree in Agricultural Business Management from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. George is the general manager of Pacific Vineyard Co., which manages 70 percent of the vineyards in the Edna Valley.

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Nick Frey

Nick Frey

Former President, Sonoma County Winegrape Commission

 

Nick served as President of the Sonoma County Winegrape Commission September 2006 to May 2013. The mission of the SCWC is to increase the value of Sonoma County wine grapes and to nurture and protect this agricultural resource for future generations. Previously, Nick was Executive Director of the Sonoma County Grape Growers Association. He grew up on a farm near Winterset, Iowa.

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Bill Grant

Bill Grant

Partner, Krushwerks Winery

 

An east coast transplant, Bill Grant attended the University of California, Berkeley. After university, he followed his entrepreneurial spirit to build his own financial services venture. In 2002, when childhood friend Christian Tietje needed a partner to support his growing winery, Grant sold his successful financial venture and joined Four Vines Winery as a co-owner.

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James Kennedy

James Kennedy, Ph.D.

Professor and Chair, Dept. of Viticulture & Enology, California State University, Fresno

 

James Kennedy is Professor and Chair of the Department of Viticulture and Enology at California State University, Fresno and is most widely recognized for his research on improving our understanding of grape and wine tannin chemistry. The primary goal of his research is the improvement of red wine astringency quality through grape and wine production operations.

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John Kochis

John Kochis

President, Gemini Consulting

 

John Kochis is the president and founder of Gemini Consulting in Santa Barbara, California, where he focuses on achieving the financial goals of privately owned wineries. He currently consults on multiple winery projects throughout the Central Coast that range from those that have yet to break ground to wineries with over 30 years of history. John’s unique background and experience has allowed his clients to achieve success in much more rapid fashion than other traditional models.

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Steve Lohr

Steve Lohr

Chairman & CEO, J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines

 

As the chairman and CEO of J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines, Steve Lohr combines a big picture view of the wine industry with a hands-on work ethic. In this role, Steve is responsible for the overall management and strategic planning of J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines, with a particular focus on sales and finance.

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Steve Mcintyre

Steve Mcintyre

McIntyre Estate Vineyards

 

Steve McIntyre will tell you that he wanted to be a musician. In fact, he studied music in college. But Steve will also tell you about his epiphany the day he realized, that without talent, he wasn’t going to make it as a musician. That’s when he switched gears and turned to farming and growing winegrapes. Steve earned a master’s degree in enology from California State University, Fresno.

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Anita Oberholster

Dr. Anita Oberholster

Specialist in Enology, University of California Cooperative Extension, Davis

 

Dr. Anita Oberholster joined the department in April 2011 as a new Cooperative Extension Specialist in Enology. During her doctoral studies she was involved in the development of the mouth-feel wheel for red wine and investigated the changes in polymeric pigment structure and composition with wine aging.

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Cyril Penn

Cyril Penn

Editor in Chief, Wine Business Monthly

 

Cyril Penn (Editor in Chief) joined the Wine Communications Group in September 1998 as editor of Wine Business Insider, and in January 2000 he was named editor in chief of Wine Business Monthly. Cyril has more than 20 years of wire service, magazine and broadcast experience. He began his career as a journalist in New York at Reuters, where he covered the energy industry.

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Curtis Phillips

Curtis Phillips

Senior Technical Editor, Wine Business Monthly

 

Curtis Phillips, an editor for Wine Business Monthly since 2000, is a graduate of UC Davis and has been a winemaker since 1984 and an agricultural consultant since 1979.

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Sabrine Rodems

Sabrine Rodems

Winemaker

 

Born and raised in Marin County (with a slight detour through Fresno), Sabrine Rodems was exposed to the good life as far back as she can remember. “I am the youngest of six and back in the day we did everything that was free winery tours, cheese factory tours, chicken farm tours, etc.

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Dan Rodrigues

Dan Rodrigues

President, Central Coast Wine Grower's Association

 

Dan has over 26 years of Viticulture experience on the Central Coast, consulting for vineyards throughout Monterey, San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties. Dan began his career in agriculture on his family's farm in the Central Valley, where the Rodrigues family has been farming since the early 1900's.

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Kevin Sass

Kevin Sass

Winemaker, Halter Ranch

 

Kevin joined Halter Ranch in 2011 after 11 years with Justin Winery where he quickly moved from intern to Winemaker. During this time he worked closely with many neighboring vineyards including Halter Ranch. Sass is a Southern California native. He grew up in Agoura Hills and graduated from California State University, Fresno with a double major in Enology Wine Production and Agricultural Business.

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Scott Shirley

Scott Shirley

Winemaker, JUSTIN Vineyards & Winery

 

Scott Shirley joined JUSTIN Vineyards & Winery in March 2012. After making wine in Napa Valley for 13 vintages, he is excited to continue to learn the nuances of new vineyard sites in the Paso Robles appellation. While Shirley has worked with many varieties, Cabernet Sauvignon is the medium closest to his heart.

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Mikael Sigouin

Mikael Sigouin

Winemaker, Keana Wine and Beckman Vineyards

 

When not making wines for Beckmen Vineyards, winemaker Mikael Sigouin is busy making amazingly delicious wines for his own label Kaena. Kaena was launched in 2001 to showcase Sigouin's deep passion for Grenache.

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Richard Smith

Richard Smith

Owner / Grower, Paraiso Vineyards

 

Living in the country and growing wine grapes is a career full of rewards and challenges according to Rich Smith, founder of Paraiso Vineyards. The Smith family lives and works in balance with the natural resources around them, which makes for much time spent solving unanticipated situations. The seeds of a farmer's life were sewn in Rich's youth.

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Tyler Thomas

Tyler Thomas

Director of Winemaking, Dierberg Vineyard and Star Lane Vineyard

 

Tyler Thomas is Director of Winemaking at Dierberg Vineyard and Star Lane Vineyard in Santa Barbara County. Thomas joined the Dierberg family in 2013 after gaining much critical acclaim for wines made under the Donelan label in Sonoma County where he was the winemaker for 5 vintages.

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Steve Treder

Steve Treder

Sr. Vice President, Western Management Group Strategic Development

 

Steve Treder is Senior Vice President for Strategic Development for Western Management Group. Prior to joining WMG in 2000, Steve was the Worldwide Sales Compensation Manager for Hewlett-Packard, and held senior Compensation and Human Resources positions in the high technology industry for nearly twenty years.

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Fritz Westover

Fritz Westover

Viticulturist, Technical Program Manager, Vineyard Team

 

Fritz Westover has been working hands-on in the viticulture industry since 1999. Fritz obtained his BS in horticulture and MS in Plant Pathology from Penn State University, where he worked on projects including grapevine decline in replanted vineyards, grape disease management, and the science of compost application in vineyards.

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Lowell Zelinski

Lowell Zelinski, Ph.D.

Owner, Precision Ag Consulting

 

Lowell Zelinski, Ph.D. is a well-respected agricultural leader who has worked in the ag industry for over 30 years. He earned his doctorate degree in Soil Science and his bachelor’s degree in Soil and Water Science from UC Davis. He also holds a master’s degree in Agricultural Science from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.

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2014 Sponsors

  • wine-business-monthly
  • precision-consulting
  • Criveller Group
  • ETS Laboratories
  • Vinter's Vault
  • Wines & Vines logo
  • Topco Inc.
  • The Krush 92.5
  • G3 Enterprises
  • Bucher Vaslin
  • G & D Chillers
  • Learn About Wine
  • Vino Visit
  • Radiant Firest
  • Independent Grape Growers Paso Robles
  • prwca-grow-wild
  • Monterey Wine Country
  • Santa Barbara County Vintners' Association
  • Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers
  • SLO Wine Country
  • Vineyard Team