Keynote Speaker

Almudena Alberca, MW

Almudena Alberca is the first woman in Spain to achieve the title of Master of Wine. After graduating in agriculture engineering, she continued her studies gaining a degree in oenology and a master in viticulture. Her first harvest was in New Zealand at Vidal Estate, part of the Villa Maria group. Since then she has travelled extensively through wine producing regions worldwide. Almudena began her career producing boutique wines in Viñas de Cenit, in Zamora, Spain, where she went from assistant winemaker to managing the entire winery. She worked at Dominio de Atauta in Ribera del Duero where she played an integral role in shaping their wine styles and achieving international success. During this time, she was also the Spanish specialist for importer AvivaVino in New York, selecting and blending wines for this market. Almudena has been the technical director at Viña Mayor since 2015, one of Spain’s large-volume players in Ribera del Duero, Rueda and Toro. She is also responsible for developing new brands and wines in regions like Rías Baixas and Valdeorras and is involved with PR, marketing and sales both in Spain and abroad.

Since January 2021 spanish brand ambassador for the wine investment company Oeno.

Afternoon Keynote Speaker

Elaine Chukan Brown

Elaine Chukan Brown serves as a wine writer, public speaker, and global wine educator. They are a columnist for Decanter, and previously served as Executive Editor, US, for Brown was a finalist for a James Beard in Journalism, and has won numerous awards for their work in wine. These include being named Wine Communicator of the Year in the world by IWSC and VinItaly, One of the 50-most Influential Women in Wine in the World by WINWSA in China, A Leader in North American Wine by Wine Business Monthly, and One of the Most Inspiring People in Wine by Wine Industry Network. The Hue Society annual award in wine education was also named after Brown in recognition of their industry-changing impact. Brown has contributed to both the 4th and 5th editions of The Oxford Companion to Wine, and the 8th edition to The World Atlas of Wine. And wrote chapters for the compilation On California, as well as On Burgundy from Academie du Vin. Brown travels the world doing immersive research in the world’s wine regions, as well as delivering unique seminars in wine and keynote addresses on wine, diversity, sustainability, and climate action. 

Keynote Speaker

Mike Veseth

Mike Veseth (pronounced VEE-seth) is editor of The Wine Economist newsletter ( and author of more than a dozen books including Wine Wars (2011), Extreme Wine (2013), Money, Taste & Wine: It’s Complicated! (2015),  Around the World in Eighty Wines (2018) and Wine Wars II: The Global Battle for the Soul of Wine (forthcoming 2022). He is a sought-after speaker at wine industry meetings both in the United States and around the world.

Veseth’s writings on wine and globalization have been widely praised. Globaloney was selected as a Best Business Book of 2005. Wine Wars was chosen as Best Wine Book of 2011. The Wine Economist was named Best Wine Blog by Gourmand International in 2015. Money, Taste, and Wine: It’s Complicated received the 2016 Gourmand International Award for Best Wine Writing. Around the World in Eighty Wines was named one of the 100 best wine books of all time by Wine Wars II received a special award from Gourmand International for sustainability and wine in 2023.

A noted educator, Veseth is professor emeritus of International Political Economy at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington.  In 2010 he was named Washington State  Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education.

Veseth received a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and Economics from the University of Puget Sound and the Master’s and Ph.D. degrees in Economics from Purdue University.



TUESDAY, April 23, 2024

8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.


Niagara Falls Convention Centre

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