2022 Speakers

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Wanda Mann

East Coast Editor, The SOMM Journal and Founder, Wine With Wanda

Wanda Mann began writing about wine in 2008. She joined The SOMM Journal in 2020 and was promoted to East Coast Editor in 2021. She is also the New York Editor for Tasting Panel. Her Wine With Wanda website provides consumers with engaging and educational wine information.  Wanda’s energetic and insightful Instagram Live interviews with winemakers and other industry professionals have developed a loyal following. Wanda has been invited to speak at prestigious industry events, including the digital iteration of The Symposium for Professional Wine Writers at Meadowood Napa Valley and the International Riesling Expo in the Finger Lakes. She has led virtual wine tastings for the New York Wine & Grape Foundation and private clients. The daughter of a professional chef, Wanda has always been captivated by the world of food and wine. Still, it wasn’t until studying in Spain for two years that she began to understand wine’s cultural significance. Wanda has traveled to several Old and New World wine regions, most frequently to Italy, where she has visited 10 of 20 regions; her goal is to visit them all! Wanda holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology from Pomona College, and in 2015 she earned the Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW) credential from the Society of Wine Educators. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of Les Dames d’Escoffier, New York.

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Annette Alvarez-Peters

Founder of annette a.p. Wine and Spirits Inc.

Annette is the founder of annette a.p. Wine and Spirits Inc, a consultancy business focused on business development and merchandising for the wine and spirits industry. She previously held a 37 year career with Costco Wholesale, including 25 years in the Beverage Alcohol department retiring in January 2020 as Vice President/General Merchandise Manager. Annette has extensive managerial and merchandising experience in the wine and spirits business. She led a team in the United States with a global sales volume of approximately $4.8 billion (2019). During her tenure, Annette led the development for the successful private label brand, Kirkland Signature for wine and spirit items. In May 2021, Annette was appointed to the Board of Directors for Crimson Wine Group, a portfolio which engages in the production and sale of luxury wines. She is also on the advisory board and serves as a Mentor for Wine Unify, a non-profit organization to promote and celebrate diversity in the wine industry.
 

She holds the Diploma certification from Wine & Spirit Education Trust, along with a Certified Wine Educator certificate from Society of Wine Educators. Annette was named Wine Business Monthly Top Wine Industry Leader (2019 - 2017) and Emeritus in 2020, Most Influential in the US Wine Industry from IntoWine.com in 2018 (No. 1), Retailer of the Year by Wine Enthusiast (2015), Washington State Wine Industry (2015) and MarketWatch (2011). She was also named to Decanter’s Power List in 2013 (No.4) and biennially since 2007 and in Fortune/Food and Wine Top 25 Innovative Women, Food & Drink (2014).

She has been inducted into the following associations: Bordeaux’s Commanderie du Bontemps de Médoc; Champagne’s Ordre des Coteaux des Champagne and Chateauneuf du Pape Echansonnerie des Papes.

 

M. Shanken Communications, Market Watch, Wine Enthusiast, Decanter and Wine Business Monthly have recognized Annette Alvarez-Peters as a top leader in the wine industry.
 

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Jikra Jireh

Wine Consultant, Educator and Advocate

Jirka Jireh makes it a point to challenge the status quo and encourage marginalized folx to take up space in whatever industry sparks passion for them, including wine & spirits. A few years ago Jireh left New York for the West Coast in order to connect with what she saw as the inception of a grassroots push to increase BIPOC & LGBTQIA+ representation amongst domestic natural winemakers and the reclaiming of Black and Brown farming practices. In 2020, Jireh organized The Price of Admission, a workshop on bias and sexual assault in the wine world which equipped a network of professionals with language and tools to create brave spaces across the country. Later, Jirka would become the Co-Founder of Industry Sessions, a digital wine education program exclusively for marginalized people that spans 14 cities in the US and Canada. Behind the scenes, Jirka uses her network as a tool to advocate for BIPOC in the winemaking sphere and connects like-minded professionals with business opportunities. Her leading voice has become associated with interrogating misogyny and white supremacy within our industry with a focus on restructuring the ways in which we activate & influence change throughout beverage spaces.

Her work has been celebrated in the pages of The San Francisco Chronicle, The Los Angeles Times, Imbibe Magazine, Cherry Bombe Magazine, Pipette, Brides, Eater, Punch, VinePair, and Wine Enthusiast. Earlier this year she was even invited to host an episode of “Mind of a Sommelier”, a spin-off to PBS’ “Mind of a Chef”.


The majority of Jirka Jireh’s 15 years in hospitality were fine-tuned in New York City’s bustling fine-dining world. She is currently based in NYC where she runs Industry Sessions and consults on a variety of groundbreaking projects geared at reclaiming wine spaces for all people.
 

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Mandy Oser

Owner and Wine Director, Ardesia Wine Bar

Mandy Oser is the owner of Ardesia in Hell’s Kitchen, a neighborhood wine bar she opened in the Fall of 2009 as a place where both those with a deeper knowledge of wine as well as novices can find a selection that will satisfy. Along with selecting the wines, Mandy oversees Chef Bernardo Garcia’s menu of inventive and shareable dishes that complement the diverse wine program. 

Recently, Mandy guided Ardesia through the pandemic, closing for only a total of 48 hours before pivoting to create new lines of business which sustained Ardesia and many of its employees until restrictions were eased.  Ardesia solidified its reputation as an anchor of the neighborhood and now looks forward to being a part of the revival of NYC’s dining scene in the coming months. 

Prior to opening Ardesia, Mandy worked alongside chef Eric Ripert and co-owner Maguy Le Coze at The New York Times four-star rated Le Bernardin restaurant. As the Director of Strategic Partnerships, for over nine years, she oversaw and managed chef Ripert’s business operations.  Le Bernardin gave Oser a foundation in the food world, from broadening her palate to learning the fundamentals of running a restaurant. 

While not at Ardesia, Oser can be found spending time with her 4-year old son, Oisín and husband Declan or exploring new corners of NYC through art & food.  
 

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Cathy Huyghe

Co-Founder of Enolytics and Columnist at Forbes

Cathy is an award-winning journalist and entrepreneur, and an engaging public speaker. A two-time graduate of Harvard University, first from the Graduate School of Design and then from the Journalism program, she transitioned to a career in wine after working successfully on negotiation projects in the Middle East.

As a journalist, Cathy was shortlisted in 2019 as the Louis Roederer Columnist of the Year for her Forbes column on the business and politics of the wine industry, and she won the Born Digital Wine Award in 2020 for Best Interview for her article on misogyny in the wine industry. She is a featured commentator for the “Reign of Terroir” episode in the Netflix series Rotten, which has been nominated for an Emmy award, and her writing has also been seen and heard on the BBC, the Harvard Business Review, The Atlantic, The Washington Post, NPR and WNYC. She is a columnist (“Life, Entrepreneurially”) for Inc.com and her first book, Hungry for Wine: Seeing the World through the Lens of a Wine Glass, won the World Gourmand Award for Women in Wine in 2016.

As an entrepreneur, Cathy co-founded Enolytics, which was a finalist for the Born Digital Wine Award in Innovation in 2019. Enolytics provides data-driven business intelligence to beverage alcohol companies around the world; its client list includes Bollinger Champagne, Marchesi Frescobaldi, Wines of California, Wines of Chile, Gonzàlez-Byass and Freixenet-Mionetto. Cathy is also the co-creator of content for A Balanced Glass, a community dedicated to wellness in the wine industry, which was a 2019 Drinks Innovator for SevenFifty Daily.

Cathy’s community involvement includes serving on the Atlanta Commission on Women, grant reviewer for the Food Well Alliance, past president of the Harvard Club of Georgia, member of the Board of Directors for the Harvard Alumni Association, and founder of the Harvard Alumni in Wine and Food shared interest group. 

Cathy’s experience in the hospitality industry includes working in the kitchens of some of the world’s most renown chefs, such as Thomas Keller (at Bouchon at The Venetian in Las Vegas), Jean-Pierre Vigato (at Apicius in Paris) and Alice Waters (at Chez Panisse in Berkeley).

She is a certified yoga teacher (via the Kashi urban ashram in Atlanta) and a certified teacher of mindfulness meditation (via Tara Brach and Jack Kornfield). She lives in Atlanta with her husband, their twin boys and their Bernese Mountain Dog named Karma.

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Adrianna Catena

Co-Owner, El Enemigo and 4th Generation Vintner, Catena Wines

Adrianna Catena grew up in Buenos Aires and later moved to California, graduating from UC Berkeley with highest honors and the Departmental Citation in History. She holds an MPhil and PhD from the University of Oxford, and has been awarded prestigious fellowships by the Clarendon Fund, Balliol College, and the Leverhulme Trust. As an historian, Adrianna specializes in the Early Modern Iberian Atlantic – the histories of trade, consumption, and material culture – from the Renaissance to 1800. Her research has focused on the textile sector, with an emphasis on dyes and dyers, the circulation of artisanal practices, knowledge, and expertise. In 2010, together with winemaker Alejandro Vigil, Adrianna founded El Enemigo, creating wines that speak to the obsessive nature of its owners, their commitment to artisanship and terroir. Alongside Stranger and Stranger, Adrianna created the label for Catena Zapata’s Malbec Argentino, the first wine in the world to narrate the history of a varietal (in four allegorical images) on its label. The wine has won multiple awards and become a social media sensation.

The youngest daughter of Nicolás Catena Zapata, she has lived and breathed wine since childhood. Today, Adrianna blends her experience in Academia with her passion for Viticulture and Winemaking, dividing her time between El Enemigo Wines and Catena Zapata. She lives between London and Mendoza, Argentina with her playwright husband and two children.
 

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Alejandro Vigil

Co-Owner, El Enemigo and Head Winemaker, Catena Wines

Alejandro Vigil is a graduate in agricultural engineering from the Facultad de Ciencias Agrarias, where he went on to receive master’s degrees in both winemaking and irrigation management. He began his career in the National Agricultural Technology Institute, where he took over the Soil Analysis Department at the age of 28. Alejandro came to Bodega Catena Zapata in 2002 as head of Research & Development. In 2003 he joined the enology department, focusing on the winery's top wines. His strong scientific background led to important developments in both vineyard management and winemaking.

 

Alejandro was named Winemaking Director in July 2007. Under Alejandro’s direction as head winemaker at Catena Zapata, the winery was named New World Winery of the Year in 2010 by Wine Enthusiast and Winery of the Year in 2012 by Wine and Spirits Magazine. Alejandro has led the winery to garner international acclaim with over forty 95+ points ratings from the world’s most influential wine publications including Wine Spectator, Wine Enthusiast, Wine Advocate, Decanter and Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar.

 

Additionally, he is a Co-owner of El Enemigo Wines (a partnership between Adrianna Catena and Alejandro).

 

A naturally restless person, Alejandro strives to channel his creative energy into pushing the limits of conventional viticultural and winemaking wisdom.

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Sandra Tavares da Silva and Jorge Serôdio Borges

Co-Owners and Winemakers, Wine & Soul

Sandra Tavares da Silva was born in the Azores, the daughter of a naval officer and a Swiss mother. She grew up in the Lisbon area and always carried with her memories of the times when she trod grapes in her grandfather’s winery in Alcochete, a past that explains her connection to this field.

 

She chose to study Agronomy in Lisbon and later took her Master’s degree in Italy, where she furthered her studies in enology and developed an extensive knowledge of quality international wines.

 

In 1999, she arrived in the Douro and began working with Cristiano van Zeller at the Quinta Vale D. Maria, and in 2000 she took over the family wine business at Quinta de Chocapalha in the Lisbon region.

 

In 2001, Sandra married Jorge Serôdio Borges and together they embarked on their own winemaking
venture, creating a new company -– Wine & Soul – and launching the first Pintas.

 

In 2010 she started the Foz Torto project with Abílio Tavares da Silva and in 2011 she went into partnership with Susana Esteban to produce the Crochet Douro and Tricot Alentejo wines.

 

In 2015, was awarded by the President of the Portuguese Republic as an Officer of the Order of Business
Merit (Agricultural Merit) and was nominated in 2016 as the Winemaker of the Year, merit award by Revista Paixão pelo Vinho (Prémio W Especial 10 Anos 2006/2016).

 

In 2020, was distinguished as one of the most notable female winemakers in the world, the only Portuguese, by Jancis Robinson in the Financial Times. During all these years, she maintains the certainty of her enormous passion for her work and a growing portfolio of wine brands, such as Guru, Pintas Character or Quinta da Manoella Wines.