Thank you to all our 2022 presenters.

  • Lisa Francioni

    Lisa Francioni

    Program Director, California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance

    Lisa Francioni is Program Director for the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance, a non-profit organization incorporated in 2003 by Wine Institute and the California Association of Winegrape Growers to promote environmental stewardship and social responsibility in the state’s wine community. She has been integral in implementing the California Sustainable Winegrowing Program, a voluntary educational program for California wineries and vineyards, since 2005 and directs the third-party certification program, Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing. She leads the development of educational workshops and events and works closely with expert partners, winegrowers, wineries, winegrower associations, and agricultural professionals to develop sustainable winegrowing tools and educational resources. Previously, Lisa served as Environmental Affairs Coordinator at Wine Institute, a public policy advocacy association of more than 1,000 California wineries and affiliated businesses.

    Lisa received a Master of Science in Environmental Management and a BA in Environmental Studies from the University of San Francisco and a BA in Politics from the University of California, Santa Cruz.

  • Kaitlin Gold

    Dr. Kaitlin Gold

    Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist of Grape Pathology at Cornell University

    Kaitlin Gold is an Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist of Grape Pathology at Cornell University, where she leads the Grape Sensing, Pathology, and Extension Laboratory at Cornell AgriTech (GrapeSPEC). Gold is a former faculty fellow at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and internationally recognized expert in in situ and imaging spectroscopy (also known as “hyperspectral imaging”) of plant disease. Gold’s lab studies the fundamental and applied science of plant disease sensing to improve early grape disease detection and management. Gold’s extension publications (“Grape Disease Control” guide, Appellation Cornell features, and industry publications) are distributed nationally and internationally to hundreds of grape growers. Since 2019, she has published 8 peer-reviewed papers related to plant disease sensing and management, has been awarded over $1.7 million in federal grants as PI and/or Co-PI, and given 27 invited talks.

  • Tyler Franzen

    Tyler Franzen

    Technical Sales Representative, Enartis-Vinquiry

    For the last 6 years, Tyler Franzen has worked with Enartis USA, covering a large portion of North America. A stint as a harvest intern in 2009 set him on the path to becoming a winemaker. However, it was the pursuit of knowledge and working through trials that brought him to Enartis. There, he was afforded the opportunity to be exposed to a wide range of regions and industry leaders—each possessing their own unique philosophies. Each territory faces its own diverse challenges, compounded by vintage variances. Tyler recognizes the uniqueness of these challenges and avoids the ‘one size fits all’ approach to the variables that meet us every day. As the Enartis East Coast Technical Rep, his goal nowadays is to present information and techniques in a no-nonsense, laid-back, and easy-to-digest style.

  • Brianna Burns

    Brianna Burns

    Wine Marketing Specialist/Wine Educator

    Wine and spirits expert Brianna Burns is a wine marketing specialist at the NC Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services and the executive director of the NC Wine and Grape Council. With a background in wine education, wine buying, and retail management, Brianna has worked in the wine industry for over 12 years helping others find their love of wine. Brianna holds her Level 4 Diploma in Wine and Spirits from the WSET, an award held by fewer than 11,000 people worldwide. She is passionate about helping to elevate the NC wine industry and educating consumers on finding their next favorite bottle.

  • Aaron Debeers

    Aaron Debeers

    Grape and Wine Consultant | Vinoptic

    A native of San Francisco, Aaron has held top management and production positions at several vineyards and wineries in California.

    He began his wine career in viticulture services under the tutelage of Steve Matthiasson working with premier Napa, Sonoma, and New York wineries such as Paul Hobbs, Duckhorn, Opus One and, Macari Vineyards. Later, at Gallo Vineyards, Aaron helped the company gain the world’s first-ever vineyard ISO certification for their Monte Rosso Vineyard and has continued to base his career in sustainable business practices.

    Aaron has been the general manager for Purlieu Wines, director of vineyard operations and winemaking at D’Ambrosio Vineyards and Verismo Wines; and head winemaker at Glimpse, Stretto, Stella, and Argo Navis. Aaron is also the founder of Vinoptic a bi-coastal vineyard and winery consulting firm. Additionally, he taught courses in Vineyard Management, Wine Brand Development and is currently teaching Winery Establishment and Design.

    In short, Aaron really knows his way around a vineyard and a winery. But in keeping with his start in the industry, Aaron still looks to the vineyard first: “I feel that most of winemaking begins in the vineyard—and when a particular vineyard is producing premium fruit, then stellar wines will follow.”

  • George Hall

    George Hall

    Territory Sales Manager | Waterloo Containers

    George Hall brings over 30 years of sales experience to the wine bottle and closure industry at the family-owned Waterloo Container. In the field, he works closely with customers to identify their needs and to provide long-term, competitive packaging solutions. A practitioner of the “servant leadership” marketing philosophy, drawing on the expertise of our world class industry partners.

  • Joe Brock and Matt Kemberling

    Joe Brock & Matt Kemberling

    NC Wine Guys

    Joe Brock and Matt Kemberling are the NC Wine Guys. We’re two guys who love NC wine, mead, and cider. We also enjoy local breweries, farm to fork, and all things local. We live in the Winston area of North Carolina and work to promote truly local wine from across the state. In addition to the blog, we also have a podcast called Cork Talk featuring the local wine industry.