Speaker Posts Archive

Heath Ball

Hailing from New Zealand, Heath grew up in the hospitality industry, his Grandfather and Father both owned restaurants. His grandfather opened New Zealand’s first hamburger restaurant in 1939 and was the first place to sell Coca Cola in New Zealand. Open 24 hours a day 7 days week, it was very popular with the American troops stationed in New Zealand during the war and as a child Heath worked in his dad’s restaurants.

Heath left NZ in 1993 and worked in bars, restaurants in Australia, Europe and the USA.

His first job in London was working for Hugh Corbett, an industry legend who started pub brands like Pitcher and Piano and Harvey Wallbangers.

His first business in the UK was the drunken monkey which he owned from 2003 -2006, one of the first business to open on Shoreditch and it the time shoreditch was described as “no mans land”.

Heath worked in and then ran, several high profile clubs and bars in London before getting his first pub The Red Lion and Sun in London’s Highgate in 2007.

When Heath took over the Red Lion and Sun it was taking 400k net a year. Year end 2019 it took 1.8 million net.

Under Heath’s management, the pub was voted No. 10 in the UK’s Best Gastro Pubs 2019 and The UK’s Best Wine Pub in 2016 & 2018 and voted in The Times Top 25 Food Pubs 2017.

The real cream on the cake however was In 2018 The Red Lion and Sun won “Best Pub in the Country” at the Great British Awards. The Red Lion and Sun has become a the “local” for many famous Highgate residents such as Jude Law, Clive Owen, Kate Moss and Liam Gallagher.

In 2013 Heath acquired The Wenlock Arms, an iconic London ‘boozer’ saving it from demolition and restoring it to one of the capital’s best-loved real ale pubs.


Nick Stock

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.

Dan Sims

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 Mossman Knapp

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.