2017 Speakers

A marketing expert with an emphasis on digital. Nick has four years agency experience running high performing, tech lead campaigns across artists, festivals and some Australia’s biggest brands. He’s worked on campaign with budgets from one thousand dollars to over ten million and was recently listed a national finalist for Cannes Young Lions.

Currently Nick is a Digital Campaign Manager at Bolster; a digital agency specialising in arts, music, food and beverage clients such as GABS, Sydney and Perth Comedy Festivals, Splendour In The Grass, The Melbourne Racing Company Events, ALH group, Laneway Festival, Falls Festival and more.

May 22nd, 2017

NICK COX & DION HALL, Projects of Imagination

2017 Speakers

Nick Cox and Dion Hall are the co-founders of Melbourne-based Projects of Imagination, a studio centred in designing spaces and brands for restaurants and the hospitality industry. When it comes to developing a new project, Projects of Imagination cover every aspect and touchpoint of the business, from interior architecture, to customised furniture, to branding and business strategy.

They recently worked on the cellar door at Mornington Peninsula’s Rare Hare winery, part of the Willow Creek dynasty, which included developing everything form the positioning of the menu, interior design, to the quirky wine labels for Geraldine McFaul’s new Rare Hare range of vintages.

May 17th, 2017

ZOE MANDERSON, Alpaca Travel

2017 Speakers

Zoe is co-founder of Alpaca, a map-based content tool helping the tourism industry unlock the power of maps to encourage exploration and fuel discovery.

Alpaca is revolutionizing maps in the age of digital travel exploration, planning, and social sharing. Alpaca focuses on journeys, not directions. Maps are more than just a way to get from point A to B, it is about inviting visitors to explore somewhere new, see more along the way, and stay longer. Specifically designed for the tourism sector, every aspect of the product has been honed for travellers – whether it be guided tours or independent adventurers.

Zoe is a self-confessed cartophile, with a healthy addition to maps. For her, maps awake that desire to explore – a passion that has taken her to over 25 countries, and sparked the initial idea for Alpaca.

Zoe has previously consulted across a range of industries on digital marketing, strategy and product innovation, and most recently was responsible for growing the brand and market position of another Australian startup.

May 17th, 2017

Angela Clifford: Tongue In Groove

Brains Trust NZ

Managing Director of Tongue in Groove Wines in North Canterbury, Angela has been involved in wine business roles in both Australia & New Zealand over the last 20 years. With a special interest in story-telling she’s been involved with the industry at a national level, the co-founder of Summer of Riesling in New Zealand, board member of Pinot Noir NZ as well as helping other wineries and businesses tell their story in a more compelling way to their consumers.

She currently continues to help Pinot Noir NZ and is the Canterbury representative for the NZ Sommeliers & Wine Professionals association. She also has a significant interest in food as the owner of the organic CSA property The Food Farm. She originally set up the Barossa Farmers Market, was vice-chair of the NZ Farmers Market Association and founded the Forage North Canterbury wine and food event.

June 2nd, 2016


2016 Speakers

Andrea Frost is an award-winning writer, columnist and author whose work has been described as “more like an evening with a particularly erudite and witty dinner companion than a class at the local wine school”.

Andrea is a columnist for and the World of Fine Wine and has contributed to Gourmet Traveller Wine, the James Halliday Wine Companion magazine, Wine Enthusiast, ABC’s delicious., The Melbourne and Adelaide Reviews and Slow Living Magazine, among others.

In 2013, Andrea was named the Wine Communicator of the Year and her first book, Through A Sparkling Glass, An A-Z of the Wonderland of Wine (Hardie Grant/Rizzoli Books) was awarded Best Wine Publication. In 2015, Andrea was shortlisted for in the prestigious Louis Roederer International Wine Writers’ Awards and a finalist is the Wine Communicators of Australia awards. Andrea’s piece ‘The Invention of Wine‘ won her the Best Editorial Wine Writing award at the 2012 Born Digital Wine Awards.

Through A Sparkling Glass has received many wonderful reviews and been described as a “gentle, thoughtful stroll through wine, life and most things in between.”

Andrea has appeared at several literary and wine events including the 2014 Melbourne Writers Festival, the 2013 Bendigo Writers Festival and the 2013 inaugural Wine Day Out.

In 2012 and 2013, Andrea was named Wine Business Monthly’s ‘50 Stars’ of the year and in 2013 was selected as one of twelve scholars to attend the exclusive Len Evans Tutorial in the Hunter Valley.

Prior to freelance writing, Andrea held various roles in publishing and media including the editor of a wine magazine that won “World’s Best Wine Magazine” at the World Food Media Awards.

June 2nd, 2016

Megan Abbott-Walker
Sommelier, Masu

2016 Speakers

Like many students, Meg Abbott-Walker first dipped her toes into hospitality work in Wellington to fund her studies, but by 2005 she had turned it into a full-time career when she gained a love for the fast-paced and vibrant restaurant life.

Following a move to Melbourne, Meg’s eyes were opened to the beauty of sake and wine while working at restaurants including when Nobu, Ichi Ni Izakaya and Gigibaba, before becoming sake sommelier and assistant sommelier at Andrew McConnell’s Golden Fields.

In her current role, since 2013, as sommelier and beverage manager at “Masu by Nic Watt” at Skycity in Auckland, she has created one of the country’s largest sake lists and a wine list celebrating New Zealand wine.

Meg is studying for a diploma with the UK accredited Wine and Spirits Education Trust and complements this study with as much travel, eating and drinking as possible in order to delve deeper into the world of wine. She won the Lewisham presented Negociants Outstanding Wine Service Professional award in 2015 and now hopes her passion for natural, organic and experimental wines as well as reverence for the classic wines of the world will be helpful in steering the attention of New Zealand’s already well-versed wine consumers to exploration in the greater global wine (and sake!) industry.

June 2nd, 2016

Jo Burzynska MA
Wine Writer

2016 Speakers

Wine journalist, author and judge, Jo Burzynska is one of New Zealand’s leading wine communicators, writing one of the country’s most widely read wine columns in the New Zealand Herald’s Viva magazine, as well as contributing to specialist wine publications worldwide. She is also the author of Wine Class: All you need to know about wine in New Zealand (Random House).

An active international wine judge, Jo’s current regular roles include that of Chair of the Canterbury Wine Awards and as a New Zealand Panel Chair at the International Wine & Spirit Competition in the UK. She is one of the founding members and Chair of Wine Writers of New Zealand and helped establish the world’s first wine and sound bar, The Auricle in Christchurch, NZ.

More information about Jo and her work can be found at:

June 2nd, 2016

Jane Skilton MW
Wine Writer

2016 Speakers

Jane initially planned to study Electrical Engineering after leaving school. She soon realised that volts and amps would be unlikely to hold her interest and instead applied for a job in a local fine wine shop and a career in wine began. She completed the Wine and Spirit Education Trust Diploma exam (gaining the Frescobaldi and Cognac scholarships) in 1988 and continuing her studies gained her Master of Wine qualification in 1993.

She married her New Zealand husband and moved to Auckland in 2000. Jane now divides her time between teaching WSET wine classes through her own school, the NZ School of Wines and Spirits and Le Cordon Bleu New Zealand, writing about wine and looking after her family. She is the Wine Editor for the Food Magazine and regular contributor to Gourmet Traveller Wine and Wine NZ.

Jane is a Senior Judge at the Royal Easter Wine Show, the NZ International Wine Show, Spiegelau International Wine Competition and the Hawkes Bay Wine Awards. She has judged in London, Tokyo, Brisbane, Rutherglen and Shanghai.

She is a member of the Council of the Institute of Masters of Wine and sits on the Advisory Board of Le Cordon Bleu New Zealand.

June 2nd, 2016

Matt Paul
The Hidden Cost of Running a Business

2013 TALKS


With the restaurant industry in full Christmas rush madness, this talk is a reminder of how volatile the hospitality industry can be and just because you’re busy does not mean you’re profitable. 2013 has seen a number of high profile restaurants go into receivership leaving wineries, distributors, importers and, most importantly, staff out of pocket. Are such loses sustainable and who, in the end, pays the price? How can this combated? What are the answers?

Nick Stock
Why Are We Here

2013 TALKS


With the appropriate title ‘Why Are We Here’, Nick Stock laid the foundation for the Wine Day Out 2013 by not only posing some tough questions but offering observations on the current state of play of the wine game as well as some home truths.

With Nick’s trademark charismatic delivery, the scene was set for a day of ideas and discussion. Watch on.

Harley Augustine
Beyond The Bottle

2013 TALKS


A multi-disciplinary brand strategy and design consultancy born in Leeds, England in 1989, Elmwood is now the world’s largest independent brand and design agency – with studios in London, Melbourne, Singapore, Hong Kong and New York.

Andrea Frost
Love & Wonder

2013 TALKS


In her book, Through A Sparkling Glass, Andrea Frost takes a curious and whimsical journey through the world of wine, life and most things in between. In this talk, the journey continues. Andrea will discuss the things she loves about wine, the things its taught her and those things that keep her wondering.

Matt Skinner
Coles ‘New’ World

2013 TALKS


Whilst Matt was unable to attend WINE DAY OUT personally, we asked him to put this video together to tell his side of the story since he joined Coles liquor group. With much criticism of the ‘big two’ chains in the wine industry, this insight into what he’s trying to do within the group is important to know.

Michael Glover
It’s Time

2013 TALKS

IT’S TIME: A new nationalism in Australian wine

When it comes to true characters of wine, Michael Glover is right up there with the best of them.

When I approached Michael to talk he asked me what I wanted him to say. ‘Just be un-apologetically Australian mate’ knowing full well the irony of the fact he is a kiwi.

Justine Bloome
Social Lubricant

2013 TALKS


“There is no more unfamiliar situation than trying to have a marketing conversation about wine on social media. Wine has been a social lubricant for 10,000 years, but when it comes to ‘being social’ online, the ‘just add wine’ mantra rarely delivers results.”

Kylee Vowles
From Vine to Video

2013 TALKS


For Kylee, the importance of branding, marketing and strategy is the story. Without a story, consumers are unable to connect with a product. Story telling has many angles depending on the type of print article and word restrictions you are met with.

Nick Bowditch, Twitter Australia

2014 TALKS

‘In a market that is flooded with competitors, often a small business is competing selling exactly the same product, at exactly the same price to exactly the same people and the only thing that is going to differentiate you from the rest of the noise, is your story and your ability to tell that story’.

Lifting the Veil on Wine Journalism

2014 TALKS

Here is the part one of a series of videos focusing on the ethics in Australian wine journalism. Here Michael MacKenzie (ABC Radio National) talks to wine writers Max Allen and Mike Bennie on their thoughts and concerns of the current state of wine writing play. This is the beginning of a larger and broader conversation and continues next week with the Gruner Transfer and the Q&A session that followed.

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