Wine Business Authority – About Us
The Wine Business Authority (WBA) is dedicated to revolutionising the wine industry from field to shelf through improving and increasing the use of technology for everything from soil sampling to tracking the bottle. The WBA is a group if four core experts who work together to research and test advances to existing vineyard technology, as well as inventing new approaches to vineyard management, through to improvements to tracking and traceability in the wine value chain.
The head of the WBA is Martin Wiederkehr, former president of the Swiss Wine association and passionate advocate for Swiss Wines both locally and abroad, Mr Wiederkehr has a history in winemaking stretching back to his younger years. Having spent time on a vineyard while trying to decide on his path in life, this experience convinced him to study oenology, a decision that would shape the rest of his life in wine. Mr. Wiederkehr, comes from Zurich and is a graduate engineer in FH oenologist / beverage engineer at ZHAW Wädenswil. After completing an apprenticeship as a winegrower, his studies gave him wide-ranging skills in the fields of viticulture, oenology and business administration. His training at the KS in St. Gallen was supplemented in the areas of management and corporate management. As a passionate wine lover and connoisseur, he worked for six years as a scientist and responsible oenologist at the Swiss Federal Research Institute in Wädenswil Now celebrating over 35 years involved in the wine industry, Mr Wiederkehr is part of a team promoting further Swiss-origin wine, specifically Müller-Thurgau.
Reka Haros was born in Budapest, Hungary to ambassador parents, meaning she moved a lot and experienced many different countries and cultures, absorbing the information about each different one and developing an appreciation for terroir. Ms Haros came to wine somewhat accidentally, falling in love with a boy, whom she married, who inherited a vineyard in 2002, which together they turned in to Sfriso, making some of the best prosecco in Italy. She became Global Marketing Communications Director at Vinventions, which is the #2 wine closure company in the world, where she continued for push the wine industry further into the 20th century. Ms Haros is the founder of Reframe Wine a strategic marketing consultancy.
Damien Wilson was appointed in August 2015 as the inaugural Hamel Family Chair of the Wine Business Institute at Sonoma State University. Dr Wilson arrived in California with 20 years of professional experience in the wine sector. He joined the Wine Business Institute from Burgundy's School of Wine and Spirits Business, having established an almost decade-long European professorial career after having started his career as an academic with the University of South Australia in 1999. Dr Wilson’s research background started with the prestigious Wine Marketing Group, where he worked on a series of projects investigating wine consumer adoption patterns, purchasing motivations and retailing strategies. The WMG client list extended from global organizations such as Pernod-Ricard and the Fosters group, through to generic bodies and boutique wine producers. His professional and research interests have realized an extensive list of trade, consumer and academic publications, with a recent article on wine purchasing behavior realizing more than 21000 views in less than a week. He also writes prolifically on regionality and conjunctive labeling, tourism and technology. Dr Wilson’s has recently been publishing on conjunctive labelling, and his most recent publication was a working paper with the American Academy of Wine Economists on Digitizing the wine sector.
Judith Lewis is an expert digital marketer and technologist, entering the sector before Google. Starting with programming in 1985, Ms. Lewis has spent her life bridging technology and people, using her experience with computers and degree in psychology to understand the interaction between people and machines, most recently working on machine learning and AI. Ms Lewis graduated from York University in Toronto with a degree in psychology, having written a prescient work on social media in 1994. Deploying her skills across a number of sectors, Ms Lewis learned about wine making quite late, but joined the WBA to assist in realising the digitisation of the wine sector. Furthering the use of various emerging and established technologies within vineyards, Ms Lewis is also working with everything from blockchain to Raspberry Pi to digitise the wine sector, including utilising big data and algorithms. Ms Lewis runs her own consultancy and works with companies to help them improve their integration with digital technology.