Conference Keynote Speaker
Dr Richard Smart
Dr Richard Smart is the Managing Director of Smart Viticulture, an international vineyard consulting business founded in 1991. He consults in 28 countries, with a specialty of vineyard manipulation of wine quality. He is considered an authority on canopy management.
Richard Smart has four degrees, a B.Sc.Agr Hons, a M.Sc. Hons, a PhD and a D.Sc.Agr. He began research in 1966 studying irrigation and sunlight interception by vineyards. From 1982 to 1990 he was the Government Research Viticulturist for New Zealand. Presently Tamar Ridge Estates of Tasmania is his principal client, and he is also a partner in the new firm RuralSmart which provides monitoring services to agriculture
He has published over 300 articles and papers. His book “Sunlight into Wine” is recognized world wide, and he is also the Viticulture Editor for the Oxford Companion to Wine.
Drew Horton has been active in the wine industry for over 25 years having started as a wine salesman, and then as a winemaker. 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. Mr. Horton has produced award-winning vintages in Santa Barara, California before moving to Minnesota in 2010 where he began working with cold-hardy, hybrid grapes at Chankaska Creek Winery. In 2015, Drew moved from commercial wine making to providing outreach as a field specialist for the Midwest Grape and Wine Industry Institute at Iowa State in Ames, Iowa. Since returning to Minnesota in September 2016, Drew now works for the University of Minnesota’s Grape Breeding & Enology Project as an Enology Specialist conducting research wine making and as a field/outreach specialist.
Judit Monis, Ph.D.
Judit Monis, Ph.D. is a native of Argentina, and holds a doctorate degree in Plant Pathology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and received post-doctoral training at the University of California at Berkeley. Dr. Monis is a California-based plant health consultant that provides specialized services to help growers, vineyard managers, winemakers, and nursery personnel avoid the propagation and transmission of grapevine diseases caused by bacteria, fungi, and viruses.Dr. Monis was responsible for developing and running STA Laboratories Plant Health Services program. Previous experience includes research and managerial positions at the USDA Center for Plant Health Science and Technology; Seminis Vegetable Seeds (now Monsanto); and Agritope Inc. She is an avid writer and frequent invited speaker at scientific and growers’ meetings. For more information visit www.juditmonis.com
Susan DeMatei owner of Wine Glass Marketing, has over 10 years of experience in winery consumer direct marketing, including Wine Club, database marketing, CRM,e-commerce, events and general luxury wine marketing encompassing awareness, conversion and loyalty. Overall, she has 20 years of experience specializing in direct sales to a luxury market.Prior to 2012, Ms. DeMatei served as Direct Marketing Manager with Opus One Winery. Prior to that, she held marketing or account executive positions with Fosters Wine Estates, Goosecross Cellars, Butler Shine Stern & Partners, Modern Media, Goldberg Moser O’Neill, BBDO SF, and Mullen Advertising. Ms DeMatei holds a B.S. in Communications from Boston University and an A.S. in Viticulture from Napa Valley College. She is a Certified Sommelier with the Court of Master Sommeliers and a Certified Specialist in Wine/Wine Education with the Society of Wine Educators.
Mike White is a Viticulture Specialist for Iowa State University Extension & Outreach and is a team member of the ISU Midwest Grape & Wine Industry Institute. Mike provides technical assistance and educational training to vineyards and wineries in Iowa and neighboring states and has been working with the cold climate winegrape industry since 2000. Mike received an A.S. degree from Iowa Western Community College in Council Bluffs, IA and holds a B.S. and M.A. from Iowa State University. He is a Certified Crop Advisor and Certified Professional Agronomist through the Agronomy Society of America and a Certified Specialist of Wine through the Society of Wine Education.
Tom Payette From Construction, to cork to consumer. With 30 years+ of experience , it is Tom’s (Winemaking Consultant) pleasure to help people enter the wine business, and to remain in the business, by helping people craft wines that consumers purchase and enjoy. Tom is most helpful if engaged while constructing your building and helping you make your wines. www.winemakingconsultant.
Piero Spada Vineyard & Winery Consultant is a cold climate grape & wine production specialist who helps winegrowers develop their vintner fingerprint. Whether establishing a vineyard, starting a winery, or taking your wines to the next level, Piero’s guidance will help you hit your goals. www.pierospada.com
Jennie Savits is the Enology Field Specialist at the Midwest Grape and Wine Industry Institute at Iowa State University. She earned B.S. and M.S. degrees in Food Science from ISU and gained winemaking experience through harvest internships and employment as both Research Associate and undergraduate lab assistant at the MGWII. Jennie provides extension and outreach programming and technical assistance to wine industry members in Iowa and surrounding states on best winemaking practices.
Somchai Rice joined the Midwest Grape and Wine Industry Institute as an Assistant Scientist. She has lived in Iowa over 30 years, growing up in north central Iowa. Somchai earned her B.S. (Biology), M.S. (Toxicology), and is currently a Ph.D. candidate (Toxicology) at Iowa State University. Her background and interests are in analytical instrumentation including high performance liquid chromatography, gas chromatography, and mass spectrometry. Ms. Rice leads enology research projects and also participates in workshops and seminars to support extension and outreach to the wine industry in the upper Midwest region.
Lucian Dressel, Chairman of the Board, Davis Viticultural Research
While living in Davis, CA and with the advice and assistance from such giants as Dr. Harold Olmo, the most recognized grape breeder of the 20th Century, and the staff of the National Germ Plasm Repository, he bred and developed a revolutionary new family of wine grape vines by crossing the highest quality European grape varieties with Norton. The company he founded with his son Joseph, Davis Viticultural Research, began selling these new patented varieties nationwide in 2006. They are now grown commercially in 28 states from Connecticut to California.
Dressel is a multiple US and International winemaker, including a Gold Medal at the prestigious International Wine and Spirits Competition in London, England. In 1976 Dressel made the first Ice Wine in the United States and in 1980 he wrote the petition to have Augusta declared the first officially recognized wine district in the United States. Bon Appétit Magazine selected his dry white as its Wine of the Month in its Holiday Issue for 1993. While working as winemakers in Illinois in 2006, the Dressels won one of the 6 gold medals awarded at the only National Norton Wine Competition.
Joseph W. Dressel, President, Davis Viticultural Research
Joseph Dressel is the former Vice President of Evergreen Nursery in Labadie, Missouri, and also Vice President of Davis Viticultural Research. Having grown up in the grape and wine business he now has 28 years’ experience in each.
From 2006 to 2011 Joseph was the Winemaker at the Mary Michelle Winery a.k.a. Illinois Cellars Winery, in Carrollton, Illinois, a winery with a 100,000 gallon capacity drawing grapes
from its own 75 acre vineyard as well as other vineyards in Illinois, Missouri and Virginia. He put his artistic abilities to work as well by designing a number of the award winning labels for the Mary Michelle wines. Prior to this time Joseph worked as an assistant winemaker at the Mount Pleasant Winery in Augusta, the Blumenhoff Winery in Dutzow, Missouri, and the Oak Glenn Winery in Hermann. . For the 2012 harvest Joseph worked as the onsite winemaking consultant for the Harkness Edwards Winery in Lexington, KY.
Susan DeMatei has over 20 years of experience in winery consumer Direct Marketing, including Wine Club, database marketing, CRM, e-commerce, social media, events and general luxury wine marketing encompassing awareness, conversion and loyalty. Overall, she has 20 years of experience specializing in direct sales to a luxury market.
In 2012 Susan started WineGlass Marketing, a full-service Direct Marketing Agency focused on Direct-to-Consumer acquisition, sales and retention for the wine industry based on the philosophy that your customer database is your most valuable marketing tool outside of your employees.
Prior to 2012, Ms. DeMatei held direct marketing or account management positions with Opus One Winery, Fosters Wine Estates, Goosecross Cellars, Butler Shine Stern & Partners, Modern Media, Goldberg Moser O’Neill, BBDO SF, and Mullen Advertising.
Ms. DeMatei holds a B.S. in Communications from Boston University and an A.S. in Viticulture from Napa Valley College. She is a Certified Sommelier with the Court of Master Sommeliers and a Certified Specialist in Wine/Wine Education with the Society of Wine Educators. She was awarded a DMA (Direct Marketing Association) award for strategic excellence and results for her email campaign launching the first smart phone for Sprint. She currently lives in Napa with her husband and bulldogs.