RBW co-host Robert Joseph is a wine consultant, commentator and brand-creator. One of the most widely experienced and widely travelled members of the wine industry, he learned the ropes of wine service in his parent’s restaurant and picked up the basics of winemaking while living in Burgundy. He was editor of WINE International Magazine, long-time critic of the London Sunday Telegraph and award winning author of over 25 books including The Complete Encyclopedia of Wine, Bordeaux & its Wines and the Art of the Wine Label.
Joseph also launched the International Wine Challenge in the UK and countries including Japan, China, Russia, India, Poland, Vietnam and Singapore, building it into the biggest wine competition in the world. More recently, he co-created the le Grand Noir and Greener Planet wine brands that sell over 3.7m bottles per year across over 50 countries.
As a consultant, his list of clients includes Accolade, Torres, Chateau Brane Cantenac, Berry Bros & Rudd, Wines of Moldova, Wines of Brazil and Wines of Australia. He is a regular keynote presenter at industry events and his next book, ‘The Future of Wine Has Changed’ will be published this year.
RBW co-host Polly Hammond is the Founder and Managing Director of 5forests, a global digital marketing agency for wine. As the public face of 5forests, she splits her time between New Zealand, Napa, and Spain, consulting, writing, and speaking about the trends that impact today’s wine businesses. In truth, she spends most of her days desperately trying to drag traditional wine language, communication, and branding into the digital age!
Polly is a graduate of the University of Southern California, where she earned degrees in International Relations and French. Those studies led to a deep and abiding love affair with Behavioral Economics, and her wine work is based on insights into all the crazy and irrational reasons consumers engage with brands.
With over 20 years experience in growing successful companies, Polly knows first hand the challenges faced by independent businesses. She approaches each client experience with empathy and understanding for what it takes to adapt and thrive in the real world.
An academic advising fluke led Producer Anya Spethmann to take Introduction to Oenology and Viticulture instead of Organizational Behaviour. She was instantly smitten and followed up with the Honours Seminar in Wine Marketing at Brock University’s Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute. Though working full-time in marketing while completing her studies, she persuaded her employer to reduce her week to four days so she could spend the other three in the tasting room of a Niagara winery.
She hasn’t looked back since and has studied, sold and thought about wine in various capacities for more than 10 years. She has worked across Canada in retail sales, marketing for wineries and wine agencies, and internationally as a market manager overseeing sales and marketing for wineries importing to Canada.
Anya has completed several related qualifications including the Court of Master Sommeliers Certified Sommelier designation, the WSET Diploma with Merit and an MBA in Wine Marketing and Management from INSEEC Business School in Bordeaux.