Speakers 2019

Matt Kramer

Matt Kramer is an American wine critic since 1976. He is a columnist for The Oregonian, was a columnist for The New York Sun before its demise in 2008, and previously for Los Angeles Times, and since 1985 is a regular contributor to Wine Spectator. He has been described as "perhaps the most un-American of all America's wine writers",[1] by Mike Steinberger as "one of the more insightful and entertaining wine writers around",[2] and by Hugh Johnson as "an intellectual guerrilla among wine writers".[3]

Among his publications are the books Making Sense of Wine (1989),[4] Making Sense of Burgundy (1990),[5] Making Sense of California Wine, (1992),[6] Making Sense of Italian Wine (2006)[7] and Matt Kramer on Wine.[8][9]

*Photo courtesy of Wine Spectator

Justin Howard-Sneyd

Justin started his own consultancy business (www.thehivewine.com) in 2012 and advises a wide range of wine businesses around the world, helping them to maximise their potential. Justin's major client is Laithwaite's Wine (aka Direct Wines), the world's largest and most successful Direct-to-consumer wine business, where he spent 3 years as the Global Wine Director. Prior to joining Laithwaite's, Justin spent 14 years as a wine buyer in the UK off-trade, including stints at supermarket chains Safeway and Sainsbury's. This culminated in almost 5 years in charge of the wine department at Waitrose, the UK's most successful premium supermarket where he led the team that garnered, and continues to garner, so many awards. In his early life, he worked in wine shops, ran a wine school, worked as a cellar-hand and assistant winemaker in 4 different countries. Since 2007, Justin has produced his own wine (www.domaineofthebee.com) from 4 hectares of vines in the Roussillon region of the South of France, near the village of Maury.

Courtesy of www.mastersofwine.org

Dr. Roger B Boulton

Dr. Boulton studies the chemical and biochemical engineering aspects of winemaking and distilled spirits production. His work involves fermentation and reaction kinetics; physical and chemical stability of wines; the mathematical modeling, computer simulation and control of enological operations; winery design (winemaking equipment selection, winery design and layout) and the economics of investment and operation. His current research involves a major effort into the phenomenon of copigmentation, a major color phenomenon in red wines, as well as fermentation interests involving juice composition and sulfide formation. Dr. Boulton's teaching covers the general areas of the physical and chemical stability of wines (VEN 126, 126L), the process equipment and winery design (VEN 135, 235), the production of distilled spirits from fermented beverages (VEN 140) and Biomanufacturing (ECH 160). Dr. Boulton is a member of the Jurade de Saint Emilion and was appointed the Stephen Sinclair Scott Endowed Chair in Enology in January 2000. In 2000 he was named among "the 50 Most influential people in the US Wine Industry" by Wines and Vines Magazine. In 1998, he and three colleagues (Vernon Singleton, Linda Bisson and Ralph Kunkee) received the Office International de la Vigne et du Vin (OIV) Prize in Oenology for their text The Principles and Practices of Winemaking. This text has been translated into Spanish and Chinese while still in its first edition. Dr. Boulton has been awarded the Outstanding Paper of the Year prize in the American Journal for Enology and Viticulture on four occasions, and was the Eminent Speaker in Chemical Engineering, chosen by the Australian Institute of Engineers in 1995. He has significant international involvement in the development of enology curricula, the teaching of short courses and advising wineries throughout the world. Dr. Boulton received both his Bachelor's and Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Melbourne, Australia.

Courtesy of http://wineserver.ucdavis.edu/people/faculty/rbb.html

Paul Mabray

Paul has been in the wine and spirits industry for over twenty years. He has worked for Napa Ale Works, Niebaum-Coppola, and WineShopper/Wine.com. He was also the North American beverage consultant for Sumitomo Corporation of America from 2002 through 2005. He founded Inertia in 2002 as one of the first major companies created to connect wineries with consumers. From 2003 until 2008 he was CEO and responsible for creating the largest and most powerful e-commerce platform for the wine industry, the Rethink Engine. Paul’s desire to help revolutionize the wine industry by bridging the gap between wine and the digital world propelled him to establish VinTank.

Courtesy of https://grapecollective.com/articles/meet-paul-mabray-founder-of-vintank 

Sarah Heller

Sarah Heller is a Master of Wine based in Hong Kong and at 30 is the worlds youngest. Her educational wine videos have over 3 million students. She is a brand ambassador for Lucaris Crystal and the Almasy Collection of wines and is a faculty member of the Vinitaly International Academy. Having studied fine art at Yale University, she combines her art and wine expertise in a series called Visual Tasting Notes and her boutique design agency, Radix+Folium. She regularly speaks on several topics including Asian wine markets and E-commerce and judges for the Cathay Pacific HKIWSC, WINE100 and DAWA.

Emma Jenkins MW

Emma Jenkins MW abandoned her University of Otago science training for a more sociable career in wine. She's worked in fine wine retail, holds a diploma in winemaking and viticulture, and in 2011 became New Zealand’s ninth Master of Wine. 

Emma is wine columnist for The Australian Women’s Weekly (NZ edition), co-editor of The Independent Wine Monthly alongside Jane Skilton MW, and writes on a freelance basis for a number of trade and general publications. She also provides consultancy services to a range of industry and corporate entities.

In addition, Emma is Research Paper Coordinator for the MW education program, teaches the odd WSET course and judges at local and international competitions. In her spare time, Emma attempts to gain control of a large, unruly garden populated by small children, dogs, cats, chickens and a pet pig. This is proving mostly futile.

Sam Harrop MW

Sam is a New Zealand Master of Wine, international wine consultant, author, owner and operator of Sam Harrop Wine and co-founder and winemaking Director of Peninsula Vinicultores, a Madrid-based company that manages vineyards and wineries across Spain.

Sam has spent 25 years working in the international wine industry, with a diverse career that bridges the gap between the technical and complex world of wine making and the consumer’s appreciation of the end product. From creating profitable wine ranges for retailer Marks and Spencer in the UK, to consulting for small - medium sized vineyards in Europe, judging and co-chairing the International Wine Challenge in London, consulting for restaurant groups. Sam is also one of seven masters the compromise Fine Wines of New Zealand selection panel - an Air New Zealand inititive to promote New Zealand wines to the world.

Sam’s blend of technical expertise, commercial insight and commitment to preserving wine diversity have earned him the reputation as one of the most influential wine making consultants in the world. Sam holds a Bachelor of Commerce and a post-graduate diploma in Oenology. 

Steve Smith MW

Steve Smith MW, was the first viticulturist (vine guy) in the world to become a Master of Wine. He’s done some serious wine stuff in his time. Planting and curating some of the greatest vineyards in New Zealand and co-founding and directing the prestigious Craggy Range Winery since its inception in 1999. He is one of New Zealand’s most highly regarded wine people, both at home and on the world stage. It is his name and his reputation that is behind the wines of Smith and Co.

Courtesy of the Real Review

Geoff Thorpe

Geoff Thorpe, Managing Director, Riversun Nursery 

Geoff established Riversun Nursery in 1982 and over the last three decades, his tireless focus on plant health and quality has positioned Riversun as the premium supplier of certified grafted grapevines to the NZ wine industry. In 2013, Geoff set Riversun on a new journey - to become carbon negative, zero waste and ‘TRULY SUSTAINABLE’ by 2020. To reach this ambitious goal, Geoff and the Riversun team are bringing together world-class plantsmanship and leading-edge science - think molecular and micro-biology hooking up with soil science, bio-plastics, bio-mass heating, organics and bio-dynamics - plus lots more.

Tim Hanni MW

A wine industry business consultant and lecturer, Tim Hanni has been involved with food and wine for over thirty years and is Managing Director of eCode.me and HanniCo LLC. Hanni coordinates various aspects of hospitality training and education, sales, marketing, and wine and food programs around the world. Author of Why you Like the Wines You Like and teaches Wine Business courses for Washington State University and via the Napa Valley Wine Academy.

Courtesy of www.mastersofwine.org

Yang Shen

Yang Shen, born in the south western Chinese province of Sichuan. Moving to France, he studied in Montpellier and Bordeaux, receiving a diploma in French oenology and wine marketing.
After 5 years of sales and marketing experience with a Bordeaux wine négociant and MHD China, his background of winemaking and commercial studies meant that he was ideally suited to become Founder and Managing Director of Chandon China, a position he held from 2011 to 2016.
In late 2016, Yang joined the Cloudy Bay team as Estate Director. He is passionate about ensuring that Cloudy Bay remains a beacon of quality for Marlborough wine, and that the Cloudy Bay story is told with passion worldwide.

Justine Tate

Justine started her career in New Zealand in fast moving consumer goods and consumer research working for the Mars Group and ACNielsen. A project for ACNielsen in Vietnam led to several years in Asia and a serious case of wanderlust. In 20 years moving around the globe Justine has gathered leadership and management skills in customer experience measurement and management for UK and US companies, economic development and trade for NZ and international financial services marketing for investment banks and fund managers. Obviously a big believer in a ‘portfolio’ career, Justine took her transferable skills from London where she was running the Pension Quality Mark straight to Blenheim to lead the Sustainable Winegrowing (SWNZ) team. Now leading SWNZ and the Sustainability portfolio for NZWinegrowers Justine is impressed by the passion and collaboration of the NZ Wine industry.

More speakers coming soon...