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Billy CollinsU.S. Poet Laureate (2001-2003)

 Billy Collins is an American phenomenon.  No poet since Robert Frost has managed to combine high critical acclaim with such broad popular appeal. His work has appeared in a variety of periodicals including The New Yorker, The Paris Review, and The American Scholar, he is a Guggenheim fellow and a New York Public Library “Literary Lion.”  His last three collections of poems have broken sales records for poetry. His readings are usually standing room only, and his audience – enhanced tremendously by his appearances on National Public Radio – includes people of all backgrounds and age groups.  The poems themselves best explain this phenomenon. The typical Collins poem opens on a clear and hospitable note but soon takes an unexpected turn; poems that begin in irony may end in a moment of lyric surprise. No wonder Collins sees his poetry as “a form of travel writing” and considers humor “a door into the serious.” It is a door that many thousands of readers have opened with amazement and delight.

Billy Collins has published ten collections of poetry, including Questions About Angels, The Art of Drowning, Sailing Alone Around the Room: New & Selected Poems, Nine Horses, The Trouble With Poetry and Other Poems, Ballistics, Horoscopes for the Dead and Picnic, Lightning. A collection of his haiku, She Was Just Seventeen, was published by Modern Haiku Press in fall 2006. He has also published two chapbooks, Video Poems and Pokerface. In addition, he has edited two anthologies of contemporary poetry: Poetry 180: A Turning Back to Poetry and 180 More: Extraordinary Poems for Every Day, was the guest editor of The Best American Poetry 2006, and edited Bright Wings: An Illustrated Anthology of Poems about Birds, illustrated by David Allen Sibley (November 2009). His most recent book is Aimless Love: New and Selected Poems 2003 – 2013.

Included among the honors Billy Collins has received are fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Guggenheim Foundation. He has also been awarded the Oscar Blumenthal Prize, the Bess Hokin Prize, the Frederick Bock Prize, and the Levinson Prize — all awarded by Poetry magazine.  He has also received the Aiken-Taylor Award in Modern American Poetry, The Hall-Kenyon Prize, and the Mailer Prize for Poetry.  In October 2004, Collins was selected as the inaugural recipient of the Poetry Foundation’s Mark Twain Award for Humor in Poetry.  His poems have been translated into numerous languages.

In June 2001, Billy Collins was appointed United States Poet Laureate 2001-2003.  In January 2004, he was named New York State Poet Laureate 2004-06. He is a Distinguished Professor of English at Lehman College of the City University of New York, as well as a Senior Distinguished Fellow of the Winter Park Institute at Rollins College.

Hugh JohnsonAuthor, World Atlas of Wine, Pocket Wine Book

Hugh Johnson began his life-long passion for wine in all its variety as a member of the Wine & Food Society at Cambridge University, where he gained an Honours Degree in English Literature. When he left King’s College in 1961, he became a feature writer for Vogue and House & Garden, writing, among other articles, travel and wine columns for both magazines and their sister-papers in New York.

After a year as Travel Editor of The Sunday Times, he became editor of Queen Magazine, in two years doubling the circulation of the fashionable glossy. It was 1969 when James Mitchell of the newly-founded publishing house Michel Beazley invited him to write The World Atlas of Wine. The research involved took Johnson all over the world; the result was a best-seller that might justly claim to have put wine on the map. Since publication in 1971 it has sold over three million copies in 13 languages.

In 1971, Hugh and his family moved from Islington, London to an Elizabethan house in 12 acres of Essex countryside, where he and his wife Judy started a small printing and publishing company, Saling Hall Press. By 1973, he had become deeply involved in the study of trees and his book on this new generation, The International Book of Trees, was published in six languages, with sales amounting to 750,000 copies. A second edition, completely revised, came out in 2010 as The World of Trees (University of California Press). In 1975, Hugh published and co-authored with his friend Bob Thompson, The California Wine Book, the first critical modern text on this subject. His horticultural classic, The Principles of Gardening, soon followed in 1979. Since 1977 Hugh's annual Pocket Wine Book has been acknowledged the world's most successful succinct wine guide. In 1989 his Vintage, The Story of Wine was published, following his 13 part TV series, aired in the USA by PBS. His memoirs, Wine, A life Uncorked, were published in 2005. Since 1975 he has published a regular horticultural diary under the title Trad's Diary, now online and twice anthologized.

Johnson has been honoured many times, including being named a Chevalier de L’Ordre National du Mérite by the French President. In 2007 he was appointed an OBE by Queen Elizabeth II for 'services to winemaking and horticulture'. Both his wine and gardening interests have led Hugh to lecture and appear on television and radio many times in Britain, France, the USA, Germany, Scandinavia, Australia, and other countries. His wife Judy is a graphic designer, responsible for administering Saling Hall Press, and assists Johnson in all his activities. They have a son, two daughters and six grandchildren. They moved from the country to Kensington, London, in 2013.

Jay McInerneyNovelist and Town & Country magazine wine columnist

Jay McInerney is the critically acclaimed author of eleven books – eight of which are works of fiction. Time Magazine cited his first bestselling novel, Bright Lights, Big City (1984), as one of nine generation-defining novels of the twentieth century. Translated into more than 20 languages it has irrefutably achieved the status of a contemporary classic. “Each generation needs its Manhattan novel, and many ache to write it” noted the New York Times Book Review, “but it was McInerney who succeeded”.

His other novels are Ransom (1985), Story of My Life (1988), Brightness Falls (1992), The Last of the Savages (1996), Model Behavior (1999) and The Good Life (2006). Described as “McInerney’s most fully imagined novel as it is his most ambitious and elegiac” by The New York Review of Books, McInerney’s most recent novel The Good Life also received the Grand Prix Literaire at the Deauville Film Festival in 2007.  How It Ended (2009), a collection of short stories spanning his entire career, was named one of the 10 best books of the year by The New York Times.

McInerney has written for numerous literary and popular publications including New York Magazine, Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, The New York Times Book Review, The Guardian, Corriera della Serra, The Times Literary Supplement and The New York Review of Books.

Jay currently writes a monthly wine column for Town & Country Magazine and prior to this, from 2010 to May 2014, wrote one for the Wall Street Journal. From 1996 to 2007 he wrote a monthly wine column for Condé Nast’s House and Garden.   Many of those columns were collected in Bacchus and Me (2000) and A Hedonist in the Cellar (2006). In 2006 McInerney won the James Beard MFK Fisher Award for Distinguished Writing for his food and wine work. His new wine book, The Juice: Vinous Veritas was published in May 2012 to great critical acclaim.

Again, successfully straddling genres, McInerney wrote the screenplay for the critically acclaimed film Gia for which Angelina Jolie won a Golden Globe and which launched her acting career. He also wrote the1988 United Artists film version of his novel, Bright Lights, Big City, which starred Michael J. Fox. A quintessential New York voice and persona (and in the spirit George Plimpton), McInerney has performed in two cameos on the television show, Gossip Girl (2010 and 2011), one on CSI New York (2012) and most recently narrated a documentary on the letters of F. Scott Fitzgerald for the BBC (2013).

Favorably comparing his work to that of F. Scott Fitzgerald and J.D. Salinger, The New York Times describes it as the “voice of a generation.” In 1989 McInerney was named a Literary Lion by the New York Public Library.

McInerney is the father of two children, Barrett and Maisie, is married to Anne Randolph Hearst and divides his time between Bridgehampton, New York, Nashville and New York City. 

Robert M. Parker, Jr.Founder, The Wine Advocate and eRobertParker.com

Robert M. Parker, Jr. was born in Baltimore, Maryland, on July 23, 1947. For ten and one half years he was an attorney. On March 9, 1984 he resigned his position as Assistant General Counsel for the Farm Credit Banks of Baltimore to devote full attention to wine writing for The Wine Advocate newsletter, which he founded.

 

Mr. Parker is the only wine writer/critic in history to be given the highest honors by two French presidents, an Italian president and the king of Spain. In 1999 French President Jacques Chirac signed a decree authorizing Parker to be a Chevalier dans l’Ordre de la Légion d’Honneur. In 2005, President Chirac promoted him to an “Officer” in France’s Legion of Honor, an extremely rare distinction. In 1993, the late President François Mitterrand had made Mr. Parker a Chevalier dans l’Ordre National du Mérite.

 

In 2002, Mr. Parker was made a Commendatore (Commander) in Italy’s National Order of Merit. The country’s highest honor was bestowed on him by Prime Minister Berlusconi and President Ciampi. He is the first wine writer or critic in history to receive Italy’s highest honor.

 

In 2004, the Culinary Institute of America created a legacy endowment for wine education scholarships in the name of Robert M. Parker, Jr.

 

In 2006, Parker’s alma mater, the University of Maryland, bestowed upon him the Distinguished Alumnus Award for 2006. In 2010, Mr. Parker became one of sixty-three graduates of the University of Maryland to be inducted into the University’s Alumnae Hall of Fame.

 

In 2011, he became the first wine writer/critic to receive the Grand Cross of the Order of Civil Merit, the Gran Cruz de la Orden del Mérito Civil, Spain’s highest civilian honor, which was awarded by His Majesty King Juan Carlos and the government of Spain.

 

In February 2013, Mr. Parker became the first wine critic inducted into the Culinary Institute of America’s Vintners Hall of Fame in Napa Valley.

 

Mr. Parker currently covers the wines of Northern California and Bordeaux, and acts as a critic-at-large, conducting vertical tastings and horizontal tastings of older vintages of California and elsewhere.

 

Robert Parker lives in the countryside of northern Maryland with his wife, Patricia, his daughter, Maia, and various basset hounds and English bulldogs.

 

 

Jancis RobinsonMaster of Wine, Wine Writer and Publisher of JancisRobinson.com

Described by Decanter magazine as "the most respected wine critic and journalist in the world," Jancis Robinson writes daily for JancisRobinson.com (one of the most successful subscription wine websites and voted first-ever Wine Website of the Year in the Louis Roederer International Wine Writers Awards 2010), weekly for The Financial Times, and bi-monthly for a column that is syndicated around the world. She is also editor of The Oxford Companion to Wine, co-author with Hugh Johnson of The World Atlas of Wine and co-author of Wine Grapes - A complete guide to 1,368 vine varieties, including their origins and flavours, each of these books recognised as a standard reference worldwide.

An award-winning TV presenter, she travels all over the world to conduct wine events and act as a wine judge. (California has played an important part in her professional and personal life.) In 1984 she was the first person outside the wine trade to pass the rigorous Master of Wine exams and in 2003 she was awarded an OBE by Her Majesty the Queen, on whose cellar she now advises.

She loves and lives for wine in all its glorious diversity, generally favouring balance and subtlety over sheer mass.

Steven SpurrierConsultant Editor, Decanter Magazine

STEVEN SPURRIER, born 5th October 1941, was educated at Rugby School and the London School of Economics.  In 1964 he joined the wine trade as a trainee with Christopher and Co (established 1665). In 1970 he moved to Paris and purchased Les Caves de la Madeleine, a small shop in the centre of the city, and in 1973 opened L’Academie du Vin, the first independent wine school in France.  As a partner, he became involved in divers ventures allied to wine:  Le Bistrot a Vin, a winebar/restaurant in the business quarter of La Defense; Le Chemin des Vignes, a warehouse and bottling plant on the outskirts of Paris;  Le Moulin du Village and Le Blue Fox, a restaurant and winebar near the Caves de la Madeleine.

 

Spurrier is perhaps best known for having created the tasting between top Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon wines from California and France in May 1976, subsequently referred to as The Judgement of Paris.  A recreation of this event was held 30 years to the day on May 24th2006, simultaneously in London and Napa.

 

In 1988, he sold his wine business interests in Paris and returned to the UK to become an independent wine consultant.  His clients have included Harrods in London and Hediard in Paris, Singapore Airlines and Christie’s for whom he created the Christie’s Wine Course in 1982.  He is also Consultant Editor for Decanter Magazine and Chairman of the Decanter World Wine Awards, now the world’s biggest wine competition, since its inception in 2004 and Chairman of Decanter Asia Wine Awards, Asia’s largest wine competition, since 2012.

 

He is the author of eight books on wine of which two:  L’Academie du Vin Wine Course and L’Academie du Vin Guide to French Wines have been translated into several languages.

 

Some of the prizes and awards that Steven Spurrier has won include “The Bunch Award” for articles in Decanter in 1996, “Le Prix de Champagne Lanson” in 1997, “Ritz Carlton Millienia Lifetime Achievement Award” in 1999 and “Le Prix Louis Marinier” for writing on Bordeaux in 2000.  In 2001 he was awarded “Le Grand Prix de l’Academie Internationale du Vin” (only the third time this award has been given since 1982) and also “The Andre Tchelistcheff Maestro Award” from California.

 

He is married, with two grown-up children, and lives, when not travelling, in London and Dorset. After much reflection and research, he decided with his wife Bella to plant a vineyard on their farm in south Dorset.  There are now 25 acres planted to 55% Chardonnay, 25% Pinot Noir and 20% Pinot Meunier to make English Sparkling Wine under the name Bride Valley Vineyards, the first vintage being harvested in October 2011, the month of his 70th birthday.

 

Kevin ZralyAuthor & Educator, Windows on the World Wine School

Internationally acclaimed wine educator and best-selling author Kevin Zraly has been described as a naturally gifted speaker who is both refreshingly humble and candid.  His passion for wine and food and his engaging teaching style helps demystify the ever-changing world of wine. He began his career at age 19 as a waiter and bartender in a New York Times four star rated restaurant in the Hudson Valley, New York.

 

In the years that followed, Kevin journeyed to vineyards in New York, California, and Europe learning his trade and developing his expertise as a sommelier. After graduating college Kevin moved to New York City and a chance meeting with legendary restaurateur Joe Baum led to his hiring as the first cellar master and eventually wine director for the renowned Windows on the World restaurant atop One World Trade Center.  Windows soon became the country’s top grossing restaurant and, with Kevin at the helm of its highly recognized wine list, sold more wine than any restaurant in the world.  It was there that he established his Windows on the World Wine School now in its 38th year graduating more than 20,000 students ranging from wine novices and aficionados to top chefs and culinary professionals.  Kevin worked at the Windows on the World Restaurant for 25 years from the day it opened in 1976 until September 11, 2001.

 

With his first book, Windows on the World Complete Wine Course published in 1985, Kevin began translating his classes onto the pages of books where his quick wit and capacity to communicate takes the reader through his worldwide journeys from grape to glass.  Each year, Kevin updates the book (now in its 31st edition) with additional wine recommendations and new chapters; it remains the world’s best selling wine book with more than 4 million copies sold. He is the author of the first book that covers wineries and vineyards in all 50 states, Kevin Zraly’s American Wine Guide and The Ultimate Wine Companion,  a compilation of 40 world-renowned wine writers. Kevin’s newest book, his memoirs, A Glass Half Full: A Cellarmaster’s Journey Through Wine and Life will be released in 2016.

 

He has been featured in such publications as The New York Times, People magazine, The Wall Street Journal, GQ magazine, Newsweek and USA Today and has been featured on the Regis and Kelly Show and other syndicated television and radio shows. He co- hosted the Food Network’s Wine A to Z, captivating his audience with his signature charisma and enthusiasm.

Kevin travels the world spreading his wine knowledge to corporations and their clients through his wine and food dinners and his One Hour Wine Expert classes working with chefs to prepare a truly memorable meal.

 

Kevin has garnered numerous awards including the James Beard Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011. In 2014, Kevin was awarded the honorary doctorate from the State University of New York. He was also the recipient of the 2006 Wine Literary Award, the 1993 James Beard Outstanding Wine and Spirits Professional Award, the Food and Beverage Association’s Man of the Year Award, the 2009 Wine Professional of the Year from Sante, the Lifetime Achievement Award from the European Wine Council, and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society of Wine Educators.  He is a member of the Culinary Institute of America’s Board of Trustees since 1990 and director of the Sherry-Lehmann/Kevin Zraly Master Wine Classes and the Sherry-Lehmann/Kevin Zraly Wine Club in New York City.

View Current Speakers

Speakers

Betsy AndrewsColumnist, Departures.com

Betsy Andrews is a wine columnist for Departures.com. She is also an editor-at-large for Rodale's Organic Life magazine and a contributor to The Wall Street Journal, Food & Wine, Arrive, and other publications. She is the former executive editor of Saveur magazine and editor of Saveur DRINK. She has also been a dining critic for The New York Times, the online editor at This Old House, a senior editor at Zagat, and she created Food & Wine's first-ever blog, On the Line in New Orleans, an insider report on the recovery of the restaurant industry after Katrina. Betsy is also a poet. Her first book, New Jersey, won the 2007 Brittingham Prize in Poetry, and her second book, The Bottom, won the 42 Miles Press Poetry Prize for 2014.

@betsyandrews

Eric AsimovChief Wine Critic of The New York Times

Eric Asimov is the chief wine critic of The New York Times and the author of “How to Love Wine: A Memoir and Manifesto,’’ published by William Morrow, and “Wine With Food: Pairing Notes and Recipes From The New York Times,’’ written with recipes by Florence Fabricant and published by Rizzoli. His weekly column appears in the Food section of The Times. Naturally, he is on Twitter, too, @EricAsimov. A collection of his columns is included in “The New York Times Book of Wine,’’ published in 2012 by Sterling Epicure. Before he started writing full-time about wine in 2004, Asimov wrote primarily about restaurants and food. He created the $25 and Under restaurant reviews in 1992 and wrote them through 2004. He is a co-author of five editions of The New York Times Guide to Restaurants, and published four editions of “$25 and Under: A Guide to the Best Inexpensive Restaurants in New York.’’ In 2013 he was inducted into the James Beard Foundation’s Who’s Who of Food & Beverage in America. Asimov is a graduate of Wesleyan University in Middletown, Conn., and did graduate work in American Civilization at the University of Texas at Austin. He is married to Deborah Hofmann, has two children, Jack and Peter, and lives in Manhattan.

 

Davina BaumDirector of Digital Content, Afar Media

Davina Baum has 17 years of experience in journalism, 10 of those years in online content. During her tenure as managing editor at CHOW.com, the site won a James Beard Award for Best Food Website and was twice nominated for National Magazine Awards. At AFAR, which was a finalist for a National Magazine Award in 2012 for Best Website, she manages the content strategy, including assigning and editing stories and destination guides from local experts all over the world. She lives in San Francisco.

Jon BonnéWine Editor, San Franciso Chronicle

Jon Bonné is The San Francisco Chronicle’s Wine Editor, and author of The New California Wine (Ten Speed Press). He covers wine throughout Northern California and around the world, and is responsible for the paper's wine and spirits coverage and the annual Top 100 Wines, as well as a regular column in Decanter magazine.

Previously Bonné was lifestyle editor and wine columnist for MSNBC.com and wine columnist for Seattle magazine, and has written about wine for such top publications as Saveur, Food & Wine and the Art of Eating.

His work at the Chronicle has won two James Beard Foundation Awards. He has twice been a Beard finalist for best wine writing, and his writing has won numerous awards from the Association of Food Journalists.

@jbonne on Twitter
 

Callie CrossleyRadio and TV Host, Commentator; WGBH Boston

Callie Crossley is Host/Executive Editor of “Under the Radar with Callie Crossley Show” on Boston’s WGBH-FM, 89 7. ‘Intelligent talk’ is the hallmark of the one-hour Sunday night show which examines the small local stories often missed or overlooked by the big media outlets.  The talk show is the third radio program she has helmed at WGBH-- the latest chapter in the career of Crossley, who has been an award-winning broadcast journalist, a documentary filmmaker, and a television and radio commentator.

 

Her weekly radio commentaries air Mondays during WGBH’s Morning Edition. In these reported opinion essays, she tackles wide-ranging subjects—including the race and gender dynamics of the 2016 presidential campaign, the Women’s March, the impact of new internet privacy rules, the 4th anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing, and the early days of the Trump administration.

 

Crossley has been quoted in the New York Times, Politico and the Washington Post. She is a frequent commentator on television and radio programs, appearing on NECN’s The Take with Sue O’Connell, The Brian Lehrer Show, CNN’s Reliable Sources, On the Media, the PBS NewsHour, and PRI’s The Takeaway. In addition, she appears weekly on WGBH-TV’s Beat the Press, examining local and national media coverage, and regularly hosts Basic Black on WGBH-TV, which focuses on current events concerning communities of color.

 

A former producer for ABC News 20/20, Crossley is a public speaker and a Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow, guest lecturing at colleges and universities about fake news and media literacy, media and politics, and the intersection of race, gender and media.

 

She has two Harvard Fellowships--from the Nieman Foundation for Journalism, and from the Institute of Politics at the John F. Kennedy School of Government.

 

Chatham University awarded her the 2017 Hollander Award for Women in Leadership.

 

Crossley was a producer for Blackside, Inc.’s “Eyes on the Prize: America’s Civil Rights Years,” which earned her an Oscar® nomination, a National Emmy, and the Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia Award (Gold Baton),which is considered the Pulitzer Prize of broadcast journalism. Her other major film and journalism awards include a Peabody, an Edward R. Murrow award, and a Christopher.

 

Crossley won the 2016 Best Commentary award from the Public Radio News Directors organization for "Tomorrow Is Not Promised: Life After Hurricane Katrina."

 

She was also awarded both the 2016 and 2015 National Association of Black Journalists’ Salute to Excellence Awards for a compilation of commentaries, “Observations on Ferguson: America’s Racial Ground Zero” and “Race Matters: Echoing History.”

 

In 2014 she took home three awards –the Associated Press, Edward R. Murrow, and Clarion awards for writing, producing and co-hosting the hour radio documentary, “Witness to History: WGBH’s 1963 Coverage of the March on Washington.”

 

In February 2013, she was named one of four Wellesley graduates to receive the Wellesley Alumnae Achievement Award, the college’s highest honor.

 

Crossley has been honored with many community awards, including the 2016

GK100 List, identified as one of Boston’s Top 100 Influential People of Color.

 

In 2012, she was named by the Tennessee Historic Commission as one of twelve distinguished Tennesseans to be featured in the AT&T African-American History Calendar.  The Ford Hall Forum also honored her with its highest recognition, The George Coleman Award, for extraordinary community service.

 

In 2011, she was one of six women to receive the Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts’ Leading Woman Award and one of 125 women featured in the book Boston, Inspirational Women, photographs by Bill and Kerry Brett, text by Carol Beggy.

 

She is a graduate of Wellesley College, and holds two honorary degrees, a Doctor of Arts degree from Pine Manor College and an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Cambridge College.

 

Currently, she is a member of the Board of the Boston Book Festival. Formerly she was a board member of the Poynter Institute, The Wellesley Centers for Women, the Ford Hall Forum, and Cambridge Reads. She was a member of the 9-member judging Jury for the Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia University Awards and currently is the Co-Chief Judge for the NICHM Foundation Television and Radio Journalism Award.

 

Joe CzerwinskiManaging Editor, Wine Enthusiast

Managing Editor Joe Czerwinski coordinates all aspects of digital and print production for Wine Enthusiast magazine as well as helping drive the creative direction of the dynamic online and print publications. Czerwinski has been a wine journalist, editor and taster for over a decade and is a regular wine panelist, speaker and educator for events and organizations worldwide. Czerwinski rates and reviews the wines of Australia, New Zealand and the Rhône for the magazine.

Blake EdgarSenior Sponsoring Editor, University of California Press

Blake Edgar studied science journalism and had a career as a magazine editor and writer before joining the University of California Press in 2000. As senior sponsoring editor, Blake acquires and publishes general interest and scholarly books about biology, archaeology, and wine. He has revived and expanded the wine publishing program at UC Press to critical acclaim and awards from the James Beard Foundation, International Association of Culinary Professionals, and other organizations. Among the wine writers he has published are Stephen Brook, Clive Coates, Tyler Colman, Evan Goldstein, Jamie Goode, Randall Grahm, Paul Gregutt, James Halliday, Steve Heimoff and Hugh Johnson.

Doug FrostSommelier, Author, Educator

Doug Frost is a Kansas City author who writes and lectures about wine, beer and spirits. In 1991 he passed the rigorous Master Sommelier examination and two years later became America’s eighth Master of Wine.  He was the second person in history to complete both exams and almost two decades later he is still one of only four people in the world to have achieved both these remarkable distinctions.

The Wine Spectator has also bestowed the accolade of Master of Spirits on Frost, and he is one of the founders of BAR (Beverage Alcohol Resource), considered by most industry professionals to be the preeminent education and examining body for the spirits and cocktail industry. He continues to teach and examine for BAR and within the Master Sommelier and Master of Wine programs; currently he serves as President of the Institute of Masters of Wine North America. Frost’s love of wine began in the late 1970’s as a waiter and wine steward, although he dates his first interest to a glass of Louis Martini 1968 Special Select Pinot Noir when he was fifteen years old.

Frost was a fine wine wholesaler in the Kansas City area for fourteen years and, in that capacity, represented most of the best wineries and estates from America and the world.  Frost’s experience behind the stick dates back to a run as a bartender even before his time as a waiter, though his first restaurant job was as a dishwasher. His first book, Uncorking Wine, was released in the summer of 1996, and is still a staple for many restaurant and retail companies and their staff and management. Frost’s next book, On Wine, published by Rizzoli International, was released in the fall of 2001.

Frost’s most recent book, Far From Ordinary: The Spanish Wine Guide, was released in October 2005; the third edition was due out in late 2011. Frost is a contributor to the Oxford Companion of Wine, Opus Vino, The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson and The Wine Report, an annual report edited by Tom Stevenson. He writes about wine and spirits for many publications including the San Francisco Chronicle, the Underground Wine Journal, Drinks International, Practical Winery & Vineyard, Wines & Vines, Wines & Spirits, Cheers Magazine, Sante Magazine, and Epicurious.com and is the beverage columnist for the James Beard award-winning food section of the Kansas City Star, as well as Hemispheres Magazine, Missouri Life and Fine Cooking.

Frost is the host of Check Please!, an Emmy Award nominated weekly public TV show filmed in Kansas City. He also appears as a featured judge on Public Television’s The Winemakers, PBS’s first nationally broadcast reality show. Mr. Frost is also the wine and spirits consultant for both United Airlines worldwide, helping to select tens of thousands of cases of wines and spirits each year for service aboard the world’s most important worldwide carrier. He is the founder and director of the Jefferson Cup Invitational Wine Competition, a eleven-year-old national competition, is Head Judge and founder of the Mid-American Wine Competition, in its fourth year and has recently begun the Washington Cup, a competition for American craft spirits. He has served for many years on the board of the Court of Master Sommeliers Americas. He also serves on the board of the Institute of Masters of Wine North America, and is the current Vice Chairman.

As a founding partner of a spirits and cocktail educational organization, BAR (Beverage Alcohol Resource), Frost has created a fantastic resource with his partners: Dale DeGroff, Steve Olson, Paul Pacult, Andy Seymour and David Wondrich. BAR opened for business in June 2006; Cheers Magazine selected BAR and its founders as Innovators of the Year for 2007. Frost was awarded Beverage Innovator of the Year 2009 by Cheers Magazine. He consults with many retailers, restaurateurs, wineries and distillers in the realms of marketing, merchandising, sales, education and sensory perception. Frost lives with his wife and two children in Kansas City, where he spends his spare time listening to his massive punk rock, vintage jazz and weird music collection.

 

Jacqueline GiffordSenior Editor, Travel + Leisure

Jacqui Gifford is the senior editor at Travel + Leisure, where she edits features and covers everything from food and wine to the hottest hotel openings of the year. Her first feature at Travel + Leisure: editing Richard Alleman’s “Insider’s Guide to Napa Valley.” Prior to joining the team at T+L, she worked at Condé Nast Brides as the travel editor (2010–2103); OK! Magazine (2002–2009) as features and travel editor; and Vanity Fair (2002–2005) as editorial associate. Born in Japan, and raised in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Bucks County, Pennsylvania, she has traveled the world extensively, including the Caribbean, Hawaii, Mexico, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. Television appearances include NBC’s Today, Fox News, NY1, and QVC.

Evan GoldsteinMaster Sommelier; President of Full Circle Wine Solutions

Evan Goldstein, Master Sommelier, is one of the nation's most prolific food and wine industry veterans. His food and wine career started at age 19 in the kitchens of the Restaurant Le Saintongeais and the Hotel Lancaster in Paris, Auberge du Soleil in Napa Valley, and Chez Panisse Café in Berkeley, California. In 1984 he joined his mother, Chef and Author Joyce Goldstein, in opening the celebrated San Francisco restaurant Square One where as sommelier his wine lists received myriad awards. In 1987 he became the eighth American and youngest ever at the time to pass the prestigious Master Sommelier examination. Since 1990, Evan has created education programs, wine training and service hospitality schools with Seagram Chateau & Estates Wines Company, Diageo, Allied Domecq, and  Beam Wine Estates. In addition, Evan continues to train and examine candidates for the Court of Master Sommeliers as a Founding Board member, celebrating both his 30th year examining candidates and 31st anniversary as a Master Sommelier in 2018.

Evan is the author of Five Star Service: Your Guide to Hospitality Excellence (On Premise Communications Inc. publishers) and the critically acclaimed books, Perfect Pairings: A Master Sommelier’s Practical Advice for Partnering Wine with Food and its sequel, Daring Pairings: A Master Sommelier Matches Distinctive Wines with Recipes from His Favorite Chefs, both published by the University of California Press. In addition, Goldstein co-authored numerous books with his mother Joyce Goldstein, including ‘Wine and Food Pairing’ in the Williams Sonoma Lifestyles series. His latest literary undertaking, ‘Wines of South America: The Essential Guide’ (UC Press), was released in the fall of 2014.

Evan is a regular editorial contributor to America’s Sommelier Journal, a contributing editor for Wine & Dine and Indulgence magazines in Singapore, is the American wine correspondent for Wine Review, South Korea’s leading wine and food magazine, and is a recurring guest wine expert on NBC’s syndicated television show “In Wine Country.” He also makes regular guest appearances on the top-rated “Ronn Owens’ Show” on KGO Radio, and on Saturday morning television’s KPIX “Eyewitness News”, both in San Francisco, and on the nationally syndicated Martha Stewart Radio, hosted by Sirius.

Jamie GoodeWine Columnist, The Sunday Express; Founder, WineAnorak

Jamie Goode obtained a PhD in plant biology and then worked for 15 years as a science editor. In 2000 he began wineanorak.com, and the following year started one of the very first wine blogs. In 2005 he published the first edition of The Science of Wine; his second book, Authentic Wine (in collaboration with Sam Harrop) was published in 2011; and a revised version of The Science of Wine appeared in 2014.

Since 2005 Goode has been the wine columnist for UK national newspaper The Sunday Express. He also writes regularly for a range of publications, including the World of Fine Wine, Drinks International, Wines and Vines, Wine Business International, Wine and Spirits, and Sommelier Journal.

Goode presents on a wide range of topics, and is a widely travelled wine judge.  He’s a panel chair for the International Wine Challenge, and has judged competitions in Australia, Bulgaria, Hungary, Serbia, South Africa and the Loire. In 2006 he won the Glenfiddich Award for wine book of the year, and the following year the same award for wine writer of the year. In 2012 and 2014 his blog won best overall wine blog in the Wine Bloggers Awards (USA), and in 2012 he was blogger of the year for the International Wine and Spirits Competition.

 

Jim GordonEditor, Wines & Vines

JIM GORDON, Editor, Wines & Vines magazine since 2006, is responsible for the editorial content of the monthly trade magazine founded in 1919 and its related digital publications and conferences. He directs the editorial staff and assigns and edits articles on grape growing, wine making and wine marketing. He regularly researches and writes reports on economic and grape/wine production topics within the wine industry, and analyzes wine industry data with the company's market research team.

 

Mr. Gordon has been covering wine and the wine business as an editor and writer for 30 years. A role as contributing editor for Wine Enthusiast magazine, a national consumer publication, began in 2014, for which he reviews California wines and reports on various California wine regions. He was executive director of the annual Symposium for Professional Wine Writers at Meadowood Napa Valley from 2008 to 2015, recruiting top writers and critics like Robert M. Parker Jr. and Jancis Robinson to mentor their colleagues.

 

Dorling Kindersley (DK Books) of London published his first book as editor in chief, Opus Vino, in 2010, which was chosen a finalist in the James Beard Awards. The second book for DK, 1000 Great Everyday Wines, followed in 2011. Mr. Gordon was managing editor of Wine Spectator magazine from 1987 to 1999 in San Francisco and New York. In 2002 he was co-creator and managing editor of the long-running Wine Country Living TV series for NBC station KNTV in San Jose/San Francisco.

 

Mr. Gordon holds a B.A. in English literature from Denison University, Granville, Ohio, and also studied civil engineering at the University of Cincinnati. He completed the U.C. Davis Wine Executive Program. He understands grape and wine production from the inside out, partly due to growing grapevines at his home and making non-commercial wine for 27 years.

 

Mr. Gordon has given presentations at numerous business conferences and meetings, including the Unified Wine & Grape Symposium, the New York Wine Experience, VinExpo in Bordeaux, Hong Kong International Wine & Spirits Fair and others. He lives in Napa, Calif.

 

jimgordon.wine@gmail.com

Paul GreguttContributing Editor, Wine Enthusiast

Paul Gregutt is a Contributing Editor for Wine Enthusiast magazine, a founding member of the magazine’s Tasting Panel, and currently reviews the wines of Oregon and Canada. Over the past 30 years, he has written thousands of articles and wine reviews for newspapers, magazines and trade journals, as well as six books on Northwest wines, and an award‐winning blog.
 
He is the author of two critically‐acclaimed editions of "Washington Wines & Wineries – The Essential Guide’ (UC Press), and consulted on the Pacific Northwest entries in the most recent versions of ‘The World Atlas of Wine’ and ‘The Oxford Companion to Wine’. He is a frequent speaker at wine industry events and on wine‐themed cruises. Among his most recent projects are Waitsburg Cellars ‐ a collaborative wine venture with Seattle’s Precept Brands ‐ and the DavePaul5, a rock and country music duo. He lives with his wife and rescue dog Cookie in a renovated 140‐year‐old cottage in Waitsburg, Washington.

Rae Ann HermanContributing Style Editor at O The Oprah Magazine

Rae Ann Herman has worked in publishing for more than 25 years. She began her career at Glamour magazine, where she held the position of Accessories Director for a decade. Herman has also contributed her talents to ElleHarper's BazaarSelf and Conde Nast Traveler.  Since 2011, Herman has worked as O, The Oprah Magazine's Style Editor and helped oversee the publication's annual "Favorite Things" roundup. Working alongside O's creative director Adam Glassman, Herman searches through thousands of items nationwide to find those that will eventually make the prestigious gift guide's final cut.

 

Ray IsleExecutive Wine Editor, Food & Wine Magazine

Ray Isle is the Executive Wine Editor of Food & Wine and the Wine & Spirits Editor for both Travel + Leisure and Departures. For Food & Wine he writes the monthly “Wine Flight” and “Bottle Service” columns; he also contributes regular magazine and online features on wine, spirits, and wine travel to all three brands. His articles about wine, beer, food and spirits have appeared in a wide range of national publications, he has been nominated twice for a James Beard Award, and has twice won the IACP Award for Narrative Beverage Writing. He speaks regularly on wine at live events and is a frequent guest on national media, appearing on programs such as Today, CNBC’s On the Money & Squawk Box, NPR’s “All Things Considered,” and American Public Media’s “Splendid Table,” among others. Follow his wine exploits on twitter @islewine and on Instagram @rayisle.

 

Dianne JacobWriting Coach, Author, Freelance Editor

Previously a newspaper, magazine, and publishing company editor-in-chief, Dianne Jacob became a full-time writing coach, author, and freelance editor in 1996.
 
She coaches writers across the US, Canada, Europe and Asia on writing and publishing books, freelance articles, and blogs. Authors she has coached have signed with major publishers including Chronicle Books; Little, Brown; Ten Speed Press/Random House; Running Press, and Simon & Shuster. Several got six-figure deals. Her clients have appeared on QVC, CNN, and other national media to promote their books. Freelance writers she has coached have been published in The New York Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Washington Post, Serious Eats, NPR, and other national and international publications and websites.
 
She also edits cookbooks and ghost-writes for publishers including Time Inc., Andrews-McMeel and Weldon Owen. Self-published authors hire her to edit their books, and even traditionally-published authors send her their manuscripts to spruce them up before submission.
 
She is the author of the multiple award-winning book, Will Write for Food: The Complete Guide to Writing Cookbooks, Blogs, Memoir, Recipes, and More (Da Capo/Lifelong Books), now in its third edition. The first edition won the Cordon D’Or International award for Best Literary Food Reference Book in 2005. The second edition won the Gourmand World Cookbook Award in 2010 for best book in the USA in its category. The third edition won a Silver Nautilus award in the Creative Process category. College and university professors use it as a textbook across the US.
 
She is also the co-author of two cookbooks with chef Craig Priebe: The United States of Pizza (Rizzoli, 2015), which was recommended by The New York Times, The Boston Globe, and NPR as one of the best cookbooks of the year; and Grilled Pizzas & Piadinas (DK Publishing, 2008). The United States of Pizza won a 2015 national award for cookbooks from IndieFab. She is the writer of The Good Pantry (Oxmoor House, 2015), with recipes from Cooking Light.
 
Her blog is aimed at writers and covers food writing trends, issues, and technique. The New York Times, Publishers’ Weekly, Chow, Eater, BlogHer, have picked up her posts. She started the blog in 2009 as a way to update her book, which features an extensive chapter on food blogging.
 
She is a judge for the James Beard Foundation‘s annual cookbook awards, and for the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) annual cookbook awards. She has also been a judge ffor the IACP Food Writing Awards, and was a finalist for an award in 2007.
 
As a freelance writer, she has written feature articles for a variety of publications, from local to international, including Lucky Peach and The Washington Post. Her piece in Lucky Peach magazine, The Meaning of Mangoes, was the grand prize winner of the M.F. K. Fisher Award for Excellence in Culinary Writing, Les Dames Escoffier, for 2016.
 
Based in Oakland, CA, USA, she is a speaker and teacher who travels around the world to teach and present, including in London, Dubai, Vancouver, Turkey and Australia. in 2013 she was named the Joseph Hoare Gastronomic Writer in Residence for the Stratford Chef's School in Canada, the country's most prestigious cooking school.

Louise KiernanPulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Associate Professor, Medill School of Journalism

Louise Kiernan, an associate professor at the Medill School of Journalism, Northwestern University, was formerly a writing coach, editor and reporter for the Chicago Tribune. Louse was the lead writer on "Gateway to Gridlock," a report on the American air-traffic system, which won the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for explanatory journalism. After joining the Tribune as an intern in 1992, Louise ran the paper's urban-affairs team; worked on the Sunday magazine staff; reported from abroad; and contributed to the newspaper's features, commentary, books and travel sections.

louise.kiernan@gmail.com

Todd KlimanAuthor and critic

Todd Kliman is a novelist, essayist, critic, and teacher. His writing has appeared in numerous publications, including The New YorkerHarper'sThe Oxford AmericanThe Daily Beast and Lucky Peach. He is the recipient of two James Beard Awards, most recently the MFK Fisher Distinguished Writing Award for his autobiography in seven meals, and his stories and essays have been widely anthologized, including six times in The Best Food Writing series.


 

He is the author of The Wild Vine, a work of narrative non-fiction about a multi-millionaire redneck transsexual on an obsessive quest to restore the legend of a suicidal antebellum doctor, nearly lost to history, who accomplished what Thomas Jefferson tried and could not. The Washington Post called it a "fascinating story, complex and with a haunting finish," while The Richmond Times-Dispatch hailed it as "an outstanding piece of literature." 


 

For ten years Kliman taught literature and writing at American University and Howard University. At Howard, he was also the editorial director of Chris Rock's magazine of satire, The Illtop Journal, modeled after The Harvard Lampoon


 

In addition to writing and teaching, Kliman is also a radio talk show host, occasionally filling in on the Kojo Nnamdi Show in Washington, D.C. In December, he began hosting and moderating a popular series of salon-style conversations about culture and ideas. 


 

His next book is Happiness Is Otherwise, an exploration of love, loss, identity, art, memory, and despair.

Chris KnutsenExecutive Editor, WSJ. Magazine

Chris Knutsen is the Executive Editor of WSJ, where he oversees a range of cultural and lifestyle coverage. Prior to joining the Wall Street Journal, he spent six years at Vogue as features editor. He has also worked at GQ, Radar, Riverhead Books and The New Yorker. Knutsen is the co-editor of two literary anthologies, Brooklyn Was Mine and Committed: Men Tell Stories of Love, Commitment and Marriage. He is an adjunct faculty member of the Columbia Publishing Course.  He lives in Brooklyn.    

Alan KropfPublisher and Editor, Mutineer Magazine

Mutineer Magazine publisher and editor Alan Kropf is a leader among young beverage professionals. Before founding Wine Mutineer LLC and Mutineer Magazine in 2008, Kropf contributed wine articles to magazines including Sante, The Tasting Panel, and SommSelections, and he currently contributes beverage content to newspapers and online publications. Kropf has authored over 500 blog articles and is currently nearing completion on his first book. Kropf travels frequently to speak at events, judge competitions, and raise awareness about water relief in developing countries and introducing the Millennial generation to fine beverage culture.

Kropf is a Certified Sommelier through the Court of Master Sommeliers, holds an Advanced Certificate with Merit through the Wine & Spirit Education Trust, is a Certified Beer Server through the Cicerone Certification Program and holds a Bartending/Mixology Certificate through National Bartenders Bartending School. Kropf has worked as a sommelier at some of the world’s more prestigious properties, including the Beverly Hills Hotel with its legendary celebrity clientele and he helped Gordon Ramsay open his signature restaurant in the London West Hollywood in 2008.

alan@mutineermagazine.com

 

 

Jeannie Cho LeeFounder of Asian Palate.com, Master of Wine, Contributor South China Morning Post, Decanter

Jeannie Cho Lee is the first Asian Master of Wine and an award-winning author, wine critic, judge and educator. Jeannie was the founding publisher and CEO of Le Pan Media. Jeannie’s pioneering book, Asian Palate, exploring Asian food and wine pairings in ten Asian culinary capitals, won the Gourmand award for Best Food and Wine Pairing Book in the World in 2010 as well as other awards. Jeannie’s second book, Mastering Wine for the Asian Palate, was released in September 2011.

Jeannie was born in Korea and has lived in Hong Kong since early 1994 where she started her publishing career with financial publications such as Asia Inc, Far Eastern Economic Revue, The Asset, before moving on to lifestyle and wine publications such as Wine Spectator, The World of Fine Wine, Wine Business International, Revue du Vin and Tatler.

Currently, Jeannie is contributing editor for Decanter UK and a weekly columnist for mainland China’s China Business News as well as the largest English newspaper in Hong Kong, the South China Morning Post. She pens monthly columns for other publications. Jeannie is responsible for the master wine list of nearly 50 food and beverage outlets for Galaxy Macau, and also consults for Singapore Airlines.

Jeannie holds a Certificat de Cuisine from Cordon Bleu and her love for food and wine inspired her to found AsianPalate.com, a site that celebrates the confluence of Asian food and wine. Jeannie is a Master Sake Sommelier from Japan’s Sake Service Institute and is a Certified Wine Educator from UK's Wine & Spirits Education Trust as well as the US Society of Wine Educators.

Jeannie’s interest in wine began at Oxford University where she spent her junior year before returning to Smith College where she graduated with a dual degree in Government and Sociology. Jeannie then went on to obtain a master’s degree in public policy and international relations from Harvard University.

jeannie@asianpalate.com

 

Bonjwing LeeFood Writer, Photographer, Founder of The Ulterior Epicure Blog

Bonjwing Lee is a food writer and photographer based in Kansas City, Missouri. His photographs have appeared in numerous publications, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Food & Wine Magazine, and Bon Appetit Magazine.  He has also photographed for All-Clad Metalcrafters, Thomas Keller Restaurant Group, and Daniel Boulud's restaurant group Dinex, and at culinary events around the world, including the Bocuse d’Or in Lyon, France, the Twelve Days of Christmas at Meadowood Napa Valley, and the James Beard Awards in New York City.

In addition to writing the blog, “the ulterior epicure," Bonjwing also photographed and co-authored “bluestem, the cookbook” with James Beard Award-winning chef Colby Garrelts and his wife, Megan.  He is currently working on a number of other cookbooks with chefs and hopes to announce them soon.

Bonjwing holds a Bachelors of Science from Northwestern University and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Michigan Law School. Prior to taking up a career as a full-time photographer and writer, he worked in Hollywood as a web designer for Sony Pictures Entertainment, as an aide to a U.S. Senator in Washington, D.C., and practiced corporate and aviation law in Kansas City.
 

Ted LoosFreelancer on Wine, Art and Design

Ted Loos is a New York–based freelance journalist who is constitutionally incapable of covering just one topic. A former features editor of Wine Spectator, Loos has written about wine extensively for Bon Appetit, Decanter, Town & Country, and Departures, and wrote the Tasting Notes column for Epicurious.com for two years.

When he wears his other hat, he covers fine art and design for The New York Times, Vogue, Vanity Fair and Architectural Digest, among other publications. Ted has a BA from Amherst College and a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University.

Follow him on Twitter: @LoosLips

Will LyonsWine Columnist, The Wall Street Journal

Will Lyons writes a weekly wine column for The Wall Street Journal. His humorous, informed, down-to-earth writing has been recognized in both the Glenfiddich and Roederer Wine Writing Awards. He began his career in London, as a wine merchant in St. James’s for Justerini & Brooks where he developed a love for the classic wines of Europe. He has written for a variety of publications including The Scotsman, Scotland on Sunday, The Reader’s Digest, The Spectator and Decanter. He is a past president of the Edinburgh University Wine Society, where in between wine tasting, he read History.

Chris MaciasCritic-at-Large, The Sacramento Bee

Chris Macias serves as "Critic-At-Large" for The Sacramento Bee, where he has covered food, wine, music and local culture since 1999. His profile of Tim Hanni, an iconoclastic Master of Wine and recovering alcoholic, was selected for the 2015 edition of “Best Food Writing” from Da Capo Press. Macias was also selected for the 2012 edition of “Best Food Writing” for his profile of a former gang member turned gourmet pastry chef. He is also the co-author of "Echoes of an Angel," the true story of a blind boy known around the world for his ability to "see with sound,” which was published by Tyndale/Momentum in 2014. Macias graduated from the University of California, Davis with a degree in sociology. 

Meridith MayOwner, The SOMM Journal; Co-founder, The Tasting Panel and The Clever Root

Meridith May is the owner of The SOMM Journal and the co-founder of THE TASTING PANEL Magazine and The CLEVER ROOT magazines. She is responsible for the publications’ branding and content.  She has successfully increased each national magazine’s circulation and readership to reach over 65,000 bi-monthly for SOMM Journal and over 90,000 hospitality industry professionals 11 times a year for The Tasting Panel. 
 
Meridith’s career in radio spans over 30 years. She began as VP Marketing for KIIS FM/KRLA radio in the 1980s working with such notable on-air personalities as Charlie Tuna, The Real Don Steele and Rick Dees. She soon started a noon talk show about food which developed into a longer formatted show with Merrill Shindler on KFWB and then KABC called “Happy Hour.”
 
Segueing into food and wine, she was the restaurant columnist for the Santa Barbara News Press from 1998-2001 and then took the role as Senior Editor at Patterson’s Beverage Journal where she ran the magazine until 2007, when she purchased the name, with partner Anthony Dias Blue. They have co-owned the publication for nine years.
 

Tilar J. MazzeoAuthor, Educator

Tilar J. Mazzeo is the New York Times bestselling author of books that include The Widow Clicquot: The Story of a Champagne Empire and the Woman Who Ruled It, The Secret of Chanel No. 5: The Intimate Story of the World's Most Famous Perfume, and The Hotel On The Place Vendôme: Life, Death, And Betrayal At The Hôtel Ritz In Paris (all HarperCollins).  She also writes extensively on wine for the media and is the author of The Back Lane Wineries of Napa, The Back Lane Wineries of Sonoma (Ten Speed Press), and the forthcoming guide to The Back Lane Wineries of the Pacific Northwest.  She is currently working on the story of the Holocaust heroine, Irena Sendler, the "female Schindler."  Irena's Children is forthcoming with Gallery / Simon & Schuster in 2016.  She received her Ph.D. from the University of Washington, Seattle, and today writes narrative nonfiction and memoir on the history of war, women, and luxury.

She teaches English as the Clara C. Piper Associate Professor of English at Colby College and teaches narrative nonfiction at writer's workshops in the Canadian Gulf Islands of British Columbia.  She divides her time between Saanichton, British Columbia; New York City; and Portland, Maine.

 

Dave McIntyreWine Columnist, The Washington Post

Dave McIntyre has written the weekly wine column for The Washington Post's James Beard Award-winning Food section since October 2008. His column is widely syndicated and often appears in newspapers across the country. His writings have also appeared in Wine Enthusiast, the San Francisco Chronicle, Washingtonian and other publications. He created his blog, Dave McIntyre's WineLine, in 1998, and co-founded Drink Local Wine in 2008 to help promote awareness of emerging U.S. wine regions. He lives terrestrially in Silver Spring, Maryland, and virtually @dmwine. 

Orianne NouailhacPublisher, Editor in Chief, VIGNERON

Former a classical dancer, and graduated with a Masters degree in History with a specialty in the 17th century, Orianne Nouailhac created her first magazine at the age of 25. Piano was dedicated to the greatest classical and jazz artists. She worked throughout the years for several cultural publications in France. From 2005 to 2010, she was a contributor to the cultural and political TV show “Chez FOG” created by Franz-Olivier Giesbert, CEO of the weekly Le Point. Orianne today focuses on two of her passions: gastronomy and wine. Co-creator (in 2004) and editor in chief of the magazine dedicated to famous chefs, 3 Étoiles, from 2010 to 2015, she is currently the owner, publisher and editor in chief of the magazine Vigneron, created in 2010. 

Cyril PennEditor, Wine Business Monthly

Cyril Penn is editor in chief of Wine Business Monthly and winebusiness.com, part of Wine Communications Group, the leading supplier of information to the wine industry.  Penn has been with WBM since 2000. His work on the wine business has appeared in a number of publications, including the San Francisco Chronicle, where he contributed the Wine Business Insider column for five years. Penn has traveled to wine regions throughout North America, Europe and South America. Prior to joining WBM, he was managing editor of the California Energy Markets newsletter in San Francisco. His background includes several years as a freelance journalist. Following stints at the Columbia Journalism Review and MacNeil Lehrer Report (now the PBS NewsHour), Penn worked for Reuters in New York. He holds a Bachelor's degree in media studies from Fordham University.

Madeline PucketteCo-founder and Content Director, Wine Folly

Madeline Puckette is the content director and cofounder of Wine Folly. Her passion for helping beginners learn about wine is the inspiration behind the award winning
website winefolly.com, and the NYT bestselling book, Wine Folly: The Essential Guide to Wine. Puckette's background in visual design, music and restaurant hospitality have
helped shape her communication of wine through infographics, entertainment and social media.
 
Since the inception of the site on December 25, 2011, Puckette's enigmatic wine designs have been featured in places like NPR, Fast Company Design and The Washington Post. The Wine Folly book has been published in 20 countries including Korea, Germany, Russia, China, France and Italy.

Andrea RobinsonMaster Sommelier, Author, Presenter

Andrea Robinson is one of only 32 women in the world to hold the title of Master Sommelier. The first woman designated as Best Sommelier in the United States, Andrea is also an honors graduate of the French Culinary Institute and Sommelier for Delta Air Lines. She is the winner of three James Beard awards and was selected by Bon Appetit Magazine as Wine & Spirits Professional of The Year in 2004.

Andrea has written four top­selling wine and food books, including Everyday Dining with Wine, which won the prestigious IACP cookbook award. She has also created a ground­breaking wine stemware series called The OneTM, which optimizes the tasting experience.

Andrea has appeared in more than 100 Food Network episodes and was featured on the cover of Working Mother as Working Mother of the Year. She has also been profiled in People, Elle, NBC Nightly News, The New York Times, and Food & Wine magazine.
 

Pavia RosatiFounder and CEO, Fathom

Pavia Rosati is the founder and CEO of Fathom, the award-winning travel website that guides passionate travelers to the places they’ll be dreaming about long after they’ve come home. Fathom mixes curated guides and personal stories with the best resources and products, and plans custom trips for readers. Companies like Vox Media, American Express, Qantas Airlines, and Kate Spade New York look to Fathom to help tell their travel stories. Prior to Fathom, Pavia spent nine years as the original executive editor at the groundbreaking lifestyle media company DailyCandy, growing the beloved brand from a New York newsletter into an international publication with 28 editions. At DailyCandy, she covered food and travel in New York City and around the world, with a focus on emerging talent and best-in-class destinations. She has written about food, travel, and culture for The New York Times, Travel and Leisure, Bon Appetit, and Departures, among others. Pavia has spent a good part of her life in Italy and is part of a third generation of restaurateurs in the United States. Her grandfather, Nello, established The Homestead Inn in Trenton, New Jersey, in 1939, a restaurant that is considered a landmark and a destination for its authentic Italian-American cuisine. She divides her time between New York and the rest of the world. She can be found on Instagram at @pavianyc.

Steven RothfeldPhotographer, Author

Steven Rothfeld earned degrees in Comparative Literature from UC Berkeley and Photography from Art Center College of Design before beginning his adventures as a travel photographer with an emphasis on the culinary world. He has traveled to over 40 countries and has photographed books by Michael Chiarello, Frances + Edward Mayes, Marcel Marceau, Wolfgang Puck, Joël Robuchon, Nancy Silverton, and Patricia Wells. In the course of his career, he has had the pleasure of working with many talented chefs, among them, Ferran Adria, Martin Berasategui, Pierre Gagnaire, Thomas Keller, Christopher Kostow, and Cindy Pawlcyn. His books of photography include French Dreams, Italian Dreams, Irish Dreams, Entrez, The Signs Of France with André Aciman, and Shrines, Images of Italian Worship with Frances Mayes. Steven’s images can also be seen in Bringing Tuscany Home and The Tuscan Sun Cookbook, collaborations with Frances and Edward Mayes, Hungry For France with Alexander Lobrano, and Cuisine Niçoise, French Comfort Food, and Le French Oven with Hillary Davis.  During the United States tour of the celebrated Tuscan Sun Music Festival, Steven’s photographs of Italy were presented onstage at Carnegie Hall. Three of his books, Napa Stories, In The Shade Of the Vines, and the Dean & DeLuca Book Of Food and Wine celebrate the Napa Valley, where he lives. When he is home, Steven works with the Meadowood Resort, The Napa Valley Reserve, and some of the most acclaimed wine estates in the region, including Araujo Estate, Beckstoffer Vineyards, Bond, CADE, Continuum Estate, Dana Estates, Dominus, Harlan Estate, KATA, Plumpjack, and Promontory. Israel Eats, his first book as both author and photographer, will be published in Spring 2016. Please visit www.stevenrothfeld.com to view his work.

Leslie SbroccoAuthor, Speaker, Consultant, Television Host

An award-­winning author, speaker, consultant, and television host, Leslie Sbrocco is known for her entertaining approach to wine and food, as well as inspiring others to live a life of passion. Voted as one of the Top 100 most influential people in the American wine business, Sbrocco’s engaging personality, humor, and ability to connect with the audience – whether on screen or on stage – are her trademarks.

Sbrocco’s first book, Wine for Women: A Guide to Buying, Pairing and Sharing Wine (William Morrow), has been excerpted by two national magazines, Redbook and Family Circle, and won the coveted Georges Duboeuf Best Wine Book of the Year award. Her second book, The Simple & Savvy Wine Guide (William Morrow), was released to wide acclaim, and she is currently at work on two new books entitled 100 Days…100 Drinks, Dishes & Destinations and Drinking for a Living: How One Woman Created Her Dream Job and So Can YOU.

As host of the PBS restaurant review series Check Please! Sbrocco has won a coveted James Beard award, three Taste Awards, and three Emmy awards in the span of 10 seasons on air. Sbrocco was a featured judge on the PBS national series, The Winemakers, and created wine content for the hit TBS show, Cougartown. She appears frequently on national television outlets including CNN, The Hallmark Channel’s Better TV, QVC, and is a regular guest on NBC’s Today Show. Her work has been published in outlets such as People Style Watch magazine, Epicurious.com, O the Oprah magazine, Coastal Living, Woman’s Day, Health, Good Housekeeping and Glamour among others. Prior to completing Wine for Women, Leslie was a columnist for The New York Times online and General Manager of WineToday.com, a site of The New York Times Company. She is also the founder of the multi-­media company, Thirsty Girl LLC.

Through her social media, print, online outlets and television appearances, Leslie reaches millions of consumers. Sbrocco is one of the country’s most sought-­after wine speakers and an emerging talent speaking to groups on how to turn their passions into their careers. She has showcased her energetic style at hundreds of events including O Magazine's Hi Gorgeous tour with Oprah Winfrey, and the Women of the Vine, and Women in Insurance Leadership Symposiums.

Her portfolio of corporate clients lists Liberty Mutual Insurance, The Wall Street Journal, Mercer, Cisco Systems, RedPrairie, and AON to name a few. Within the culinary industry, Sbrocco has appeared on stage with a roster of celebrity chefs including Marcus Samuelsson, Carla Hall, and Jacques Pépin. She has been keynote speaker at high-­profile events including Food and Wine Magazine’s Aspen Classic, the Boston Wine Expo, Pinot Noir New Zealand, Newport Mansions Wine & Food Festival, the Boardwalk Wine Promenade, Tulalip Resort’s Taste of Tulalip, and SF Chefs.

Leslie has built programs for and consulted with companies such as Target, Harry & David, and Kimpton Hotels. Her educational and event clients include The Atlantic City Alliance, Wines from Spain, Trentino Wines, G7 Wines of Portugal, Crystal Cruises, and Holland America Cruise Lines. Sbrocco is member of the philanthropic society Les Dames d’Escoffier and a respected judge at global wine competitions including the Concours Mondial, The Argentina Wine Awards, Sunset Magazine’s International Wine Competition, Critics Challenge, and the San Francisco International Wine & Spirits Competition.

Sara SchneiderWine Editor, Sunset magazine

Sara Schneider is Sunset magazine’s first wine editor, responsible for tasting panels, food-and-wine pairing, wine-related food and travel coverage, Sunset’s International Wine Competition, and the magazine’s wine club.

With a B.A. and an M.A. in English, Sara taught high-school English for 10 years before a love of cooking drew her to San Francisco’s California Culinary Academy, where her wine interest began. After graduating, she combined her word and culinary backgrounds as editor of Berkeley-based Bay Food magazine for three years, then joined Sunset’s editorial staff, first on the copy desk, then as a senior food editor, eventually becoming head of the food department. In that role, she expanded the magazine’s wine coverage, and launched its Western Wine Awards program and the Sunset Wine Club. In 2005 she was named wine editor.

Sara writes a monthly wine column, as well as other wine-themed food and travel stories, and in 2007 co-authored the book California Wine Country, a Sunset Field Guide. She has judged many wine competitions, both on the West Coast and internationally.

Sara has been nominated twice for James Beard Journalism Awards and holds the Academy of Wine Communication’s Certificate for Excellence in Wine Writing.

Michael ShapiroJournalism Professor, Founder of The Big Roundtable

Michael Shapiro is the author of six nonfiction books, most recently "The Last Good Season," and "Bottom of the Ninth." His work has appeared in such publications as The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, Esquire and Sports Illustrated. He is a professor of journalism at Columbia University and founder of The Big Roundtable, a digital publishing platform whose aim is to connect writers and readers of ambitious narrative nonfiction.

 

 

Alison Clare SteingoldSenior Editor, C Magazine

L.A.-based Alison Clare Steingold has written and edited for Santa Monica-based C Magazine since its 2005 launch and was named senior editor in 2010. She first launched a freelance career researching and reporting on restaurants and culinary trends, while her previous years in fine dining led to co-authoring a cookbook with chef Govind Armstrong (Clarkson Potter, 2007). Today, Steingold oversees food/wine and home/design sections for the California lifestyle publication’s ever-expanding portfolio (C, C for Men, C Weddings). The Washington, D.C. native studied political media at University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School for Communications and Georgetown University. She resides in Venice, CA.

Kristin Tice StudemanContributng Editor, Style.com and ELLE.com

Kristin Tice Studeman is a contributing editor at style.com and ELLE.com and a freelance writer contributing to a variety of lifestyle print and online publications including Conde Nast Traveler, Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, W, Women's Wear Daily, Cosmopolitan, and more.

Lettie TeagueWine columnist for The Wall Street Journal

Lettie Teague is the wine columnist for The Wall Street Journal. Her column “On Wine” is published every Saturday (except one) she wrote another weekly column “Uncorking New York” for The Wall Street Journal’s Greater New York section until that section was discontinued. She has won three James Beard awards.

 

Lettie joined The Wall Street Journal in 2010 and won the 2012 James Beard Award Food-Related Columns Award for her Wall Street Journal columns. She was the executive wine editor at Food & Wine magazine (1997- 2009) where she oversaw the magazine’s wine coverage and also wrote the monthly column “Wine Matters” for which she received the James Beard Foundation's M.F.K. Fisher Distinguished Writing Award in 2003 and the James Beard Award Best Magazine Columns award in 2005. She was inducted into the Wine Media Hall of Fame in June 2015.

 

Lettie is currently working on an introductory guide to wine (as yet untitled) for Basic Books, to be published in 2019. Her previous books include Wine In Words: Some Notes for Better Drinking published by Rizzoli in April 2015 and Educating Peter: How Anybody Can Become an (Almost) Instant Wine Expert published by Scribner’s  in 2007. She was also the illustrator and co-author of Fear of Wine: An Introductory Guide to the Grape, published by Bantam in 1995 and still in print.

 

Lettie loves all kinds of wines except Pinotage. She has only had one good Pinotage.

Mike VesethEditor, The Wine Economist

Mike Veseth is professor emeritus of  International Political Economy at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington. He is an authority on globalization and the global wine market. Mike was named Washington Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education. His 2005 book, Globaloney, was named a Best Business Book of 2005 by Library Journal.  Wine Wars was named a 2011 Wine Book of the Year by JancisRobinson.com.

Mike has also taught at the American Institute on Political and Economic Systems in Prague and at the Bologna Center of the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies in Italy.  He was Academic Advisor to the award winning educational website for the PBS/WGBH series, The Commanding Heights: The Battle for the World Economy. He is a trustee of the University of Puget Sound.

Mike earned the B.A. degree in Economics and Mathematics from the University of Puget Sound  and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Economics from Purdue University.

Ron WashamFounder, The Hosemaster of Wine

At a tender age, Ron turned away from a career as a comedy writer to become a sommelier. One could say he prefers spitting to gagging. He served nineteen years as a sommelier in Los Angeles, and was twice named Sommelier of the Year by the California Restaurant Writers Association, primarily because he was unbeatable in the swimsuit competition. He also serves as a professional wine judge in many formerly prestigious competitions. He is one of only one HoseMaster of Wine in the world and writes a monthly satirical column for timatkin.com.

Hoby WedlerHost, "Tasting in the Dark"

Dr. Henry “Hoby” Wedler has been completely blind since birth. He just completed his Ph.D. in organic chemistry at the University of California, Davis, he is the founder and director of the nonprofit Accessible Science, and he is a food and beverage sensory expert. Hoby found his passion for food, drink and how they relate to the senses when he began hosting truly blind wine and beer experiences in 2011. Hoby grew up in Petaluma, California where early on he fell in love with beautiful Sonoma County.   When he’s not busy pursuing his academic studies or leading his blind or visually impaired chemistry camp students in conducting hands-on organic lab experiments through touch and smell, he turns his attention to food and drink – where he’s most passionate about flavor, accurate flavor descriptors, and how flavor and aroma relate to science.
 

In 2012, Hoby was one of only fourteen individuals honored at the White House when he was named one of President Barack Obama’s Champions of Change for enhancing educational and employment opportunities for Americans with disabilities.

 

In 2016, Hoby’s work in the food and drink industry was generously recognized by Forbes Magazine when he was named one of Forbes’ 30 under 30 in the food and drink category. This prestigious honor is granted to 300 individuals from around the world all under 30 years of age across ten categories, making a total of 30 individuals per category. Hoby was also recently recognized as one of the Sacramento Business Journal’s 2016 40 under 40 recipients. Hoby completed his Ph.D. in December, 2016 and is now working full-time in the food and drink industry. 

David WhiteFounder, Terroirist.com

David White, a wine writer in Washington D.C., is the founder and editor of Terroirist.com. The author of a nationally syndicated wine column that’s hosted by Palate Press, David’s wine writing has appeared in dozens of publications, including The World of Fine Wine, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and the Washington Post. He has his advanced certificate from the Wine and Spirit Education Trust and has been called one of America’s 9 most important wine bloggers. In 2013, Terroirist.com was named the “Best Overall Wine Blog” at the annual Wine Blog Awards. Follow him on Twitter @terroiristblog.

Amy WislockiManaging Editor, Decanter

Amy joined Decanter in October 2000 as editor, aged 28, and has spent 17 happy years since then, immersed in the world of wine and wine magazine publishing. In 2006 she became managing editor. Before joining Decanter, she had a career working on other magazines with a mostly male readership – first on What to Buy for Business (Reed Business Information), a buying guide to office equipment and services. This involved researching and writing reports on subjects as diverse and illuminating as colour printers, washrooms and laminators. Moving to customer magazine company Redwood in 1996, she worked as deputy editor on Psion User, AA Magazine and BT Talking Business. After six months in Bosnia (a sabbatical working as a volunteer in an orphanage in Sarajevo), she returned to edit the BT magazine for two years before moving to Decanter to take up what she describes as her ‘dream job’.

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Panelists

Bill CascioDirector of Winery Business Relations, Glazer’s

William “Bill” Cascio is VP and director of winery business relations for the 15-state distribution network of Glazer’s Family of Companies, for whom he has worked since 2003. He is responsible for all current and new business development for the Glazer Domains and Estates fine wine portfolio. Cascio previously was employed by Brown Forman Corporation where he became senior vice president of business development for Wine Estates/Sonoma Cutrer. His experience there included developing the long-term global portfolio strategy of B.F. Wines Worldwide. Cascio conducted market research and sought out acquisition targets in Australia, South Africa, Europe, South America and California. Earlier he had been executive VP of worldwide sales and marketing for Fetzer Vineyards and a sales manager for Heublein/Diageo. Cascio holds an Executive MBA from Stanford Business School and a BS in Business, St. Michael’s College, Vermont.

Roger FawcettWhole Foods Market Wine Buyer

Roger Fawcett, Whole Foods Market Southern Pacific Regional Wine Buyer, has over 14 years in the food and wine business. Roger oversees the wine program for 49 stores in Southern California, Arizona, Hawaii and Las Vegas. Roger has traveled internationally visiting vineyards and meeting winemakers whose wines he has introduced to Whole Foods Market. He is passionate about connecting wine drinkers with the terroir and people who make the wine. He has been instrumental in rolling out such programs as the One Bottle, One Tree program, Rose Revolution and the One Wine program at Whole Foods Market.

Gary FischOwner, Gary's Wine & Marketplace

When Gary was working toward his B.S. from Rider College in Political Science, he didn’t yet know where life was going to take him. Gary fell in love with wine in his senior year of college while working with his father, a liquor salesman, and decided to become an expert. He educated himself at the Sommelier Institute in New Jersey and at several of Windows on the World’s wine courses. The secret to his success is a passionate love and broad knowledge of his product — and the skill to communicate that delight. That enthusiasm and intelligence served him well when he teamed up with his brother Mark in 1987 and opened his first store in Madison, New Jersey. Two moves later, Gary’s now has stores in Bernardsville, N.J., and on Route 23 North in Wayne, N.J. Gary’s expertise has earned him national media attention as “The Wine Guy” on the TV Food Network show Bobby Flay Hot off the Grill. He has made guest appearances on CNN, New Jersey 12 and Bloomberg radio and television. In January 2009, he was profiled in New Jersey Monthly’s “Power Issue” as one of the 101 Most Influential People in the Garden State.

John GillespieFounder, Wine Opinions

One of the most prominent wine marketers in the U.S., John Gillespie’s career spans more than thirty years, and is highlighted by his leadership of Wine Market Council and his direction for more than a decade of the council’s ongoing programs of consumer research, advertising, and public relations. At Wine Colleagues, he directs the Consumer Research and Marketing practice. He is also the director of the strategic operations of Wine Opinions, a consumer research provider to the wine industry.

Beginning his career in New York as a wine magazine editor, Gillespie has worked as a wine journalist, in the retail and restaurant trade, in marketing and public relations for wineries, and as the head of the Bordeaux Wine Information Bureau and Wine Market Council. He is the founder of Wine Opinions and a founding partner of Wine Colleagues.

jgillespie@winecolleagues.com

Steve GrossVice President, State Relations, Wine Institute

Steve Gross is Vice President, State Relations at Wine Institute, where he has been employed since 1986.  Steve’s duties entail overseeing the activities of Wine Institute’s six State Relations Regional Counsels and Regional Managers as they address state legislation affecting the wine industry, as well as coordinating Wine Institute’s legislative and regulatory activities with staff, contract lobbyists and member wineries.

Steve regularly participates in many national programs dealing with issues facing the wine industry, both on the legislative and regulatory levels.  Steve serves on the Board of Directors of both Sustainable Conservation and the California Council for Environmental and Economic Balance (CCEEB).  He also serves on the Sonoma State University Wine Business Institute’s Executive Board.  A native of Nebraska, Steve brought to Wine Institute knowledge garnered during his ten years of employment in the on-sale food and beverage industry, as well as extensive experience in political campaigns and legislative activism.

 

Eric HervéEnologist, ETS Laboratories

Eric Hervé received his PhD from the Faculté d’Oenologie of Bordeaux, France, where he completed a research program on the key flavor components of Armagnac and Cognac brandies.

Dr. Hervé joined ETS in 1997 to conduct a cork research program. First, Eric developed an automated method to reliably measure trace amounts of 2,4,6-trichloroanisole (TCA), down to one part-per-trillion. By studying how natural corks transfer TCA to wine, he defined the concept of cork’s “Releasable TCA”. The measurement of “Releasable TCA” has now become the tool of choice in the fight against Cork Taint worldwide.

Always fascinated by the complexity and mysteries of wine aromas, Eric opted to stay at ETS after the completion of the cork project to develop new analyses, conduct applied research programs, and investigate wine flavor and taint issues. Eric is a TTB-certified chemist for analysis of wines.

Eric developed the ETS Oak Aroma panel, with its signature radar plot, allowing a quick visual assessment of a wine’s aroma profile. He reported for the first time the presence of eucalyptol in wines with “minty” and “eucalyptus-like" odors, showing that these aromas often originate from eucalyptus trees growing near vineyards. In recent years, as TCA outbreaks occurred in wineries, Eric conducted investigations to determine the extent and identify the sources of contamination. In addition, he has developed new analytical tools to deal with emerging threats, such as TBA and “Smoke Taint”.

Courtney HumistonWriter, Wine Director Dry Creek Kitchen

Courtney Humiston, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and a Certified Sommelier, is both a journalist and sommelier. Her interest in wine began as a beat reporter for NBC in New York City; she moved to California in 2010 to study wine and discovered that it is, indeed, a lifelong pursuit. She has worked two harvests in vini- and viticulture and has written for The San Francisco Chronicle, The World of Fine Wine, Decanter.com, 7x7 magazine and Somm Journal, among many other publications. Courtney now serves as the Wine Director for Charlie Palmer's Dry Creek Kitchen in Healdsburg, California, and as a wine list consultant and wine judge.
 

Kaethy KennedyVideo Producer

Kaethy Kennedy comes from the movie marketing industry in Hollywood. For over twenty years, she helped create trailers and TV spots for some of the biggest films on the silver screen, and ran her own successful ad agency.

Looking for a change, and wanting to pursue her passion for wine, she enrolled in the 2011 Wine Immersion program at The Culinary Institute of America, Greystone, in St. Helena, California. What was supposed to be a fun break from Hollywood turned out to be a life altering experience. Thanks to the inspiring teachers and invaluable relationships she made, she and a business partner were able to land a first job before finishing the program – cutting a piece for the Rutherford Dust Society, and founding Storycellars. That video would go on to win Honorable Mention in the annual Wine Spectator Video Contest.

Her experience includes all aspects of a full-service agency, video production, plus social media services and motion graphic design. Her clients have included wineries, restaurants, and resorts, as well as vineyard, vintner and appellation groups.

Laurel MarcusExecutive Director, California Land Stewardship Institute

Laurel Marcus is the executive director of the nonprofit organization, the California Land Stewardship Institute. She has over 30 years of experience in watershed, river and wetland restoration work in California.  Ms Marcus is the author of the Fish Friendly Farming Environmental (FFF) Environmental Certification Program (also known as the Napa Green Land Certification) that she directs in seven counties for over 15 different crops and grazing land.  This program focuses on collaboration with private property owners and implementing stream restoration and water quality improvement projects in numerous locations.

Rob McMillanFounder, Silicon Valley Bank Wine Division

Rob McMillan is EVP and founder of Silicon Valley Bank’s Wine Division based in Saint Helena, California. Starting in 1992, he developed the division from the idea and start-up phase to the point where it’s now regarded as the leading and most connected provider of financial services to the U.S. fine wine business.

Rob's banking career started in 1981 and he has worked in Silicon Valley Bank since 1990.
Today Rob supports Silicon Valley Bank’s continuing growth and success in the wine business by managing a deal team and assisting the division's clients and bankers and sharing his own experience and views on the macro factors impacting the economy and the fine wine business. He helps improve the odds of success for the bank's customers by presenting private interactive discussions on market trends to individual management teams within the Banks portfolio of clients.

Rob has published reports of varied and emerging trends to the wine industry. His views and perspectives are widely published in the trade press and in National news outlets. He has been a guest lecturer at numerous west coast Universities. He is author of the bank’s annual State of the Wine Industry Report. Rob's perspectives regarding the direction, opportunities and threats in the Fine Wine business and National economy continue to keep him busy on the speaking circuit and in his weekly blog. He was named one of the Top 100 Most Influential People in the U.S. Wine Industry; the only banker to make the list.

Rob McMillan received a bachelor’s degree in Finance/economics from Sacramento State University and an MBA from Santa Clara University’s Leavey School of Business. He is affiliated with, and supports numerous charities and industry associations both in and outside of the wine industry. He has served on varied planning and steering committees for symposia in the wine industry, and in board capacities for a vintners association, business to business internet company, fine wine distributor, and a logistics and transportation firm.
 

Lisa Perrotti-BrownEditor in Chief, Wine Advocate and eRobertParker.com

Born and raised in Maine, USA, Lisa Perrotti Brown, MW, began her career as the manager of a wine bar in London more than 20 years ago. She progressed through wine sales and marketing roles in the UK wine trade before moving to Tokyo in 2002 where she worked as a wine buyer for one of Japan's top fine wine importers and a wine educator at Tokyo's Academie du Vin.

In 2008 Lisa began writing a column for Robert Parker’s website, eRobertParker.com, and later that year she achieved her Master of Wine qualification and the Madame Bollinger Medal for excellence in wine tasting. Now living in Singapore, she has recently been appointed as Editor in Chief for Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate and eRobertParker.com and remains the publication’s reviewer for the wines of Australia and New Zealand.

Lisa moved to Napa Valley in 2015 to set up a Wine Advocate office here.

Alder YarrowPublisher Vinography.com, Author

San Francisco Magazine has called Alder Yarrow "The Wine World's Brightest Cyberstar" and he is widely accepted as a pioneer of wine blogging. He has been publishing Vinography.com daily since 2004 and was nominated for a James Beard Award in 2013. In addition to writing for outlets as diverse as the World of Fine Wine and Fine Cooking Magazine, he is currently a monthly columnist for Jancis Robinson, and the author of The Essence of Wine, a coffee table book about wine's flavors and aromas. The Essence of Wine was named one of the best wine books of 2014 by The New York Times and Wine & Spirits Magazine among others. In 2013 Alder was inducted into the Wine Media Guild of New York's Wine Writer's Hall of Fame, and honor he shares with only 22 other living wine writers. Alder was born in the heart of the western Sonoma Coast, and lives in San Francisco.

alder@vinography.com

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Coaches

Antonia AllegraSymposium Founding Director, Writing & Career Coach, Catalyst

Antonia (Toni) Allegra is a career and writing coach dedicated to working with food and wine professionals. She coaches culinary starters and stars, having influenced the creation of more than 150 books, columns, blogs, etc. She is a wine/food/travel writer and international speaker as well as teacher and poet. She founded the Symposium for Professional Food Writers at The Greenbrier in West Virginia and also founded the Symposium for Professional Wine Writers at Meadowood Napa Valley. She was a member of the CIA/Greystone launch team,as well as launcher/director of Beringer Vineyards School for American Chefs, La Cocina que Canta culinary center at Rancho la Puerta in Tecate, Baja California and her own cooking school in San Diego from 1974-82. She co-founded C4: Culinary Coaches and Consultants Collaborative and is member of other international coaching and culinary communities. Toni authored Napa Valley: The Ultimate Winery Guide, printed to a fourth edition, The Wine Country Deck, and Napa Valley Tour Guide which includes a CD and DVD. Toni was founding editor of three magazines: Napa Valley TablesVine Napa Valley and Appellation, the latter two both Maggie Award-winning publications. And she was food editor of the San Diego Tribune (1982-88) and San Diego Home/Garden. Toni lives in a treehouse in St. Helena, California. See is a strong advocate for writers and a catalyst in the world of the word. 

antonia.allegra@gmail.com

Talia BaiocchiEditor-in-Chief, PUNCH

Talia Baiocchi is the editor-in-chief of the online drinks and culture magazine PUNCH (September 2013) and the author of the forthcoming book Sherry (Ten Speed Press, October 2014). She was the first-ever wine editor at Eater.com, a former columnist at Wine Spectator, and has written for The San Francisco Chronicle, Decanter, Bon Appétit and Wine & Spirits Magazine, among others.

She has a degree in journalism and political science from New York University and has been featured in numerous publications, including Forbes as a member of the magazine’s 2013 “30 under 30” list. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.
 

Neil BeckettEditor of Finest Wines regional guides, published in association with UC Press. WWS Speaker 2011

Neil Beckett ascended what he hoped might be an ivory tower via a first class honors degree in English and medieval history (St. Andrews), a doctorate in medieval history (Magdalen College, Oxford) and a prize fellowship of the Royal Historical Society (University of London). Always equally interested in wine, he soon wanted to spend more time down in the cellar than up in the tower, and between the two did an MBA, managing to wangle a dissertation on white Burgundy. During a year at Lay & Wheeler wine merchants he graduated with distinction in the WSET Diploma and took the top prizes, before going on to Harpers Wine & Spirit Weekly, of which he was for several years contributing editor and for which he wrote a regular column on fine wine. In 2004 he became the first editor of The World of Fine Wine, an award-winning quarterly review on which he works with Hugh Johnson and Andrew Jefford. Since 2009 he has also been the general editor of the Finest Wines series of regional guides, published in association with University of California Press. He has judged around the world, won prizes for his writing on wine, and is one of the two UK tasters on the Grand Jury Européen.

Virginie BooneContributing Editor, Wine Enthusiast

Contributing Editor Virginie Boone has been with Wine Enthusiast since 2010, and reviews and reports on the wines of Napa and Sonoma for the magazine. Sonoma-based Boone began her writing career in 1997 with Lonely Planet travel guidebooks, contributing to titles on South America, Northern California, France and America's Deep South. Travel assignments led her to California-focused wine coverage, including regular features for the former New York Times regional newspaper Santa Rosa Press Democrat, for which Boone has been a contributing wine writer for several years. She is also the author of Napa Valley and Sonoma: Heart of California Wine Country, and a regular panelist and speaker on wine topics in California and beyond.

Mike DunneFreelance Wine Writer & Consultant

Mike Dunne is a freelance wine writer and consultant who divides his time between Sacramento and San Jose del Cabo, Baja California Sur. He is a former food editor, wine columnist and restaurant critic of The Sacramento Bee and continues to write a weekly wine column for The Bee. He blogs for the Bee as Mike Dunne on Wine at http://www.sacbee.com/food-drink/wine/dunne-on-wine/.  Reach him at mikedunne@winegigs.com


Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/food-drink/wine/dunne-on-wine/#storylink=cpy

Jim GordonEditor, Wines & Vines

JIM GORDON, Editor, Wines & Vines magazine since 2006, is responsible for the editorial content of the monthly trade magazine founded in 1919 and its related digital publications and conferences. He directs the editorial staff and assigns and edits articles on grape growing, wine making and wine marketing. He regularly researches and writes reports on economic and grape/wine production topics within the wine industry, and analyzes wine industry data with the company's market research team.

 

Mr. Gordon has been covering wine and the wine business as an editor and writer for 30 years. A role as contributing editor for Wine Enthusiast magazine, a national consumer publication, began in 2014, for which he reviews California wines and reports on various California wine regions. He was executive director of the annual Symposium for Professional Wine Writers at Meadowood Napa Valley from 2008 to 2015, recruiting top writers and critics like Robert M. Parker Jr. and Jancis Robinson to mentor their colleagues.

 

Dorling Kindersley (DK Books) of London published his first book as editor in chief, Opus Vino, in 2010, which was chosen a finalist in the James Beard Awards. The second book for DK, 1000 Great Everyday Wines, followed in 2011. Mr. Gordon was managing editor of Wine Spectator magazine from 1987 to 1999 in San Francisco and New York. In 2002 he was co-creator and managing editor of the long-running Wine Country Living TV series for NBC station KNTV in San Jose/San Francisco.

 

Mr. Gordon holds a B.A. in English literature from Denison University, Granville, Ohio, and also studied civil engineering at the University of Cincinnati. He completed the U.C. Davis Wine Executive Program. He understands grape and wine production from the inside out, partly due to growing grapevines at his home and making non-commercial wine for 27 years.

 

Mr. Gordon has given presentations at numerous business conferences and meetings, including the Unified Wine & Grape Symposium, the New York Wine Experience, VinExpo in Bordeaux, Hong Kong International Wine & Spirits Fair and others. He lives in Napa, Calif.

 

jimgordon.wine@gmail.com

Dianne JacobWriting Coach, Author, Freelance Editor

Previously a newspaper, magazine, and publishing company editor-in-chief, Dianne Jacob became a full-time writing coach, author, and freelance editor in 1996.
 
She coaches writers across the US, Canada, Europe and Asia on writing and publishing books, freelance articles, and blogs. Authors she has coached have signed with major publishers including Chronicle Books; Little, Brown; Ten Speed Press/Random House; Running Press, and Simon & Shuster. Several got six-figure deals. Her clients have appeared on QVC, CNN, and other national media to promote their books. Freelance writers she has coached have been published in The New York Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Washington Post, Serious Eats, NPR, and other national and international publications and websites.
 
She also edits cookbooks and ghost-writes for publishers including Time Inc., Andrews-McMeel and Weldon Owen. Self-published authors hire her to edit their books, and even traditionally-published authors send her their manuscripts to spruce them up before submission.
 
She is the author of the multiple award-winning book, Will Write for Food: The Complete Guide to Writing Cookbooks, Blogs, Memoir, Recipes, and More (Da Capo/Lifelong Books), now in its third edition. The first edition won the Cordon D’Or International award for Best Literary Food Reference Book in 2005. The second edition won the Gourmand World Cookbook Award in 2010 for best book in the USA in its category. The third edition won a Silver Nautilus award in the Creative Process category. College and university professors use it as a textbook across the US.
 
She is also the co-author of two cookbooks with chef Craig Priebe: The United States of Pizza (Rizzoli, 2015), which was recommended by The New York Times, The Boston Globe, and NPR as one of the best cookbooks of the year; and Grilled Pizzas & Piadinas (DK Publishing, 2008). The United States of Pizza won a 2015 national award for cookbooks from IndieFab. She is the writer of The Good Pantry (Oxmoor House, 2015), with recipes from Cooking Light.
 
Her blog is aimed at writers and covers food writing trends, issues, and technique. The New York Times, Publishers’ Weekly, Chow, Eater, BlogHer, have picked up her posts. She started the blog in 2009 as a way to update her book, which features an extensive chapter on food blogging.
 
She is a judge for the James Beard Foundation‘s annual cookbook awards, and for the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) annual cookbook awards. She has also been a judge ffor the IACP Food Writing Awards, and was a finalist for an award in 2007.
 
As a freelance writer, she has written feature articles for a variety of publications, from local to international, including Lucky Peach and The Washington Post. Her piece in Lucky Peach magazine, The Meaning of Mangoes, was the grand prize winner of the M.F. K. Fisher Award for Excellence in Culinary Writing, Les Dames Escoffier, for 2016.
 
Based in Oakland, CA, USA, she is a speaker and teacher who travels around the world to teach and present, including in London, Dubai, Vancouver, Turkey and Australia. in 2013 she was named the Joseph Hoare Gastronomic Writer in Residence for the Stratford Chef's School in Canada, the country's most prestigious cooking school.

Louise KiernanPulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Associate Professor, Medill School of Journalism

Louise Kiernan, an associate professor at the Medill School of Journalism, Northwestern University, was formerly a writing coach, editor and reporter for the Chicago Tribune. Louse was the lead writer on "Gateway to Gridlock," a report on the American air-traffic system, which won the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for explanatory journalism. After joining the Tribune as an intern in 1992, Louise ran the paper's urban-affairs team; worked on the Sunday magazine staff; reported from abroad; and contributed to the newspaper's features, commentary, books and travel sections.

louise.kiernan@gmail.com

Elin McCoyWine & Spirits Writer, Bloomberg News

Elin McCoy, a writer on wine and spirits for Bloomberg News, Shattered, and Food & Wine, is author of The Emperor of Wine: The Rise of Robert M. Parker Jr. and the Reign of American Taste. Elin met Parker in 1981 when she was his first magazine editor, and she has followed his extraordinary rise ever since. She is fascinated with the written word and with the wine industry as history and as it is active now.

elinmccoy@gmail.com

Cyril PennEditor, Wine Business Monthly

Cyril Penn is editor in chief of Wine Business Monthly and winebusiness.com, part of Wine Communications Group, the leading supplier of information to the wine industry.  Penn has been with WBM since 2000. His work on the wine business has appeared in a number of publications, including the San Francisco Chronicle, where he contributed the Wine Business Insider column for five years. Penn has traveled to wine regions throughout North America, Europe and South America. Prior to joining WBM, he was managing editor of the California Energy Markets newsletter in San Francisco. His background includes several years as a freelance journalist. Following stints at the Columbia Journalism Review and MacNeil Lehrer Report (now the PBS NewsHour), Penn worked for Reuters in New York. He holds a Bachelor's degree in media studies from Fordham University.

Pavia RosatiFounder and CEO, Fathom

Pavia Rosati is the founder and CEO of Fathom, the award-winning travel website that guides passionate travelers to the places they’ll be dreaming about long after they’ve come home. Fathom mixes curated guides and personal stories with the best resources and products, and plans custom trips for readers. Companies like Vox Media, American Express, Qantas Airlines, and Kate Spade New York look to Fathom to help tell their travel stories. Prior to Fathom, Pavia spent nine years as the original executive editor at the groundbreaking lifestyle media company DailyCandy, growing the beloved brand from a New York newsletter into an international publication with 28 editions. At DailyCandy, she covered food and travel in New York City and around the world, with a focus on emerging talent and best-in-class destinations. She has written about food, travel, and culture for The New York Times, Travel and Leisure, Bon Appetit, and Departures, among others. Pavia has spent a good part of her life in Italy and is part of a third generation of restaurateurs in the United States. Her grandfather, Nello, established The Homestead Inn in Trenton, New Jersey, in 1939, a restaurant that is considered a landmark and a destination for its authentic Italian-American cuisine. She divides her time between New York and the rest of the world. She can be found on Instagram at @pavianyc.

Julia Flynn SilerPrize-winning Author and Journalist

Julia Flynn Siler is a prize-winning author and journalist. Her most recent book is  Lost Kingdom: Hawaii's Last Queen, the Sugar Kings, and America's First Imperial Adventure, published by Grove/Atlantic in 2012. Her first book was the New York Times bestseller, The House of Mondavi. She is now at work on her next book, which will be published by Alfred A. Knopf.
As a veteran correspondent for the Wall Street Journal and BusinessWeek magazine, Ms. Flynn Siler spent more than two decades in the Europe and the United States, reporting from a dozen countries. She has covered fields as varied as biotechnology, cult wines, puppy breeding, and a princess’s quest to restore a Hawaiian palace's lost treasures.
A graduate of Brown University and Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism, Ms. Flynn Siler began her career as a staff correspondent for BusinessWeek, working in the magazine's Los Angeles and Chicago bureaus. She wrote stories on everything from White Castle & sliders; to the roiling futures markets for the New York Times. By taking classes at night during that time, she earned an MBA from Northwestern's Kellogg Graduate School of Management.
In 1993, she was awarded a fellowship to teach business journalism in Prague, where she organized a speaker series at the Center for Independent Journalism, a not-for-profit organization supported in part by the New York Times Foundation. Ms. Flynn Siler then served as a London-based staff correspondent for BusinessWeek, where she was a member of BusinessWeek reporting teams that won a National Magazine Award, a Deadline Club award, as well as other honors.
As a longtime London-based foreign correspondent, she wrote about family business dynasties, millionaire dons at Oxford and Cambridge, and Virgin founder Richard Branson, among other subjects. Towards the end of her years in London, she joined the Wall Street Journal as its European management correspondent, traveling throughout the region to report stories. After returning to the U.S., one of the first articles she wrote for the Wall Street Journal was about the turmoil within the Mondavi family's wine empire. It ran as a front page story in June of 2004.
That story led to her book The House of Mondavi, published by Penguin's Gotham Books in 2007. It was honored as a finalist both for a James Beard Award and a Gerald Loeb Award for distinguished reporting and is now in its eleventh printing. It has also been optioned three times for a possible TV/Film adaptation. Over the years, Ms. Flynn Siler wrote many feature stories for the Wall Street Journal out of its San Francisco bureau, and helped produce WSJ.com videos to accompany some of these stories.
Her critically acclaimed second book, Lost Kingdom, was a San Francisco Chronicle bestseller. Ms. Flynn Siler was a 2013 recipient of the Ella Dickey Literacy Award, named in honor of a beloved librarian, and was honored at a ceremony in Missouri in April, 2013.
Ms. Flynn Siler is a longtime member of the San Francisco-based writing group North 24th Writers, whose members have published fourteen nonfiction books as well as hundreds of articles and essays in major magazines, newspapers and literary journals. She is also an emeritus  member of the San Francisco Writer's Grotto. She has taught journalism at the University of London's Birkbeck college and will join the faculty of the Community of Writers at Squaw Valley this summer, to teach non-fiction writing. She has appeared as a commentator on the BBC, CBS, CNBC, National Public Radio, and elsewhere. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and the Oxford Encyclopedia on Food and Drink in America.
She serves on the alumni board of Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism, the advisory board of San Francisco-based Litquake, and is a member of the Council of the Friends of the Bancroft Library at U.C. Berkeley. She and her family live in Northern California, where they enjoy mountain biking and skiing. They are frequent visitors to their local public libraries, care for a retired Guide Dog breeder named Dari, and are involved in a wide range of community activities.

Lettie TeagueWine columnist for The Wall Street Journal

Lettie Teague is the wine columnist for The Wall Street Journal. Her column “On Wine” is published every Saturday (except one) she wrote another weekly column “Uncorking New York” for The Wall Street Journal’s Greater New York section until that section was discontinued. She has won three James Beard awards.

 

Lettie joined The Wall Street Journal in 2010 and won the 2012 James Beard Award Food-Related Columns Award for her Wall Street Journal columns. She was the executive wine editor at Food & Wine magazine (1997- 2009) where she oversaw the magazine’s wine coverage and also wrote the monthly column “Wine Matters” for which she received the James Beard Foundation's M.F.K. Fisher Distinguished Writing Award in 2003 and the James Beard Award Best Magazine Columns award in 2005. She was inducted into the Wine Media Hall of Fame in June 2015.

 

Lettie is currently working on an introductory guide to wine (as yet untitled) for Basic Books, to be published in 2019. Her previous books include Wine In Words: Some Notes for Better Drinking published by Rizzoli in April 2015 and Educating Peter: How Anybody Can Become an (Almost) Instant Wine Expert published by Scribner’s  in 2007. She was also the illustrator and co-author of Fear of Wine: An Introductory Guide to the Grape, published by Bantam in 1995 and still in print.

 

Lettie loves all kinds of wines except Pinotage. She has only had one good Pinotage.

Pat ThomsonFreelance Writer, Co-Founder, La Dolce Vita Wine Tours

Italian wine is my beat, and the village of Varinella (pop. 252) near Gavi my home when not in Brooklyn. Since 2002, my feature stories and photographs have appeared in Tastes of Italia, an Italian cooking magazine where I’m a contributing writer. Other outlets include Decanter, Wine Enthusiast, and Gastronomica, as well as my blog Living La Dolce Vita, a sister site of La Dolce Vita Wine Tours, the wine tour company I cofounded with my Italian husband in 1999.
Before moving into wine, I spent 10 years as editor in chief of a film magazine covering independent film production. I still have a foot in that world, as East Coast correspondent for American Cinematographer.

Sue VesethContributing Editor, The Wine Economist

Sue Veseth, contributing editor of The Wine Economist (wineeconomist.com), has more than 35 years of corporate communications experience. She has expertise in communications strategy development and implementation, writing, copy editing, media relations, and project management. She regularly won industry awards for both customer and employee publications and communications projects. Since retiring from the corporate world, she has continued writing and copy editing on a freelance and volunteer basis for clients ranging from knitting designers to an art museum. Her contributions to The Wine Economist include research, story development, photography, and copy editing.

S. Irene VirbilaRestaurant Critic, Wine Columnist, Los Angeles Times

S. Irene Virbila was the restaurant critic and wine columnist for the Los Angeles Times for 22 years. Her worldly perspective on the L.A. dining scene has won a James Beard Foundation Award in 1997 and the American Food Journalists Award in 2005. Before joining The Times in 1993, she wrote about food, wine and travel from Europe and Asia, trained as a sommelier in Paris, edited cookbooks and was part of the culinary scene in Berkeley when Chez Panisse changed everything.

Amy WislockiManaging Editor, Decanter

Amy joined Decanter in October 2000 as editor, aged 28, and has spent 17 happy years since then, immersed in the world of wine and wine magazine publishing. In 2006 she became managing editor. Before joining Decanter, she had a career working on other magazines with a mostly male readership – first on What to Buy for Business (Reed Business Information), a buying guide to office equipment and services. This involved researching and writing reports on subjects as diverse and illuminating as colour printers, washrooms and laminators. Moving to customer magazine company Redwood in 1996, she worked as deputy editor on Psion User, AA Magazine and BT Talking Business. After six months in Bosnia (a sabbatical working as a volunteer in an orphanage in Sarajevo), she returned to edit the BT magazine for two years before moving to Decanter to take up what she describes as her ‘dream job’.

Guy WoodwardEditor and Writer, Luxury Lifestyle Publications

Guy Woodward is a journalist and editor of 20 years’ experience editing, sub-editing and writing across consumer magazines, national newspapers and branded content. A former speaker at The Symposium for Professional Wine Writers, he has particular expertise in luxury lifestyle – notably food, wine and travel. Guy is most recently writing, editing and commissioning content as associate editor of the newly launched wine and luxury lifestyle magazine LE PAN, published out of Hong Kong: http://www.lepanmedia.com. Based in London, Guy is also deputy editor for Harrods Publishing, which produces magazines for customers of the upscale department store. He also writes a monthly column for the UK's trade title for the drinks industry, Harpers Wine & Spirits and contributes on an occasional basis to such media as Christies.com, Esquire and Sunday Times Travel.
 
Guy was previously the editor of London-based upscale lifestyle magazine Food and Travel. Prior to that, he was editor of Decanter magazine, where he worked for 10 years. He joined the magazine from a journalistic background, notably in business-to-business journalism, and also as a sub-editor on national newspapers.
 
In addition to his magazine roles, Guy is an occasional commentator on TV and radio, notably on wine and media issues, and serves on the board of the British Society of Magazine Editors, of which he was chair in 2014.

 

Alder YarrowPublisher Vinography.com, Author

San Francisco Magazine has called Alder Yarrow "The Wine World's Brightest Cyberstar" and he is widely accepted as a pioneer of wine blogging. He has been publishing Vinography.com daily since 2004 and was nominated for a James Beard Award in 2013. In addition to writing for outlets as diverse as the World of Fine Wine and Fine Cooking Magazine, he is currently a monthly columnist for Jancis Robinson, and the author of The Essence of Wine, a coffee table book about wine's flavors and aromas. The Essence of Wine was named one of the best wine books of 2014 by The New York Times and Wine & Spirits Magazine among others. In 2013 Alder was inducted into the Wine Media Guild of New York's Wine Writer's Hall of Fame, and honor he shares with only 22 other living wine writers. Alder was born in the heart of the western Sonoma Coast, and lives in San Francisco.

alder@vinography.com

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Brett AndersonSenior Vice President of Editorial Development for Curtco Media. WWS Speaker 2008

Brett Anderson is currently Senior Vice President of Editorial Development for Curtco Media and has been with the management team since 1989. He has more than 15 years of experience developing and launching publications in a wide range of industries. Brett is in charge of establishing the creative direction of editorial product consistent with organizational objectives. He develops strategies for capturing audience through editorial product based on market demographics. He also develops editorial policies to improve workflow and increase quality.

John AshWine and food educator. WWS Speaker 2010

John first came to national prominence when he was selected by Food & Wine magazine as one of America's "Hot New Chefs." He founded his restaurant, John Ash & Company, in Northern California's wine country, in 1980 and it continues to be critically acclaimed more than 28 years later. Nationally renowned as a wine and food educator, John served for many years as the Culinary Director for Fetzer and Bonterra Vineyards. He is on the faculty of the Professional Wine Studies Program at the CIA Greystone. He is also the chair of a new program there for home cooks called The Sophisticated Palate. He travels widely teaching to both home and professional cooks. John has a new winery venture called Sauvignon Republic specializing in sauvignon blanc only, produced around the world. Currently there are four including Russian River Valley appellation in Sonoma County, Marlborough from New Zealand, Stellenbosch in South Africa and the latest, a wine made from certified organic grapes from Potter Valley in Mendocino county to be released summer of 2008. Sancerre in France, Friuli in Italy and Styria in Austria are targeted for future releases. John has written three books. His latest, John Ash Cooking One-on-One: Private Lessons in Simple Contemporary Food from a Master Teacher, was published spring 2004 by Clarkson Potter. It won a 2005 James Beard award. He has authored two other books: From the Earth to the Table: John Ash's Wine Country Cuisine and American Game Cooking. The former was awarded the IACP awards for Best American Cookbook and the Julia Child Cookbook of the Year. Chronicle Books released a completely revised and updated version of From the Earth to the Table in 2007. John writes periodically for the Los Angeles Times/Tribune Syndicate and is an occasional contributor to publications such as EatingWell and Fine Cooking magazines. He was featured for two years on the Food Network and has co-hosted a live food and wine radio talk show on KSRO in Northern California for the past 21 years. John is also a passionate voice on sustainable food issues and has served on the Board of Overseers for the Chef's Collaborative, a national organization of chefs who support ethical agriculture. He also is on the Board of Advisors of Seafood Watch, an educational initiative for sustainable seafood by the Monterey Bay Aquarium. In April of 2008 John was voted "Cooking School Teacher of the Year" by the International Association of Culinary Professionals at their annual gathering in New Orleans.

Gerald AsherContributor to Decanter and The World of Fine Wine. WWS Speaker 2011

Long-time writer of the "Wine Journal" for Gourmet magazine, Gerald Asher is a contributor to Decanter and The World of Fine Wine, author of several wine books, member of the California Vintners' Hall of Fame, and formerly a wine merchant in the U.K. and U.S. for more than 30 years. Born in London in 1932, Asher took a job with Blumenthal & Co, importers, in 1952. Sponsored by the company, he attended the lectures and tastings organized by The Vintners' Company (founded as a medieval trade guild in the Middle Ages). Scholarships took him for work-study periods in Jerez (Spain) in 1953, Burgundy (France) in 1954, and the Rheingau (Germany) in 1955. 1955-1970 Founder and Managing Director of Asher, Storey & Co, London. Specialists in lesser-known French wines. Wholesale and mail-order retail. 1971-1974 Vice-president, Austin, Nichols & Co, New York. National Wine Sales Manager. 1974-1976 President, Monterey Wine Company, San Francisco - Marketing and Sales joint venture between the McKesson Corp. and the McFarlane family to market the wines produced by The Monterey Vineyard. 1976-1978, Vice President of "21" Brands, an operating company of the McKesson Corp. 1978 – 1987 President, The Mosswood Wine Company, an operating company of the McKesson Corp, importing and distributing wine nationally. Asher took early retirement from McKesson in 1987 when the company (a Fortune 500 corporation) decided to sell off its wine and spirits interests and concentrate on its drug and medical distribution business – one of the largest in the U.S. From the time of his arrival in New York, and parallel to his work in the wine trade, he wrote a monthly column for Wines and Spirits in London for about three years. In 1972 he was invited by Jane Montant of Gourmet magazine to contribute occasional essays. By the 1980s they had become established as the bi-monthly "Wine Journal," which became monthly after his retirement from McKesson in 1987. In 1994 Asher was asked to write a regular column for the San Francisco Chronicle, which continued for two years. He wrote, and still writes, occasional essays for Decanter and The World of Fine Wine, both published in London, and have made occasional contributions to Portland magazine, the quarterly of the University of Portland. During all this time he continued to write monthly essays for Gourmet. Many of them have been republished in collections under the titles, On Wine, Random House 1986; Vineyard Tales, Chronicle Books, 1996; The Pleasures of Wine, Chronicle Books, 2002. Many of the essays had been published in translation in the Japanese edition of Playboy, and in 1996 a selection of them was published in translation by Shueisha in Tokyo. A further collection of essays is scheduled for publication by the University of California Press in 2011. Wine Journal, published by Harper Collins in 1996, as a cellar book, has a text written especially for the purpose. From February 2002 he discontinued to contribute essays to Gourmet, but from then until the magazine closed in November 2009, he continued the connection with it by selecting wines for the monthly menus and writing a few hundred words about them. He has received many awards both for his writing and for his work in the international wine trade, a few of which include the Wine Writer of the Year award from Wines & Vines in 1984, a 1990 achievement award for Literature from the American Institute of Wine and Food, the San Francisco Wine Appreciation Guild's Literary Award of 2000, and honors from the James Beard Foundation, the 2005 Journalism Award from the European Wine Council, and, in 1974, the star and ribbon of the Mérite Agricole from the French Government in recognition of his services to French agriculture. Asher was inducted into the California Vintners' Hall of Fame at the Culinary Institute of America in Napa Valley in 2009.

Michael BauerExecutive food and wine editor and restaurant critic for the San Francisco Chronicle. WWS Speaker 2010

Michael Bauer is the executive food and wine editor and restaurant critic for the San Francisco Chronicle. He has been in charge of the food and wine coverage for more than 23 years. In 2002 he was responsible for starting the Wine section, the only freestanding weekly newspaper section of its kind in the country; however in January 2009 it was merged back into the Food section. In May of 2003 the Food and Wine staff moved into a separate building behind The Chronicle outfitted with a 20,000 bottle wine cellar, test kitchen and roof top herb garden. He is a past president of the Association of Food Journalists, a current member of the James Beard Foundation Restaurant Awards Committee and a 2004 inductee in the Foundation's Who's Who of Food and Beverage in America. His Between Meals blog on SF Gate was named this year as the best food blog by the Association of Food Journalists.

Dan BergerDistinguished writer, wine columnist and reporter and speaker on wine. WWS Speaker 2007

DAN BERGER began writing about wine in 1976 and today his column is syndicated nationally by Creators Syndicate to newspapers around the world. He and his wife, Juliann Savage, also publish a weekly wine newsletter, Dan Berger's Vintage Experiences, available only by subscription. He contributes articles to Gourmet magazine, Wine Press Northwest, Decanter Magazine in London; the California Grapevine and writes for many trade journals and websites including Cheers, AppellationAmerica.com, and Beverage Dynamics. Mr. Berger also is a speaker on wine at numerous international major events. He speaks at trade convocations, such as Terroir 2000, 2001, and 2002 and at the UC-Davis School of Enology and Viticulture. He also teaches wine courses at Sonoma State University and at Santa Rosa Junior College. Dan's first wine articles were for Associated Press, where he worked as a reporter and sports writer. His first regular wine column appeared in 1977 in the Los Angeles Herald Examiner. In 1979, he joined the staff of the San Diego Union, where his wine columns ran twice weekly and were syndicated nationally by Copley News Service. He also reviewed restaurants for San Diego Home/Garden magazine for six years. In 1986, Dan moved to Sonoma County where he became Business Editor and wine columnist for the Santa Rosa Press Democrat; The New York Times Syndicate carried his wine column nationally. In 1988, he joined the staff of the Los Angeles Times as full time wine columnist and reporter. The Los Angeles Times Washington Post wire carried his column nationally. He left the Times in 1996 to publish Dan Berger's Vintage Experiences, a weekly newsletter on wine and food. Between 1997 and 2001, Dan also wrote a weekly restaurant review column for the Marin Independent Journal. He has also been a judge at wine competitions around the world including the Los Angeles County Fair, the San Francisco Fair, Dallas Morning News, California State Fair, Indiana State Fair, New York State Wine Competition, Sonoma County Harvest Fair, the International Wine Competition at Lubljiana, Yugoslavia; the Concours Mondial in Brussels, and seven wine shows in Australia. In addition, he coordinates the Riverside International Wine Competition and the Grand Cru Wine Competition of Long Beach. His articles have appeared in The Wine Spectator, Wine Enthusiast, Wine and Spirits, Wine News, Robb Report, Diablo, and numerous others. Among the honors Dan has received are the Wines and Vines Magazine award of excellence as Wine Writer of the Year; the Father Junipero Serra Award for contributions to the wine industry, presented by the California Wine Patrons of Los Angeles; the Wine Literary Award, presented by the Wine Appreciation Guild. His books include Beyond the Grapes: An Inside Look at Napa Valley and Beyond the Grapes: An Inside Look at Sonoma County.

Corie BrownFounder of ZesterDaily.com, a digital magazine with original content on food and wine. WWS Speaker 2011

Corie Brown is the founder of ZesterDaily.com, a digital magazine with original content on food and wine. She is the former Los Angeles Times food section's wine writer, where she found her stories at the nexus of agriculture, money, consumer interest, evolving culture mores, personality, glamour and hard news. A serious journalist who had been a staff reporter with Newsweek, Business Week, and Premiere Magazine before joining the Los Angeles Times in 2000, Brown has often been the first to document significant trends in the field of wine.

Dominique BrowningMagazine/newspaper writer, editor. Author of 4 books under the House & Garden brand. WWS Speaker 2011

Dominique Browning is a writer, editor and consultant in the newspaper and magazine fields. She has worked with and written for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, New York magazine, O, the Oprah magazine, Departures, Food &Wine, Travel & Leisure, Body + Soul, Wired and On Topic, among others. She writes a monthly column about environmental issues for the Environmental Defense Fund website. She blogs at SlowLoveLife.com. Until November 2007, Browning was the editor-in-chief of House & Garden, a magazine of 950,000 readers. Browning began her career in 1977 working at Savvy and American Photographer magazines. In 1979 she became an associate literary editor at Esquire magazine. She then became the executive editor of Texas Monthly based in Austin, Texas. She went on to break the glass ceiling at Newsweek, becoming the first woman at any news magazine to be appointed an assistant managing editor. Browning left journalism for several years to be a founding partner of Edison Schools, a company set up to privately manage public schools. She went to Mirabella magazine as editor-in-chief before joining Conde Nast. Browning is the author of three books: Around the House and In the Garden: a Memoir of Heartbreak, Healing, and Home Improvement; Paths of Desire: the Passion of a Suburban Gardener; and Slow Love: How I Lost my Job, Put on My Pajamas, and Found Happiness. Browning also produced four books under the House & Garden brand: The House & Garden Book of Style; The Well-Lived Life; Gardens of Paradise; House of Worship. Browning graduated from Wesleyan University in 1977 with a major in Philosophy, Literature and History. She is a classically trained pianist, and also performed with Wesleyan's Javanese Gamelan orchestra. Browning is the mother of two sons; she lives in New York and Rhode Island.

Tyler ColmanTalks, teaches and writes about wine in articles, books and on his blog, DrVino.com. WWS Speaker 2009

Tyler Colman talks, teaches and writes about wine in articles, books, appearances and on his popular blog, DrVino.com. In the past year, his wine writing has also appeared in print in Food & Wine, Wine & Spirits, the New York Times, and Trump magazine. Colman teaches wine classes at NYU and the University of Chicago. He has two wine books published, "Wine Politics," published by University of California Press and "A Year of Wine," published by Simon & Schuster.

Patrick ComiskeySenior contributor for Wine & Spirits magazine. WWS Speaker 2010

Patrick Comiskey is a senior contributor for Wine & Spirits magazine, where he serves as chief critic for all domestic wines not from California, and regularly contributes articles devoted to California, Oregon and Washington wine, wine growing and wine culture. He has traveled extensively throught the U.S. wine regions as well as France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Chile, Argentina, New Zealand and Australia, and tastes more than 4,000 wines a year. Comiskey has been a columnist with Wine Review Online, and is also a regular contributor to the San Francisco Chronicle's wine section, and appears regularly in Food & Wine, Bon Appetit, and the Robb Report. He lives in Los Angeles.

James ConawayJournalist and Best-Selling Author

James (Jim) Conaway is the author of 12 books, including the upcoming novel, Nose. He grew up in Memphis but lived in Europe for several years before moving to Washington, D.C. A former Wallace Stegner fellow at Stanford University, he's the author of three novels and nine books of non-fiction, the most recent being Vanishing America: In Pursuit of Our Elusive Landscapes, described by writer Tracy Kidder as "an enthralling, lovely tribute to a lot of what is precious in America."
His previous book, The Far Side of Eden, was a Washington Post Best Book of the Year in 2002 and a sequel to his best-selling Napa: The Story of an American Eden, described in the New York Times Book Review as "an important story, emblematic of our time."
His other books include the memoir, Memphis Afternoons, and The Kingdom in the Country, a personal journey in a van through the public lands of the American West and described by Stegner as "a very lively book... He got into places and activities that most westerners never even get close to." Author Jim Harrison called it "a wonderful, well-considered evocation of the New West."
Jim's first novel, The Big Easy, was based on his experiences as a police reporter in New Orleans; his second novel, World's End, is a Louisiana coastal saga of politics and crime described as a combination of All the King's Men and The Godfather.
Jim has written for many magazines, including The New York Times Magazine, Atlantic, Harper's, The New Republic, Gourmet, Smithsonian, and National Geographic Traveler. He divides his time between piedmont Virginia and Washington.

Doug CookFounder of Able Grape, the world's largest wine information search engine. WWS Speaker 2011, 2010

Doug Cook is the founder of Able Grape, the world's largest wine information search engine. Prior to founding Able Grape in 2005, Doug was the VP of Web Search Engineering at Yahoo! and Inktomi, where he helped build one of the internet's first search engines.Most recently, he was the Director of Search at Twitter, Inc. A long-time passionate wine geek, Doug holds the Diploma from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust, occasionally writes for Wine Business magazine, and squeaked by his first year of study in the Master of Wine program, which he hopes to continue soon when he has time to fail with dignity.

Katherine CowlesFormer publisher / vice president Simon & Schuster. Literary agent CowlesRyan. WWS Speaker 2011

Katherine Cowles has been involved in publishing her entire career. Her industry connections and relationships are wide and deep. For more than a decade she was at the center of New York publishing at Simon and Schuster and Doubleday. Her experience began with contracts and moved through fiction and non-fiction acquisitions, then marketing and advertising departments eventually leading her to a position as associate publisher and vice president at Simon and Schuster where she was involved with numerous major titles and brands. As an agent at CowlesRyan, she is most interested in serious nonfiction - history and science in particular as well as practical nonfiction including food and wine

Bill DaleyFood and wine critic with The Chicago Tribune. WWS Speaker 2008

Bill Daley is a food and wine critic with The Chicago Tribune. He writes a weekly wine column, "Uncorked," for "Good Eating," the Tribune's food section. His column in Sunday's Q section, "Daley Drink," answers questions from readers on wine, beer and spirits. In tackling the food and wine beat, Daley also covers chefs and food personalities, cooking techniques and trends. He tapes a weekly video segment on food and wine that is displayed on the web sites of The Chicago Tribune and other Tribune-owned newspapers. His weekly spot on food and wine airs on WBBM-AM, the CBS all-news radio station. Daley arrived at the Tribune in 2004. Previously, he was a food writer and restaurant reviewer with the San Francisco Chronicle and spent 11 years at the Hartford Courant, where he ultimately became the Sunday magazine's restaurant reviewer. He has been recognized twice for restaurant criticism by the Association of Food Journalists and has served as that organization's president from 2002-2004. A graduate of Manhattanville College, Daley also holds a master's degree from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism.

Anthony Dias BlueRecognized world-wide as a leading food, wine and travel expert. WWS Speaker 2007

ANTHONY DIAS BLUE is recognized world-wide as a leading food, wine and travel expert. Mr. Blue is a published author, columnist, TV and radio personality. His award-winning work is circulated to more than 50,000,000 consumers each month. Mr. Blue's consumer-oriented food and wine critiques, The Lifestyle Minute, are broadcast several times daily on WCBS radio in New York. In 2001, the first year it was entered, he won a James Beard award for his radio show. For 23 years, Mr. Blue was Wine & Spirits Editor of Bon Appétit, the largest circulation food publication in the United States. Mr. Blue has written ten books. The Complete Book of Spirits was published in October 2004 by HarperCollins. Anthony Dias Blue's Pocket Book of Wine will be published in 2005 by Simon & Schuster.

Christie DufaultSan Francisco based sommelier and wine educator. WWS Speaker 2011

Christie Dufault is a San Francisco based sommelier and wine educator. After five years as wine director at Restaurant Gary Danko and two years as wine director at Quince, she is currently a part-time sommelier at RN74 Restaurant in San Francisco. Christie remains a member of the wine faculty at The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in the Napa Valley, where she has taught for eight years. Christie is a graduate of Simmons College and is a candidate for the Master Sommelier Diploma. She holds the Advanced Certified Wine Professional Certificate from The Culinary Institute of America.

Jonathan EllimanFounder of Cephrus.com, award-winning design and video production, Napa, CA. WWS Speaker 2010

Jonathan Elliman is the founder of Cephrus.com, which is an award-winning video production and design firm located in Napa, CA. Trained as an architect, Jonathan got addicted to photography early on which led to traveling the far reaches of the globe shooting documentaries for the national networks such as Discovery Channel, National Geographic, Fine Living and Food Network. Known for being a "jack of all trades", Jonathan has been a producer and editor for three Olympics (Nagano, Sydney and Salt Lake City) and was an embedded photo journalist in Iraq. His photos from the war graced the cover of many magazines and newspapers while his web videos were viewed online. Today, Jonathan continues to share his passion for film and web design with many of the leading wineries on the West Coast while pursuing the next opportunity of working on a documentary in some distant land.

Barbara FairchildTastemaker, television and radio personality, event speaker, and food, wine, authority. WWS Speaker 2009

Barbara Fairchild is a prominent tastemaker and television and radio personality, event speaker, and food, wine, and travel authority, Barbara Fairchild has been editor-in-chief of Bon Appétit since 2000. Her career with the magazine spans 30 years, beginning as an editorial assistant, and working her way up to the top of the masthead. Barbara is the author of the highly successful Bon Appétit Cookbook and also the Bon Appétit Fast Easy Fresh Cookbook.

Paige Porter FischerWest Coast Editor of Better Homes & Gardens since 2004. WWS Speaker 2012

Paige Porter Fischer has been West Coast Editor of Better Homes & Gardens since 2004. She oversees almost every West Coast story that makes its way into the pages of Better Homes & Gardens, which boasts some 7.9 million subscribers and 39 million readers. Paige covers food, wine, home and garden for the magazine—from the story pitch to the photo shoot and writing/editing. Previously, Paige was features writer for Coastal Living magazine, where she wrote travel, food, and wine pieces and roamed North America's coast in search of great stories. While at Coastal Living, she had a syndicated travel column with Knight-Ridder News Service. Her first magazine job was in the foods department at Southern Living Magazine in Birmingham, Alabama, where she learned the art of a good story—and a great pound cake.

Janet FletcherAuthor of more than 20 books on food and wine, with three James Beard Awards. WWS Speaker 2012

Janet Fletcher is the author or co-author of more than 20 books on food and wine, including Cheese & Wine; The Cheese Course; and Fresh from the Farmers' Market (all from Chronicle Books). She writes a weekly cheese column for the San Francisco Chronicle and is a former staff food writer whose journalism earned three James Beard Awards and the IACP Bert Greene Award. Her writing on wine and food has appeared in numerous national magazines, including Saveur, Bon Appétit, Fine Cooking and Food & Wine. Janet trained at the Culinary Institute of America and at Berkeley's celebrated Chez Panisse restaurant. She teaches cooking and cheese-appreciation classes around the country. Her most recent books include Eating Local and My Calabria, a collaboration with Rosetta Costantino, which was nominated for an IACP Award. Her next projects are a memoir with Margrit Biever Mondavi and a book about beer and cheese.

Don FryIndependent writing coach. WWS Speaker 2007

DON FRY, an independent writing coach, helps writers write better, editors edit better, and managers organize better. Don has had two careers, first as an English professor and then in journalism. He headed the writing and ethics faculties at the Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg, Florida, and edited the Institute's series Best Newspaper Writing. In 1994, Don became an independent writing coach, working with newspapers and magazines, radio and television stations, and non-profit organizations. He has spread the idea of coaching throughout the world, especially in Singapore, Scandinavia, and South Africa. He likes to coach food and wine writers, because they tend to have fascinating problems. Don also serves as a judge in the James Beard foodwriting contests.

Michael J. GelbPioneer in the fields of creative thinking, accelerated learning, and innovative leadership WWS Speaker 2012

Michael J. Gelb is the world's leading authority on the application of genius thinking to personal and organizational development, and the author of 12 books. He is a pioneer in the fields of creative thinking, accelerated learning, and innovative leadership. Gelb leads seminars for organizations such as DuPont, Merck, Microsoft, Nike, Raytheon and YPO. He brings more than 30 years of experience as a professional speaker, seminar leader and organizational consultant to his diverse, international clientele. Michael has written many books on creativity and innovation including the international best seller How to Think Like Leonardo Da Vinci: Seven Steps to Genius Every Day, which has been translated into 25 languages and has appeared on the Washington Post, Amazon.com, and The New York Times best seller lists. His most recent book, Wine Drinking For Inspired Thinking: Uncork Your Creative Juices, offers a unique, original and very enjoyable approach to team building. His next book, available January 2012 by New World Library, is Brain Power: Improve Your Mind As You Age.

Jamie GillinDeputy Editor at Dwell magazine. WWS Speaker 2012

Jaime Gross Gillin is Deputy Editor at Dwell, where she writes and edits the magazine's Profile, My House, and feature stories and contributes regularly to Dwell.com. She also freelances, writing travel, design, art, and culture stories for publications including the New York Times, T (the New York Times style magazine), and Travel + Leisure, where she serves as the magazine's San Francisco Correspondent. Her website is www.jaimegillin.com.When not writing, editing, or combing design magazines and blogs for inspiration, she's experimenting with new recipes, traveling as much as possible, and tackling minor home-improvement projects that inevitably turn out to be more complex than anticipated.

Anthony GismondiWriter and broadcaster, and one of North America's most influential wine critics. WWS Speaker 2011

Anthony Gismondi is one of North America's most influential wine critics. A writer and broadcaster, he is currently in his 14th year at Wine Access, Canada's national wine magazine and seventh as editor-in-chief. He begins his 23rd year as the weekly wine columnist at the Vancouver Sun where his full-page weekend column is read by some 1,000,000 readers. His comprehensive wine website www.gismondionwine.com attracts some 650,000 hits a month and he is also the co-host of the longest running, weekly, wine and food show in Canada. The Best of Food and Wine airs in prime time from 6 to 7 pm Thursday nights on AM 650. In his spare time he is the Canada section editor for Hugh Johnson's Pocket Wine Book, writes regular wine columns in Calgary's city magazine: Avenue, and West Jet Airlines in-flight magazine UP!, and the Pique Newsmagazine serving the resort community of Whistler, British Columbia, North America's number one ski resort.

Joshua GreeneEditor and publisher of Wine & Spirits magazine since 1986. WWS Speaker 2012

Editor and publisher of Wine & Spirits magazine since 1986, Joshua Greene began working in wine shops during college, later spending a summer as wine captain for Wheatleigh, a small inn in Lenox, Massachusetts. After graduating from Princeton University in 1981, Joshua pursued a career in magazines, starting in management of special interest publications. His involvement with Wine & Spirits began on a consulting basis, and eventually led to his purchase of the magazine in 1989. Wine & Spirits today is a special-interest publication with a circulation of 90,000, published eight times a year. A major source of wine reviews, the magazine also reports on travel, food, fine spirits and the art and science of wine growing. Wine & Spirits has offices in New York and San Francisco. The magazine has won five James Beard Awards for wine journalism. At Wine & Spirits, in addition to his duties as editor and publisher, Joshua serves as the critic for California, Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Italy, Portugal, Australia and New Zealand, providing tasting notes and ratings for wines recommended by Wine & Spirits' tasting panels. He also contributes feature stories and commentary in each issue of the magazine.

Jack HartAuthor, writing coach and former managing editor at The Oregonian. WWS Speaker 2011

Jack Hart is an author, writing coach and former managing editor at The Oregonian, the Pacific Northwest's largest daily newspaper. At The Oregonian he also worked as a reporter, arts and leisure editor, Sunday magazine editor, training editor, and editor at large. He has additional reporting experience at two other newspapers, holds a University of Wisconsin doctorate in Mass Communications, taught at five universities, and was a tenured associate professor at the University of Oregon, where he served as acting dean of the journalism school. At The Oregonian, he worked as an editor on four Pulitzer Prize winners and was the solo editor on two of them. He also edited national winners of the American Society of Newspaper Editors writing awards, the Ernie Pyle award, the Scripps-Howard business-writing award, the Overseas Press Club awards, the Headliners awards, and the Society of Professional Journalists feature-writing award. He is the author of The Information Empire, a history of The Los Angeles Times; A Writer's Coach: The Complete Guide to Writing Strategies That Work; and Storycraft: A Complete Guide to Writing Narrative Nonfiction, which the University of Chicago Press will publish in the spring of 2011.

Steve HeimoffWriter for Wine Enthusiast and auther of two wine books. WWS Speaker 2010

Steve Heimoff is a native New Yorker who lives in Oakland. He has written about wine for more than 20 years, first for Wine Spectator, and now for Wine Enthusiast. He has written two wine books for University of California Press and blogs at steveheimoff.com.

Martha HolmbergFood editor, writer, and consultant to self-publishing authors. WWS Speaker 2012

Martha Holmberg is a food editor, writer, and consultant to self-publishing authors. She is also the editorial director of Watershed Communications, a brand strategy firm that works with artisan food and drink companies. She is the former food editor of The Oregonian newspaper, the founder and editor of MIX magazine, and was the editor-in-chief of Fine Cooking magazine for 11 years. She has two new cookbooks coming out in 2012 with Chronicle Books: Crêpes and Modern Sauces. Her first cookbook, Puff, was nominated in 2009 for a Julia Child First Book award by the IACP. She is a frequent contributor to Fine Cooking and other magazines, and a guest teacher and speaker at professional events, including The Greenbrier Food Writers Symposium. In 2008, Saveur magazine included her in its "Top 100." She earned the Grand Diplôme from Ecole de Cuisine La Varenne in Paris, and currently lives in Portland, Oregon.

Bob HosmonSenior editor at The Wine News magazine. WWS Speaker 2008

For 30 years, Bob Hosmon has been writing a weekly wine column, first for the Miami Herald and KRT Wire Service and then for the South Florida Sun Sentinel and McClatchy-Tribune News Service. He is also a senior editor at The Wine News magazine, a columnist for Miami Monthly Magazine, has been a restaurant critic for several South Florida publications, including the Herald and the Sun-Sentinel, and has written for a number of national publications on wine, spirits, and food. In his "day job," Hosmon is a Vice Dean in the School of Communication at the University of Miami, where he also teaches public relations.

Jack IrbyCo-founder and managing partner of Hang Time Press. WWS Speaker 2012

Jack Irby is the co-founder and managing partner of Hang Time Press, a new-media publishing company. A former technology executive, Jack was the chief technology officer for several Bay Area-based companies including Winebid.com, Colt HR and Benelicious, which received the prestigious "Most Innovative Application" award by Salesforce.com. He is an avid wine and technology enthusiast and resides in Napa Valley.

Nat IvesMedia editor at Advertising Age. WWS Speaker 2012

Nat Ives is media editor at Advertising Age, overseeing coverage of the media business, including publishing, TV, movies, radio, outdoor and new platforms such as tablets. He has reported on consumer magazines and newspapers since he joined Ad Age in 2005. He previously helped cover the media and advertising industries at The New York Times. He graduated from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in 2001.

Heather JohnWrites the Wine & Spirits column for Bon Appétit. WWS Speaker 2010

Heather John writes the Wine & Spirits column for Bon Appétit. She has been with the magazine since 2004, first as a senior editor overseeing the magazine's wine coverage and more recently as a contributing editor. Prior to joining Bon Appétit, she was senior style editor at the Los Angeles Times Magazine. She is also the creator/editor of the acclaimed blog, TheFoodinista.com. John has been a judge at numerous wine and chef competitions, served as a James Beard Restaurant Awards judge, and appears on TV and radio, ranging from Hell's Kitchen to NPR's Morning Edition. John grew up in the Napa Valley, where her parents still live, and worked at local wineries after graduating from UC Davis. She has also lived in Oxford, England, and Paris, France, where she studied at the Sorbonne. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and their baby boy.

Christopher KostowMichelin-starred chef at The Restaurant at Meadowood. WWS Speaker 2011

A Michelin-starred chef before the age of 30, Christopher Kostow is the chef at The Restaurant at Meadowood. He takes a thoughtful approach to food, blending contemporary French cuisine with the farm-to-table tradition. The Chicago native earned a bachelor's degree in philosophy before entering the world of fine dining. Since arriving at Meadowood in February 2008, Christopher has introduced dishes that draw on the bounty of the seasons while taking a disciplined approach to modern French fare. Guided by the pure flavors of the highest-quality ingredients, Christopher also leaves room for inspired spontaneity Kostow passed much of his youth cooking for friends and brushing off suggestions he pursue a serious career as a chef. It was only after earning a bachelor's degree in philosophy from Hamilton College in New York that Christopher knew his calling. Relocating to San Diego in 1999, he set out to enter the rarefied world of fine dining and caught the eye of the area's foremost chef, Trey Foshee, named one of Food & Wine's Best New Chefs in 1998. After just a few months at the acclaimed George's at the Cove, Chef Foshee gave Christopher the opportunity to create his own dishes when he was only 22. Christopher took off on a whirlwind trip through France. He landed in kitchens far and wide, from a Paris bistro to Michelin-starred Le Jardin des Sens in Montpellier to the village of Salon-de-Provence, where he manned the stove at a former monk's abbey dating to the 14th century. After returning to the States, Christopher moved to San Francisco where he worked as sous chef under the auspices of Daniel Humm at the award-winning Campton Place Restaurant. From there, he became top toque at Chez TJ in Mountain View for two years, garnering the restaurant many accolades including two Michelin stars and a coveted spot on Food & Wine's list of Top Ten Dishes of the Year in 2007 and the San Francisco Chronicle named Christopher a 2008 Rising Star Chef. Throughout his career, Christopher has always been inspired by the pleasure guests experience when they taste something new and unexpected.

Susan KostrzewaExecutive Editor, Wine Enthusiast

Susan Kostrzewa (pronounced koh-STRAH-vah) is executive editor of Wine Enthusiast Magazine and a formal taster on the magazine wine tasting panel. In addition to managing the editorial direction of the print magazine, Kostrzewa oversees all digital initiatives for the media company. She is the author of numerous food, wine and travel books such as Opus Vino, a comprehensive volume of worldwide wines and wine regions, Greatest Escapes, a series of books on literary travel, and Pairings, a guide on matching the eclectic wines and foods of the world. Before relocating from Sonoma to Manhattan in 2005, Kostrzewa was senior editor of Wine Country Living, as well as a contributing writer and/or editor for Savor Wine Country, Marin Magazine, the Santa Rosa Press Democrat and several travel magazines.

skostrze@wineenthusiast.net

Tony LawrenceWine and food pairing specialist, sommelier, educator/lecturer and writer. WWS Speaker 2012

Tony "Winechef" Lawrence is a trusted wine and food pairing specialist. As a talented chef, sommelier, international wine and food judge, educator/lecturer and writer, he designs wine pairing programs for the global wine trade, associations, groups, college culinary/wine programs and wine festivals. His company, A Chef For You, LLC, focuses on wine and food as a lifestyle by educating about their history, art, science of terroir, sense of place and culture bridging wine to food as one. Tony started at the age of 13 cooking at a camp, then in restaurants and wineries in Maryland then vocational cooking school. He received a full scholarship to Widener University's Hotel/Restaurant program, earning a BS degree. He honed his innate love of food interning and training at the Hotel Krone Assmannshausen in Rudesheim, Germany. He was a member of the inaugural class that launched The Culinary Institute of America Pro-Chef program at Greystone in Napa Valley in 1998. In 2000, he completed the Wine and Food Pairing for Chefs program at the CIA Greystone and a graduated from the Wine Educator Napa Valley Wine Academy in 2010. This will be Tony's eighth year attending The Symposium for Professional Wine Writers at Meadowood Napa Valley. He is a member and lecturer with the Society of Wine Educators, American Wine Society, German Wine Society, Tasters Guild Society, and the Vancouver Playhouse International Wine & Food Festival. Lawrence was appointed to the Pennsylvania Wine and Spirit Advisory Counsel [PLCB] in 2010. The "Winechef " has over 34 years experience in the food & wine industry serving in various capacities including restaurants, corporate, motion picture and private catering, chef for the Philadelphia Eagles organization, and NFL Films. He was also the executive chef at two highly regarded clubs in Pennsylvania: the Germantown Cricket Club and the Merion Golf Club.

Bill LeBlondEditorial director of food and drink at Chronicle Books. WWS Speaker 2011

Bill LeBlond is the editorial director of food and drink at Chronicle Books. He is responsible for the acquisition of most of the 30 cookbooks, cocktail books, and wine books Chronicle publishes each year. Bill publishes some of the best food writers in the country and has worked with such outstanding authors as Colman Andrews, Michael Ruhlman, Joyce Goldstein, Martha Holmberg, Michael Chiarello, John Ash, and Janet Fletcher. Bill's books have been nominated for, and won, many IACP and James Beard Foundation cookbook awards. Bill is also a frequent speaker on publishing topics.

Ted Lee and Matt LeeWine columnists for Martha Stewart Living. WWS Speakers 2009

Siblings Matt and Ted are the wine columnists for Martha Stewart Living and also write for numerous other publications. They founded The Lee Bros. Boiled Peanuts Catalogue, a mail-order catalogue for southern pantry staples. When a magazine editor asked them to write about great food in their home state they embarked on a second career as food and travel journalists. They currently write food stories for Travel + Leisure, Food & Wine, GQ, The New York Times Dining Section, Sunday Magazine and Book Review sections.

Benjamin LewinMolecular biologist and authority on classic wine regions. WWS Speaker 2012

Benjamin Lewin is an authority on classic wine regions. Originally a molecular biologist, he was the founding editor of the life sciences journal Cell, and also established the publishing house Cell Press. Since following a life long passion and starting a second career in wine he has published three acclaimed books, What Price Bordeaux?, Wine Myths and Reality, and In Search of Pinot Noir. He is presently working on his next book, Claret & Cabs: The Story of Cabernet Sauvignon. His blog about Claret & Cabs is at www.winespecific.com. He also writes the myths and realities column for the World of Fine Wine, and contributes to Decanter. He divides his time between the eastern United States and London.

Natalie MacLeanNamed the World's Best Drink Writer at the World Food Media Awards. WWS Speaker 2011

Natalie MacLean, named the World's Best Drink Writer at the World Food Media Awards, publishes a free newsletter that reaches more than 123,000 wine lovers at www.nataliemaclean.com. She has won both the M.F.K. Fisher Distinguished Writing Award from the James Beard Foundation and the M.F.K. Fisher Award for Excellence in Culinary Writing from Les Dames d'Escoffier International. In her bestselling book, Red, White and Drunk All Over, Natalie chronicles three years of sipping, spitting and slogging her way through the international wine world to visit some its most evocative places and to meet some of its most charismatic, obsessive and innovative characters. Natalie's columns have appeared in the Chicago Tribune, Bon Appetit, Reader's Digest, Forbes, BusinessWeek, Conde Nast Traveler, Time Out New York, enRoute (Air Canada), Hemispheres (United Airlines), Sydney Morning Herald, Wine Enthusiast, Ritz-Carlton Magazine, and Coastal Living. She has created free mobile wine apps for iPhone, BlackBerry and Droid.

Avis MandelExperienced professional life-style, advertising and corporate photographer. WWS Speaker 2010

An experienced professional life-style, advertising and corporate photographer, Avis Mandel enjoyed a successful career in Minneapolis and Chicago prior to the family's move to Napa Valley. The transition has elevated her artistic style from "corporate" Midwest to the romantic, vibrant life expression that permeates wine artwork. She includes large and small wineries around the world as her clients.

Frances MayesBest-selling author of Under the Tuscan Sun and A Year in the World. WWS Speaker 2010

Frances Mayes is the best-selling author of Under the Tuscan Sun and A Year in the World, a widely published poet and essayist and Formerly a professor of creative writing at San Francisco State University. She has always adored houses, and when she saw Bramasole, a neglected, 200-year old Tuscan farmhouse nestled in five overgrown acres, it was love at first sight. Out of that instant infatuation has come four marvelous, and hugely popular, books: the bestsellers Under the Tuscan Sun and Bella Tuscany; In Tuscany, a collaborative photo-textbook with her husband, the poet Edward Mayes and photographer Bob Krist; and Bringing Tuscany Home: Sensuous Style from the Heart of Italy, another collaborative book with Edward Mayes and photographer Steven Rothfeld. All four highly personal books are about taking chances, living in Italy, loving and renovating an old Italian villa, the pleasures of food, wine, gardens, and the "voluptuousness of Italian life." The third book in her Tuscan trilogy, Every Day in Tuscany: Seasons of an Italian Life (due out in spring 2010), is about Tuscan seasons and Mayes' reflections on her Italian life. Her first novel, Swan, a family saga and mystery, returns Mayes to her childhood home of Georgia and was published in 2002. A film version of Under the Tuscan Sun, starring Diane Lane, was released in fall of 2003. Frances Mayes was the editor for the 2002 Best American Travel Writing. She is also the author of the travel memoir entitled A Year in the World: Journeys of A Passionate Traveller, which immediately debuted as a New York Times bestseller in 2006. Working again with Steven Rothfeld, she published SHRINES: Images of Italian Worship, also in 2006. A widely published poet and essayist, Frances Mayes has written numerous books of poetry, including Sunday in Another Country, After Such Pleasures, The Arts of Fire, Hours, The Book of Summer, and Ex Voto. Her work The Discovery of Poetry: A Field Guide to Reading and Writing Poems is widely used in college poetry classes. Formerly a professor of creative writing at San Francisco State University, where she directed The Poetry Center and chaired the Department of Creative Writing, Mayes now devotes herself full time to writing and to her "At Home in Tuscany" furniture and accessory lines. She and her husband divide their time between North Carolina and Cortona, Italy.

Christian MillerWine consultant, negoçiant, and marketing expert. WWS Speaker 2010

Christian Miller has worked in the wine industry since 1983, primarily in marketing. His industry experience includes restaurant and retail wine sales, work as a consultant and negoçiant, marketing management and market research. He is currently proprietor of Full Glass Research and a founder of WineOpinions.com, where he is responsible for research design and development. Full Glass Research has produced numerous marketing, economic and industry studies for clients ranging from the Oregon Wine Board to Vintage Wine Trust to small high end wineries. Wine Opinions maintains a representative consumer panel of over 4000 high-frequency and high end wine consumers and a trade panel of over 800 employees and owners working in the U.S. wine trade. These unique resources are used by wineries, importers, consultants and regional organizations to better understand trade and consumer trends. Christian co-manages the OIV Wine Marketing Short Course at U.C. Davis, is a regular lecturer at several universities, and is often quoted in trade publications. Previously, he was Director of Research for MKF, a leading CPA-consulting firm in the California wine industry. Christian has worked at some of the leading California wineries in brand and category management, consumer research and sales promotion. He holds a B.A. in Economics from Franklin & Marshall and an MBA from Cornell University.

Jeff MorganNapa Valley-based winemaker, author and educator. WWS Speaker 2010

Napa Valley-based winemaker, author and educator Jeff Morgan has written on wine and food for such publications as The New York Times, Elle, Food & Wine, Drinks, Wine Enthusiast, and Wine Spectator. The author has written four books: Dean & DeLuca, The Food and Wine Cookbook; Rosé, A Guide to The World's Most Versatile Wine; and The Working Parents Cookbook, the latter co-authored with his wife, Jodie. The PlumpJack Cookbook: Recipes for Living Well—was published in the fall of 2006, and his fifth book, The Restaurant at Domaine Chandon, will be published in 2010. As a winemaker, Jeff makes Covenant and RED C Cabernet Sauvignon in partnership with Napa vintner Leslie Rudd. He's also releasing a new Covenant Chardonnay in February 2010. Jeff is a consulting winemaker for Peter Paul Wines under the aegis of M Squared Wine Consultants, a business he runs with winemaker Daniel Moore. Jeff also finds time to teach at the Rudd Center for Professional Wine Studies at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone.

Vic MottoCo-founder, chairman and CEO of Global Wine Partners LLC. WWS Speaker 2010

Vic Motto is co-founder, chairman and CEO of Global Wine Partners LLC, specializing in wine industry mergers, acquisitions and investments. His clients include many of the top wine businesses around the world. Vic is an investment banker, registered securities principal and CPA. He serves as a director or advisor to several wine industry trade groups and universities, and is a director on the Boards of several wine companies. He actively teaches, writes and speaks on the wine industry and is widely quoted in major media.

Linda MurphyJancisRobinson.com, Decanter, Wine Review Online

In summer of 1990, Linda Murphy quit her job as a newspaper sportswriter/editor in San Diego, Calif., and moved to Sonoma County. The wine bug bit deep during a harvest job with a Russian River Valley Pinot Noir producer, and since then, Linda has progressed from barrel washer to winery public relations director, to San Francisco Chronicle wine section editor, to wine, food and travel writer for publications and websites including Cooking Light, Napa Sonoma magazine and epicurious.com.

Linda is the West Coast editor for jancisrobinson.com, U.S. columnist for Decanter magazine and columnist for winereviewonline.com. At the San Francisco Chronicle (2003 through 2006), she won two James Beard Awards for her work with the wine section.

In addition to serving as chairman of the International Eastern Wine Competition, Linda also judges several other competitions, including Critics Challenge, Riverside International Wine Competition, San Francisco International Wine Competition, Michigan Wine & Spirits Competition, Virginia Governor’s Cup and the Finger Lakes International Wine Competition.

Her book, American Wine, co-authored by Jancis Robinson, will be published in October 2012 by University of California Press. It celebrates winemaking in all 50 states – past, present and future. 

linda@lindamurphywine.com

Jen MurphyDeputy Editor, Afar Magazine

Jen Murphy is the deputy editor of Afar magazine, a three-year-old travel magazine based in San Francisco. As deputy editor, Jen assigns and edits feature stories, essays, columns, and also produces special sections and packages. She is a recent California transplant and loves being able to live the lifestyle she once wrote about during her eights years at Food & Wine magazine.

Jen started as an intern at Food & Wine and worked her way through the editorial ranks to eventually become travel editor. Her food and wine obsessions are kept in check with her passion for fitness. Jen has written a bi-weekly column called “What’s Your Workout” for the Wall Street Journal since 2004. She has also written for Runner’s World, 7 x 7, and Foam magazines. Jen is an adjunct professor at NYU. Her recent travels have taken her to Switzerland, Laos, Cambodia, Singapore, and Mexico.

jen@afar.com

Linda MurphyWest Coast Correspondent for Jancisrobinson.com and Decanter Magazine. WWS Speaker 2008

Linda Murphy is the West Coast Correspondent for Jancisrobinson.com and Decanter Magazine. Formerly, she was the wine editor of The San Francisco Chronicle, the only newspaper in the United States to publish a weekly, stand-alone wine section. After 13 years as a sportswriter at The San Diego Union, Linda traded a beer and a shot for Sauvignon Blanc, moving to Sonoma County to live among the vines. After one harvest of dragging hoses and pumping over tanks, she discovered that writing about wine was a lot more fun than making it, and she's been writing ever since. Linda has contributed to Decanter, The Wine News and Food & Wine magazines, and was the managing editor for WineToday.com, the New York Times' former wine Web site. Linda is an experienced wine competition judge and learned the wine business from the inside, as a communications and marketing director for wine companies in California, Oregon, Washington state, Australia, New Zealand and Italy.

Frank PrialNew York Times reporter for 30 years, and author of the wine column, Wine Talk. WWS Speaker 2009

A consummate story teller, Frank Prial wrote for The New York Times for 30 years as a reporter, foreign correspondent and author of the wine column, Wine Talk. Prial, who retired from The Times in 2005, is the author of the book, Wine Talk, published in 1978, Companion to Wine published in 1992 and Decantations published in 2001.

Charles ReidelbachIntellectual property expert in the wine, food and culinary arts industry. WWS Speaker 2007

CHARLES REIDELBACH, JR., a partner and chair of Higgs, Fletcher & Mack's Intellectual Property Group, represents clients in the wine, food and culinary arts industry having a wide spectrum of intellectual property-related legal needs, involving trademarks, trade dress, unfair competiting, copyrights, patents, trade secrets, electronic commerce, rights of publicity and entertainment law. An avid cook and author himself, he is able to understand the unique legal issues facing today's professional wine and food writers. He is currently authoring a work entitled "The Legal Guide to Protecting Culinary Creations."

Joe RobertsFounder of the 1WineDude.com wine blog is a wine consultant. WWS Speaker 2011

Joe Roberts, founder of the 1WineDude.com wine blog is a wine consultant and musician in the greater Philadelphia area. He is a Certified Specialist of Wine, and holds both the Level 2 (Intermediate, with Distinction) and Level 3 (Advanced, with Merit) Certificates in Wine & Spirits from the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) based in England. He is also a member of the U.S.-based Society of Wine Educators, holding their Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW) qualification, and belongs to the Wine Century Club. 1WineDude.com won Best Overall Wine Blog in the 2010 Wine Blog Awards.

David RosengartenWine Editor, Saveur Magazine

Journalist, television personality, and cookbook author, David Rosengarten has covered great food products, restaurants, wines, gastronomic travel destinations, and related subjects for over 25 years. Currently the wine editor of Saveur magazine, he has written hundreds of articles and contributed hundreds of original recipes to other publications such as Gourmet (where he was restaurant critic from 1996 to 2000), The New York Times, Food & Wine, Bon Appetit, Harper’s Bazaar, Departures, Wine Spectator and Newsday.

David is perhaps best known for his work as the host of Taste, the award-winning Food Network television show devoted to the principles of good taste in food and wine. David performed in 2500 shows on the Food Network, and has been featured on a variety of other networks (most notably NBC, where he has regularly appeared on the Today show). David appeared as a judge on the new season of Iron Chef America in May 2012.

David’s newsletter, The Rosengarten Report, which was published from 2001 to 2008, won the James Beard Award as best food newsletter in America, and attracted a peak of 50,000 paid subscribers. The Rosengarten Report will return in late 2012.

He is also the author of multiple cookbooks, including the seminal Red Wine with Fish, Taste, It’s ALL American Food, David Rosengarten Entertains, and the best-selling Dean & DeLuca Cookbook.

David is a much sought-after jurist for wine, food, chef, and sommelier competitions, and as a featured speaker at many national and international culinary events. David is now the wine editor at Saveur, a regular columnist for Wine & Spirits magazine and a blogger for Huffington Post. He resides in New York City.

rosengartenfood@gmail.com

David RosengartenTravel writer, cookbook author and TV journalist. Has writen for numerous magazines. WWS Speaker 2008

David Rosengarten is one of the world's foremost authorities on food, wine and cooking. He is also a travel writer, cookbook author and TV journalist beloved by millions of fans the world over. He is perhaps best known for his popular TV programs on The Food Network, where he has hosted or co-hosted approximately 2,500 shows.A frequent guest on NBC's Today show, David has also written about food, wine and travel for Gourmet, The New York Times, Food & Wine, The Wine Spectator, Newsday, Bon Appetit, Harper's Bazaar, House Beautiful, Business Week, Metropolitan Home, The New York Daily News, The New York Observer, Expedia Travels, Cigar Aficionado, among many other publications. David is the author of the award-winning cookbook, Taste, based on his TV cooking show of the same name. He is also the author of The Dean & DeLuca Cookbook, a 500-recipe book devoted to the food and food ideas of America's most famous grocery. He is a much sought-after jurist for wine, food, chef and sommelier competitions. For example, he has served as the only American judge on an international panel that selected the world's greatest sommelier. David teaches cooking and wine classes on many topics, and travels frequently throughout the U.S., Europe, Latin America and Asia, where he writes and lectures on a wide range of culinary subjects. He holds a doctorate in dramatic literature from Cornell University, and was an assistant professor of theater at Skidmore College. He resides in New York City. Currently, David is the editor-in-chief of The Rosengarten Report, a newsletter covering the most exciting, undiscovered food products, restaurants, wines and travel destinations in the world. The Rosengarten Report received the James Beard Award in 2003 as the best food and wine newsletter in the country.

Bruce SchoenfeldWine and spirits editor of Travel & Leisure. WWS Speaker 2011

Bruce Schoenfeld is the wine and spirits editor of Travel & Leisure and writes frequently for the magazine on wine and other topics. He's a former contributing editor for Wine Spectator, and his work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Outside, Gourmet, The Atlantic Monthly, Sports Illustrated, and many other national and international publications. His books include The Last Serious Thing: A Season at the Bullfights (Simon +Schuster), and The Match: Althea Gibson & Angela Buxton (HarperCollins/Amistad.) He lives in Boulder, Colorado, with his wife and two sons.

Jerry ShriverWrites about wine, dining and travel for the Destinations & Diversions section of USA Today. WWS Speaker 2007

JERRY SHRIVER writes about wine, dining, travel and whatever else catches his eye for the Destinations & Diversions section of USA Today, the nation's largest general-circulation newspaper. The Ohio native and 1978 Ohio State University graduate has held numerous editing and writing positions since joining the USA Today staff in 1983. In 2002 his eulogy for the Windows on the World restaurant in New York was nominated for a James Beard Foundation Journalism Award. He resides in New York with his wife, Debra.

Katie TamonyVice president and editor-in-chief of Sunset magazine. WWS Speaker 2012

Katie Tamony is vice president and editor-in-chief of Sunset, the premier magazine of Western living. Based in Menlo Park, Calif., Sunset is a subsidiary of Time Inc. The magazine has a circulation of more than 1.25 million readers throughout the 13 Western states. Tamony joined the company in 1994 as a copy editor, and was named copy chief later that year. In 1995, she helped launch the custom publishing division, developing magazines for clients such as Target, Acura, Cisco, Mazda, Safeway, and Oracle. Tamony was promoted to vice president and director of custom publishing in 2000. In May 2001, she was named VP and editor-in-chief of Sunset, responsible for all editorial products including the magazine, books, website, and, soon, tablet versions. During her tenure, she has overseen several redesigns, the launch of the Western Wine Awards, and other major changes to keep the magazine relevant to a demanding audience. A native of Sebastopol, Calif., Tamony earned a bachelor's degree in history from the University of California at Berkeley.

Rom ToulonJudge at San Francisco's International Wine Competition and noted sommelier. WWS Speaker 2011

Born and raised in the rich wine culture of France's Loire Valley, Rom Toulon's early interest in wine led him to the restaurant business at the age of 15. The Vouvray native went to work in a local Michelin two-star restaurant in the Loire Valley while still in high school. He further honed his skills as a sommelier in another Michelin two-star in the Loire after receiving his sommelier diploma in 1996. In that same year, he won the acclaimed Young Sommelier of the Loire Valley award and was a semi-finalist in the Young Sommelier of France competition the following year. Toulon spent three years in Ireland's County Kerry, outside Cork, as a sommelier at the noted Sheen Falls Lodge where he worked with Ireland's leading Master of Wine Alain Bras. He then went on to a career at the Four Seasons at the hotel's headquarters in Toronto. While at the Four Seasons, Toulon was tapped to open the property's flagship San Francisco location on Market Street, as well as work at other Four Seasons locations in Los Angeles, Tokyo and London. He was part of the wine team for the Four Seasons' reopening of the George V in Paris in 2002. Toulon judged the San Francisco International Wine Competition, was part of the San Francisco Chronicle's tasting panel from 2001 to 2005 and was named the city's least snooty sommelier by the same paper in 2004. He appeared in the DVD Wine Fundamentals, a training tool for the wine trade, and edited the France and Bubbly editions of Wine Passports for SmartsCo. While working for the Four Seasons in San Francisco he frequently visited Napa Valley and decided to make wine country his full-time home. He manages the wine offerings at the The Restaurant, The Grill, in-room dining, pool area and catering facilities. He oversees a 700-label wine list and a wide selection of constantly changing wine pairings by the glass.

Stephen WallisDeputy Editor of Departures, the lifestyle magazine published by American Express. WWS Speaker 2010

Stephen Wallis is the deputy Editor of Departures, the lifestyle magazine published by American Express. In addition to overseeing most of the cultural content in Departures, he edits and writes stories on travel, food, wine, and luxury goods. Prior to joining the magazine in 2005, he worked for nearly a decade as an editor at art publications, including Art + Auction and Art & Antiques.

Gary WaltherThe Hotel Detective for Forbes.com, Contributing Editor at ForbesLife

Gary Walther is a paid Forbes.com columnist on luxury hotels (The Hotel Detective) and a contributing editor at ForbesLife, the luxury lifestyle magazine published by Forbes Media (850,000 subscribers). He served as editor of the magazine from early 2008 to late 2009. He has a 26-year editorial career in luxury lifestyle publications. In 1989 he took over Departures (American Express Publishing) and in the next 11 years turned it into one of the most powerful luxury-lifestyle magazines in the country. In 2000 Gary joined Ziff Davis as the founding editor of Expedia Travels, the first upscale travel magazine that connected Web travel to real travel, and after a two-year stint as a freelancer, became editor-in-chief of Luxury Spafinder in 2004, turning it into the definitive spa lifestyle title. Mr. Walther has a BA from Washington University in St. Louis (1975). He resides in Brooklyn, New York.
gwalther@earthlink.net

Aaron WehnerPublisher of Ten Speed Press, a California-based imprint of Crown/Random House. WWS Speaker 2012

Aaron Wehner is vice president and publisher of Ten Speed Press, a Berkeley, California-based imprint of Crown/Random House. During his 15-year tenure at Ten Speed, Aaron has worked with most of the house's top authors, including Grant Achatz, Mollie Katzen, David Lebovitz, Peter Reinhart, Heidi Swanson, Rajat Parr, and Charlie Trotter. His acquisitions range across all categories of Ten Speed's nonfiction list, with a focus on food and drink, business/career, and pop culture. He has been instrumental in establishing Ten Speed as one of the leading cookbook publishers in the country, and the cookbooks he has edited have received 21 James Beard and IACP award nominations, garnering 12 wins. In 2006, Food & Wine magazine named Aaron one of the most influential people in the culinary world under the age of 35.

Stephanie WilsonEditorial director for Haute Living magazine. WWS Speaker 2010

Stephanie Wilson is the editorial director for Haute Living magazine, a luxury lifestyle publication with regional editions in New York, Miami, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. Prior to this position, she served as the regional editor for fine dining publication DiningOut Miami.

Molly WizenbergWrites the monthly column "Cooking Life" in Bon Appetit, magazine. WWS Speaker 2010

Molly Wizenberg writes the monthly column "Cooking Life" in Bon Appetit, magazine, and her first book, A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table, was a New York Times bestseller. She is the voice behind Orangette (www.orangette.net), named the best food blog in the world by the London Times. Her work has also been published in Town and Country and on NPR.org, PBS.org, NYTimes.com, and Gourmet.com.

Guy WoodwardEditor of London-based Decanter magazine. WWS Speaker 2012

Guy Woodward is the editor of London-based Decanter magazine, where he has worked for nine years. He joined the magazine from a journalistic background, notably in business-to-business journalism, and also as a sub-editor on national newspapers. During his time at Decanter, the magazine has expanded to encompass overseas editions, education and the world's biggest global wine competition, the Decanter World Wine Awards. Decanter is read in 94 countries, with over half its readership now overseas. Guy is responsible for devising and commissioning all editorial content for Decanter. In addition to his role with the magazine, he is a regular commentator on wine on both radio and TV, and has written for a number of UK newspapers and publications including The Independent, Observer, Guardian and Telegraph.

Stephen YafaEditor of Apple-Nomad's iPad weekly, Uncorked. WWS Speaker 2012

Stephen Yafa, the editor of Apple-Nomad's iPad weekly, Uncorked, considers himself a lucky man. He gets to entertain and inform wine buffs in a multi-media digital wine magazine venue, the first of its kind. He also gets to make Russian River Pinot Noir for his own label, Segue Cellars. The author of Big Cotton (Viking), and a screenwriter at major Hollywood studios, when not editing and writing he conducts experiential wine seminars at major national wine events, most recently at the New Orleans Food and Wine Exposition.

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