Board Directors, The Guild Of Sommeliers / USA
At only 21, she became a sommelier at 400-seat New York City restaurant Blue Fin. After that, she joined B.R. Guest Restaurant Group became a partner and wine and spirits director for the entire restaurant group. Maniec is a regular contributor to industry publications, including Food & Wine and The New York Times, and she sits on the Board of Directors for the Guild of Sommeliers. And though her wine restaurant Corkbuzz Wine Studio serves as her home base, Maniec is most passionate about education and outreach.
Chief Winemaker, Ata Rangi / New Zealand
Helen Masters has been the chief winemaker at Ata Rangi for more than 18 years. Helen has led Ata Rangi’s conversion to organic, environmentally-focused production practices. She’s deeply committed to sustainable winemaking, and views her vineyard and winery teams as caretakers of the land for future generations.
Helen is a key figure in the New Zealand winemaking community and is currently the co-chair of Pinot Noir 2022. In 2019, Helen was named Gourmet Traveller Wine’s New Zealand Winemaker of the Year.
Founder, Virginia Philip Wine Shop & Academy / USA
Master Sommelier Virginia Philip is an expert among experts, her mastery and opinion is sought by journalists and other sommeliers alike. The Academy she founded satisfies her passion for teaching. Master Sommelier Virginia Philip has brought notoriety and attention to the outlets she supports with appearances on “The Today Show” and the Food Network.
Co-Founder, Wine Folly.com / Cananda
Madeline Puckette is a wine sommelier and visual designer whose electrifying infographics and congenial writing has garnered an enthusiastic following from wine beginner to expert.
Puckette is the creator and cofounder winefolly.com (established in 2011), a learning platform about wine.
Additionally, her work has been applied in organizations, including The Court of Master Sommeliers and the Guild of Sommeliers to help wine professionals learn.
Owner, SoifBaraVin / Canada
Véronique Rivest is one of the most respected sommeliers in Canada and abroad. Since 16, she developed a true passion for wine, food and service. She now counts over thirty years’ experience in hospitality and retail industries, as well as in education and consulting.
Veronique works as consultant, sommelier, and wine columnist for Le Droit newspaper and Radio-Canada in Ottawa, she also writes for numerous magazines and appears on many television and radio shows all over the world. In 2014 she also opened her own wine bar SOIF in Gatineau and tries to pass on her passion more than ever! SOIF was named among the Ten Best New Restaurants in Canada in 2015.
Véronique won Canada’s Best Sommelier competition in 2006 and in 2012. She won the Wine Woman Award 2007 in Paris and Best Sommelier of the Americas in 2012.
Wine Critic, Author, Columnist / UK
Regarded as the world's most influential wine critic, Jancis Robinson also coo-authored with Hugh Johnson The World Atlas of Wine (4.7 million copies sold just before the 8th edition was published in October 2019). Her recent books The Oxford Companion to Wine and Wine Grapes earned James Beard Awards. And her wine scoring & judging system were widely used as the consumer / wine lovers’reference.
Founder of Camper Friendly Project / Italy
Since January 2012, she has started consulting services for wineries, companies and trade agencies in the agri-food sector.
She launched and initiated the Camper Friendly project in 2020. Over 50 Italian wineries offer stops in campers with view across the vineyards in the name of this year theme of the association: Women, Wine and Environment.
Editor, Writer, Freelancer, The Drink Business / UK
Lucy Shaw is editor of the drinks business. Prior to the drinks business, she spent three years as editorial assistant at Decanter magazine. She occasionally freelances for Marie Claire, Newsweek, GQ and online luxury lifestyle magazine The Arbuturian on food, wine and travel. She has been shortlisted for the Louis Roederer Emerging Wine Writer of the Year award four times. In 2016 she was nominated for the Louis Roederer Food & Wine Writer of the Year award.
Founder & Lead Consultant, Wine Tourism Australia / Australia
Robin Shaw is the founder of Wine Tourism Australia.
In 2004 Robin received a prestigious Winston Churchill Fellowship to study global wine tourism innovation, after which she developed a suite of industry resources, including ‘The Australian Wine Tourism Toolkit’ and the innovative Wine Tourism Workshop Program which she successfully delivered throughout Australia, South Africa and Chile.
Robin and her Wine Tourism Australia runs Cellar Door Performance Improvement Programs for Australian wineries which entails a comprehensive cellar door and digital audit, direct consultation and team training, along with an International Wine Tourism Study Tour program. She also co-presents Wine Australia’s Growing Wine Tourism program and regularly runs Direct to Consumer Wine Sales workshops.
Master Blender, Appleton / Jamaica
Joy Spence is the chef distiller of Appleton and the first female master blender. Honored as the woman who changed the face of Jamaican rum. Joy Spence is dedicated to creating spirits comparable to the best whisky and cognac in the world. Since 1997, Master Blender Joy Spence has created many rums and numerous special blends.
Outside of her spirited responsibilities, Joy actively takes part in philanthropic initiatives, sharing her love for chemistry through her work with high-school students. Providing everything from motivation to school supplies, medical support, and personal effects, Joy has worked closely with a number of in-need students she identifies as having good potential. In 2005, the Government of Jamaica awarded Joy the Order of Distinction in the Rank of Officer (OD) for her service to industry. She received National Medal for Science and Technology at the National Medal for Science and Technology and Innovation Awards Ceremony in 2018.