Emily Johnston is an Advanced Sommelier with the Court of Master Sommeliers and a wine director for restaurants in Santa Barbara, California.
A native of California, she got her start in the industry working in wine production for Santa Barbara wineries: Brander Vineyard, Paul Lato, and one of Santa Barbara’s first SIP certified wineries, Hilliard Bruce.
She then studied under famed Italian Chef Gualtiero Marchesi, as a student in his wine program at Alma Scuola Internazionale di Cucina in Parma, Italy. The program connected her to cutting edge Italian winemakers - Arianna Occhipinti, Josko Gravner, and Paolo Bea, and others focused on biodiversity and Biodynamic farming.
The program also earned her a position working in a wine shop under an Italian Master Sommelier in Aosta, Italy who specializes in selling organic, Biodynamic, and natural wines.
Now in California, Emily has opened two Italian restaurants in Southern California and directed the wine programs for another four restaurants between Los Angeles and the Santa Ynez Valley.
Passionate about nature and outdoor activities, Johnston is a proponent of Biodynamic wines, which she considers to be the most rewarding category of wine to sell on the floor, Biodynamic wines feature on her wine lists as much as possible.
Lucy Joseph has been the curator of the Wine Microbe Collection in the Department of Viticulture and Enology at UC Davis since 1999.
Lucy's research interest is in the microbial ecology of managed ecosystems, such as fermentations. Recently her research has focused on microbes in stuck fermentations, Saccharomyces, native to California, and the metabolism of Brettanomyces isolated from wines.
The UC Davis Viticulture and Enology Culture Collection contains a large number of Saccharomyces strains as well as many wild yeast strains and spoilage yeasts, such as Brettanomyces.
The bacteria collection contains many Oenococcus strains as well as spoilage bacteria. The collection can be accessed at: http://wineserver.ucdavis.edu
• New Research on Terroir and the Microbiome
Dave Koball serves as the Director of Viticulture for Noble Vineyard Management where he is responsible for overseeing viticulture and compliance operations, developing annual farm plans, water rights reporting and managing third party certifications for sustainability, as well as organic and Biodynamic farming.
Dave runs the project management activities on all development projects; this includes a detailed proforma and cash flow, laying out the vineyard design, designing the trellis/irrigation/frost system, procuring vine and trellis pricing and a project schedule.
Dave grew up as a kid on a tractor farming olive, prune, and walnut orchards in Northern California with his family. He moved to Mendocino County in 1994 after working as a post graduate researcher at U.C. Davis to work for the Fetzer Family as a vineyard manager on certified organic vineyards in Mendocino County, which were also some of the first in the county to be certified Biodynamic.
From there, Dave developed the mountainous Butler Ranch for Bonterra vineyards where he eventually became Vineyard Director, overseeing as many as 1,200 acres of certified organic and Biodynamic vineyards on 15 different ranches, growing 20 different varietals for both large production wines and highly rated vineyard designate wines.
Dave earned his undergraduate degree from the University of California at Davis in Plant Science/Plant Pathology and his Master’s Degree in Plant Pathology from Cornell University where he researched the effects of environmental conditions on plant disease development.
He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Mendocino County Resource Conservation District, California Land Stewardship Institute, which runs the Fish Friendly Farming program, and Committee Chair for the Mendocino County Farm Bureau Water Committee.
Dave and his wife farm 15 acres of their own certified organic Chardonnay in the Ukiah valley, where their twin boys are learning farm management from the ground up.
• Through a Biodynamic Lens: Managing Disease, Pest and Weed Control in the Vineyard
• Moderator, Scaling Up: Implementing Biodynamic Viticulture on a Large Scale
Born in 1987 in Bolzano, Alois Clemens Lageder is the sixth generation to be involved in the family vineyard Alois Lageder in Alto Adige, Italy.
After he completed sociology studies in Zurich, he spent many years abroad for his wine education in Geisenheim (Germany), France and the U.S. where he also worked for well known wineries, including Domaine Marquis d’Angerville in Burgundy.
In 2013 to 2015, he worked for the Oikopolis-Group, a corporation for the commercialization of organic foods, in Luxembourg.
He has also studied in the Executive Master for Family Entrepreneurship program at the Zeppelin University in Germany.
In 2015, he became part of the executive board at Alois Lageder.
(Photo: Jo Pfisterer, left; Alois Clemens Lageder, right)
Brook Levan received a MFA, NYSCC from Alfred University, BFA, Kansas City Art Institute. He is a certified permaculture designer and consultant and an alumnus of the Institute for Social Ecology (1978).
Levan has consulted, practiced and taught sustainable design, green building, renewable energy, sustainable agriculture, wetland creation and art and design.
Mr. Levan is a Fulbright Scholar and has extensive research and travel in Africa, Asia and North and Central America. He held faculty positions at Pomona College, University of Connecticut and James Madison University.
He has published, lectured and exhibited internationally.
Mr. Levan is a National Advisory Board Member of Solar Energy International and The Wright Way Foundation, a founding Board Member of the Thompson Divide Coalition, and Board Member of Grass Roots TV.
• New Thinking About the Biodynamic Preps
An original Rhône Ranger, veteran winemaker Bob Lindquist was one of the first to advocate American-made Syrah and other Rhône varietals such as Grenache, Roussanne, and Marsanne. He has been a leader in the movement producing world class wines from the Central Coast since the early 1980s and continues his quest with the same zeal he started with.
Consequently, Qupé has been deemed one of the Wineries of the Year for Wine & Spirits Magazine - every year since 1999.
In March 2015 Bob received the Lifetime Achievement Award from Rhone Rangers.
His passion for wine is equaled only by his passion for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Verdad’s mission is to produce wines from grapes of the highest quality with the least possible manipulation. We strive to produce pure, expressive and balanced wines that convey the flavors of the unique vineyard sites where the wines are born.
Louisa has worked in the wine industry since her senior year of college. Her experience covers all aspects of the wine business, including restaurants, retail, wholesale, import-export, national sales and winemaking.
The original vision for Verdad Wine Cellars, which Louisa started in 2000 (with her husband Bob Lindquist as a partner), was to make Spanish varietal wines grown in the cool coastal areas of the Central Coast AVA.
In 2000 Louisa was the first winemaker to make Albariño in California which was produced under the Verdad label. She was also the first in Santa Barbara County to make Tempranillo and Graciano.
Initially Verdad sourced these wines from the Ibarra Young Vineyards. In 2005 Louisa and her husband Bob purchased and planted their own vineyard (named the Sawyer Lindquist Vineyard) in Edna Valley. The property is an 80 acre former cattle ranch and row crop farm. There they planted 40 acres of vines. From the beginning, they farmed it Biodynamically and certified it with Demeter. They have also produced all of their estate wines (since 2009) as Demeter certified wines.
In 2013, the vineyard was sold to Brook Williams, who maintains its Demeter certification and grape quality. Louisa and Bob buy about two-thirds of the grapes grown there.
Recent additions to the Verdad label are a lovely Biodynamic Grenache (or Garnacha) estate wine starting in 2014, as well as an elegant Biodynamic Cabernet Sauvignon. (The Cabernet comes from the Demeter certified Pine Hawk Vineyard in Paso Robles.)
In addition, Louisa produces a Biodynamic Pinot Noir under the Sawyer Lindquist Vineyard label with her husband, Bob Lindquist.
The majority of Verdad’s wines (65%) are Demeter Certified Biodynamic and come from certified organic and Biodynamic vineyards. To maintain this certification the wines are minimally handled to reflect the unique vineyards where the grapes are grown.
In addition to making the Verdad wines, Louisa provides market and sales support to Qupé Wine Cellars, which are made by her husband, winemaker Bob Lindquist, who focuses on Rhone varietals.
• BIodynamic White Wines
As the director of vineyard operations for the Sea Smoke Estate Vineyard and Rita’s Crown, Julian Malone guides one of California’s most celebrated estate programs.
Julian fell in love with agriculture while working on farms on California’s Central Coast during high school, and went on to earn a degree in agricultural science and integrated pest management from the University of Adelaide in Australia.
After university, Julian spent three years as a project manager for the Central Coast Vineyard Team, a nonprofit organization that advocates and educates for sustainability in the wine business, and oversees the Sustainability in Practice (SIP) certification program.
In the years that followed, Julian served as the viticulturist for Scheid Vineyards, and as a vineyard manager for both Gallo Family Vineyards and Coastal Vineyard Care Associates, before joining Sea Smoke in early 2017.
At Sea Smoke, Julian has combined his extensive knowledge of sustainable viticultural practices with a belief in organic and Biodynamic farming systems to achieve ever greater levels of quality.
In addition to his role at Sea Smoke, Julian has been on the board of the The Vineyard Team since 2014, and currently serves as its president.
Julian lives with his wife and two girls in Santa Ynez, California.
• Scaling Up: Implementing Biodynamic Viticulture on a Large Scale
The son of Italian immigrants who planted grape vines in the backyard of their New York City home, Rudy Marchesi grew up with the traditions of making wine at home.
Marchesi's first commercial winery was in New Jersey, where he raised his two daughters through the 1980’s and 1990’s.
Rudy discovered Montinore Estate in 1992 when visiting his eldest daughter at Reed College in Portland and began to distribute Montinore's wines on the East Coast where he led a distributor’s fine wine division.
In 1998, he began consulting with Montinore Estate on vineyard management, winemaking and marketing, becoming Vice President of Operations in 2001 and President in 2003.
In 2005, he became proprietor of Montinore Estate and converted the estate to Demeter certified Biodynamic viticulture and winemaking. Today his title is President and Chief Viticulturist.
When he’s not working at the winery, he grows his own vegetables, cares for his one acre home vineyard, makes cheese, and plays jazz piano and guitar.
Glenn McGourty is the Winegrowing and Plant Science Advisor for the University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) offices in Lake and Mendocino Counties.
He is also a board member of Demeter USA.
He received an A.B. degree in Botany from Humboldt State University in 1974 and an M.S. degree in Plant Soil and Water Science from the University of Nevada Reno in 1979.
Glenn joined U.C. Cooperative Extension in 1987, and works with wine grape growers, wineries, nurseries, landscapers and vegetable growers.
His research activities include evaluating 14 Mediterranean wine grape varieties; clonal trials of Sauvignon blanc, comparison of organic, Biodynamic and conventional farming for their effects on wine grape and soil quality; and evaluation of cover crop species.
David R. Montgomery is a MacArthur Fellow and professor of geomorphology at the University of Washington. He is an internationally recognized geologist who studies landscape evolution and the effects of geological processes on ecological systems and human societies.
Montgomery is the author of numerous scientific papers and has been featured in documentary films, network and cable news, and on a wide variety of TV and radio programs.
David has written several popular books including Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations
(2007), which chronicles the role of soil in the evolution of ancient and modern societies. He also co-authored
The Hidden Half of Nature: The Microbial Roots of Life and Health with his wife, biologist, Anne Biklé.
His most recent book is Growing a Revolution: Bringing Our Soil Back to Life (2017). David’s work combines the rigor of science with narrative to share his unique perspective on Earth with readers.
David holds a Bachelors degree in geology from Stanford University and a Ph.D. in geomorphology
from the University of California, Berkeley.
Ray Nuclo is the Director of Vineyard and Winery Operations at King Estate in Oregon's Willamette Valley.
Ray received his B.S. degree in Botany from University of Maryland and moved out to Oregon to acquire a M.S. degree in Plant Pathology from Oregon State.
He began his career in viticulture as a field laborer and tractor driver at a small family vineyard owned by Lloyd and Doe Crisp under the mentorship of their son Dai.
Through a combination of practical vineyard experience as well as viticulture and enology coursework at OSU and Chemeketa Community College, he quickly moved into vineyard management. He began managing Croft Vineyards, a certified organic vineyard in Oregon, where he helped produce premium grapes for a number of the most prestigious wineries in Oregon (including King Estate).
He then came to King Estate as a consultant for two years, working with the vineyard manager and winemaking team. His focus was the estate vineyard. In 2013, he became a full time employee.
In 2015, he began converting the 465 acres of King Estate vines from organic to Biodynamic certification, which was completed in 2016.
• Scaling Up: Implementing Biodynamic Viticulture on a Large Scale
Born and raised in Stuttgart, Jo first began his profession as winegrower and winemaker, working at a medium sized high quality winery in Stuttgart (VDP Weingut Wöhrwag, Stuttgart-Untertürkheim) to two years.
He then went on to study viticulture and enology at the University of Geisenheim in Germany, earning a Bachelor of Science in 2012. He and Alois Clemens Lageder met there.
To expand and deepen his knowledge and to understand better the fundamentals of general agriculture, Jo continued his education at the University of Life Sciences (BOKU) in Vienna, graduating with a Master of Science in Applied Plant Production in 2014.
During his studies, he gained working experience in Spain, Austria and Italy before starting to work at Alois Lageder in the fall of 2014.
Today he is Lageder's enologist (together with Georg Meißner and Paola Tenaglia) where he is responsible for winemaking.
(Photo: Jo Pfisterer, left; Alois Clemens Lageder, right)
• Biodynamic White Wines
Born and raised in the Czech Republic, Martin traveled the world before moving to San Francisco.
A plan to open a wine bar in the city became the birth of Beaver Creek Vineyards, when on a trip through wine country he discovered Horne Ranch, just over the pass from Mt. St. Helena. A 200 acres plot of ranch land with 22 acres of dry farmed vineyards planted in volcanic soil was the perfect inspiration. In 2007 Martin and his then partners took over the land at Horne Ranch.
Over the course of three years the vision of an organic and Biodynamic vineyard came to life. The CCOF organic certification was received in 2009 and in 2010 the Demeter Biodynamic certification followed.
As part of this process, Beaver Creek became home to a variety of animals and plants that support the organic and Biodynamic processes: chickens, sheep, bees, olives, a walnut orchard, and organic gardens all contribute to the terroir.
In 2012 Martin became the sole owner and winemaker at Beaver Creek Vineyards.
With a family background in agriculture, yet no formal training, Martin brings old world wisdom to modern day wine making. His passion for organic and Biodynamic farming as well as the creativity and intuition he brings to winemaking are truly unique. Martin is a loyal steward of the land, devoted to caring for the entire ecosystem of the environment in a way that respects natures balance. He brings the same integrity to creating hand crafted wines in their purest form.
Martin embraces a fully organic lifestyle throughout his life, from the wine he drinks to the food he eats. It is his mission to educate others about the importance of consuming organic and Biodynamic wine and how it contributes to a healthy life style as well as vitality in the land from which it came.
• Wines by the Glass