Be an insider!
Miguel A. Torres, Spain
Born in Barcelona in 1941, Miguel A. Torres is the second son of Miguel Torres Carbó and Margarita Riera. In 1957 he began his studies at the University of Barcelona (Chemical Sciences), and in 1959 he moved on to the University of Dijon (Burgundy), where he specialised in Oenology and Viticulture. In 1962, he joined the family business, and currently serves as the President of the company. In 1967 he married Waltraud Maczassek. It was decisive that his wife was German as Waltraud Maczassek initiated and directed exports to Germany, which today is one of the most important markets. In addition to English and French, he speaks an acceptable German and has also studied Japanese and Russian for several years. He has written several books, the most recognized being “Vineyards and Wines” which was published in 1977 and which is now in its seventh revised and updated edition, available in Spanish and English. During his long career he has travelled all over the world, visiting more than 50 countries. He has 3 children, Anna, Mireia and Miguel.
Fiona Beckett, United Kingdom
Fiona Beckett is one of the world’s leading experts on food and wine pairing with her own website matchingfoodandwine.com. She writes a weekly column for The Guardian, is the restaurant critic for Decanter and a regular contributor to decanter.com and BBC Good Food magazine. She has written over 25 books including, most recently 101 Great Ways to Enjoy Cheese & Wine.
László Romsics, Hungary
Love of vines and wines has ‘infected’ him at his early childhood in his parent’s tiny vineyard of ‘oportó’ (the former name of Portugieser) in Villány. After the University of horticulture and Viticulture he went on deepening his knowledge in the Research Institute of Grapegrowing and Vinification in the department of Kőbánya. Then he joined one of Hungary’s most important wineries of sparkling wines called Törley, where he spent 21 years – first as a winemaker, later as chief winemaker then in the position of the technical manager. Besides his full time job he joined the Hungarian edition of Decanter magazine as a consultant editor in 2004 and since 2011 he has been the consultant editor and professional proof reader of VinCE Magazine. He obtained his Wine and Spirit Education Trust diploma in 2003 in London. He is a wine instructor at Central European Wine Institute and a regular contributor to several wine publications, member of the international association of winewriters called FIJEV. He is vice president of the National Wine Expert Committée.
Clovis Taittinger is the eldest child of Pierre-Emmanuel Taittinger. He grew up in Reims, then moved to Paris, where he earned his Master’s degree in history at the Sorbonne and completed business school at the EDHEC, in Lille. After seven years working in banking and consulting, and running his own company in the real estate and hotel business, Clovis joined Champagne Taittinger in September 2007. There, he represents the family’s name worldwide and is in charge of grape suppliers and grower relationships.
Kelly Mc Auiliffe, France / USA
“Becoming a sommelier was a real challenge!” Totally devoted to his craft, Kelly McAuliffe sees and does things on a grand scale: after his debut with chef Alain Ducasse, time spent in Las Vegas (as Ducasses’s wine manager and later representative of Southern Wine & Spirit, the largest distributor the USA) he returned to France with the ambition of presenting Rhone wines on the world stage. Kelly now works on his own behalf, runs course on wine, provides training and consultancy services… He accompanies importers, distributors and foreign sommeliers on visits to wine-growers. “The Côtes du Rhône are a mosaic of terroirs, extremely diverse. I stand between the producer and the consumer; my role is that of an intermediary. It’s mad when you think that someone born in the land of Coca-Cola and the Big Mac should be interpreting France’s noblest, most fascinating product!”
Demetri Walters MW, United Kingdom
Demetri Walters MW has been with Berry Bros. & Rudd for fifteen years, and has recently taken on the exciting new role of Wine Educator and Presenter. His expertise is as a wine tutor, with long experience of selling wine, running wine schools, and hosting corporate and private wine tastings and events to groups of all sizes. Demetri also operates on-trade staff training and education, and advice on wine listings and glassware. Furthermore, he leads external wine tasting events, conducts private wine tuition, provides specialist presentations at third party wine fairs and Master of Wine educational seminars, and is an international wine judge.
Demetri achieved the Master of Wine in 2013, his thesis for which brought him back to his formative interest in Cypriot wine. He really likes to champion the wines of Eastern Europe, the Eastern Mediterranean, as well as fortified wines, and evangelise about the firm’s Hellenic wine selection.
Dr José Vouillamoz, Switzerland
Dr José Vouillamoz is one of the world’s leading authority on the origin and parentage of grape varieties through DNA profiling. Swiss grape geneticist of international fame, trained with Prof Carole Meredith at the University of California at Davis (USA), he’s the co-author with the two Masters of Wine Jancis Robinson and Julia Harding of the multi-award winning book Wine Grapes (Allen Lane, 2012), the ultimate reference on all the grape varieties that are cultivated in the world. Dr Vouillamoz is also author and co-author of several scientific papers and grape books, such as the Oxford Companion to Wine and the World Atlas of Wine. Dr Vouillamoz is an independent wine educator and lecturer, as well as a member of the Académie Internationale du Vin, the Académie du Vin de Bordeaux and of the Circle of Wine Writers.
Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon, France
Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon (1966 vintage), was born and raised in Reims, Champagne. He graduated from Montpellier’s Ecole Nationale Supérieure Agronomique and Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Vigne et du Vin, after which he joined Roederer in August 1989.
After 10 years of winemaking between Champagne, California at Roederer Estate, Tasmania launching Jansz and Bordeaux developping Château de Pez, Lécaillon was appointed Chef de Caves of Louis Roederer wines in 1999. A year later, in 2000, Lécaillon was also given the responsability of the unique 240 hectares family domaine of Louis Roederer. For the first time ever in Champagne, a Chef de Caves was also managing a large house domaine: this trailblazing nomination was decisive in focusing on the quality of the grapes!
Since 2006, Lécaillon is the Executive Vice-President and Head Winemaker of Louis Roederer estates. He is also President of the Commission d’Experts, Co-President of the Commission Technique et Environnement of the Comité Champagne (CIVC) and board member of the Champagne Appellation (CRINAO). Since he joined Champagne Louis Roederer, Lécaillon has raised the bar continuously in terms of wine making and biodynamic viticulture. With experience making wine on three continents, it comes as no surprise that he supervises the production of Roederer’s affiliated brands, including Roederer Estate in California, Ramos Pinto in the Douro in Portugal, Domaines Ott in Provence, and a healthy collection of Châteaux in Bordeaux; Château de Pez, Château Haut-Beauséjour (Saint-Estèphe) and Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande in Pauillac.
David Zilber, Denmark
A native of Toronto, Ontario, David Chaim Jacob Zilber (b. 1985) is a professional chef and butcher who has worked in fine dining establishments across Canada since 2004. Photography has been one of his chief creative outlets over the past half-decade. His work – produced exclusively on 135 format film – has been featured in projects the likes of Vice, It’s Nice That, Subbacultcha and Street Carnage. He has exhibited in group and solo exhibitions in Amsterdam, Toronto, New York, Vancouver and L.A, and has photos residing in the permantent collection of Holland’s Foam Photography Museum. He currently lives and works as a Research and Development Sous Chef at Restaurant Noma in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Darrel Joseph, Austria / USA
Darrel Joseph, based in Vienna, Austria, is a wine writer and voice-over narrator specialising in the wines and wine regions of Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe. He writes for publications including Decanter and Harpers Wine & Spirit in Great Britain, and Meininger’s Wine Business International in Germany. His work has been published also in the Wine Spectator in the United States, and he has contributed to Hugh Johnson´s Pocket Wine Book, VinCE in Hungary, Vinum in Germany and Switzerland, and wine-searcher.com online. In addition to his writing, Darrel participates as a judge in international wine competitions, including the renowned Decanter World Wine Awards in London. He has also judged for numerous other competitions, such as the Asia Wine Trophy in South Korea, Concours Mondial de Bruxelles, the Berlin Wine Trophy, the Austrian Wine Challenge (AWC Vienna), and Festiwine and Vinistra in Croatia. He is a member of the tasting jury for Gault & Millau in Austria. Darrel also conducts wine tastings and masterclasses for wine clubs, wine schools, businesses and private clients throughout Europe, and he is a member of the Circle of Wine Writers in Great Britain. He is currently writing a book on The Wines of Tokaj.
Paul Demeulenaere, France
Demeulenaere is turning 30 and after beginning of a career in computer science, he decided to change plans and live for his passion: wine. He graduated in May 2016 of the School of Wine and Spirits Business (Dijon Business School, France), Master of Science Wine Business. He joined Wine Mosaic in 2014 after meeting one of the the co-founders. He really felt a huge potential on those wines made from different grapes. He is now in charge of Community management and events planning for Wine Mosaic.
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Elizabeth Gabay MW, France / United Kingdom
Elizabeth is a UK Master of Wine based in France. She has worked in the wine trade for thirty years, specialising in the wines of Provence since the 1980s and in the wines of Hungary for the past 20 years. Interests are wine history, indigenous varieties and rosé.
She works as a journalist – writing for Decanter, Drinks Business, Harpers, The Wine Merchant, VinCE, Nomacorc, WineSofa and many websites in Britain and America as well as her own website www.elizabethgabay.com; educator, teaching within the master of wine programme; speaker, presenting wines at tradeshows and contributing at conferences; and is an international judge.
She is currently working on a book on rosés from around the world, publication due end 2017 with Infinite Ideas http://www.infideas.com/classic-wine-library/.
Sylvain Martinand, France
Birthplace of the AOC Crémant de Bourgogne, Bailly Lapierre creates Crémants from superb noble grapes, hand-harvested then vinified and patiently matured. The secret of this undeniable success also stems from the unique skills of their exacting winemaker, inheritor of an ancestral know-how since 1972. The 2008 vintage launched a new episode in the drive to assert the style of Bailly Lapierre sparkling wines with the arrival of Sylvain Martinand, who puts all his energy into following the most precised traditional winemaking possible.
From his early childhood, Sylvain Martinand grew surrounded of wine and gastronomy lovers. He entered the prestigious Burgundian school of Dijon, where he obtained his National Diploma in Oenology in 2004. After experiencing in Châteauneuf-du-Pape famous estate as well as in a range of reputed world vineyards in California, Australia and Italy, Sylvain took over the reins at Bailly Lapierre. His rich and eclectic career, coupled with an inquisitive, demanding nature and reinforced with a quest for progress contribute to the success of the unique signature of Bailly Lapierre sparkling wines and participate in the development of their international reputation.
Liam Steevenson MW, United Kingdom
Liam Steevenson became a Master of Wine when he was only 27 years of age, winning the Waitrose scholarship and Villa Maria Viticultural prize along the way, revealing not only his upbringing in the industry but also his dedication to the subject. He is one of the world’s leading wine consultants and was recognized by the IWSC (International Wine & Spirit Competition) in 2016 as one of the ‘Top Four Highest Achievers in the Global Wine Industry’. Having run his own company, exercising his entrepreneurial ability and flair, and worked within the constraints of a large corporate company (Waitrose / Bibendum), Liam has a deeply instilled and balanced understanding of commercial needs and business success.
Created in 2005, RED&WHITE WHOLESALE was short listed for the O2 Small Business of the Year Awards 2009, and voted the IWC, Regional Wine Merchant 2011. Originally an on-trade supplier of quality wines to many of the South West’s leading Hotels & Restaurants, it diversified to open two successful retail outlets and a WSET approved Wine School in Bristol. It was the chosen supplier for the Business Class Airline SILVERJET.
Gergely Somogyi, Hungary
Based in the heart of Hungary’s most famed wine region, Gergely Somogyi is a ‘Tokaj allrounder’, having been involved in multiple Tokaj-related projects since 2011. In writing and editing Tokaj Today, his independent news and information website, he keeps his finger on the pulse of regional trends and developments. He also organises and hosts small-group private wine trips (including press and trade) to the region, and frequently acts as an English-speaking expert and guide for journalists who visit Tokaj with a view to writing wine and travel articles for international media such as Decanter, Vinum and JancisRobinson.com.
An experienced taster of all Tokaji styles, he is a freelance winery tour guide as well, with contracts with multiple local wineries, and a wine educator, giving tutorials and conducting themed tastings both in Hungary and abroad. Gergely is often consulted on Tokaj-related topics and does fact-checking on articles, reports and presentation in English about Tokaj.
Gergely has worked as a mentor, on behalf of ICOMOS Hungary, for the Tokaj World Heritage Site Management Organisation in a UNESCO periodic reporting process. He is former admin officer of the Confrérie de Tokaj and current admin officer of Vindependent, the Hungarian Association of Independent Winegrowers. He also works as a municipal development consultant to one of the towns/villages that comprise the Tokaj region. Gergely holds a BA in International Relations, as well as being a qualified tour operator and a certified interpreter in Hungarian.
Linkedin profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/gregsomogyi/