Guest Speakers

Guest Speakers

As the programme develops, we will update this page with news of the latest confirmed speakers for the Symposium.

Jancis Robinson MW OBEPicture of Jancis Robinson

We are delighted to announce that Jancis Robinson MW OBE has kindly agreed to open the meeting. Described by Decanter magazine as ‘the most respected wine critic and journalist in the world’, Jancis Robinson writes daily for the award-winning, weekly for The Financial Times, and bi-monthly for a column that is syndicated around the world. She is also editor of The Oxford Companion to Wine, co-author with Hugh Johnson of The World Atlas of Wine and co-author of Wine Grapes, each of these books recognised as a standard reference worldwide. In 1984 she was the first person outside the wine trade to pass the rigorous Master of Wine exams and in 2003 she was awarded an OBE by Her Majesty the Queen, on whose cellar she now advises.


Thursday 26 May – Facing a challenging climate

Professor Dr Hans SchultzHans-Schultz-lr

Professor Schultz is the president of Geisenheim University, Germany, and will also be co hosting Emerging Cool Climate Wine Regions.


Professor Gregory JonesGreg Jones HR

Professor Jones, from the Department of Environmental Studies, is a director in the division of Business, Communication and the Environment at Southern Oregon University, USA, will be hosting co hosting Emerging Cool Climate Wine Regions.


Professor Cornelis van LeeuwenKees Canada bis

Renowned terroir expert, Professor van Leeuwen specialises in the climate’s effect on the expression of terroir, in particular the aromatic potential of grapes. Based at Bordeaux Sciences Agro, France, he will address Managing Climate-Based Variability in the Vineyard, Winery and Glass.

Dr Mark SosnowskiMark Sosnowski

Internationally renowned plant pathologist Dr Mark Sosnowski, Science Leader in Sustainable Systems, Plant Health and Biosecurity at South Australia Research and Development Institute (SARDI), will address Emerging Vineyard Diseases, including grapevine trunk diseases.

Professor Dr Reinhardt TöpferPassfoto neu 2011

Professor Töpfer is chief editor of “VITIS” Journal of Grapevine Research, associate editor for Theoretical and Applied Genetics and also for Horticulture Research. Since 1995 he has held the position of Head of the Institute of Grapevine Breeding in Germany, and will lead the session on New Varieties for Cool Climate Regions.

Dr Pat BowenPat Bowen

A research scientist at Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada’s Pacific Agri-Food Research Centre in Summerland, British Columbia, Dr Bowen leads a program in winegrape eco-physiology. She will be addressing the issue of Protected or Semi-protected Viticulture, discussing viticulture that incorporates protection from inclement weather to enhance ripening and yield and prevent injury from frost and winter cold.

Essi Avellan MWEssi Avellan MW

Editor of FINE Champagne magazine and the revised, extended third edition of Tom Stevenson’s Christie’s World Encyclopedia of Champagne and Sparkling Wine, Essi Avellan MW will lead a tasting and presentation on English Sparkling Wine.

Richard Halstead

Richard web (5)

Richard is an experienced wine industry researcher, consultant, conference speaker and business educator, and has worked on a number of sparkling wine projects around the world over the past decade. The Chief Operating Officer of leading wine research company Wine Intelligence, Halstead will be addressing the issue of Emerging Wine Markets and New Consumers. Prior to co-founding Wine Intelligence, he was a business journalist, and then was part of the team that founded Virgin Wines.

Professor James Kennedy

JamesKennedy Professor Kennedy is most widely recognized for his research on improving our understanding of grape and wine phenolic chemistry. He is Chair of the Department of Viticulture and Enology at California State University and also Director of the Viticulture and Enology Research Centre. He will address the issue of Managing Phenolics in Winemaking.

Dr Damien Wilson

1406_Portrait_ESC_Portraits6Dr. Wilson is the Hamel Family Chair of Wine Business Education, with the Wine Spectator Business Institute at Sonoma State University, in California. He has 20 years of professional experience in the wine sector. After completing four degrees in wine business under the tutelage of Prof. Larry Lockshin, then 8 years plying the academic profession as a researcher in France, an extensive list of trade, consumer and academic publications on wine business have emerged on wine consumers, tourism and technology. Dr Wilson’s recent book chapter in French and English; ‘Conducting e-business in the wine sector’ precedes his symposium theme of New technological trends that impact the marketing of wine.


Friday 27 May – Optimising Fruit and Wine Quality

Oz Clarke0428

Known throughout the world for his phenomenal palate, irreverent style, accurate predictions and enthusiasm for life in general and wine in particular, Oz Clarke is Britain’s most popular wine writer. He is the author of a collection of bestselling wine books – and his BBC television and radio broadcasts keep audiences spellbound and entertained. Oz will address the theme of English still wines.

Dr Mike Trought Mike Trought

One of New Zealand’s pioneering viticulturalists, Dr Trought of the Marlborough Research Centre, will lead the session on Achieving Vine Balance.

Dr Tony Proffitt

Tony ProffittA consultant viticulturist in the Margaret River region of Western Australia, Dr Proffitt works at AHA Viticulture and also teaches viticulture to students enrolled at Curtin University. He is keen to promote innovation and will be addressing New Technologies for Optimising Fruit Quality and Vineyard Management.


Paul Henschke photoDr Paul Henschke

The session on New Research and Application in Wine Microbiology will be covered by Dr Henschke of the Australian Wine Research Institute.


Dr Monika Christmann

Prof. Christmann is head of the Institute for Oenology at Geisenheim University where she lectures on the Technology of Winemaking, and manages the research in Oenology. She currently serves as President of the OIV. In her presentation she will focus on the topic Optimizing Cool Climate Wine Styles.

Dr Michela Centinari

michela centinari

Dr. Michela Centinari is currently an Assistant Professor of Viticulture at the Pennsylvania State University, USA. She studied and conducted research at the University of Bologna, Italy as well as Cornell University, USA where she concentrated on the effect of root – zone management practices on above and below-ground vine growth and physiology. She will address the issue of Vineyard Soils.

Professor Randolf Kauer

Previously Professor for botany and ecology at the University of applied sciences, Geisenheim, Professor Kauer is currently a professor fororganic viticulture at Geisenheim University in Germany, where he has been since 2003. Dr Kauer will address Vineyard Soils.

Justin Howard-Sneyd MWJustin2 copy

Global wine consultant to Direct Wines, Justin Howard-Sneyd is also the owner of Domaine of the Bee. He will offer insights on Placing Cool-Climate Wines on the Market.

Willi Klinger

Willi Klinger is the Managing Director of the Austrian Wine Marketing Board. He is also lecturer at the University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences, Vienna, the University of Salzburg, the Austrian Wine Academy and the Institute of Masters of Wine (London). He will be speaking on Managing growth in emerging cool-climate areas

Professor Vittorio Rossi

Screen Shot 2014-08-14 at 09.15.38Dr Rossi is the founder of Horta srl which developed and delivers to growers the decision support system for sustainable vineyard management. He is a member of the Epidemiology Subject Matter Committee of the International Society for Plant Pathology. An associate professor with the Faculty of Science at the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Italy, Dr Rossi will address the subject of Developments in Vineyard Pest and Disease Management.

Ian Harris

Ian Harris 2014sIan Harris has had a lifelong career in the wine and spirit industry since leaving London University with aFrench degree in 1977. In 2002 Ian joined the Wine & Spirit Education Trust as Chief Executive, where he has overseen its growth into the biggest global organisation of its kind. Ian will address the theme of Wine Education and Training

Dr Wayne Wilcox

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWayne Wilcox leads the grape pathology program at Cornell University, located in the Finger Lakes region of New York, USA. His programmatic focus is on the biology and practical, integrated management of the major fungal diseases that afflict this crop in cool, humid growing regions. He devotes considerable time to outreach activities and has spoken to grape industry and student groups throughout North America in addition to Chile, Argentina, Peru, Brazil, Australia, China, India, and England. Dr Wilcox will speak on Combatting Botrytis.


Saturday 28 May – Cool Climate Wine Styles

Professor Charles Spencecharles 7

Professor Spence is a leading experimental psychologist and an expert in the field of multisensory perception and neuroscience-inspired design. He directs the Crossmodal Research Laboratory at Oxford University’s Department of Experimental Psychology, and has been awarded a number of national and international prizes for his research. Professor Spence will give the address on Wine Sensory Evaluation.

Dr Natalia Velikova

Dr. Natalia Velikova holds a joint appointment between the Texas Wine Marketing Research Photo VelikovaInstitute where she serves as the Associate Director, and the Department of Hospitality & Retail Management at Texas Tech University, where she works as the Associate Professor and teaches wine business courses. Dr. Velikova conducts research in the area of wine tourism, wine marketing, and wine consumer behavior. Her research has been published in various academic journals and trade publications. Natalia’s expertise is also valued by the wine and grape growers industry. She has been invited to deliver numerous presentations of her research at industry conferences worldwide. Natalia received several grants, including US federal funding, to conduct research to assist with the development of the US wine industry. She will
give the address on Oenotourism

Professor Steve Charters MWSteve Charters MW

Steve Charters is Director of Research in the School of Wine and Spirits Business, ESC Dijon/Burgundy School of Business in Dijon, France. He was previously Professor of Champagne Management at Reims Management School and before that taught in Perth, Australia. Professor Charters MW, Dijon Management School will speak on Marketing New Products.

Professor Dr Huiqin Ma

Professor Ma HuiqinOne of China’s leading wine researchers, Professor Dr Huiqin Ma will address, Wine Production in Challenging Climates. Having trained at Stellenbosch University, Professor Ma is at the College of Agriculture and Biotechnology, University of Beijing.

Professor Kym Anderson

Hi-Res_Anderson-15Professor of Economics at the University of Adelaide and the Australian National University, Kym also is Chair of the Board of the International Food Policy Research Institute. He’s published more than 300 articles and 30 books, most recently the 2014 OIV prize-winning Which Winegrape Varieties are Grown Where? A Global Empirical Picture and, in March 2015, Growth and Cycles in Australia’s Wine Industry, 1843 to 2013. His main research is on global food security and trade but, after hours, he continues to do research on wine industry globalisation. Professor Anderson will address The Economics of Wine Production.

Dr Jamie Goode

Jamie Goode

The award-winning wine-writer and scientist, Dr Jamie Goode will officially close the proceedings. Based in London, Dr Goode is an established wine judge and the wine columnist for UK national newspaper The Sunday Express. He contributes regularly to a range of publications, including The World of Fine Wine, Wine Business International, Wines and Vines, Sommelier Journal, Drinks Business and Imbibe. Awards include the 2007 Glenfiddich Wine Writer of the year award, the 2012 Winner IWSC Wine Blog of the Year for, and the Glenfiddich Award for Drinks Book for Wine Science in 2006.


Register your interest to be kept informed as future speakers are announced.