Pinot obsessed Nick Stock is one of the most widely tasted palates in the modern world of wine. His annual tasting roster sees him visit and taste the major regions of France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Austria, Argentina, Chile, USA, Australia and of course New Zealand. Within this mix he covers more than thirty regions that produce world class wines from the pinot noir grape and this is by no means a mere coincidence. He first appeared at this conference in 2007 and is delighted to return in 2021 to help celebrate the fascinating and delicious world of great pinot noir.
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Dan Sims is a wino. Albeit a professional one. As a wine commentator, educator, promoter and personality, Dan has been consumed with all things vinous for over two decades. Known for being outspoken on the subject of making the world of wine accessible, he has worked to engage, excite and collaborate with those of a similar ilk, and is now focused on producing large scale events for wine drinkers that are informative, interactive and not in the slightest bit scary.
In 2013, Dan established Bottle Shop Concepts. The driving force behind affectionately named BS Concepts (now REVEL Global) is unquestionably to take the ‘wank out of wine’. Events include Pinot Palooza, Sake Matsuri, Game of Rhones, MOULD – A Cheese Festival, Gauchito Gil’s Malbec Day and more.
Derek grew up in Toronto and went to Chile to work as a ski coach during his summers at university. After a Masters at Columbia U. in a subject overlapping wine chemistry and viticulture: Comparative Literature, Derek returned to Chile and met and married winemaker and Garage partner Pilar Miranda. During early work growing a creative agency, with clients in wine he decided that what the wine trade really needed was more small players amidst so much BIG, and so he began transforming the family hobby of a half dozen barrels in the garage into a business surprisingly named: the Garage Wine Company.
A misfit in blue-chip Chile, soon he found his way South to the under-appreciated old vines of the Maule where he has spent fifteen years building a firm working small parcels reviving old vineyards in the Secano Interior, with regenerative agriculture and the community.
John Saker was born and educated in Wellington. He developed an interest in wine after living in France for several years where he played professional basketball. He has been writing about wine, with a specialist interest in New Zealand pinot noir, for the past 20 years. He has written for many publications, both in New Zealand and overseas, and is the author of three wine books, including Pinot Noir: The New Zealand Story. In 2008, he curated the New Zealand Portrait Gallery exhibition ‘The Face of New Zealand Wine’.