The WIN Expo Advisory Board was established to guarantee that conference topics and speakers are relevant to the continued success of the North Coast Wine Industry. Advisors are comprised of professionals whose levels of expertise span all facets within the wine industry.
VingDirect is focused on helping family wineries increase their direct to consumer (DTC) sales. VingDirect works with wineries in California, Washington, Oregon and Texas, offering DTC expertise, training and education.
Prior to founding VingDirect in 2009, Tammy served as the head of Foster's Wine Estates U.S. Direct to Consumer division. In this role, she was acting President of Windsor Vineyards from 2005-2007 and President of International Wine Accessories from 2004-2007. Windsor Vineyards is the largest U.S. shipper of wine direct to consumer and utilizes outbound telemarketing as the primary sales channel. Tammy has 20+ years direct marketing and general management experience, beginning with her position at Collin Street Bakery in 1990 as General Manager of Cryer Creek Kitchens, a producer of specialty baked goods. She is a frequent speaker at industry conferences. VingDirect is the recipient of the North Bay Business Journal's 2014 award for direct to consumer in the wine industry.
Beth Costa has been the Executive Director for Wine Road Northern Sonoma County, an association of 200 wineries and 50 lodgings for the past sixteen years. In that roll she is responsible for creating the budget, managing staff and working with a committee to create and implement a yearly marketing plan. Beth oversees social media with a team that also creates the blog, newsletter and podcast to give visitors an insider’s view of Wine Road. In addition she facilitates the production of the Wine Road map and organizes educational seminars for members.
Beth is currently the chair for the Hospitality Advisory Board for Santa Rosa Junior College. She regularly partners with the tourism bureau in both Sonoma County and San Francisco on various press events.
Prior to working for Wine Road, Beth spent nine years managing the tasting rooms at Kendall-Jackson. While there she hired and trained staff, developed a training manual and managed the tasting room budgets. In addition Beth worked with the club manager to develop sales techniques and was in charge of purchasing and merchandising for the various tasting rooms.
Before learning the ropes in the wine business she was a department manager and clothing buyer for a department store in Northern California.
Mike Draxton is a 25+ year veteran winemaker and grape grower. Formally with well-known brands such as Schramsberg, Geyser Peak and Canyon Road, Mike launched his own brand in 1995. Mike currently runs three wine industry corporations: M. Draxton Inc (a custom winemaking operation), Draxton Wine Storage and D+D Vineyard Management. Mike has stayed actively involved in winery associations throughout his career such as Alexander Valley Wine Growers (past president) and Sonoma County Wine Grape Commission. Mike also has 10+ years experience as a wine judge in some of the country’s best known and most prestigious wine competitions.
Ashley Herzberg graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno with a degree in Chemical Engineering and discovered that her passion was not in medicine, but rather in winemaking! She started working in a winery lab and then became a Lab Technician & Lab Manager at Owl Ridge Winery. The experience she received at Owl Ridge working with some of the top Pinot Noir vintners in California led her to become an enologist and then Assistant Winemaker at Mauritson Winery in 2007. Ashley began her consulting winemaking business in 2011, and makes wine for small family owned wineries in Sonoma County including Saini Vineyards, Amista Vineyards and Bacigalupi Vineyards. Winemaking isn’t just her job, it’s her life... along with her two young children.
Cameron Mauritson is a sixth generation wine grape grower in Lake and Sonoma County. He manages the day to day farming operation and product placement with producers and wineries throughout the state. Cameron is a recent graduate of the California Agricultural Leadership Foundation, and a current appointee on the Sonoma County Planning Commission.
Chris is a dedicated wine marketing and communications professional with over fifteen years of wine business experience. Growing up in Healdsburg, California, he caught the "wine bug" early, working as cellar hand at wineries in the Dry Creek Valley of Sonoma County.
Following graduation from U.C. Berkeley and a stint as a sports and politics writer, Chris made his way back to the wine business in sales at Scott Street Portfolio, which imported boutique Southern Hemisphere wines with a focus on terroir. After a year, he was managing all of California, the largest wine market in the United States.
In 2002, Chris joined E. & J. Gallo as public relations project manager at their Healdsburg winery. The next five years would be instrumental in learning fine wine public relations and marketing.
In January of 2007, Chris left Gallo for Merryvale Vineyards in St. Helena, where he was Director of Marketing and Communications. In 2013 he joined Paul Hobbs Wines to take over marketing and communications for Paul’s various projects domestically and abroad, and in 2016 Chris became the Director of Communications for Rodney Strong Wine Estates.
Chris has been judging wine professionally for over ten years at some of the most prestigious wine competitions in the world, including Finger Lakes International, San Francisco Chronicle, Jerry Mead, and Bacchus of Spain.
Chris lives in Cloverdale, Northern Sonoma County with his wife Alexandra, son Liam, and daughter Sophia Jane. In their free time, they enjoy raucous dinner parties, tennis, travel, and living a blessed life in wine country.
Growing up in New Jersey, Bryan Parker graduated from Rutgers University with a degree in Chemistry. After earning a Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from the University of Illinois, and postdoctoral research at Northwestern University, Parker moved out to California to study Viticulture and Enology at the University of California - Davis. Parker has held positions at Beringer Vineyards, Pine Ridge Winery, Alderbrook Vineyards and Winery, and currently for Terlato Vineyards.
Chris Russi has a strong background in all aspects of wine production. His road to the wine industry began once he graduated from Santa Clara University with a Combined Science major and moved to Sonoma County to help develop and maintain vineyards is Dry Creek Valley. Several years later he began wine production in the cellar and laboratory at Geyser Peak Winery followed by a vintage at Peter Lehmann Wines in Barossa Valley, Australia. At this point, armed with a strong understanding of grape growing and winemaking, he enrolled at UC Davis, and in two years graduated with a Viticulture and Enology degree. In 2000, he became the winemaker at Christopher Creek Winery, and eight years later moved on to revamp and make wine at Thomas George Estates. In 2009, he co-founded BlueMorph UV (a company that develops systems for vessel sanitation via ultraviolet light) and has successfully has been using UV units for sanitation in the winery setting. In 2013, he helped design and build Comstock Wines where he currently resides as winemaker.
Matt Smith is a graduate of Grosse Pointe South High School (1986). He attended the University of Michigan (1990) where he received his Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and French Language. During his time at UofM, Matt spent his junior year at the Sorbonne in Paris. Following graduation, he traveled extensively around the world visiting 28 countries from New Zealand and Australia to Southeast Asia, the Soviet Union, Eastern and Western Europe. After living in France and Spain for two years, he returned to America and eventually found his way to Northern California, where he enrolled at the University of California at Davis in the Masters of Viticulture & Enology program.
Finishing his wine education in 2003, he worked at Maison Joseph Drouhin, one of Burgundy’s top wine companies, and in Australia for Mitchelton Wines. Smith then joined Kendall-Jackson’s winemaking team in 2004 and he became Winemaking Director for all North Coast wines in 2011.
After 11 years helping to craft wines as part of the Kendall-Jackson winemaking team, Matt is now focusing on wines that display his passion for Italian varieties and blends. Matt is exceptionally skilled at crafting wines of place that display depth and balance. He understands that the best moments in life are spent sharing great wine and great food with family and friends. He is particularly drawn to the Mediterranean lifestyle and believes nothing goes better with great food and great friends than terrific wine.
Matt Smith completed his 18th Harvest with vintage 2017. It proved to be an exceptional year, and Matt is excited to continue building on the successes of his Sassoferrato Wines. In 2018, Matt is excited with the rave reviews he has received on his rosé and his new red wine, the 2015 Monte de Ferro Red Blend. This Super-Tuscan-inspired Red Wine is sourced from the Ellis Alden Vineyard in the Alexander Valley of Sonoma County.