Sarah Abbott MW – London
Sarah is an experienced wine marketeer and business strategist, with over 20 years of experience in the wine trade. She is the founder of Swirl Wine Group (2006), a business that delivers strategic marketing programs and consultancy. She is a co-chair for the International Wine Challenge (the first woman to hold that role), a published writer, and an in-demand speaker at conferences across the world. She has been a Master of Wine since 2008, and is well connected at the highest levels of the UK and European wine trade.
She first discovered Turkish Wine in 2012, and has been a passionate advocate for their quality and potential ever since. She has travelled extensively in the wine areas of Turkey, and has presented masterclasses on Turkish wines at the Restaurant Show, London Wine Fair, Emerging Regions Tasting, Specialist Importers Trade Tasting and Wines of Turkey UK tastings. In 2015 she launched and managed an 18-month marketing and sales program for the Turkish Wine Alliance, a collaborative initiative by a group of like-minded Turkish wineries. The program is widely credited with establishing the prestige, profile and mainstream distribution of Turkish wines in the UK.
Turgut tokgöz – istanbul
Turgut Tokgöz has had a distinguished and senior career in exports, banking and NGO relations. He has 8 years of experience in investment banking & financial markets, and 15 years experience in NGOs and lobbying for regulated markets. He is a longstanding member of TUSIAD (Turkish Industry and Business Association), and of Friends of Vine & Wine.
His life-long passion for wine led him to successfully study for the WSET Level 3 Advanced Certificate, and the Court of Sommeliers Introductory Sommelier Certificate. He has successfully completed 5 out of 6 units of the WSET Diploma in Wines & Spirits which he is expected to graduate in June 2017. He is the founder of Oenotrian Wine Advisory, a company that advises and educates Turkish enthusiasts of wine. Based in Istanbul, Turgut is becoming a wise head and a force for consensus and trust between Turkish wine producers. He is adept at bringing producers together to allow for the most effective and cost-efficient campaigns.
Melisa atay – London
Melisa Atay has a degree in International Relations and a masters in Global Management and Market from London Regent’s University. Her family are significant industrialists in Turkey with an interest in sustainability. They founded a small premium vineyard and winery in the Aegean, Gidatay, in the early 2000s. Melisa fell in love with the wine industry, stayed in London, and has worked closely with Sarah since 2015 to develop her wine knowledge and the market and listings for Turkish wines in prestige restaurants. Confident and full of energy, she is an accomplished event host and organiser, and is well connected with the Turkish ex-pat and business community in London.
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