For our series of webinars we've brought together a stellar array of business and industry experts alongside wine industry peers to share their knowledge, practical advice and experience.
Robin Adams is a business owner who is passionate about helping businesses build effective marketing systems that work and don't waste money. Having a lifetime of Marketing experience (he's got a degree in Marketing before there were degrees in Marketing!) and having worked for big and small businesses and both client and agency side, he understands not only the theory, but the systems that are required to underpin everything.
51% marketer and 49% Geek, Robin is the main man behind chimpanswers.com and the Mailchimp Answers Facebook Group - the world's biggest Mailchimp User Group.
Joana is WineGB’s Digital Media Officer, who joined us in September last year. In the last six months her efforts have resulted in WineGB securing a stronger online presence across all three social media channels – Instagram, Twitter and Facebook and a month on month growth in followers and engagement. During these current challenging times, our social media channels have becoming increasingly important as a key delivery area for many of our marketing activities. Joana is currently leading the #EnglishWineNight and #WelshWineNight events which have been gaining increasing activity each week. With her background in and understanding of luxury brand marketing and social media, Joana compiled the papers ‘The importance of Social Media’ and ‘Improve Your Social Media Output’ with hints and tips on social media usage, available in the marketing toolkit in the members’ area of the WineGB website.
Dr Akshay Baboo
An internationally renowned oenologist, Dr Baboo has a National Œnology Diploma (DNO) and an MSc, from the École Nationale Supérieure Agronomique de Montpellier (Montpellier SupAgro), France and a doctorate in Viticulture and Oenology from the University of Turin, Italy. Dr Baboo's thesis was focused on the impact of rootstocks on wine chemistry.
After having spent a decade in the industry, during which Dr Baboo made wine around the world with some of the largest and well-known wineries, he decided to follow his passion in research and joined Plumpton College. His current research is focused on wine chemistry and ageing
Andrew has been working in the wine industry for over 35 years and has experience in all sectors of the UK market. Andrew’s trade experience includes roles in sales and marketing with Deinhard, Fields Wine Merchants, Berkmann Wine Cellar and Commercial Director at Liberty Wines. He took the helm at Hallgarten in 2010 as Managing Director since when he has overhauled and professionalised the once staid and somewhat old-fashioned business; restructuring every department, investing significantly in people and systems, broadening and focusing their notable wine portfolio. Hallgarten & Novum Wines is now one of the UK’s leading specialist wine distributors with a portfolio of 1,000+ wines, including six English producers (16 wines), a sales team of over 40 people serving over 2000 customers nationwide (70% on trade).
Mark is an Analytical Chemist and has been Laboratory Manager for FAST LLP (horticultural consultancy and WineGB Patron) for 20 years. Mark previously managed laboratories for ICI Agrochemicals and in the food production sector. He is a Chartered Scientist, Chartered Chemist, and Member of the Royal Society of Chemistry, the UK’s professional and learned society for Chemical Scientists, and he is actively involved at a local level as a member of the Agricultural Interest Group. Mark is a Hort. FACTS Qualified Advisor. His day to day job involves the mineral nutrient analysis of soils and plant materials such as leaves, fruit, and petiole sap mainly – but not exclusively – within horticulture.
I am a horticultural agronomist working across the South-east and East Anglia, focussing primarily on Viticulture, top and stone fruit.
Studied agriculture at University of Nottingham, specialising in plant pathology and fungicides before going to work in research at NIAB and at East Malling Research. Whilst at East Malling Research my work focussed primarily on SWD control and the development of new lures and bio controls.
Agricultural Collage trained Independent Viticultural Agronomist.
Farm and Estates Manager for 18 years, then joined Landowner Liquid Fertilizers for 4 years. I then joined USA based Stoller Chemicals specialising in Plant Nutrition for 6 years, following on then join German based Stefus Plant Protection to build up their Plant Nutrition Sector in the UK for 4 years.
I then formed John Buchan Agronomy Company in 2002 as an Independent Viticultural Agronomist supplying a full range of consultancy services from initial site selection to the creation of full ICM programs, with supply of site specific formulated products for both conventional and organic vineyards.
David started his winemaking in England in the 1980s, after completing a Masters’ degree in Oenology and Viticulture from Australia, and has made wine in 14 countries, 30 regions and worked in more wineries than he can remember! He is one of the second generation of UK wine producers, having been born at Rock Lodge vineyard, Sussex, planted by his father in the 1960s. He was winemaker at Chapel Down until late 1999, winning many trophies. From 2000 he worked as a winemaking consultant in Argentina, Chile, France, Romania and the UK. He also produced wine from his own vineyard in France until 2010. He has a wealth of experience in production, equipment and quality control. David was the WineSkills still wine mentor for the UK industry from 2010 – 2014.
Dr Glen Creasy
Dr Glen Creasy earned his Plant Science degree at Cornell University, which then segued into a Masters and PhD in viticulture at Oregon State University, followed by two years as a post-doc with the NSW Department of Agriculture in Australia. He took a position at Lincoln University in New Zealand in 1998, where he lectured and did research before moving to southern France in early 2018. Glen has penned many industry articles and book chapters, contributed entries in the Oxford Companion to Wine and with his Dad, Leroy, co-authored the book ‘Grapes’, the second edition of which has just been published. Glen established and managed a small commercial vineyard for sparkling wine production in New Zealand, but is seguing into larger scale production in France with the purchase of a vineyard/winery.
Dr Greg Dunn
Dr Gregory Dunn is the head of the wine division at Plumpton College, the only facility in the UK that trains oenologists and viticulturists at undergraduate and postgraduate level. Greg completed his PhD in the Botany Department at Melbourne University in the 1990s, after which he undertook research in forest hydrology and native forest silviculture. For the last two decades Greg has acted in a range of positions in research, education and training in the Australian wine industry, including some key research into yield forecasting. Greg is currently deputy editor for the Australian Journal of Grape and Wine Research.
Building on a career in management consultancy, specialising in CRM, tourism technology and eCommerce (where rescuing failing large scale projects became a niche) Elisabeth first became involved with local wines through visiting vineyards as relaxing hobby between stressful assignments. Finding it hard to establish which vineyards were open to visitors at all, let alone what to expect when she got there, she built the first version of Wine Cellar Door. Over the following years, this has been rebuilt and enhanced to become the website and app of choice for occasional vineyard visitors, those who hunt down vineyards wherever they go, as well as people in the industry. Elisabeth has more recently been bringing business services to producers, such as photography, training in online selling, consultancy support and even building websites; these are offered under a new brand the3bottles.
Matt Hodgson is Co-Founder of Grape Britannia, the premier English & Welsh independent wine merchant. With the widest range of English & Welsh wines available anywhere - over 180 from more than 40 vineyards - Grape Britannia has been instrumental in introducing customers across the country, through its ecommerce business, to an unparallelled selection of English & Welsh wines. Matt is an evangelical advocate for the industry, having switched from a career in finance (including a period at the world's largest alcoholic beverages company, Diageo) to establish Grape Britannia. He has recently obtained the WSET Diploma qualification.
Justin Howard-Sneyd MW
Justin is a London-based Master of Wine. He founded The Hive Wine Consulting in 2013, and consults to a number of businesses around the world, mostly on buying and commercial performance. Justin has a particular expertise in Direct-to-consumer selling and marketing, and he heads up the Global Advisory Panel for the Global Wine Database.
Justin also acts as Wine Consultant to the Masala World Group whose restaurants include Chutney Mary, Veeraswamy and Amaya, sits on the Council of the Institute of Masters of Wine, and heads up the Membership Committee. He is also a Director of The BIB Wine Company Ltd.
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 five years in charge of the wine department at Waitrose, the UK’s most successful premium supermarket.
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. In 2015 he also launched his own, gold medal winning English sparkling wine – Hart of Gold (www.hart-of-gold.co.uk).
Rebecca Hull MW
Becky is Partner & Buyer for rosé, sparkling wine and Champagne, including English and Welsh sparkling wine.
Becky joined Waitrose & Partners in 2005, prior to which she worked at Sainsburys, in wine marketing and then wine buying. Becky achieved the rare double of the Vintners Cup for the highest mark of the year in the WSET Diploma and the Tim Derouet Award for exceptional performance in the Master of Wine exams.
Since growing up on his father's wine estate and distillery in the Cape Winelands of South Africa, Viticulture has been a life-long passion of Joel’s. He went on to complete a BSc in Viticulture and Pomology at Stellenbosch University. Being the Operations Manager at Vine-Works over the last 6 years has given him the privilege of working with a vast range of people from fledgling vineyard owners to industry leading viticulturists. Joel is dedicated to maintaining excellent customer relationships, scheduling labour and tractor operations to ensure every vineyard’s needs are met. He organises the optimum amount of staff for each task, liaises with the customer to determine individual specifications and arranges all resources and logistics. Joel oversees the team of experienced Vineyard Supervisors, Technical Scouts and Vineyard Managers.
Ben Kantsler is the Viticulturist for Nyetimber. Nyetimber’s sole aim is to make the best sparkling wine possible from its eleven estate owned vineyards which can be found along the south of England, from Canterbury to Winchester. Ben has nearly 20 years’ experience growing grapes in both Northern and Southern Hemispheres having managed vineyards in Australia, France and England.
Dr Andrew Landers
Faculty Fellow, Cornell University, USA. Author of Effective Vineyard Spraying: A practical Guide for Growers
Sam Lindo - Winemaker, Camel Valley
Sam is second generation winemaker at Camel Valley in Cornwall, established by his parents, Bob and Annie Lindo in the 1980s.
Sam Lindo, a maths graduate who had seemed destined for a career in the city, instead decided to make his life in Cornwall and returned to the family farm, where he had grown up, in 2002. Sam worked at a top winery in New Zealand in 2006 bringing back a lot of what he learned there, for example the importance of cool temperatures for fermentation. He has won 'UK Winemaker of the Year Award’ three times in our own national competition, as well as numerous trophies and medals for the wines over the years both here and overseas. This includes coming second in the World Sparkling Wine Championships to Bollinger in Italy in 2009, and winning 'Best International Traditional Method Sparkling Wine' in 2010 in Verona, ahead of Bollinger and Roederer. In 2017 he was runner up for the IWC sparkling winemaker of the year, the first an English sparkling winemaker had been shortlisted for this prestigious Award.
Sue has more than 30 years’ experience as a journalist, social media specialist and trainer. For over 15 years she was a reporter and producer in the BBC TV newsroom and worked on a huge range of stories with fantastic people. When Twitter first appeared in 2006 it struck her as a great opportunity. This ‘new-fangled social media thing’ looked like it could be the future of news and communications so she took a giant leap of faith and left the BBC to set herself up as a social media consultant and trainer – and never looked back.
Over the last 12 years sue has trained well over 6000 people in organisations the world over. Including the BBC, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Financial Times, Football Association and the Wellcome Trust and a huge range of other businesses of all shapes and sizes including food and drink start-ups. Sue also speaks at conferences around the world on how journalists can best use social media, the psychology of social media and on empowering others to communicate more effectively online and in person. And right now, Sue is helping people communicate virtually too.
Rupert is Managing Director of Taurus Wines, based near Guildford, Surrey. He has spent over 20 years in the UK wine trade. He has gained practical experience of winemaking both in the Southern Rhône (Gigondas) for Gabriel Meffre where he earned the 'Certificate de Vinificateur' and in Western Australia (Margaret River) where he worked a vintage for Capel Vale. He holds the WSET Diploma and the professional certificate in spirits. Rupert has judged for both the International Wine Challenge and the Decanter Magazine Wine Awards. For three consecutive years he has been named by the Observer Magazine as one of the 50 "Rising Stars of the Drinks Industry".
Head Winemaker at Hattingley Valley in the UK, Emma’s role is varied, including overseeing the development of our own and partner vineyards, making the highest quality sparkling wine for us and our numerous contract winemaking clients. As a director of Hattingley she is involved in all major decisions for the running of the business. Alongside being awarded the UK Winemaker of the Year in 2014 and 2016, Emma has won numerous international trophies and medals for both our wines and those of our clients. Wines coming out of the Hattingley stable have won more Gold Medals than any other winery in the UK over the last 6 years.
Before retraining as a winemaker, at Plumpton College, Emma held varied roles in the London wine trade – she was Editor of Hugh Johnson’s Pocket Wine Book 2002-2004 and worked for a specialist Burgundy importer. In 2012 she co-authored The UK Winegrowers’ Handbook with Dr Belinda Kemp; she is the Chair of the Wines of Great Britain Winemaking Committee and sits on the Management Advisory Committee for WineGB.
Emily Silva works as the Head of Marketing and Retail at award-winning Independent Merchant The Oxford Wine Company. She is also a stage one MW student. Emily’s role at OWC involves a bit of everything: buying, staff training, digital marketing, serving customers in the shops and running tasting events.
Dr Patty Skinkis
Professor and Viticulture Extension Specialist, Oregon State University
Dr. Skinkis conducts applied research and provides outreach and education programs for the Oregon winegrape industry. Her research program focuses on applied viticulture and whole plant physiology studies designed to understand causes and management of vine vigor/vine balance and impacts on fruit composition and wine quality. Her research also includes work on yield (from bud fruitfulness to crop thinning and vine balance), fine-tuning canopy management methods, sustainable viticulture production, and understanding factors that drive industry production decision-making. As Extension Specialist, Patty develops educational programs and informational publications for the industry statewide. Her outreach efforts include bringing industry members together in technical groups to foster information exchange between university and industry. She also teaches undergraduate and graduate level viticulture courses at Oregon State University. Her efforts expand beyond Oregon, as she is involved in national Viticulture Extension Working Group, serves as Vice President of the American Society for Enology and Viticulture (soon to become President in July 2020), a member of the National Clean Plant Network – Grapes advisory board, and is an associated editor or the American Journal of Enology and Viticulture and Catalyst Journal.
Caroline Stevens - Sales & Marketing Manager, Danebury Vineyards
Caroline has spent her career in nearly every facet of the wine trade. Her extensive sales and marketing skills were honed working for a top independent wine merchant/wholesaler/agency, A H Rackham Ltd, a renowned international wine tour company Arblaster & Clarke, wine retail and running her own wine import company. She recently renewed her WSET Level 3.
Caroline entered the exciting and challenging world of English wine sales just as English wine was beginning to be recognised on the international wine stage, taking the Danebury brand from zero to hero. Danebury Vineyards, near Stockbridge, Hampshire is a seven-acre vineyard estate established in 1998, producing still and sparkling white wine, supplying the on and off trade.
Her achievements were rewarded last year when she was voted Test Valley Business Woman of the Year. She has an active role in the Vineyards of Hampshire marketing group, works with Solent University on their Marketing Masters intern initiative and sits on the WineGB Marketing committee.
Matt Strugnell - Ridgeview Wine Estate
Matt Strugnell is the Vineyard Manager at Ridgeview Wine Estate in Sussex. After working on vineyards in Australia he studied at Plumpton and graduated in 2002 when he joined Ridgeview.
Simon Thorpe MW
Simon has more than 30 years’ experience in the U.K. and international wine trade, working across multi channels and from producer to retail. He spent his first decade or so working in retail buying at the department store Fortnum and Mason, before an 8 year tenure as Senior Buyer at Waitrose. He then moved onto the supply and brand side with roles at Western Wines and Constellation Europe, before 9 years as Managing Director of the UK office of Negociants, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Yalumba Wine Company. Simon has extensive experience of brand development, commercial strategy and route to market across both off and on trade and from mainstream to luxury brands.
Alex Valsecchi - Vineyard Manager at Albury Organic Vineyard
Along with running her own business Alex manages the vineyard at Albury and is a member of the RHS Fruit Veg and Herbs Committee.
After vines her main worries are her doggies....