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Cathie McGregor is a former diplomat with many years’ experience in events management including international conferences, VIP visits and promotional events. Cathie is a world traveller, now living in Wellington after five years based in Rome. During this time she travelled extensively in Italy, discovering its many delights, both on and off the beaten track, including, of course, exploring its famed wine regions. She is excited about the prospects of working with Vintaggio to share her passion for Italy, its food, wine, culture, history, and its myriad touristic adventures, with New Zealand business people, wine aficionados, travellers and culture lovers. Similarly, she is keen to assist Italians, and visitors from anywhere, in discovering the magic of New Zealand’s vibrant viticulture industry, and the scenic beauty of its wine-growing regions.
Justus Smith...marketing and communications
Bruno Chiacchiararelli is a qualified Sommelier (AIS), with a long career in the food and beverage sector, having worked in hotels and restaurants in Jersey Island, N. Ireland, and Rome. He obtained his Sommelier Diploma at levels 1, 2 and 3 in 2007. Soon thereafter, he achieved his Champagne Diploma and Cheese and Wine Certificate, and also studied distilled spirits in Treviso. His passion for wines takes him to the great wine regions of Italy including Tuscany, Umbria, Veneto and Abruzzo, to continue to understand the unique characteristics of each vintage and to expand his knowledge and appreciation of Italy's remarkable wine grape biodiversity. You can join Bruno in Rome for Vintaggio's Dinner with the Winemakers series, and a selection of Italian wine country tours.
Roberto Piccotti is a certified excursion guide with more than 30 years' experience leading groups of avid hikers, cyclists and skiers around all the wine regions of Italy and beyond. He divides his time between Italy and New Zealand. Roberto organizes and leads Vintaggio's outdoor-adventure wine trips, including the ever-popular Valle d'Orcia cycling weekends, the long weekend Cinque Terre trips hiking along the high vineyard trails, the wintertime skiing + wine weeks in the Dolomites, and the early autumn week-long cycle trips along Puglia Adriatic Coast and through the Salento wine region. In addition to his passion for both Italy's and New Zealand's great outdoors, he has great passion and knowledge about Italian food and wine, and loves to share it with old and new friends alike.
Barbara Burlingame is a scientist and Sommelier, with a passion for wine -- not just for its sensory pleasures, but also for what it represents for biodiversity, history, culture and tradition. Over the years, her travels have taken her to almost every wine region in the world in the pursuit of wine knowledge and experience. Currently she spends most of her time in New Zealand, with regular trips to Italy. Her formal wine study began with the Associazione Italiana Sommelier (AIS) in Rome, where she gained her Sommelier title in 2002. She then undertook studies at the WSET (London), achieving the Diploma in Wine and Spirits, which gave her membership in the Institute of Wine and Spirits. In 2014 she qualified as an appraiser of fine and rare wines. In 2003 she founded and ran the Sensory Evaluation Club of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) which offered wine education, tastings and wine tourism. Barbara, the former Deputy Director of FAO's Nutrition and Consumer Protection Division, has a doctorate in nutrition from Massey University (NZ) and degrees in Nutrition Science and Environmental Toxicology from University of California, Davis. In addition to wine work, she is a Professor of Nutrition and Food Systems.
Who we are: the core team