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Dr. Anna Katharine Mansfield,

Cornell University

"Feed your Yeast: Fermentation Nutrition"

"Body Building: Tannins and Structure in Red Wines"

Anna Katharine Mansfield is an associate professor of enology at Cornell AgriTech in Geneva, NY.  She received a BA in English from Salem College and graduate degrees in Food Science at Virginia Tech and the University of Minnesota. Mansfield has been a member of the Cornell Enology Extension Lab since 2009, where she strives to aid regional wineries through outreach and applied research on hybrid wine phenolics and color, fermentation nutrition, and regional typicity.


Sarah Bryant Walsh

Walsh Family Winery

"Winery marketing: insights on brand building and engaging audiences”

Sarah Bryant Walsh works for a wine importer and distributor, and is the wife-side of the husband and wife team behind Walsh Family Wine.  She holds a Diploma from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust, and was the recipient of the Presidents Award from Winebow in both 2014 and 2016 for being top sales professional in the mid-Atlantic.  A Georgia native who settled outside of Washington DC after working in the hospitality industries of Atlanta and Chicago, she began a career in wine distribution 8 years ago. In this role, she is primarily focused on working as a wine consultant for independent restaurants and retail, and teaching wine classes for the general public. Her favorite job in the vineyard is shoot thinning, and her current wine obsession is Chenin Blanc

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Nate Walsh

Walsh Family Winery

"The Importance of Balanced Fruit (And What To Do When It Eludes You)"

Nate Walsh is the owner and winegrower for Walsh Family Wine.  He has worked for vineyards and wineries in Oregon, New Zealand, Central Virginia, and Northern Virginia, where he has established his family's brand and where he oversees all vineyard management and winemaking for 50 acres of winegrapes.  He is currently the President of the Virginia Vineyards Association

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Simone Bergese

Chateau Elan, Winemaker

"The Importance of Balanced Fruit (And What To Do When It Eludes You)"

Simone Bergese is originally from Alba, Italy and holds a degree in Oenology and Viticulture from the Turin University in Northern Italy. After completing his degree, Simone worked as Assistant Winemaker for several wineries in Italy’s Barolo and Barbaresco regions, as well as wineries in Australia. He was hired in 2003 as Chief Winemaker at Patria Winery in Sicily, and then he progressed in 2006 as the Chief Winemaker for the prestigious Firriato Winery, one of the best known wineries in Italy. During his time with these two wineries, Simone produced more than 18 million bottles of wine and was awarded several international awards. In 2008, Bergese moved to the United States to join Potomac Point Winery in Stafford, Virginia. As the Winemaker at Potomac Point, he achieved several awards for his wines in local, national and international wine competitions, including the prestigious International Wine Challenge and Decanter World Wine Awards. His wines were constantly listed among the top 10 wines produced in Virginia at the Governor’s cup. Since Joining Château Élan in 2013, his wines have won over 250 awards at the most prominent wine competitions and he has brought the wine offerings to over 27 styles of wines including several from 100% Muscadine grapes.

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Dr. Cain Hickey

UGA, Viticulture Extension Specialist

"Delayed pruning effects in Chardonnay"

Cain Hickey is an assistant professor and viticulture extension specialist in the Horticulture Department at the University of Georgia. He has been involved in viticulture research and extension since 2007, when he was employed at the Penn State Lake Erie Regional Grape Research and Extension Center.  After graduating with a BS in Horticulture Science from Penn State in 2009, Cain began his graduate studies in viticulture at Virginia Tech, earning his MSc in 2012 and PhD in 2016.  He was a post-doctoral research associate at the Cornell Lake Erie Regional Extension Laboratory from 2016-2017.  His research focuses on applied viticulture, and has been recently focused on pruning, trellising, and fruit-zone management as they relate to crop yield and quality.  He has presented at academic and industry conferences and developed extension workshops.  Cain is working with members of the Georgia grape and wine industry to solve regional vineyard management issues through his extension and research appointment.


Dr. Phil Brannen

UGA Plant Pathology Department

"Powdery and Downy Mildews – Identification, Management, and Fungicide Resistance Issues"

Phil Brannen is a Professor in the Plant Pathology Department at the University of Georgia. He attended the University of Georgia for his undergraduate degree in Plant Protection and Pest Management, where he also received an M.S. in Plant Pathology, followed by a Ph.D. in Plant Pathology from Auburn University. He has extensive experience with disease management programs in numerous cropping systems. He serves as the extension fruit pathologist for Georgia – conducting research and technology transfer for multiple fruit commodities. His efforts are directed towards developing IPM practices to solve disease issues and technology transfer of disease-management methods to commercial fruit producers. He also teaches the graduate level Field Pathology Course, the History of Plant Diseases and their Impact on Human Societies Course, team-teaches the IPM Course, coordinates the Viticulture and Enology in the Mediterranean Region Course (Cortona, Italy), and guest lectures in numerous other courses throughout the year.


Dr. Brett Blaauw

UGA Entomology Department

" Development of IPM Strategies to Improve Management of Spotted Wing Drosophila and Sour Rot in Grapes"

Brett Blaauw is an assistant professor and extension specialist for the University of Georgia and Clemson University. As such, I am considered the regional peach entomologist for Georgia and South Carolina. Additionally, I have extension responsibilities for a variety of other fruits, including apples and grapes. I have over 10 years of experience working on pest management and insect conservation in fruit crops, focusing on integrating insect behavior and ecology to more effectively and sustainably manage insect pests.

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Rachael White

UGA, MS Graduate Research Assistant

"Bud density and trellis structure effects in Chambourcin"

Rachael White is a Master’s student in the Horticulture Department at the University of Georgia. Her research focus is in applied viticulture. Specifically, her research focuses on trellis and crop load management in several regionally popular V. vinifera and hybrid bunch grape varieties. Before moving to Georgia to pursue her Master’s degree, Rachael began to be involved in viticulture research in 2013, when she began working for Virginia Tech at the Agriculture Research and Extension Center in Winchester, Virginia. In December 2016, Rachael received her bachelor’s degree from Virginia Tech, where she majored in horticulture and minored in viticulture. After graduating, she moved to New Zealand for a few months to work a vintage in a contract winery before returning home to the eastern US to pursue her Master’s degree.


Annie Vogel

UGA Horticulture Department

"Leaf removal effects in Chardonnay"

Annie Vogel is a Master’s student in the Horticulture Department at the University of Georgia. Her research focuses on canopy and crop management through leaf removal methods implemented on common V. vinifera and hybrid bunch grape varieties. Annie attended UGA during undergrad and began her viticulture career through a summer internship on a west Georgia vineyard followed by a year of undergraduate work with the university’s viticulture program. Through that opportunity she conducted undergraduate research that would lead into her interest in a Master’s degree. Annie received her B.S of Horticulture from the University of Georgia in May 2018 and immediately began her Master’s program.