Sponsor Speakers

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.



Speaker Bio’s

Drew Horton


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.


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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









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









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


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Tom Payette From Construction, to cork to consumer.  With 30 years+ of experience , it is Toms (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.com/



Piero Spada


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