Eastern Winery Exposition | Program Advisory Board

Program Advisory Board


Tim Benedict  
Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards

“It is essential for us to get out of the cellar from time to time and expand our horizons. EWE is the best and most efficient opportunity I have found to see advances in tools and technology, hear from industry experts on new tips and tricks, taste different wines, network and socialize, all in one place.” —Tim Benedict

Tim is a native of the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York who grew up around his grandfather’s vineyards. His early formal training was in the field of music but other than an inspired period as a traveling musician, he brought the creative sensibilities of a musician back to the craft of winemaking. In 2018 he celebrates 23 years as a head winemaker with 38 years total experience in the grape and wine industry. Throughout his career, Tim has crafted many award-winning wines from vinifera, hybrid, and native varieties, specializing in dessert wines like port, sherry, late harvest and ice wines. In recent years he has expanded his portfolio to include flavored wines and hard cider. Tim is an experienced project and production manager and has judged wines in several international competitions.

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Jerry Forest 
Buckingham Valley Vineyards

Jerry, together with wife Kathy, and sons Jon, Kevin and Chris founded, own, and operate Buckingham Valley Vineyards, a forty-acre, 18,000 case Pennsylvania vineyard and winery.  Founded in 1966, they are celebrating fifty years in the business. Buckingham Valley is unique in that the entire production is sold direct to the consumer. Jerry is unique in that after fifty years he still loves what he is doing. In 2017 Jerry and Kathy were awarded the Eastern Winery Exposition Lifetime Achievement Award.

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Denise M. Gardner 
Winemaking Consultant
Denise Gardner Winemaking, LLC

“The EWE continues to be well attended by industry members and professionals throughout the Eastern U.S. It’s a great forum to hear from industry leaders and suppliers.” —Denise M. Gardner

As an enologist, Denise has spent over a decade in the wine production industry, and the last six years as Pennsylvania’s enology extension associate at Penn State University. In the Fall of 2017, Denise launched her new consulting service, Denise Gardner Winemaking LLC (denisegardnerwinemaking.com), specializing in winemaking and educational consulting services for wine industry professionals.

Denise’s passion and enthusiasm for wine began at the age of 16 when she started growing wine grapes in high school. . She graduated from Penn State’s Food Science program with a minor in Horticulture in 2007 and earned her M.S. in Food Science and Technology, with an emphasis in Enology from Virginia Tech in 2009. Her graduate research with Dr. Bruce Zoecklein focused on the use of electronic nose technology for volatile analysis in grapes, juice, and wine. Following graduate school, she worked in Napa as Enartis Vinquiry’s sensory scientist, assisting wineries with specific wine sensory studies and conducting in-house evaluations on enological products. After returning to the eastern U.S., Denise was employed by Penn State Extension and focused on wine quality education covering topics such as sensory evaluation, fermentation nutrition, good sanitation practices, and wine chemistry concepts. In 2013 Denise obtained the Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW) accreditation from the Society of Wine Educators, and earned her Level 3 certification from the Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET) in 2015. In 2017, she became the Chair for the American Society of Enology and Viticulture (ASEV) – Eastern Section organization, which focuses on providing current and research-driven information to the regional wine industry and providing scholarships for students studying viticulture and enology. You can follow Denise on social media via Twitter (@DeniseMGardner) or the 2 Facebook pages she manages: Denise M. Gardner and American Society for Enology and Viticulture – Eastern Section.

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Held Patty

Patty Held
Patty Held Winery Consulting

Patty Held of Hermann, Missouri, graduated from California State University of Fresno with a B.S. degree in Enology in 1982. She was winemaker for Taylor Wine Company in New York from 1982 to 1988 before returning to her family-owned winery, Stone Hill Winery, in Hermann, MO, where she was director of public relations and special events from 1988 until 2008. Currently, Patty has her own winery consulting business, Patty Held Winery Consulting, specializing in marketing, tasting room evaluations, wine trails and customer service training.  Since the 1980s, Patty has judged wine at prestigious wine competitions across the country. In 2004, Patty was instrumental in forming the Hermann Wine Trail, a collaboration among seven local wineries for the purpose of promoting the Hermann area wine country. She serves as president of that organization. Patty is also an adjunct on-line instructor for VESTA, www.VESTA-USA.org, teaching Marketing for Small Wineries and Tasting Room Management. Patty is America’s Wine Trails industry advisor and part of the marketing team for its website and mobile app. She has been in the wine industry since she was five years old and has a grasp of all areas of the winery business.

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Doug Moorhead
Director & Vice President
Presque Isle Wine Cellars

Doug grew up on a fruit farm in Harborcreek Township in Erie County and at 79 still farms on his 170 acre family owned vineyard in addition to his activities with Presque Isle Wine Cellars. He graduated from Penn State in 1956 with a degree in Pomology. He became interested in the economics of growing wine grapes to replace the acreage of other fruits which had become less profitable in the Lake Erie area. Doug experimented with nearly 200 French Hybrid varieties and introduced the growing of European grapes (Vitis vinifera) into the Lake Erie area in the late 1950’s.

One of his main interests has been to produce quality wines from traditional European grapes grown in Pennsylvania. He was the first chairman of a State Grape Marketing Council which developed the legislative proposal that became the Pennsylvania Limited Winery Act in 1968. He was a longtime director and a past president of the Pennsylvania Wine Association, a longtime director in the National Grape Cooperative, an adjunct professor in the culinary department at Mercyhurst College in North East, PA, and is currently a director of Wine America and the Pennsylvania Grape Marketing Board. Though he enjoys walking a bit more these days, Doug was a competitive runner completing marathons and ultra-marathons into his fifties. He is also an avid Bridge player holding the Life Master rank. Doug sits on the EWE Program Advisory Board and at the 2013 Eastern Winery Exposition, he was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award for his work growing the wine and grape industries in Pennsylvania.

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Lucie Morton
Morton Viticulture

“For those growing grapes, making and selling wine in the Eastern U.S., it is invaluable to have an educational forum to meet your colleagues and suppliers. As the industry grows and faces new challenges, it is the Eastern Winery Exposition that maintains an undiluted focus on the dynamic integration of the three branches of winegrowing: vineyards, wineries, and marketing.” —Lucie Morton

Lucie is an independent viticulturist based in Virginia. She is an internationally recognized author, ampelographer, lecturer, consultant and research collaborator. Her higher education in viticulture occurred in Europe, while her practical education began as vineyard manager on the family farm along the banks of the Potomac River, Virginia-side. Most recently she has been working with geologists to show the need for revising potassium recommendations based on soil analyses and with plant pathologists to better understand wood fungi that also impact developing fruit clusters.

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Peter Oldak
Owner and Winemaker
Jewell Towne Vineyards

“The Eastern Winery Expo provides an excellent opportunity for Eastern winegrowers and winemakers to meet other winemakers, vendors of winery and vineyard equipment, and experts and learn about issues relevant to the Eastern wine industry.” —Peter Oldak

Peter is at the helm of New Hampshire’s oldest winery. He is past president of the New Hampshire Winery Association, chairman of the Northern New England Chapter of the American Wine Society, and a member of the advisory board for the Eastern Winery Exposition. He has been growing American, hybrid and vinifera grapes since 1982 and producing wine commercially since 1994. He has mentored many of the New England growers starting vineyards and wineries and has emphasized the importance of selecting the right grape varieties for each site. He is a strong advocate for the French-American and Cornell hybrids, especially for the white varieties in USDA Zones 5 and 6. Seyval is the signature grape for his winery.

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Tom Payette
Winemaker & Winemaking Consultant
Payette Consulting

“Sharing, collaborating and true face time with fellow wine industry members, and suppliers, at Eastern Wineries has been invaluable for my professional growth and refinement of my skills.” —Tom Payette

Tom is a winemaking consultant with a degree in Food Science Technology from Virginia Tech.  Tom began consulting in 1988 and in 2000 became a full-time consulting winemaker. He has consulted on 25+ vintages on the East coast as well as assisting for eight vintages in the Napa Valley. Tom knows winemaking challenges and how to overcome them. He is an expert in avoiding costly pitfalls, nurturing new winemakers and assisting new winery start-ups from concept to construction to cork, and onward to the consumer. He knows wine is made in the vineyard, not overnight in the cellar with a magic wand. With an in-depth understanding of plumbing, electrical, cooling, mechanical, production space needs, and tasting room flow, Tom has set up more than 42 wineries to date and has expanded numerous others. He can be contacted at winemakingconsultant.com.

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