Dee Bhatia - Founder & CEO
Founder and CEO of Signature, Dee has an ongoing passion for the Balkans region both in business and socially. Dee was impressed with the Stobi Winery, the quality of their wine, their team and the company’s philosophy and so was keen to appoint the brand to the Signature portfolio.
Focused on bringing high-quality, undiscovered wines to a British audience, Dee has been pleased to provoke a great response from retailers, industry experts and Masters of Wine for the Stobi brand.
Dane Jovanov - Stobi Winemaker
Dane Jovanov has traveled widely in pursuit of his craft, visiting the regions of Bordeaux, Italy and South Africa. In 2005 he received his wine making degree from his home town University of Skopje, Macedonia. His ongoing development includes a Ph.D. in micro and macro oxygenation and the impact on oak in wine making.
Dane is committed to creating the best wines possible that reflect the terroir of Tikveš. He uses his experience to get the best from both the indigenous and international varieties, which are both used at the Stobi winery.
Gjoko Jovanov - Stobi Winemaker
Gjoko is Stobi’s oldest and most experienced ecologist with more than 35 years of experience in wine making, especially in phase of growing the vine in the vineyards.
Gjoko oversees the ripening, irrigation, protection of the grapes and makes the final decision of when to start the harvest of each variety of wine.
In addition he focuses on wine making especially for the domestic and international wine variants.
Caroline Gilby - MW
Caroline was the first MW to join the Signature Wines team of experts specifically selected for her unique knowledge and expertise in wines from the Balkans and Eastern Europe.
A Master of Wine since 1992 and with a Ph.D. in Plant Sciences, Caroline hung up her microscope in 1988 to join the world of wine as a senior buyer for a major UK wine retail chain before becoming a freelance writer and consultant to the industry. Contributing to over 20 years of her life to specialising in wines from the Balkans and Eastern Europe.
Jo Ahearne - MW
Master of Wine Jo Ahearne was carefully selected to be part of the Signature Wines team because of her impressive experience in the wine trade. Initially working for the innovative UK retailer Oddbins in the early 1990′s, she went on to study as a winemaker in Australia completing her Oenology BSc. in 1998. In Australia, Jo worked for iconic boutique wineries such as Charles Melton and Pipers Brook as well as making wine for such global brands as Jacobs Creek, Leasingham and Hardy’s. At this time, she also took up a variety of flying winemaking positions in Spain and France.
Justin Howard-Sneyd - MW
Justin Howard-Sneyd has worked in a small wine shop, ran wine tasting courses, and briefly worked for Oddbins, before working on 6 vintages in South Africa, France, Hungary and Romania. Justin returned to the UK and worked as a wine buyer for Britain’s leading supermarket, and became a Master of Wine in 1999, winning the essay prize, and the Tim Derrouet award for an outstanding performance in both theory and practical exams. In 2005 he ran the Waitrose buying team and moved to Direct Wines as Global Wine Director. Justin now dedicates his time consulting to other businesses across the world of wine.