2013 Speakers – 2013 Croatia

5th International Wine Tourism Conference & Workshop, Zagreb (15 – 16 March 2013) 

The conference programme will offer many opportunities for both commercial and professional contact. It involves a 2 day programme of over 30 talks, workshops, panel discussions and wine tastings and a 1 day Workshop for wine tourism experience providers to meet international tour operators and travel agents specialised in wine and culinary tourism.

Download the Conference Preview of Speakers, talk titles and abstracts.

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Some of the distinguised speakers at the IWINETC 2013 can be found here together with the title of their talk included in the conference programme:


Carles Sala & Relja Ferusic

Carles Sala (Co-Founder of SALAFERUSIC Architects) is an Architect by ETSAB-UPC, Barcelona, and MArch by AA School, London. He has lectured on several universities such as ETSAM Madrid, ETSAG Alacalá de Henares, and LA SALLE Barcelona, among others.

Relja Ferusic (Co-Founder of SALAFERUSIC Architects) is an Architect and M.Sc. by ETSAB-UPC, Barcelona. He was professor of Architectural Design at universities D-Arch, ETH, Zürich and ESARQ-UIC, Barcelona. He has lectured on several universities such as ETSAB Barcelona and LA SALLE Barcelona, among others.

SALA FERUSIC Architects is a specialized and project oriented studio that develops the most of his research and work in the field of wine tourism architecture, and winery architecture. Their last works have been recognized by several Architectural Awards, highlighting Lagravera Winery, DO Costers del Segre, which obtained the First Prize on 3M Architecture Awards 2009; Lagravera Warehouse, which was acknowledged with an Award for Sustainability, on the BASF Architectural Awards 2012; or Mas Rodó Winery, DO Penedès, awarded at FAD’s Architectural Awards in 2008, among others. Their work has been widely published on specialized periodicals and books worldwide.

Carles & Relja will be delivering a talk titled

Wine tourism. Architecture and Territory

Get Carles and Relja's speaker notes here>>

See the complete Conference programme of talks

Caroline Gilby MW speaker at IWINETC Croatia 2013

Caroline Gilby MW

Caroline Gilby MW has been visiting the Balkan countries for over 20 years since becoming the first major buyer to ship wines from there for Augustus Barnet off-licences. She has a doctorate in plant biology but abandoned life behind the microscope for a career in wine soon after winning the Decanter-Macallan Malt Whisky Taster of the Year Award while a student.

Caroline passed her MW in 1992 then spent seven years as a senior wine buyer before switching to a career as freelance writer and consultant, specialising in Central and Eastern Europe.  She contributes to Hugh Johnson’s Pocket Wine Guide, and has written for Dorling Kindersley’s Wines of the World, The Oxford Companion to Wine, The Wine Opus and Tom Stevenson’s Wine Report, as well as for various websites and magazines.

Caroline Gilby MW will be leading

Wines of Croatia Grand Tasting

Get Caroline's speaker notes here>>

See the complete Conference programme of talks

Chiara Tuppy speaker at IWINETC Croatia 2012

Chiara Tuppy

The Wine and Food Routes in Friuli Venezia Giulia are a network of interconnected tourist services provided in the whole region. Their aim is to promote, through tourism, the wines and specialities of our region and all the other environmental, historical and cultural jewels that make it unique.

The network is composed of three Wine and Food Routes, Pordenonesi (in the area of Pordenone) Colli del Friuli (in the province of Udine) and Goriziano (in the area of Gorizia) and it results from the strong will expressed by entrepreneurs and local bodies to create a single association able to coordinate and manage the activities promoting all the players involved in the regional wine and food tourism: wineries, producers of traditional food, restaurants, farms and guesthouses.
Chiara Tuppy is tourism director of the Wine and Food Routes in Friuli Venezia Giulia."

Chiara Tuppy will be delivering a talk titled

The Ups and Downs of Combing 3 Wine Routes in the Friuli Venezia Giulia Region – Lessons to be Learnt

Get Chiara's speaker notes here>>

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Denis Ivošević speaker at iwinetc Croatia 2013

Denis Ivošević

Denis graduated from the School of Economics in Buje with secondary study in language instruction. Since 1999, Denis has been on faculty in Trieste teaching Italian (Facolta’ di Lettere e Filosofia dell’Universita’ degli Studi di Trieste). He is both knowledgeable and fluent in Italian, German, English, Spanish and Slovene.

Since 2002, he has been a correspondent of several publications and gastro guides.  Denis has completed courses and obtained sommelier credentials for wine, prosciutto, and the indigenous plant for which the Istra Peninsula has become known, truffles. Denis currently works as the Director of the Istra Tourism Board.

Denis Ivošević will be delivering a talk titled

Wine Tourism in Istria

Get Denis' speaker notes here>>

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Diane Letulle speaker at IWINETC Croatia 2013

Diane Letulle

Diane Letulle has been writing Wine Lover’s Journal for over five years. Her blog takes readers along on journeys through the vineyards of France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Austria, Hungary, Republic of Georgia, United States, and Canada. She writes the Manhattan Wine Examiner and national Wine Travel Examiner columns and contributes wine and travel stories to various online publications including Palate Press and Snooth. Diane earned the Advanced Certificate with distinction from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust, spoke at the 2012 International Wine Tourism Conference, and teaches wine classes in New Jersey. Diane is active in social media and has more than 1300 wine and travel loving followers on Twitter. She is writing a wine and travel memoir, and will have a travel story featured in an upcoming anthology: Leave the Iguana, Take the Mascara: Funny Travel Stories and Strange Packing Tips.

Diane Letulle will be delivering a talk titled

Creating the Wow Factor in Winery Visits

Get Diane's speaker notes here>>

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Dusan Jelic speaker IWINETC Croatia 2013

Dusan Jelic

Dusan is sunshine, Mediterranean food & above all wine-loving Social Media Manager at  Wines of the Balkans who passionately & persistently explores wines produced in & around the Balkan Peninsula of the South-Eastern Europe. He completed Mathematical High School and later earned a B.A. (Bachelor of Arts) degree in South Africa in 1998, majoring in Sociology and Russian. Dusan joined a United Nations mission in Bosnia & Herzegovina (UNMIBH) in 1998 and another UN mission - in Kosovo (Serbia) (UNMIK) in 2000 - as a legal interpreter/translator, mostly appearing before the UN-established criminal courts.

His M.A. (Master of Arts) degree in cultural studies, gained in 2008, helped him understand the troublesome Balkan region and also the essence of diplomacy. Dusan’s current PhD in cultural studies will further institutionalize his knowledge of cultural diplomacy, cultural management & international relations.

Dusan’s admiration for wine is omnipresent. Whether he deals with New or Old World wines; Prokupac, Tamjanika, Krokan or 'Trijumf' from Serbia, an excellent Dalmatian red wine ('Dingač'); Istrian Malvazija or Teran, great Bulgarian red or Hungarian sweet Tokaji, or a Bordeaux, Burgundy or classy Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Pinotage or Shiraz from Western Cape in South Africa or great Weisser Riesling from the Rhine region of Germany, Austria or Alsace or superb Italian, Spanish & Portuguese wines - his passion for great wines seems to be inexhaustible.

Dusan lived in Cape Town since October 2009, got engaged in wine-networking, studied for Diploma in Wine at the Cape Wine Academy & joined www.wine.co.za as a Social Media Manager in May 2010. He returned to Belgrade in September 2011 in order to passionately enter & decipher the Balkan’s world of wine, which is comprised of 12 South-Eastern European countries. In August 2012 Dusan founded www.winesofbalkans.com - a content hub-in-making of electronically stored information of sublime Balkan wines and the awesome people behind these wines.

His goals are to master social media networking, learn subtle intricacies of wine sales and wine marketing, earn Cape Wine Diploma in Wine, enter more vigorously a field of Balkan wine tourism and continue discovering various features of that fascinating topic of wine.

Dusan Jelic will be delivering a talk titled

Branding Balkan Wines in the Context of the South-Eastern European Wine Tourism

Get Dusan's speaker notes here>>

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Fabrizio Bucella speaker at IWINETC Croatia 2013

Fabrizio Bucella

Fabrizio Bucella is distinguished professor at the Université Libre de Bruxelles, Brussels, Belgium. He has a Master in Physics, a second Master in Science and a PhD in Science (oriented Physics).

He is the former Vice-President of the university, office he had been in charge for eight years.

As a member of the academic staff, he is President of the Research Centre Léonard de Vinci on Architecture. He leads research programs focused on Architecture and Wine.

Fabrizio Bucella is also a Sommelier. He teaches oenology and wine tasting. He is the wine columnist for the Huffington Post (France) and a writes articles in la Revue du Vin de France and la Revue des Oenologues.


Fabrizio Bucella will be delivering a talk titled

Wine Tourism. A case study with new architectures in Bordeaux and Rioja

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Giovanna Sacchi speaker at IWINETC Croatia 2013

Giovanna Sacchi

Giovanna Sacchi is a Post Doctoral Reseach Fellow at Ca’ Foscari University of Venice within the project “Wine tourism enhancement in Veneto Region: demand analysis”.
In June 2012 she discussed her Ph.D. at Bologna University - Department of Agricultural Economics and Engineering – DEIAgra – deepening issues related to the alternative way of certifying organic goods.

Her current research interests regard Wine Tourism, Rural Tourism, Alternative Certification Models for Organic Agriculture, Short Supply Chain.

Giovanna Sacchi will be delivering a talk titled

Wine Tourism Enhancement in the Prosecco area of Italy

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Ia Tabagari

Ia Tabagari has been involved in developing sustainable tourism in Georgia for more than 15 years, from managing and leading inbound tourism companies to consulting the World Bank, USAID, Tour operators Association and the Georgian National Tourism Agency. Her passions include Georgian food & wine ethnology, alpine sports, horseback riding and developing constructive, sustaining development projects of Georgia’s most vulnerable and remote regions.

Ia Tabagari will be delivering a talk titled

Georgia - Cradle Of Wine

Get Ia's speaker notes here>>

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Irakli Cholobargia

Irakli Cholobargia, MBA born June 17 ,1972.

One of the founders of the first Georgian Wine & Spirits company (GWS) together with Pernod Ricard in 1995 which started to revive the Georgian wine industry after the collapse of USSR.

Founder and business consultant in many wine and food related business projects.

Since 2011 Director, Marketing Dept., National Wine Agency, Georgia

Irakli Cholobargia will be delivering a talk titled

Georgia - Cradle Of Wine

He will also be talking us through the Wines of Georgia tasting

Get Irakli's speaker notes here>>

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Jamie Verbraak speaker at IWINETC Croatia 2013

Jamie Verbraak

Born and raised in the Netherlands, Jamie finished her studies for International Tourism Management and Consultancy at the NHTV University for applied Science in Breda, the Netherlands. She specialized herself in the development of wine tourism in the San Antonio Valley in Chile. She has been working as Commercial Manager for Viña Casa Marin, where she is still closely involved in the export to Europe and Latin America. Nowadays she is working as the bike & wine travel specialist at Santiago Adventures, Chile´s leading tour operator in Bike, Wine and Snow travel!

Jamie Verbraak will be delivering a talk titled

Bike & Wine Tourism in Chile – What? Who? And How?

See the complete Conference programme of talks


Jochen Erler speaker at IWINETC Croatia 2013

Jochen Erler

After some years in academia and many years in the international civil service, I retired to pursue my true love, of wines, walking and writing. I have spent much of my time leading wine walking groups throughout Europe and further afield. Since more than twenty years I have been a member of jury at the International Wine & Spirit Competition in the UK, and also occasionally at other contests. I am also a wine consultant.

In addition to my interest in wine & spirits, I have researched and written about spas, in particular in the field of wine wellness/wine therapy.

Over the past 3 years, the International Wine Tourism Conference has given me a venue to share my experience in wine and spas with the stakeholders in wine tourism. I research wine growing areas suited for wine tourism and make presentations at the Conference for the travel agents in search of tour destinations.

Jochen Erler will be delivering a talk titled

Destinations for Wine Tours Combined with Spa Wellness

See the complete Conference programme of talks

Kathleen Sullivan speaker at IWINETC Croatia 2013

Kathleen Sullivan

Kathleen is a travel wine writer and co-owner of Wine Trail Traveler, LLC. Formerly a Home-Hospital teacher, Kathleen became intrigued with every aspect of wine after visiting several tasting rooms. She enjoys writing about the wine experience, learning the history of wine, winemaking at home and at wineries and cooking with wine. Beginning in 2006 she began writing about the experiences at each winery visited, taking classes and reading everything she could get her hands on. Together with Terry, she has visited more than 800 wineries, attended numerous conferences including the International Wine Tourism Conference, Drink Local Wine Conference, Wineries Unlimited Trade Show & Conference, Wine Bloggers Conference, Wine Tourism Conference and International Food, Wine and Travel Writers Association Conference. Kathy has visited wineries in five countries and 20 US states.

Kathleen Sullivan will be delivering a talk titled

Ambassadors Are the New Customers

Get Terry & Kathy's speaker notes here>>

See the complete Conference programme of talks

Laurent GRANIER speaker IWINETC Croatia 2013

Laurent Granier

Laurent GRANIER is a French national who was born and grown in the vineyards of the Southern Rhone River Valley, at the foothills of the Dentelles de Montmirail with the picturesque Provencal villages of Beaumes de Venise, Gigondas, Vacqueyras and Chateauneuf du Pape as neighbors.

Laurent spent his teenage years harvesting Muscat grapes in his weekends and his summer holidays welcoming foreign guests at the cellar of the Vignerons de Beaumes de Venise’s Balma Venitia’s desk. He was primarily dealing with the English speaking visitors who came to sample and purchase wines produced by the cooperative.

Laurent’s tourism management studies took him around the globe and wherever grapes were grown he visited vineyards from Adelaide’s Mac Laren Vale to La Rioja passing by the Celliers de l’Atlas in Morocco more recently to the more exotic Monsoon Valley in Thailand!

Today, Laurent is based in Vientiane, Laos, SE Asia, where he founded and leads an inbound tour company, Laos Mood Travel. It specializes in tailor-made thematic holidays to Laos and neighboring countries like Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar, Vietnam and China’s Yunnan Province. The vision of Laos Mood is to be an “Eye-opener on the Unseen” and hence proposing trips that go beyond the ordinary.

Laurent’s passion for a “work well done” and unusual quality products teased his interest when he got to hear about the little-known “New Latitude Wines of Thailand”. With his Lao and French colleagues, they took the road overland into Thailand across the Mekong in the summer 2012 and visited 6 regions of production of grapes that make wine between the 13th and 17th parallel. They met the passionate owners, grape growers, viticulturists, oenologists, cellar managers, chefs, marketing managers and staffs that take great pride in giving birth to a wine cautious community in Thailand through the idea of drinking quality wine with moderation! And upon their return, it was decided that a “New Latitude Wines of Thailand and Laos” was to be designed to cover this corner of the world that has much to offer the intrepid and curious foodies!

Laurent Granier will be delivering a talk titled

Promoting Wine Tourism in South - East Asia - not an easy task! Our experience!

Unfortunately, Laurent was unable to travel for iwinetc and deliver his talk. We hope he is able to present at a future iwinetc.

See the complete Conference programme of talks

Lesley Trites Speaker at IWINETC Croatia 2013

Lesley Trites

Lesley Trites is a wine writer and blogger in Montreal, Canada. She writes the blog Girl on Wine and contributes to publications such as Palate Press, an online wine magazine, and Urban Expressions, a celebration of Montreal lifestyle. Also a published poet, she enjoys bringing creativity to her wine writing and is very active in the online wine community, making use of social media tools such as Twitter. She received the Advanced Certificate from the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) after studying at Vinécole in the Languedoc region of France and is currently enrolled in the WSET Diploma program through the International Wine Center in New York City. When not writing, she enjoys travelling to wine regions and has explored wine routes in France, Spain, Germany, Greece, Argentina, California, Virginia, British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec, and Nova Scotia. She grew up on Canada's east coast and is proud to call herself a Maritimer, although she currently enjoys being part of Montreal's dynamic wine and food scene

Lesley Trites will be delivering a talk titled

Appellation to Marketing Tool: Branding Nova Scotia’s Emerging Wine Region

Get Lesley's speaker notes here>>

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Liza Swift speaker at IWINETC Croatia 2013

Liza Swift

Liza Swift is wine blogger in Northern California, whose day job as corporate marketing excutive for a major IT company frequently involves event planning, wine ordering and incentive trip designing.

Her passion to share her wine experiences led her to found www.BrixChicks.com to provide a vehicle to write about explorations that have taken her to Greece, Istanbul, London,Mexico and all over the United States learning about food and wine and how they bring us all together.

As a part of the dynamic social media wine community in Northen California she connects as much as she can and lives the maxim, "So many wines...so little time".

Liza Swift will be co-presenting with Thea Dwelle a talk titled

Undiscovered to Discovered: Bring Your Wine Region into Focus

Get Liza and Thea's speaker notes here>>

See the complete Conference programme of talks

Marcy Gordon speaker IWINETC Croatia 2013

Marcy Gordon

Marcy Gordon served as Director of Consumer Marketing for the development and launch of Travelocity, and as VP of Marketing for OpenTable the online restaurant reservation service that debuted in 1999. She is a published travel writer and worked for The Touring Club of Italy, where she was contributing editor and co-designer of the Authentic Italy guidebook series. Her writing has in the San Francisco Chronicle, World Hum and in print in many Travelers’ Tales anthologies including Best Women’s Travel Writing 2012, 2011 & 2010. She writes Come for the Wine a popular blog that features wine tourism destinations around the world, and partners with tour operators, vintners associations and wineries to promote travel to their regions using social media, and conversation marketing strategies. Visit www.comeforthewine.com for more information.

Marcy Gordon will be delivering a talk titled

Impacting Regional Tourism with Customized Wine, Food & Travel Guides 

Get Marcy's speaker notes here>>

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Mary Cressler speaker IWINETC Croatia 2013

Mary Cressler

Mary Cressler is a Certified Sommelier through the Court of Master Sommeliers, a Wine Location Specialist through the Center for Wine Origins, and proprietor of Vindulge Wine Education & Consulting; a wine consulting company focusing on enhancing the consumers wine experience through classes, seminars, private buying in addition to commercial consulting.

A frequent tasting panelist and judge for wine competitions, Ms. Cressler also writes about wine. Her writing has been featured in various publications while also authoring her own site at www.vindulgeblog.com.
Ms. Cressler holds a Masters Degree in Speech Communication and spent three years as a lecturer and Adjunct Professor of Speech Communication before transitioning into the wine industry.

Mary Cressler will be delivering a talk titled

The importance of staff training and development for your wine business

Get Mary's speaker notes here>>

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Ms. Cressler was involved in the Oregon and California wine communities for several years before moving to Connecticut in 2010 where she now resides.

Melba Allen

Melba ALLEN – Leaving the USA for Europe after her studies at the University of Houston, Melba falls in love with the wine and food culture in France and decides to stay. She obtains a diploma from the well-known “Université-du-vin, Suze la Rousse in the Rhone Valley and at the same time succeeds in getting Beginning and Advance Certificates from the WSET [Wine & Spirits Education Trust] Program of London in the same year. As a passionate enthusiast, Melba dedicates herself to Wine Communication and Education.
Operating her own Wine Company in France in 1997, Melba has been involved with buying and selling wines Internationally, judging wines in Tasting competitions, and writing on-line articles for www Elle Magazine.com, Vin & Cuisine Ask an Expert.
Melba now lectures on Wine Science and Business and Wine Tourism at the “Institut Européen de Management International (IEMI) in Paris, as well as write blogs on Wine and Travel under the name “The Wine Profilers by OENO COM.

Melba Allen will be delivering a talk titled

The Growing Demands of Wine Tourism: Is it really worth it?

Get Melba's speaker notes here>>

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Pramod Krishna

Director General - Confederation of the Indian Wines & Spirits Producers.
Member Management Committee - Wine Society.
India Representative International Wine & Spirits Record ( London).
Permanent Invitee to Govt of India Wine Board Meetings.
International Correspondent for Wine & Spirits Magazines.
Speaker at a number of International Wine & Spirits Seminars.

Pramod Krishna will be delivering a talk titled

Wine Tourism in India: Potential & Pitfalls

Get Pramod's speaker notes here>>

See the complete Conference programme of talks

Tanisha Townsend speaker at IWINETC Croatia 2013

Tanisha Townsend

Tanisha Townsend, CSW is a Wine Educator and Consultant who delivers educational and informative presentations from the classroom to the living room. As Creator of the blog Girl Meets Glass, she aims to promote the history and joys of fermented beverages to the masses. As a Professor of Wine & Spirits, Tanisha’s zeal for education is evident in her professional, enthusiastic teaching style that ensures each student leaves her class with valuable information and fond memories of the experience. Additionally, Tanisha’s presence at major wine trade events and festivals throughout the region has helped her partners gain additional exposure as a result of her interactive and tactical approach.

Tanisha Townsend will be delivering a talk titled

50 Shades of Croatia

Get Tanisha's speaker notes here>>

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Terry Sullivan speaker at IWINETC Croatia 2013

Terry Sullivan

After a 34-year career in education teaching elementary school students through university graduate school students, Terry began a new career as a travel writer specializing in the wine industry. Taking thousands of photographs and writing articles, Terry visited wineries and vineyards in the Toscana, Umbria and Campania regions of Italy, southeast England and Wales, New Zealand, Canada and numerous states in the United States including: California, Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Nevada, Texas, Kentucky, Ohio, Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia and North Carolina.

Formal wine education includes the Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET) Intermediate Certificate. However in 2009 the direction of wine education shifted to making wine. While taking online winemaking courses through Washington State University, Terry also crafted a barrel of Cabernet Sauvignon at Vint Hill Craft Winery in Virginia, and worked with a group to make a barrel of Cabernet Sauvignon at Tin Lizzie Wineworks in Maryland. During Spring 2010 he helped to plant an experimental vineyard at Tin Lizzie Wineworks.

Terry presented,"Best Practices for Increasing Traffic to Wine Regions," at the 2012 International Wine Tourism Conference in Perugia, Italy. Terry’s articles are published on the Wine Trail Traveler site, Destinations Travel Magazine and Examiner.com. Terry and his wife Kathy are currently co-authoring a book about wine journeys.

Terry Sullivan will be delivering a talk titled

Ambassadors Are the New Customers

Get Terry & Kathy's speaker notes here>>

See the complete Conference programme of talks

Thea Dwelle speaker at IWINETC Croatia 2013

Thea Dwelle

Thea Dwelle is the creator and editor of Luscious Lushes, a wine blog.
For 5 years, she has been blogging and sharing information on wine, travel, wine business and technology, focusing on the story behind the wine.

Thea also founded the Wine Bloggers Conference Scholarship, which strives to assist digital writers attend the annual conference through charitable works. In addition to blogging, she is a well known expert on blogging and technology, and blends her day job in CRM with her passion for wine. She has also published articles on the role of technology in wine.

Her motto? Don't take life (or wine) too seriously!

Thea Dwelle will co presenting with Liza Swift with a talk titled

Undiscovered to Discovered: Bring Your Wine Region into Focus

Get Liza and Thea’s speaker notes here>>

See the complete Conference programme of talks

Tom Plant speaker at IWINETC Croatia 2013

Tom Plant

After spending more than 25 years behind a microphone as a disc jockey, news and sports reporter and voice actor, I spent a few years as a real estate agent before launching WINEormous.com. I have spent my entire life around wine. My father was a hotel manager at two premier hotels in San Francisco and I grew up with fine wine served with meals. Shortly after launching the website I became a member of both the International Food Wine and Travel Writers Association and North American Travel Journalists Association. I am a tour operator as well as a blogger and have traveled extensively to gain more knowledge of the food, wine and travel industry. A former member of Toastmasters, I spoke at the 2012 International Wine Tourism Conference in Perugia, Italy on creating compelling writing.

Tom Plant will be delivering a talk titled

Offering The Perfect Wine Tourism Package

Get Tom's speaker notes here>>

See the complete Conference programme of talks

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