KAREL MAYRAND

DIRECTOR GENERAL OF THE DAVID SUZUKI FOUNDATION, QUEBEC AND ATLANTIC CANADA

Karel Mayrand is Director for Quebec and the Atlantic at the David Suzuki Foundation and chair of Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project in Canada. He is vice-president of the board of Parc Jean-Drapeau and Co-Chair of Switch, The Green Economy Alliance. Karel is co-author of Demain, le Québec (Éditions La Presse, 2018), author of Une Voix pour la Terre (Boréal, 2012), co-author of Ne renonçons à rien (Lux, 2017) with the Faut qu’on se parle collective, and initiator and co-author of the Manifesto for a Global Movement (2015) which was signed by 42 000 people.
Before joining the Foundation, Karel advised several UN agencies as well as Quebec’s former Premier, Pierre Marc Johnson, on globalization and sustainability issues, for over a decade. He co-authored Governing Global Desertification (London, Ashgate Aldershot, 2006). He was co-founder in 2002 of Unisféra International Centre, a sustainability think-tank, where he created Planetair, a leading Canadian provider of carbon offsets and climate solutions. He is an Action Canada fellow (2005) and was finalist in 2008 for the Arista Prize as Social entrepreneur of the year in Quebec.

MIGUEL A. TORRES

PRESIDENT OF FAMILIA TORRES

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. In 1996, he was honoured by the Chilean government with the Grand Official of the Order of Bernardo O’Higgins, in recognition of his services to improve the relations between Spain and Chile, as well as for his contribution to the wine sector development of this south American country. In 2012 Miguel A. Torres received the Order of the Lion of Finland, the highest decoration the Finnish government can grant to a foreigner.
His concern for climate change and ecology has been recognized internationally and also the magazine Time dedicated an extensive article to him in August 2011. In May 2013 Miguel A. Torres received the Golden Plaque of the Civil Order of the Agricultural, Fishing and Food Merit (Placa de Oro de la Orden Civil del Mérito Agrario, Pesquero y Alimentario), awarded by the Council of Ministers of Spain. During his long career he has travelled all over the world, visiting more than 50 countries. He has 3 children, Anna, Mireia and Miguel.

JOSÉ VOUILLAMOZ

GENETICIST EXPERT IN GRAPE VARIETY, AUTHOR AND CO-AUTHOR, PROFESSOR AND DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF DIVO

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. In 2017, he published the reference book Cépages Suisses - Histoires et Origines that was a huge national success. 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 expert, wine writer, wine educator and lecturer, as well as a member of the Académie Internationale du Vin, the Académie du Vin de Bordeaux (only Swiss member), the Mémoire des Vins Suisses and the Circle of Wine Writers. Since 2019, he is the deputy director of DIVO, the most important and ancient wine club in Switzerland.

ALLISON JORDAN

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE CALIFORNIA SUSTAINABLE WINEGROWING ALLIANCE AND VICE PRESIDENT ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS FOR THE WINE INSTITUTE

Allison Jordan is Executive Director of the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance and Vice President, Environmental Affairs for Wine Institute, where she is responsible for oversight of the California Sustainable Winegrowing Program and Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing (CERTIFIED SUSTAINABLE). Jordan represents Wine Institute on the National Grape Research Alliance board of directors and the California Environmental Dialogue Plenary.
Previously, she was a Senior Associate at SureHarvest and Vice President and Acting Executive Director of Resource Renewal Institute. Jordan holds a Master of Public Policy from the Goldman School at UC Berkeley and a Psychology B.A. from Allegheny College, and is a fellow in the German Marshall Fund's American Marshall Memorial Fellowship program. Jordan and her husband are founding partners of Giordano Bros., a San Francisco restaurant group.

JÉRÉMY CUKIERMAN, MW

FOUNDER OF DES METS DES VINS, JOURNALIST, CONSULTANT AND DIRECTOR OF THE KEDGE WINE & SPIRITS ACADEMY

After working briefly in the advertising sector, his passion for wine and gastronomy quickly got the upper hand. Founder of Des Mets des Vins, Jérémy Cukierman has been established as a wine merchant in Paris for fifteen years. He also works as consultant for individuals and companies, among which a Japanese airline, which he advises with their wine selection. He also leads tastings and gives conferences in France and abroad. Since July 2018, Jérémy Cukierman is director of the Kedge Wine & Spirits Academy, the wine and spirits department of the Kedge Business School. Jérémy Cukierman also write for various French and international publications, among which the Vigneron Magazine since 2013. He is Master of Wine since March 2017 and award winner of the Madame Bollinger Prize which recognizes the best tasting performance at the exam of the Masters of Wine Institute.

PASCALINE LEPELTIER, MS

SOMMELIER

Pascaline Lepeltier began her obsession with wine at the two star Michelin-rated L’Auberge Bretonne under celebrated Chef Jacques Thorel. While working as Beverage Director at Rouge Tomate in Brussels, she interned at the George V in Paris under the direction of Eric Beaumard to train for the Best French Sommelier competition. She placed as the second-runner-up in 2008, 2010 and 2012. She was promoted to the position of Beverage Director for the Rouge Tomate flagship in New York in 2009. Within months, she was acclaimed by Wine & Spirits, Time Out NY, Wine Enthusiast and Food & Wine. The NY Times awarded her Rouge Tomate wine list as one of the best in NYC in 2013. In May of 2014, Lepeltier completed the Master Sommelier examination.
She created in 2016 with winemaker Nathan Kendall, “chëpìka”, a wine project to rediscover the potential of organically-grown native grapes and sparkling wines in the Finger Lakes. In 2018, she joined Arnaud Tronche and David Lillie as an operating partner in Racines NYC with acclaimed chef Diego Moya. She overlooks with Mr Tronche a 2500+ wine list focusing on “vins de vignerons”, mostly organic, biodynamic and natural.
In 2018, Pascaline was the first woman to ever be awarded laureate of “Un des Meilleurs Ouvriers de France – Classe Sommellerie”. She was also the first woman to win the title of “Best French Sommelier”. In 2019, she was once again the first woman to be named “Personality of the Year” by La Revue du Vin de France. She has written for various wine guides and books and was featured in numerous food and wine publications (NY Times, Wall Street Journal, Wine Spectator, Decanter, Wine & Spirits, Food & Wine, Saveur, The World of Fine Wine, La Revue des Vins de France). She instructs with the Court of Master Sommeliers, at the International Culinary Center, with the Wine Scholar Guild and the Wine Education Council.

JEAN-BENOIT DESLAURIERS

HEAD WINEMAKER OF BENJAMIN BRIDGE

In 2008, Jean-Benoit joined the Benjamin Bridge winemaking team in time to release his first Canadian wine, Nova 7 by Benjamin Bridge. Since then he has crafted all of the winery’s classic method sparkling wines and its still wines, in consultation with Peter Gamble, the winery’s lead consultant, and the late Raphaël Brisbois, its sparkling wine specialist and former chef de cave of Piper-Heidseick.
Originally from Québec, Jean-Benoit began his winemaking apprenticeship at VOE (Vinedos Organicos Emiliana), a biodynamic vineyard/winery in Chile’s Colchagua Valley, which was created by one of Chile’s largest producers, Vina Santa Emilina, to produce exceptional wines. Having mostly worked in California, he made wine at Casa Barranca (2004-2008), the first certified organic winery in Santa Barbara County. In California, his winemaking efforts garnered accolades and standout reviews from Robert Parker and Steven Tanzer (90+). Since 2008, Jean-Benoit’s winemaking has elevated Benjamin Bridge’s wine programs to new heights with consistent 90-95+ scores and unanimous high praise from the nation’s leading wine critics along with growing international recognition.

FRANCISCO DIEZ

VITICULTURE SPECIALIST AT PERENNIA AGRICULTURE AND FOOD

Originally from Chile, Francisco joined Perennia in December 2016 and is excited to be in Nova Scotia and provide support, leadership and direction to grape growers, wine producers and the Nova Scotia Wine Development Board to accelerate the sector’s development.
Francisco has extensive experience studying and working as a specialist in various high-quality wine-growing regions in Australia, Chile, Spain, France and most recently in California. These experiences have given him the ability to produce wines which express the characteristics of the terroir and meet the quality standards of the marketplace. Based on his knowledge and experience in viticulture and winemaking, Francisco can provide growers guidance on all aspects of vineyard management. Francisco has a B.Sc. in Agriculture Engineering from Universidad de Conception (Chile) and a MSc. in Enology and Viticulture from Montpellier SupAgro (France), Bordeaux ScienceAgro (France) and Universidad Politecnica de Madrid (Spain).

GRÉGORY VIENNOIS

HEAD WINEMAKER OF DOMAINE LAROCHE

Born in 1975, Grégory Viennois is a qualified oenologist of the University of Burgundy. He worked as an assistant winemaker for Cru Classé Smith Haut Lafitte, then joined the renowned Stéphane Dernoncourt’s team as a consultant. He accompanied top châteaux in Graves and Saint-Emilion. He then joined the leading producer Michel Chapoutier both as a head buyer and vineyard investment adviser (Australia, Portugal). A year after, he was appointed as a technical director, and managed the setting up of a high-tech winery in the heart of Rhône Valley.
Grégory has joined Laroche in April 2011. He has a further mission: enhancing Laroche distinctive style through all the wines. He will be helped by technical teams of all estates to carry out the most recent advances made in viticulture and oenology. Grégory has a holistic approach of his work: no great wines possible without high quality grapes, no great fruit without a comprehensive view of the vineyard that include ploughing of the soils are among his main convictions. He pays much attention to the consistency between grape growing and winemaking: winemaking technique is adapted to each single variety and each single plot. Grégory also considers grape berry as a whole, not only a source for juice, as he knows that richness and ripeness can bring both complexity and minerality in the wines.

LILIAN BÉRILLON

CREATOR OF A NEW VITICULTURE NURSERY MODEL

Lilian was immersed in the Viticulture Nursery from his earliest years. Both his grandparents and parents provided plants to winemakers with a view to creating tomorrow’s vineyards. Lilian is a wine lover: he naturally evolved towards technical training in viticulture and oenology. In the meantime, he began to realize the full extent of the nurseryman’s role in providing high quality raw material to winemakers. In 1998, he established his activity using an existing model: the hyperproduction of plants. In 1999, already known for speaking is mind, Lilian Bérillon became the president of the Vaucluse wood and vine plant producer’s union, the Vaucluse being the primary plant producing region in France.
Lilian began to realize that there was a serious sanitary problem in the vineyards. Wood and vine diseases started to appear. One started to evoke the fact that some vineyards were withering away for no apparent reason. Lilian Bérillon started questioning many of the methods practiced throughout the industry. He attempted to convey his vision of using qualitative plant material to an industry who he felt were largely responsible for this situation. In 2003, having become tired of the industry’s immobility, Lilian resigned as National Vice President of the union. That was it, he decided to pursue his convictions by creating a new model: a model that respected the plant material being delivered to winemakers who were eager to produce wines that were an expression of their terroirs and have to face climate change.

ANN DUMONT

MICROBIOLOGIST AT LALLEMAND

After obtaining her microbiology B.Sc. from McGill University, Ann joined Lallemand as a microbiologist in the R&D department. While continuing to work for Lallemand, she attended Oregon State University to obtain her M.Sc. where her thesis topic was Sensory profile of Oregon Riesling, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir fermented with different Saccharomyces cerevisiae. She is also a member of the Association Canadienne des Oenologues.
She continued after to work for Lallemand, first as the R&D Coordinator, and then as the Communication Manager for Oenology. She is the author and co-author of many scientific and technical articles. Her focus and interest is on education on the topic of wine microbiology, hosting seminars and tastings around the world to understand better wine microbes and biodiversity and the importance they have in wine and fermentation.