Christopher is co-founder and editor of VINES, a Canadian wine lifestyle magazine, and the national wine writer for the Postmedia Network. His weekly column, Waters & Wine, appears online and in newspapers across the country. An international wine judge and educator, Waters is also Wine Appreciation Coordinator at Brock University’s Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute and represents Canada at the Six Nations Wine Challenge.
Jordan Alessi is the Wine/Beverage Director at the Chase Hospitality group where h oversees the wine programs for The Chase, Chase Fish and Oyster, Planta and Kasa Moto in Toronto. He studied wine marketing at EIT in Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand and in his previous life was the Assistant Sommelier at Café Boulud and D/Bar at the Four Seasons in Toronto.
Born and raised in the Niagara region, Tony has always had a passion for food and wine. He holds Sommelier certification with The Court of Master Sommeliers as well as CAPS and has spent the last eight years working in Toronto and Niagara. While in Toronto, he was privileged to have worked at Splendido as Manager and Sommelier. During his time at Splendido, he was part of the team that was awarded fifth-best restaurant in Canada by Canada’s 100 Best, as well as numerous other accolades. With the closure of Splendido at the end of 2015, Tony stayed on to help open Piano Piano for its first six months before rejoining Treadwell as the General Manager.
Derek was born and raised in England, where he studied agriculture before immigrating to Ontario in the early 70s. Derek learned the art of winemaking while at Southbrook Winery, which ignited his passion, dedication and enthusiasm for producing the best VQA wines in Ontario. During his 15-year tenure as winemaker of Lailey Vineyard, Derek won numerous awards at Canadian and international competitions.
Marlize is a graduate of the Stellenbosch University Viticulture and Oenology program and have been a winegrower in Niagara for the past 11 years. She was the winemaker at Hidden Bench Vineyards and Winery where she pursues her passion until 2017, working with her favourite varieties Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Riesling. Previously winemaker at Flat Rock Cellars and 2013 recipient of the Ontario Winemaker of the Year Award, she continues her commitment to producing ultra premium wines on the Beamsville Bench.
Fred has spent 20 years overseeing the wine program at the Prince of Wales in Niagara-on-the-Lake. As Chef Sommelier, he has assembled an outstanding offering of varieties from around the world. Fred offers insight into the artful blending of food and wine, providing guests of Escabèche Restaurant with an unforgettable experience.
Courtney‘s passion for wine and wine education has established her as a fixture on the Canadian wine scene since 2006. As a CAPS certified sommelier she has served on numerous tasting panels for distinguished restaurants and competitions. Courtney currently works in wine marketing and education for a Toronto agency.
Erin Henderson • Sommelier • Media After working as a sommelier and manager at some of Toronto's top venues, Erin Henderson founded the wine events company, The Wine Sisters, specializing in customized wine tastings, party planning, and private wine tours. She also writes wine reviews for VINES magazine, and has been featured in theloop.ca, Huffington Post, Tonic Magazine and Wine in Canada, a special Maclean's publication focusing on the Canadian wine industry.
Based in Toronto, Canada, Lorie is the head Sommelier for TOCA, the signature restaurant at the highly acclaimed Ritz Carlton Hotel. She has also developed award-winning wine lists for restaurants like The Lakeview in Toronto and Touro Brazilian Steakhouse in Richmond Hill. A Niagara native who is currently working towards her Master Sommelier designation in the US.
David Paterson • Winemaker David Paterson fills the shoes of Tantalus’ GM/winemaker. David is a Kiwi with a Canadian connection, having been born in Vancouver. He received his winemaking degree from Lincoln University NZ & following time spent working in the local NZ industry he travelled the wine world gaining experience at premium wineries in Oregon, France & Australia. He landed at Tantalus in 2009 and with seven successful vintages under his belt with the winery he took on the role of GM in 2016.
Adam, Ontario born and raised, is focused on advancing Niagara’s winemaking reputation. After graduating from the Winery and Viticulture program at Niagara College, he developed his art at leading wineries along the Niagara Escarpment before working in British Columbia and Australia. Returning home he took charge of the cellars at Two Sisters Vineyards, specializing in ultra-premium estate red Bordeaux varieties.
Rod Phillips • Media An Ottawa-based wine historian, author, journalist, and judge, Rod Phillips is wine writer for NUVO Magazine and an occasional contributor to Vines Magazine, The World of Fine Wine (UK), and guildsomm.com (US). His latest books are French Wine: A History (2016) and 9000 Years of Wine(2017), which is a new edition of his Short History of Wine, first published in 2000. His next books are The Wines of Canada (September 2017) and Wine: A Social and Cultural History of the Drink that Changed our Lives (December 2017), both in the “Classic Wine Library” series now published by Infinite Ideas Books in the U.K. He publishes wine commentaries and reviews on rodphillipsonwine.com and has judged in wine competitions in the US, Canada, New Zealand, Chile, Italy, and France.
Rob Power • Winemaker • Sommelier • Educator Rob worked for 10 years as a sommelier in Toronto before moving to Niagara with his wife to study at Brock University's Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI). After graduation, he immediately joined Creekside as assistant winemaker, becoming head winemaker shortly thereafter. Voted Winemaker of the Year in 2008, Rob also teaches WSET courses at Brock University.
Melissa Pulvermacher is a wine and food enthusiast based in Toronto. Melissa’s blog, Pulvino, focusses on providing personal sommelier services, cellar management, media communications and private wine tastings. She serves as Operations & Logistics Manager for Stratus Vineyards and Cru Wine Merchants, managing a portfolio of over 40 international wine producers.
Sue-Ann Staff is a 5th generation international winemaking star from the Niagara region, winning some of the most respected wine competitions in the world, producing wines at Sue-Ann Staff Estate Winery in Jordan, ON. Sue-Ann also serves as president of the Twenty Valley Tourism Association and director for the WCO.
Lydia has served as head winemaker at Hernder Estate Wines and Harvest Estate Wines since 2006. A graduate of the Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute at Brock University and a recent recipient of an Alumni of Distinction Award, Tomek is also an award-winning winemaker who worked at Hillebrand Estates and Jackson-Triggs Niagara Estate prior to joining Hernder and Harvest. She was named as one of the Ontario Hostelry Institute’s Top 30 Under 30.
Daenna Van Mulligen • Sommelier • Media Daenna is a Vancouver-based wine writer, international wine judge, accredited sommelier, speaker and the publisher of WineDiva.ca and WineScores.ca. She also contributes to VINES Magazine, TASTE Magazine and Montecristo Magazine.
Allison Vidug • Sommelier Allison has been the Sommelier at The Shore Club Toronto, a downtown steak and seafood restaurant, for the last four years. She also teaches about wine at George Brown College. Previously, she was working at wineries and studying in Prince Edward County, Niagara, The Okanagan Valley and Salt Spring Island. When she is not working with wine, she is often sharing bottles with friends and family in her backyard or at the cottage.
Martin Werner, who is winemaker and vineyard manager at Ravine Vineyard in St. Davids, Ont., ploughed his way into the wine industry with his tireless work ethic and boundless enthusiasm. Having grown up on his family’s farm located on the shore of Lake Ontario, a short drive from Old Town Niagara-on-the-Lake, Werner credits mentors like Thomas Bachelder, Darryl Brooker and Brian Bicknell, from New Zealand’s Mahi Wines, for helping him find his way.
Jennifer is a CAPS certified sommelier, holds WSET and Prud’homme credentials and is an instructor and advisor within the wine and hospitality programs at Niagara College and sommelier at the Mark Picone Culinary Studio. She is the recipient of several awards recognizing her dedication to the Ontario wine industry; including Top 40 Under 40, Brock University’s Promote the Promoters Awards and a Lieutenant Governor volunteer and dedication award for her contributions.
Ross is a Viticulture and Winemaking graduate of Charles Sturt University in Australia, and is currently a stage two Master of Wine student. A New Zealand native, Ross gained experience in Hawkes Bay, Marlborough and Central Otago before moving to Canada in 2006. After a decade of winemaking and consulting in Ontario he recently relocated to the British Columbia, and is now winemaker at the much-anticipated Phantom Creek Estates in the Southern Okanagan Valley.
Scott served as Senior Sommelier for Icon Legacy Hospitality, overseeing the wine programs for NAO Steakhouse, Patria, Byblos Toronto, Weslodge, Citta, and Byblos Miami. Previously, Scott was the Wine Director at the Trump International Hotel, and Sommelier of Auberge du Pommier for Oliver & Bonacini Restuarants. He is part of the sommelier team at Gargoyle.com and a contributing writer to VINES Magazine.