Elaine Chukan Brown
Global Wine Educator and Wine Writer
Elaine Chukan Brown is a celebrated writer, speaker and global wine educator having presented in countries on every continent except Antarctica. Her writing was recognized with a James Beard nomination in Journalism in 2022. She has been featured in print books and magazines, online sites, podcasts, feature-length films, television shows, documentaries, radio shows, apps, and webinars in countries around the world. Brown previously served as Executive Editor US for JancisRobinson.com, specializing in American wine, sustainability, climate action and social responsibility in the context of wine. In 2022, Elaine was named one of the 50 Most Influential Women in Wine by WINWSA China. Elaine was named Wine Communicator of the Year for 2020/21 by the International Wine and Spirit Competition (IWSC) and VInItaly, and a Wine Industry Leader in North America by Wine Business Monthly in 2020. In 2019, the Wine Industry Network named Elaine one of wine’s Most Inspiring People. Elaine has written for The World Atlas of Wine, The Oxford Companion to Wine, the book On California from the Academie du Vin Library, as well as The World of Fine Wine, Club Oenologique, Decanter, Wine & Spirits magazine, and their own Hawk Wakawaka Wine Reviews. Elaine also serves as a mentor to people entering the wine industry, and to other Black and Indigenous people, and people of color in wine. Prior to their career in wine, Elaine served as the Charles A Eastman Fellow at Dartmouth College, and a Tomlinson Fellow at McGill University, where they did doctoral work in philosophy. As a university lecturer at Northern Arizona University, Elaine was nominated for multiple teaching awards, served on the faculty development committee, and as part of the First Year Program, creating innovative approaches for effective teaching. Prior to their academic career, Elaine owned their own commercial salmon-fishing business in Bristol Bay, Alaska. The rest of their family continues to commercial fish in Alaska.
CEO, Abacela Vineyards and Winery
Greg is a world-renowned atmospheric scientist and wine climatologist, having held research and teaching positions at the University of Virginia, Southern Oregon University, Linfield University, and as an adjunct professor at the University of Adelaide. He has taught extensively across many areas including meteorology, climatology, ecology, hydrology, geology, statistics, GIS and remote sensing, and wine business, viticulture, enology, and sensory evaluation. For over twenty-five years his research has firmly linked weather and climate with grapevine growth, fruit chemistry, and wine characteristics in regions all around the globe. His work was also one of the first to tie climate change to fundamental biological phenomena in vines and the resulting influences on productivity and quality, informing and influencing the wine industry worldwide. Greg has served on the editorial advisory boards of multiple international and national scientific journals and organizations and serves as a Director on the Oregon Wine Board and the Erath Family Foundation board. He was named to Decanter Magazine’s 2009 Power List representing the top 50 most influential people in the world of wine, named the Oregon Wine Press’s 2009 Wine Person of the Year, has been named in the Top 50 Wine Industry Leaders in Wine Business Monthly in 2016, 2017, and 2018, and has been in the top 100 most influential people in the US wine industry in 2012, 2013, and 2018 (intowine.com). He was also bestowed the Honorary Confrade with the Rank of Infanção (Nobleman) from the Confraria do Vinho do Porto and installed as a knight in the Oregon Wine Brotherhood. Dr. Jones also has lifelong ties to the Oregon wine community, most closely with his family winery and vineyards at Abacela where Greg was appointed CEO in 2021. To find out more about his research and access videos, podcasts, and publications visit this website (www.climateofwine.com).
Researcher, Centre de recherche agroalimentaire de Mirabel
Assistant Professor-Enology, Iowa State University
Dr. Aude Watrelot is an Assistant Professor and Extension specialist of Enology in the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition at Iowa State University. Dr. Watrelot’s research area is fruit, grape and wine tannin and polysaccharide chemistry and their relationship with wine quality. Dr. Watrelot graduated with a PhD degree in Food Science from the French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA) and the University of Avignon in France. Following graduation, Dr. Watrelot moved to California both at CSU Fresno and UC Davis to keep conducting research into polyphenol-macromolecular interactions on red wine chemistry. At ISU, she is currently conducting research on understanding viticultural and winemaking practices that could maximize phenolics extraction and improve wine quality. Dr. Watrelot develops extension programs such as webinars, workshops, field days, articles to answer the growing wine industry in Iowa and in the Midwest. She is currently serving on the Board of Directors for the American Society of Enology and Viticulture – Eastern Section (ASEV-ES) and for the Groupe Polyphenols.
Winegrower and co-proprietor, La garagista Farm + Winery
Deirdre Heekin of La garagista farms and makes wine in both the Chateauguay mountains and the Champlain Valley in Vermont. She is passionate about wholistic and regenerative agriculture, exploring the botanical diversity of hybrid grapes and their various wine expressions, simple and honest winemaking, and the creative narratives of place that wine can tell. She and her husband Caleb Barber have been growing wine since 2007 when they planted their first vines. She is also the author of three books, the most recent An Unlikely Vineyard. @ lagaragista.com
Enology Specialist/Instructor, University of Minnesota - Grape Breeding & Enology Project
Drew Horton has been active in the wine industry for over 25 years having started as a wine salesman, he then worked up the wine production ladder from cellar rat to cellarmaster and eventually winemaker starting in 2004. With a BA in Anthropology and early career experience working in kitchens, Drew brings a unique perspective at the intersection of food, culture, and of course wine. He produced award-winning wines in Santa Barbara County, California before moving to Minnesota in 2010 where he began working with cold-hardy, hybrid grapes as founding winemaker for Chankaska Creek Winery. In 2015, Drew moved from commercial winemaking to research winemaking and providing outreach as a field specialist enologist for the Midwest Grape and Wine Industry Institute at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa. As Enology Specialist for the University of Minnesota’s Grape Breeding & Enology Project Drew produces well over 100 micro-lots of research wine and ciders annually, as well he engages with and provides University and Extension resources to winemakers across the state. This includes trouble-shooting, planning, and evaluating winemaking processes for Minnesota’s Farm Wineries. Drew has broad experience and expertise in winery design and equipment, fermentation techniques, barrel-ageing, filtration and blending. Drew became Instructor for the U of MN’s HORT1031 “Vines and Wines” 3-unit undergrad course in the spring semester of 2022. Additionally, Drew offers courses and workshops to appeal to the needs of wine makers, from amateur to professional. Horton says, “I’m a hands-on winemaker, always looking for the best practical solutions to solve wine and winery needs and issues”
Senior Lecturer, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Dr. Elsa Petit has been faculty at the Stockbridge School of Agriculture, University of Massachusetts Amherst since 2015. Dr. Petit graduated with a M.S. Agronomy from Bordeaux Sciences Agro in France in 2000. She then completed her PhD in Plant Pathology at the University of California, Davis in 2005. Dr. Petit has been in the Phytopathology and Viticulture research and Extension field since 2000. Dr. Petit currently leads the Massachusetts Extension Grape Production program and is the editor of Grape Notes Newsletter released 25 times yearly reaching about 150 grape growers. Since 2020, she is the lead investigator for the MA Experiment Station on the NIFA Multistate project NE1720: “Multi-state Coordinated Evaluation of Winegrape Cultivars and Clones” on which she has been a co-investigator since 2015. Dr. Petit’s research focuses on evolution and ecology of plant-microbe interactions. She uses grapes in the Northeast US as her model system. She focuses on the following themes: (1)Impact of agricultural management on microbiomes, (2) Effect of temperatures on flowering time in wild grape species, (3) Variation in resistance to necrotrophic and biotrophic diseases caused by fungi on grape. Her research has been published in 37 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters. She also teach General Plant Pathology and Sustainable Grape Production.
Amberg Grapevines, LLC
Winegrower, Shelburne Vineyard/Iapetus
Ethan has been growing grapes and making wine at Shelburne Vineyard since 2008. He is responsible for all aspects of the operation, from vineyard to glass, and appreciates this integral role in the full cycle of winegrowing. As such, he is committed to highlighting the potential of northern varietals through sound viticulture, premium winemaking, and unique consumer experience. In 2016, Ethan and his team developed a sub-brand for Shelburne Vineyard called Iapetus, which represents wines with a strong sense of place and applies minimalism in the winery. Ethan also shares his experience and expertise as a speaker at national conferences and serves as Treasurer for the Vermont Grape and Wine Council.
Apple and Grape specialist, Quebec Ministry of Agriculture Fishery and Food
Evelyne Barriault is a grape specialist with 20 years of extension experience within the grape grower’s community of Quebec. Following her involvement as a private consultant, she joined in 2012 the Quebec ministry of agriculture as provincial grape and apple specialist. She is the author of a handbook for the establishment of a vineyard and co-author of a guide on best management practices in viticulture. She also developed with a multidisciplinary team a tool to assess sites potential for vineyard establishment. She is also involved in integrated pest management in vineyards within the crop advisory board of Quebec and regularly publish phytosanitary warnings and factsheets, together with the organisation of workshops promoting sustainable practices in vineyards and orchards.
Owner, Luckett Vineyard
Geena joined the family business in 2012 after a management degree at Dalhousie University and spending a year gaining work experience outside of the family business. Stepping in as event manager and working her way throughout all departments at the winery, spending a winter working at a winery in New Zealand, WSET courses, and lots of industry involvement later and the passion was born. In her current role as owner/GM you will find Geena has her eyes on all things Luckett Vineyards while also supporting the industry with her role as Vice Chair of the Wine Growers Nova Scotia board and seat on WGNS marketing committee.
Research Scientist - Plant Physiology, Kentville Research and Development Centre (KRDC), Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC)
Dr. Harrison Wright was raised on a mixed, primarily apple farm in the Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia. He received a certificate for Engineering at Mount Allison University (Sackville, New Brunswick). During a hiatus from university he obtained his student pilot license from Scotia Flight Centre (Waterville, Nova Scotia) before returning to academia for a BSc in Physics and a BA in English from Acadia University (Wolfville, Nova Scotia). While studying English, Harrison sold the rights to his personal memoir to a local publisher. Shortly thereafter Harrison naturally parlayed his background in Engineering / Physics / English and Aviation into a job driving a 1974 Ford 3-ton spray truck administering spray applications to research trials out of the Kentville Research and Development Centre (KRDC). With time Harrison returned to school to pursue graduate studies. He completed a M.Sc. in Agriculture and a Ph.D. in Biology (Plant Physiology) both through Dalhousie University (Truro and Halifax, Nova Scotia, respectively). Postdoctoral work was performed through Laval University (Quebec City, Quebec) before he accepted a position as a Research Scientist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) at the KRDC in Nova Scotia. His research primarily focuses on the production of wine grapes and apples. Harrison lives in the community of Woodside, NS in the Annapolis Valley on a small farm with his wife, Aimee, and their three boys, Ever, Fielding and Gardner.
Professor of Viticulture, Ohio State University
Professor in the Department of Horticulture and Crop Science and state viticulture specialist at The Ohio State University with research and extension responsibilities in viticulture. His research interests include cold hardiness of grapevines and developing methods of cold protection; improving fruit and wine quality using cultural practices; and germplasm evaluation and matching varieties with climates and sites. Dr. Dami participated in research assignments and educational tours in Canada, Chile, China, Italy, Tunisia, and USA (California), and has been invited to speak nationally and internationally including Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, China, France, Italy, New Zealand, and Tunisia. Dr. Dami was the editor and lead-author of an Extension book titled “Midwest Grape Production Guide” and co-authored “Winter Injury to Grapevines and Methods of Protection”, and co-produced an educational video title “Grapevine Canopy Management”, all were awarded best extension publications by the American Society of Horticultural Sciences. Since 2015, Dr. Dami and his group have shared progression of fruit maturity of important varieties in Ohio as a service to Ohio grape and wine producers. Dr. Dami served as Chair of the American Society for Enology and Viticulture-Eastern Section (ASEV-ES), Board Director in ASEV-E, and currently serves on the national ASEV, and as academic advisor to Ohio grape and wine industry organizations for the past 18 years. To learn more about the viticulture program at OSU, please visit Buckeye Appellation at: https://ohiograpeweb.cfaes.ohio-state.edu/.
Research Geneticist, Grape Genetics Research Unit, USDA, ARS Geneva, New York
Head Winemaker, Benjamin Bridge, Nova Scotia
Jean-Benoit joined the team in the spring of 2008 and has more than two decades of experience in the wine industry, including 16 years in winemaking. From his start with Casa Barranca, Santa Barbara County’s very first certified organic winery, to Vino Organico Emiliana, one of South America’s early certified biodynamic pioneers, Jean-Benoit’s body of work has exclusively helped the growth and progress of sustainable and ethical operations. In order to assist Benjamin Bridge in releasing products that are unique and ahead of their time, Jean-Benoit’s primary focus remains the ongoing evolution of wine as a cofactor of our evolution as a biosphere and society.