Linda Reiff, President & Chief Executive Officer, Napa Valley Vintners
Linda Reiff is the president and CEO of the Napa Valley Vintners, the organization that creates unparalleled success and world-wide acclaim for America’s iconic wine region. Under Linda’s leadership Napa Valley Vintners (NVV) marketing, promotions, communications and education efforts have expanded around the world and the organization has become an influential leader on global wine industry issues. In January 2020, Linda received the Person of the Year Award from Wine Enthusiast magazine.
The NVV’s mission is to promote, protect and enhance the Napa Valley appellation, which produces just 4% of California’s wines, yet accounts for more than 30% of the state wine industry’s economic impact. The NVV is a not-for-profit trade organization that represents 550 wineries and 99% of the wine production in the region.
Linda leads the NVV’s commitment to excellence by helping its members produce consistent quality wines; advocating for their interests on key industry issues at home and abroad; protecting the integrity of the Napa name; and by ensuring Napa Valley is preserved and enhanced for future generations through programs such as Napa Green Land and Winery Certification.
During her tenure, the NVV’s annual community fundraiser, Auction Napa Valley, has become the world’s most celebrated charity wine event. Through Auction proceeds, the NVV has invested over $200 million in health and children’s education programs, including a number of innovative, cooperative endeavors Linda helped establish such as: the Napa Valley Farmworker Housing Program; the Children’s Health Initiative; the Napa Valley Vintners Community Healthcare Centers; and the Napa Valley Community Disaster Relief Fund.
She also led the NVV to create the event and brand Premiere Napa Valley, which produces some of the rarest, individually-crafted and most highly sought-after wine offerings from Napa Valley.
Linda has served on many industry and community boards of directors, including nine years with the Land Trust of Napa County and was the board president during the organization’s acquisition of the 3,000-acre scenic ridgeline Wildlake property. She has served for many years on the board of Visit Napa Valley and is a founding board member of: the Innovation + Quality (IQ) wine industry conference, the Symposium for Professional Wine Writers and the Napa Valley Vine Trail.
Prior to joining the NVV in 1995, Linda worked for Congressman Vic Fazio for eight years and served as his communications director and then chief of staff in Washington, DC. She was also a journalist covering agricultural and environmental issues in California.
Linda graduated from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and agricultural news concentration. She grew up working in all aspects of agriculture in Yolo County, California, where her family farmed several different crops including winegrapes and operated a small winery. Linda’s late husband, Richard Ward, was the co-founder and managing partner of Saintsbury vineyards and winery in Napa.
Brendan Carter, Chief Thinker, Winemaker & Distiller (Director), Team Unico
One half of the duo behind Team Unico - the creative powerhouse that brought drinks brands to life such as Unico Zelo, Applewood Distillery, Harvest Social Cantina and Økar Island Bitter - a self-described Agri-Geek, Brendan’s focus is on drastically changing our relationship with the land we belong to via crafting produce that speaks of a crystalline expression of place, whilst growing an inclusive community of drinks lovers. He, along with his wife - Laura - runs a crack-team of creatives that are inspired to spread the story of this ancient landscape around the globe in a more relevant manner.
Katie Spain, Wine Writer and Storyteller, Australian Wine Business Magazine, Gourmet Traveller Restaurant Guide, The Advertiser
Katie Spain is a journalist, wine writer and author. Katie’s career highlights include feature writing for The Adelaide* Magazine, SA Weekend Magazine, Australian Wine Business Magazine, and food and wine writing for The Advertiser, Sunday Mail, The Advertiser Food Guide, Gourmet Traveller’s Restaurant Guide, and Good Food Guide 2021.
Katie grew up on a dairy farm in South Australia but found her writing groove (and a serious thing for wine) in London where she worked in music, travel and West End theatre journalism, and hosted a digital radio show in the backstreets of Shoreditch. She dabbled in Sydney’s world of commercial radio before heading back to Adelaide to concentrate on accumulating keyboard strokes (and tasting her way across the state).
Chester d’Arenberg Osborn, Chief Winemaker & Viticulturist, d’Arenberg
d'Arenberg Chief Winemaker and Viticulturist, Chester d'Arenberg Osborn, is the fourth generation of the Osborn family to grow grapes and make wine on the McLaren Vale property purchased by Joseph Osborn in 1912. Chester continues his family’s winemaking tradition, utilising the vineyards, original cellars and the traditional winemaking techniques handed down by his forefathers.
Facilitated by Dr Armando Maria Corsi, Associate Professor of Marketing, The University of Adelaide
Dr. Armando Maria Corsi is an Associate Professor of Marketing at UniSA Business, and a Senior Marketing Scientist at the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute. His key area of research is the analysis of consumer behaviour particularly towards wine and other premium foods and beverages.
Assoc. Prof. Corsi holds a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc), a Laurea Magistrale (specialisation degree course) from the University of Florence, as well as a PhD in Wine Economics and Rural Development from the same University. He is a member of the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Market Research, the Wine and Viticulture Journal, and Economia e Diritto Agroalimentare.