Master Distiller, Hendrick’s Gin / UK
A Yorkshire-born chemist by trade, Gracie moved to Scotland to join Hendrick’s in 1988 and has since handcrafted her award-winning gin in super small batches in order to fine-tune the distillation process and ensure a high-quality product. Working in a male-dominated field hasn’t presented Gracie with challenges thus far. Her nose is one of the highest-rated in the industry. She sits on the International Spirits Challenge judging panel, alongside other qualified men and women, and she also leads the New Liquid Development team at Hendrick’s. Gracie, one of the few female master distillers of any kind of spirits, has become famous for her creativity and groud-breaking work by bringing new flavors and excitement to a conventional drink.
Columnist, Freelancer, The Star / Canada
Carolyn Evans-Hammond is a London-trained sommelier, two-time bestselling wine book author and a freelance contributing columnist for The Star. She is a seasoned wine educator, judge, and media personality with 20 years of journalism experience. Her new book
Founder, Lapostolle / Chile
The great-grand daughter of the creator of Grand Marnier! While the Marnier Lapostolle family are known for producing spirits and liqueurs, they have also been involved in wine-making for generations. Continuing her family’s legacy, Alexandra founded Lapostolle in Chile in 1994.
Clos Apalta is a key player in the wine tourism in Chile: a fully-fledged wine tourism project that includes an avant-garde winery, a boutique Relais & Châteaux wine hotel and a celebrated restaurant on the slopes of the Apalta hills, in the Colchagua Valley.
The Clos Apalta Residence is nestled between the foothills of Chilean Coastal Cordillera and the rolling hills of the Colchagua Valley. Guests are invited to enjoy some of South America’s most exquisite wine surrounded by the expanse of nature that cradles Clos Apalta’s biodynamically-farmed estate vineyards. This attractive place has been elected as the Best Hotel-Boutique of Chile three times, according to the World Travel Awards.
Bartender, Tess Bar & Kitchen / Singapore
Being one of Singapore’s Top 5 Best Female Bartenders 2015, Christyne is definitely not to be overlooked. She only began her career at Jigger and Pony in 2014 when she was 26. She then won various medals through her creative recipes to challenge and re-invent the classics.
Head Executive Sommelier, Groupe PIC / France
PAZ is Head Executive Sommelier for the Groupe PIC, as well as Regional Chair for Argentina for the Decanter World Wine Awards.
As of 2010, she earned a string of prizes and awards: 2010 and 2014 A.A.S.
Best Sommelier of Argentina, 2015 A.S.I. & A.P.A.S.
Best Sommelier of the Americas, and fourth place in the 2016 A.S.I.
Founder of DrinkArt and Panda Wine / China
A seasoned sommelier, Meiyu was the chief sommelier of Beijing Park Hyatt and she launched her own consulting firm after her study in UK, providing services to multiple restaurants in China. In 2018, she founded with her husband a new concept in London, Panda Fine Wine, which became the first wine merchant for Chinese fine wines, promoting the terroir and “made in China’ to the world.
Co-Owner & Wine Director, A16, Author & Educator / USA
Shelley runs two of the most successful restaurants in San Francisco and she’s also their wine director, presenting creative wine list. She pulls from a playlist heavy on lesser-known regional Italian wines featuring original choices.
Shelley was named “Best New Sommelier” by Wine & Spirits magazine; “Best Wine Director” by San Francisco magazine; and received Gourmet magazine’s Wine Educator Award and the Golden Goblet Award by the Association of Women Chefs and Restaurateurs.
Founder, Shanghai Zui Pu Communication Co., Ltd, / China
Before entering into the wine industry, Sophie Liu was a journalist. She is now a wine educator, independent wine critic, founder of Shanghai Zui Pu Communication. Certified wine educator of various regions, she has served as judge of several international wine competitions.
She Founded Zui Pu Communication to promote wine education in 2010. And she was nominated Best wine educator by Wine Australia and Wine Educator of the Year nominated by Wine German.
MW, Writer / China
A Chinese national originally from Hangzhou, Lin started her wine studies in 2011, and her passion for wine has never faded. Now based in Cahors, France at Château de Chambert, Lin has devoted herself to many aspects of the wine world: trading, winemaking, tasting, judging, writing and wine education.
She holds a BA (Zhejiang University), an MBA, where she won a full fee scholarship award (Aberdeen Business School) and received the top graduate award when completing her WSET Diploma (Austrian Wine Academy). Since 2020, she became an independent wine critic and created her own scoring system.
Writer & Author, The Wine Bible / USA
Karen MacNeil is an American author, journalist, wine educator and consultant based in Napa Valley. MacNeil is also the creator and chairman of the Rudd Center for Professional Wine Studies at the Culinary Institute of America.
The Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil is the best-selling wine book in the United States. Karen MacNeil is the only American to have won nearly every major wine award given in the English language.