John Conover is general manager of PlumpJack Winery and Odette Winery, and partner in PlumpJack, Odette and CADE wineries. His winery background encompasses sales, marketing and management positions with well-respected, super-premium and ultra-premium California wine producers. Conover is also on the Board of Directors of The Napa County Land Trust and Napa Valley Grape Growers. He joined PlumpJack as general manager in January 1999 to oversee the daily operations of the estate winery and vineyard, provide strategic direction for the newly-established property, steadily increase production from 1,000 cases to 10,000 cases annually and create the image, awareness and distribution channels that would ultimately support that level of production. Conover is also a partner in CADE, an estate winery built on Howell Mountain in Napa Valley by the PlumpJack group which opened April 1, 2009. PlumpJack Winery released its first vintage in 1997. The winery currently produces several varietals under the talented direction of winemaker Anthony Biagi and consulting winemaker Nils Venge. The winery’s focus remains its Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon with two limited offerings: PlumpJack Estate and PlumpJack Reserve.
Kathleen K Dirickson "KK"
Kathleen K. Dirickson "KK", is the National Sales Manager for Joseph Phelps Vineyards, a family-owned winery committed to crafting world class, estate-grown wines. Founded in 1973 when Joe Phelps purchased a former cattle ranch near St. Helena in the Napa Valley, the winery now controls and farms nearly 375 acres of vines on eight estate vineyards in St. Helena, the Stags Leap District, Oakville, Rutherford, Oak Knoll District, Carneros and South Napa Valley. Phelps is best known for its flagship Napa Valley blend of red Bordeaux varieties, Insignia, first produced in 1974. Awarded Wine Spectator’s “Wine of the Year” in 2005, Insignia is widely regarded as a qualitative benchmark for California winemaking.
Anthony Giglio is one of the most entertaining wine authorities on the planet. He is a journalist, sommelier, educator, author and raconteur who has written several books, including three editions of the annual FOOD & WINE Wine Guide, a review of 1,000-plus wines; five editions of the enormously popular Mr. Boston Official Bartender’s Guide; and his highly regarded first book, Cocktails in New York. He is the longtime online sommelier for the FOOD & WINE Connoisseur Club newsletter, as well as for Departures’ Reserve Wine Club.
Ray Isle is the executive wine editor of FOOD & WINE, the sophisticated trend-spotting and talent-seeking epicurean brand. In addition to overseeing the magazine’s wine department, Ray writes the monthly column Tasting Room and directs all spirits coverage.
Ray’s articles about wine, food and spirits have appeared in a wide range of publications, including Wine & Spirits, The Washington Post, Martha Stewart Living and Gastronomica. He has been nominated for a James Beard Award. Ray regularly conducts wine-tasting seminars at epicurean events throughout the country and abroad and appears as a wine and spirits expert on national television, including NBC’s “Today”, “CBS This Morning” and CNBC.
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