Andrew Jefford

Elaine Chukan Brown

Writer, Speaker, Educator

Elaine Chukan Brown serves as a writer, speaker, and global wine educator. Brown is the Napa Valley specialist for Wine Enthusiast and previously served as the Executive Editor US for JancisRobinson.com, a columnist for Decanter Magazine, and a contributing writer to Wine & Spirits Magazine. They contributed to both the 4th and 5th editions of the Oxford Companion to Wine, the 8th edition of the World Atlas of Wine, and the compilations On Burgundy and On California from Academie du Vin Library. Indigenous (Inupiaq and Unangan-Sugpiaq) from what is now Alaska, Brown has dedicated their career to the intersection of sustainability, climate action, and reducing gatekeeping in the wine industry. They co-founded the Diversity in Wine Leadership Forum and have advised diversity initiatives in multiple countries. Brown serves as a judge for the Texsom Awards, chair of judges for the 67 Pall Mall Communicator Awards, and is a board member of the Wine Writer Symposium.

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Namrantha Prasanth

Richard Kershaw, MW

Winemaker, Kershaw Wines, South Africa

Born and raised in the UK, Richard started his career as a chef before travelling extensively, making wine in Chile, California, Hungary, Germany and Bordeaux. In Bordeaux, he helped co-produce a book about the smaller vigneron of the Gironde. In 1999, Richard settled in South Africa and worked at Mulderbosch Vineyards, Nelson Estate and Kanu as a winemaker before rejoining Mulderbosch in 2009. He established Kershaw Wines in January 2012 to create clonally selected, site-specific, cool climate wines in the Elgin Valley, the country’s coolest wine region, choosing to focus on apposite noble grapes (ones with the ability to produce world-class examples) and now has a stable of award-winning wines focused on Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Syrah.

Richard was invited to join the Cape Winemaker’s Guild in 2021. One of only 11 international Masters of Wine who actively make their own wines and South Africa’s only winemaking Master of Wine, he is much in demand when not in the vineyard or cellar. A wine show judge for many prestigious competitions around the globe, he is also part of the educational panel for the Institute of Masters of Wine, lectures for the WSET (Wine & Spirit Education Trust) in South Africa, and shares the breadth of his knowledge with students and consumers via talks, tastings and blogs.

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George Soleas

Tanisha Townsend

Chief Wine Officer, Girl Meets Glass

With an unwavering passion for the artistry of wine and an unparalleled knowledge of France's most renowned wine regions, Tanisha Townsend stands as a luminary in the realm of wine tourism. As a dedicated professional, she has devoted 7+ years to curating immersive experiences that transcend the traditional boundaries of wine exploration. Tanisha has mastered the delicate dance of combining expertise and hospitality to craft bespoke group tours that whisk participants away on enchanting journeys through the picturesque landscapes of France. Specializing in the country's most celebrated wine regions, she excels in creating itineraries that showcase the rich tapestry of vineyards, cellars, and the culture that defines each unique terroir.

But Tanisha is not merely a guide, she is a storyteller. With a deep appreciation for the art and science of winemaking, she transforms each tour into an educational adventure, providing participants with insights into the intricacies of viticulture and oenology.

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Madeline Puckette

Madeline Puckette

Founder, Wine Folly

Madeline Puckette created Wine Folly, an award-winning brand dedicated to learning about wine.

Puckette’s work with Wine Folly includes two books, a New York Times bestseller and a James Beard Award winner, as well as a portfolio of online courses, maps, prints, and wine education tools. For her work, she was awarded Wine Communicator of the Year by International Wine and Spirit Competition (IWSC) in 2019.

As a personality, Madeline Puckette is the host of the Wine Folly YouTube channel and has been featured in Jason Wise's documentaries Somm: Into The Bottle and Somm 3.