Speakers & Speaker Notes – 2019 Basque Country, Spain

Meet our speakers for IWINETC 2019. To obtain speaker notes for each session please view the speaker profile and click on the hyper-link to view the pdf.

Alessandro Comotto

Strada Reale dei Vini Torinesi

I am strongly passionate about wine and my territory; for this reason, in 2005, with a group of friends I founded my winery, La Masera, just with the desire to make the production of Erbaluce Passito, which is said to have come from the skilled hands of the farmers of my land, revive.

In 2018 I was elected at President of the Strada Reale dei Vini Torinesi, an organization that brings together different and complementary areas to help them promote themselves by spreading the knowledge of the beauty and riches of the territory in which they operate.

Alessandro delivered a talk within the IWINETC 2019 conference programme titled:

Discovering Enotourism along the Strada Reale dei Vini Torinesi

Alicia Estrada


Alicia Estrada, Filóloga y Máster en Márketing del Turismo y Directora de Marketing del Guild of European Business Travel Agents (GEBTA), formará parte del elenco de nuestro XI edición de IWINETC 2019 como conferenciante destacado en IWINETC Basque Country 2019.

Alicia nació en el País Vasco y es profesora universitaria en el Master de la OMT (Organización Mundial del Turismo) “Alta gestión de destinos turísticos”, en el área de “Destinos y distribución de productos turísticos”. Es socia de la consultora VINOTURISMO especialista en formación del enoturismo, eriodista de vinos en diferentes medios y autora de la guía anual “Los 100 mejores vinos por menos de €10” Editada por Planeta.

Alicia impartió dos ponencias de utilidad para los profesionales del enoturismo.

Enoturismo para el sector MICE (Eventos empresa): Cómo enfocarnos hacia este sector

Vender enoturismo a través de canales digitales: Herramientas para empresas y territorios.


Ana Martínez-Bujanda

Bodegas Valdemar

Ana Martínez-Bujanda is a 5th generation family member of Bodegas Valdemar.

After completing her Food Technology Studies at Navarre University, then Ana specialized in Marketing and Business Management in Bilbao. Thereafter, she joined Bodegas Valdemar in 1999. Presently, Ana runs the Marketing and Public Relations Department. Additionally, she serves on the company’s Board of Directors along with her brother Jesús (Executive Director) and her father, Jesús (Founder and President).

Ana is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Sindicato de Empresarios Alaveses (the Alava Trade Association), as a representative of the wine sector.

Furthermore, Ana is a member of AMAVI (Asociación de Mujeres Amigas del Vino, which is the Association of Female Wine Friends).

Her hobbies are photography, reading and cooking.

Ana delivered a talk within the IWINETC 2019 conference programme titled:

Development Strategy to become Spain´s Leading Accessible Wine Tourism Destination

Andre Morgenthal

Certified Heritage Vineyards

Andre Morgenthal studied philosophy, languages and drama at the University of Stellenbosch. Toward the end of his studies, Andre started a wine tourism business, offering specialised wine tours to discerning wine and gastronomy tourists, as well as training and consulting to restaurants, hotels and lodges. Andre has lectured at the Cape Wine Academy and wrote a wine column for a Sunday business newspaper.

He has worked several vintages at Domaine Bertagna in Vougeot, Burgundy and made wine on a small Stellenbosch property, Clos du Ciel. In 2001, he joined Wines of South Africa as Communications Manager with a focus on media relations, as well as a mandate for wine tourism and to represent the SA wine industry in the Great Wine Capitals Global Network.

In 2016 he resigned from Wines of South Africa to start his own business, amongst others assisting Rosa Kruger with the Old Vine Project.

Andre delivered a couple of talks within the IWINETC 2019 conference programme titled:

Old Vine Heritage Tours as a Differentiation in Wine Tourism

Success with Sustainable Wine Tourism Practices in South Africa


Andrea Torassa

Maiora Solutions

Andrea Torassa is a managing partner in Maiora Solutions and is specialized in Revenue Management systems, cross brand pricing, commercial planning and project management.

After completing his Masters in Management, Andrea moved back to Italy to join the pricing and revenue management team in Costa Crociere, where he mostly focused on the development and implementation of revenue management automated tools and the use of analytics in pricing decisions.

He then joined Carnival Corporation, working on several cross brand strategic projects ranging from developing automated forecasting and price optimising capabilities to competitors monitoring, with the goal to maximise the total revenues at group level and improve the collaboration between different brands.

Having lived, studied and worked in several countries from Europe to the United States, Andrea especially enjoys the challenges of bringing the best practices in pricing and revenue management to the different local context.

Andrea together with Emilio Zunino delivered a talk titled:

How Advanced Data Analytics Boost Profit for Wine Tours and Resorts

Chris Yorke

New Zealand Winegrowers

Chris Yorke studied in Switzerland and UK and graduated in Business Administration, German and French 1st Class Honours at Aston University, UK.

Having worked in international marketing roles in Europe he moved to New Zealand 16 years ago. Two years later he joined New Zealand Winegrowers where he still is the Global Marketing Director.

New Zealand Winegrowers represents all 700 wineries and 850 grape growers in New Zealand and its key roles are advocacy, research, sustainability and marketing.

Chris is responsible for the global marketing of the New Zealand Wine brand. New Zealand exports Euro 950 mil of wine to over 80 countries and is the third largest imported wine country by value into the USA, the largest wine market in the world. Around 300 wineries have over 400 wine tourism experiences and wine tourism has become a new focus for New Zealand Winegrowers.

Chris delivered a talk within the IWINETC 2019 conference programme titled:

The 5 Ps of New Zealand Wine Tourism Strategy

Djurdjica Jojic

Faculty of Tourism & Hotel Management, Vrnjacka banja, Serbia

Although I hold a master’s degree in corporate finance from a prestigious Italian Bocconi Business School, my passion is wine. I left the world of banking and corporate finance and joined my father in a village in Serbia in re-establishing our family tradition in wine business. Besides working in a winery, I enrolled in PhD studies with focus on wine tourism. I am strong supporter of focusing on local indigenous varieties and I truly believe they are the future of wine business and in particular of wine tourism.

Djurdjica will be delivering a talk within the IWINETC 2019 conference programme titled:

Standardisation of Tourism in Wineries

Emilio Zunino

Maiora Solutions

Emilio Zunino is a managing partner in Maiora Solutions and is specialized in Pricing Optimization, Startegic Planning, Revenue Management and Promotional Optimization.

Emilio began his career in strategy and pricing, developing a solid background in revenue management, big data analytics and strategic planning for Costa Crociere.

After the MBA he worked as pricing senior consultant in London, working on price optimisation projects for a wide range of clients in travel, leisure, retail, web services and events.

Having been immersed in the international business landscape throughout his entire professional and academic life, Emilio leverages a diverse set of best practices and tools to effectively support client initiatives.

Emilio together with Andrea Torassa delivered a talk titled:

How Advanced Data Analytics Boost Profit for Wine Tours and Resorts


Felicity Carter

Meininger’s Wine Business International

Felicity Carter is editor-in-chief of Meininger’s Wine Business International, the world’s only global, English language wine business magazine. Published in Germany, it has subscribers in more than 40 countries. Felicity is a regular speaker at international wine events from ProWein to Wine2Wine, and she has spoken on wine tourism at a number of international conferences, including in South Africa and Portugal. A wine judge, Felicity has judged in Portugal, Germany, Bordeaux, Brussels and Georgia, and in 2015 formed part of the ‘empowerment of women in wine’ panel for Wines of Argentina. She is an international judge of the Australian Gourmet Traveller Wine Wine List of the Year, and the China Wine List of the Year, and has been the international judge of the nationally televised German Wine Queen finals.

Felicity will draw on her long experience in journalism and wine tourism and will be delivering a talk relevant to all business and institutions involved in the branding, marketing and commercialisation of wine and culinary tourism in a talk titled:

The importance of Media in Wine Tourism or How to Famous in Travel Media


Gergely Somogyi

Tokaj Today

Gergely Somogyi is a ‘Tokaj allrounder’, based in the region and involved in multiple different Tokaj-related projects since around 2010. Apart from working as a contract wine steward for multiple regional wineries, he runs Tokaj Today, an independent news and information website about Tokaj, as well as organising and hosting small-group wine trips (including press and trade) to the region. He is also the Tokaj regional expert for British wine travel website Winerist.com, as well as British wine tour operator SmoothRed. He regularly acts as a regional expert, guide and translator for journalists coming to Tokaj to write wine and travel articles for international media such as Decanter, Vinum and Lonely Planet, as well as doing location scouting and guidance for foreign documentary photographers and film crews shooting in the region. Gergely holds a BA in International Relations, as well as being a qualified tour operator and a certified interpreter in Hungarian.

He has worked as a mentor, on behalf of ICOMOS Hungary, for the Tokaj World Heritage Site Management Organisation in a UNESCO periodic reporting process, and he is also former admin officer for the Confrérie de Tokaj and current admin officer of Vindependent, the Hungarian Association of Independent Winegrowers, as well as of Mádi KÖr, a local winemakers' association.

Gargely delivered a talk within the IWINETC 2019 conference programme titled:

Tokaj: An Emerging Wine Travel Destination

Irina Gusinskaya


Food, wine and tourism expert under construction but still meticulous editor, enthusiastic publisher, accomplished blogger with 15 years’ experience. Deputy editor-in-chief at Alpina Publisher, Food Tourism Master by Basque Culinary Center, Sommelier by Madrid Chamber of Commerce. Gourmand World Cookbook Awards 2018 Winner.

Irina delivered talk within the IWINETC 2019 conference programme titled:

Gastrodiplomacy: How Food & Wine Tourism can Change Everything

Judith Lewis

DeCabbit Consultancy

Judith is a renowned writer, trainer, blogger and a digital and media consultant specialising in applying strategic understanding of digital technologies to help businesses innovate and optimise their effectiveness within the new, networked communications environment.

She is a regular speaker around the world on SEO, content strategy, link building, PPC, and digital strategy, a contributor to the Huffington Post, and has been recognised by her peers as one of the most influential people in the UK digital industry.

Judith judges industry leading awards MENA, EU, US, Australian, Nordic, and UK Search Awards, and has every year since their inception. She has worked with market-leading global businesses including Google, Orange, COI, NatWest/RBS, National Gallery, CIPD, Fidelity, GalaCoral, NBC Universal, Readers Digest, Bayer, Family Search, Amadeus, AMD, AmEx , TotalJobs, Virgin.com, Virgin Startup& more.

She has over 20 years of experience, predating Google in her entry into the market and now runs her own consultancy. She has worked at Centaur Publishing, i-level, & Beyond before setting up her own consultancy. Judith also blogs about chocolate, helps with London Girl Geek Dinners, was a founding Modern Muse, and has contributed to the book “Pimp My Site” and the Econsultancy guide to Paid Search and is currently updating the large foundational Guide to SEO.

Judith delivered a talk within the IWINETC conference programme titled:

Leveraging Facebook, Twitter & Instagram for Wine Tourism

Judith will also be running a SEO Site Clinic where she will analyse your site, check your keyword coverage and visibility, answer your questions, diagnose any problems you are having, and make recommendations of what you may wish to change and how (as well as why). These site clinics will be available on day 2 of the conference providing actionable advice for your business as part of your IWINETC ticket. Limited number of places so early booking is required.


Laurence Cogan

Burgundy School of Business

Currently teaching wine marketing & wine tourism at the School of Wine & Spirits Business at the Burgundy School of Business in Dijon. Launched in January 2016 a specialisation in wine tourism for our Bachelor 3rd years.

International experience in international advertising and HR. Two entrepreneurial experiences in wine in Dublin and tourism in Burgundy.

Laurence delivered a talk within the IWINETC 2019 conference programme titled:

Nemea: an Emerging Wine Tourism Region?

Lou Thompson

Wine Tours Toronto

With extensive experience in marketing for international consumer packaged goods companies such as Mars, Unilever and Pillsbury Lou Thompson founded the Thompson Marketing Group specializing in new product launches for clients such as Evian, Nestle and Weston Bakeries. With her love of wine touring she recognized the need for a higher level of service in wine tourism in her hometown. Using her wide-ranging knowledge in marketing, advertising and new product development she teamed up with two partners to launched Wine Tours Toronto. These experiences have given her a unique wine tour operator’s insider perspective on big business marketing versus small business marketing in the digital age and the nuts and bolts involved in setting up and sustaining a wine tour business.

Lou  delivered a talk within the IWINETC 2019 conference programme titled:

So you've started a wine tour company - Now what?

Lucio Gomiero

Direttore Generale PromoTurismoFVG

Lucío together with Sergio Emidio Bini will deliver the closing plenary session for IWINETC 2019 with a presentation of the IWINETC 2020 destination titled:

Friuli Venezia Giulia the place to be!

Mariasun Sáenz de Samaniego

Ruta del Vino de Rioja Alavesa

Licenciada en CC Económicas por la Universidad del Pais Vasco (1997), y cursado Master de la UPV “ Especialista en Tributación” ( 1996-1997).

Mi experiencia profesional comienza en el sector financiero  y tras 5 años de trabajo en el mismo,  me incorporo al negocio familiar en 2002,  Bodegas Ostatu S.L ( Samaniego- Álava) asumiendo tareas de gerencia, desarrollo y puesta en marcha del primer plan de internacionalización y reorganización de la bodega tras cambio generacional.

Consciente de los beneficios del enoturismo para el negocio familiar, apostamos en 2012 por el lanzamiento de una nueva línea de negocio en torno al Enoturismo, adaptando nuestras instalaciones en un espacio novedoso de exposición, degustación y venta en una antigua posada del Siglo XVII.

Miembro de la Junta Directiva de La Ruta del Vino de Rioja Alavesa desde 2007, asumo la Presidencia de la misma en Noviembre de 2016.

M. Asun impartió una ponencia de utilidad para los profesionales del enoturismo titulado:

La Magia de Rioja Alavesa. El Aantes y el después de la Oferta Enoturística.


Paul Richer

Genesys Digital Transformation

Paul is founding partner of Genesys Digital Transformation, the realisation of his vision for a management consultancy offering the highest professional standards to specifically address the requirement for advice and project services relating to technology in the travel, tourism and hospitality industries.

As a result of his consultancy work for many travel, tourism and hospitality organisations, Paul has built an unrivalled depth of experience of digital travel strategies and technologies.

Paul's background is as a consultancy professional. After qualifying with a Masters Degree in Business Administration (MBA) from Cranfield School of Management, he joined Finite Group plc, a blue-chip strategic IT consultancy operating in the automotive, finance and travel industries. Paul rose to the position of Director heading-up Finite's consultancy division, leading some of the consultancy's largest projects for household-name, blue-chip organisations.  He left Finite to found Genesys.

Paul has appeared on television and radio where his expert views on digital travel have been sought. He is regularly quoted in the press and chairs many of the industry's digital and technology related conferences.

Most recently, he has launched a new business, Sygma Global, combining website development and online marketing services into a single package with regular monthly payments in the style of a mobile phone contract.

He is a Fellow of the Institute of Travel & Tourism and a Member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing.

Paul lives in London with his wife and three children. His leisure interests include gliding, flying and restoring classic cars.

Paul delivered a talk titled:

AI, IOT and All That – A Future Perspective on Tomorrow’s Wine Tourism Technology


Pólika Leontina Szabó

Budaventura Travel

I graduated in Szeged University as Bachelor of Arts and in Pécs University with a Bachelor of Tourism. I have worked in tourism ( both incoming and outgoing ) from 1990. For decades I have worked in our family’s vineyard at Lake Balaton and studied also wine making. I work in Budaventura Travel as Product Manager and and also as wine consultant.

Pólika delivered a sponsored presentation titled:

Creating Cooperation Between European Wine Tourism Players

Robin Shaw

Wine Tourism Australia

Regarded as Australia’s foremost wine tourism expert, Robin has an extensive wine and tourism industry background that includes cellar door management, sales and marketing, membership management, strategic planning and experience development. She has worked for some of Australia’s leading brands and industry organisations, including Jacob’s Creek, South Australian Tourism Commission and Winemakers’ Federation of Australia, and is a current board member of Wine Industry Suppliers Australia and Adelaide Hills Tourism.

Robin consults globally on wine tourism and her sharp industry insights and dynamic presenting style has led to her emergence as a highly regarded international public speaker. She has been the recipient of 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.  In 2018 she successfully developed and delivered the program for Australia’s inaugural Wine Industry Impact Conference and developed content for Wine Australia’s Growing Wine Tourism Program. She also hosts wine tourism study tours for industry professionals to locations around the world that epitomise best practice and service excellence.

Wine Tourism Australia, is a private consultancy that works primarily with wineries and regions to maximise their tourism and direct sales potential. Services include cellar door staff training, performance improvement programs, DTC marketing strategy, experience development, cellar door design, mystery shopping programs, brand and story development, coaching and workshop facilitation.

Robin lent her experience and background to an important area of the marketing mix, namely place:

Win my Heart, Win my Wallet


Sarah Jane Evans

Master of Wine

Sarah Jane Evans MW is an award-winning wine writer with a longstanding interest in the wines of Spain. In recognition of her work in Spain she is a member of the Gran Orden de Caballeros de Vino, a Dama de Albariño and a Dama de Solear, and has received awards from the Ribeiro DO, and the Catalan Association of Sommeliers.

She became a Master of Wine in 2006. Her dissertation was on Sherry, and the Almacenista producers in the region. She’s a certified Sherry Educator, and has been a tutor on the Cava Academy. Her latest book is The Wines of Northern Spain (Infinite Ideas Classic Wine Library), and she is now researching The Wines of Mediterranean and Southern Spain.

Sarah Jane is Co-Chairman of the world’s largest wine competition, the Decanter World Wine Awards, and also of the Decanter Asia Wine Awards. She divides the rest of her time between contributing to leading wine magazines and reference books, speaking at conferences, consulting and judging wines internationally.

IWINETC Masterclass Wines of the Basque Country


Teresa Guilarte

Artean Wines, Escuela de Vino

Born in Bilbao, after finishing her degree in Business Psychology at the University of Deusto, Teresa Guilarte specialized in team’s management and people development.

She is Certified Sommelier by ESHBI (High Hospitality School of Bilbao, Spain), Level 3 Award in Wines by the London WSET School and currently preparing the Diploma of the WSET Awards. Member of the Association of Sommeliers of Bizkaia-ASB.

Founder of “Artean Wines, escuela de vino”. The company focuses on training and the development of professional skills of people on the wine business, and also for wine lovers, in the Basque Country and North of Spain. Teresa is wine educator for courses like WSET Certifications, In-Company trainings, workshops and wine tastings.

Specialist in training and passionate about communication, she brings a fresh but rigorous look on learning and challenges for people of the wine sector.

Teresa delivered a talk within the IWINETC 2019 conference programme titled:

Training Wine Tourism Professionals: Opportunity for Innovation and Future

Toru Kodama

University of Tsukuba

Toru Kodama is currently an Associate Professor at the University of Tsukuba, one of the largest national universities in Japan. There, he is currently promoting various policy research projects, including a research project regarding the wine industry in Japan. Before joining that university, Toru spent many years providing policy and legal advisory services to major businesses and government agencies in Japan. Toru was also a full time Associate Professor in the field of intellectual property law and the creative industries at Kyushu University in Japan and a visiting scholar at Duke University and Columbia University School of Law in the USA. Toru received a B.Eng. degree from Tokyo Metropolitan University and a M.A. degree in International Public Policy from Osaka University. And, after completing the Postgraduate Diploma in Law Course at the University of Exeter and the Bar Vocational Course at BPP Law School, he was Called to the Bar by the Middle Temple in London. He also received a LL.M. degree from King’s College London.

Toru delivered a talk within the IWINETC 2019 conference programme titled:

Policies for Wine Tourism and the Wine Industry in Japan

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