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MEET THE JUDGES






HEAD JUDGE
Christopher Waters • Media • Educator 

Christopher is co-founder and editor of VINES, a Canadian wine lifestyle magazine, and the national wine writer for Sun Media. His weekly column, Waters & Wine, appears in newspapers across the country. His work in VINES merited an Ontario Tourism Wine Journalism Award. An international wine judge and educator, Waters is also Wine Appreciation Coordinator at Brock University’s Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute.

watersandwine.com
vinesmag.com

 

Marlize Beyers • Winemaker

Marlize is a South African winegrower and graduate of the Stellenbosch University Viticulture and Oenology program who moved to Niagara in 2005. She is the winemaker at Hidden Bench Vineyards and Winery where she's pursued her passion since 2010, working with her favourite varieties Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Riesling. Previously the 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.

hiddenbench.com

  

Jamie Drummond • Sommelier • Media

Jamie was born in Scotland and began working as a sommelier for U.K.’s Michelin Guide's recognized Atrium restaurant in Edinburgh, Scotland while studying with the Wine & Spirit Education Trust. After immigrating to Canada in 1997, he was the sommelier at Toronto’s Granite Club. In 2004, he became the sommelier for Jamie Kennedy’s string of successful restaurants. Jamie now acts as director of operations/senior editor of Good Food Media, a non-profit dedicated to educating people about good food (and wine!) through the weekly online publication Good Food Revolution.

goodfoodrevolution.com

  

Fred Gamula • Sommelier

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.

vintage-hotels.com

 

Courtney Henderson • Sommelier • Media

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 for a US based winery.

thewinesisters.com

 

Erin Henderson • Sommelier • Media

After spending nearly 10 years as a reporter working for some of Canada's biggest news agencies, including CTV, the Canadian Press and 680 News, Erin decided to turn in her microphone for a corkscrew and join her sister in the wine world. Graduating from the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers in 2008, Erin has worked as an assistant manager for the renowned Canadian restaurant Canoe, and spent several years as the sommelier and food & beverage manager at the exclusive private members' club The Badminton & Racquet Club of Toronto. An accomplished writer, Erin frequently writes about her wine adventures and, with her sister, is a regular contributor to Tonic Magazine and huffingtonpost.ca.

thewinesisters.com

 

Jay Johnston • Winemaker

Jay has dedicated himself to winemaking and viticulture in Ontario, specializing in small-lot, ultra premium wines from the Beamsville Bench. His passion for Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Riesling and Bordeaux varietals has given him an opportunity to work with some of the best producers in the region, including Hidden Bench Vineyards, Thirty Bench Winery, Le Clos Jordanne, Stratus Vineyards and Cave Spring Cellars, prior to taking on his new role as Winemaker at Flatrock Cellars.

flatrockcellars.com

 

April Kilpatrick • Sommelier

April has been a sommelier in Toronto restaurants for more than 15 years. A returning InterVin judge, she has many awards and accolades to her credit, including being named Ontario’s Best Sommelier through the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers in 2004 and Best Sommelier in Toronto in the January 2008 issue of Wine Business International.

windowsbyjamiekennedy.com

 

Craig McDonald • Winemaker

Craig is an Australian winemaker who has worked 28 vintages in four countries and now calls Niagara home. A strong belief that only great vineyards make great wine sees Craig actively working with growers and tending Trius Winery’s 260 acres in the pursuit of that perfect grape! Craig is a staunch believer in the potential of Niagara and believes that, despite their recent success, the best is yet to come from the winery's vineyards and winemakers. He welcomes the opportunity to taste with the public and showcase just how far they have come. His favourite variety to work with is Sauvignon Blanc.

triuswines.com

 

Lorie O'Sullivan • Sommelier • Writer

Lorie is sommelier at TOCA, the signature restaurant at the newly opened Ritz-Carlton in Toronto. A Niagara native who is currently working towards her Master Sommelier designation, she is also assistant sommelier in the Platinum Club restaurant, located in the Air Canada Centre and developed an award-winning wine list for restaurants like The Lakeview in Toronto.

tocarestaurant.com
lorieloveswine.com

 

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.

creeksidewine.com

 

Will Predhomme • Sommelier • Educator

Will Predhomme is a Canadian professional sommelier based in Toronto Ontario Canada and the managing director of Predhomme Market Insights Inc. Will’s current projects of note include the The North Shore Project, a terroir-driven wine business, as well providing WSET programming. Will previously has operated as Senior Sommelier for Oliver & Bonacini Restaurants Canoe Restaurant & Bar, managed the development of Harrah's Casino's International Beverage Program, a Product Consultant for the Liquor Control Board of Ontario, & Sommelier with Fairmont Hotels & Resorts.


 

Sue-Ann Staff • Winemaker

Sue-Ann Staff is a multi-international award-winning winemaker producing wines at Sue-Ann Staff Estate Winery in Jordan, ON. In addition, she's winemaker at Megalomaniac in Vineland, ON, where she liases with its sister property Chateau La Confession, St.Emilion, Bordeaux, France. Sue-Ann also serves as president of the Twenty Valley Tourism Association and director for the WCO.

staffwines.com

 

megalomaniacwine.com

 

Zoltan Szabo • Sommelier

Zoltan Szabo is one of the most recognizable personalities of the Canadian Sommelier scene. For over twenty years in the industry and three continents – wide resume, he has garnered international recognition. Clients include the Tokaj Renaissance, Wine Council of Ontario, Skyline Boutique Hotels & Resorts and Trump International Hotel, just to mention a few. With TV, radio and video blog appearances by the dozen throughout the years, Szabo had become a mainstay character of the global wine trade. He consults, writes, educates and judges for some of the most elite organizations, competitions and media forums. Member of the Canadian Wine Writers’ Circle, Zoltan also voices his opinion about wine and the finer aspects of life over social media outlets.

zszabo.com





Lydia Tomek • Winemaker

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.

hernder.com
lydiatomek.com

 

James Treadwell • Sommelier

James is the sommelier-owner of Treadwell Farm-to-Table Cuisine in Port Dalhousie – considered by many to have Canada’s finest selection of Ontario wines. Before opening the restaurant, James worked as sommelier at the Relais & Chateaux, Michelin star-rated Chewton Glen Hotel in England and Queen’s Landing Inn in Niagara-on-the-Lake. He has travelled to the wine regions of France, Germany, Austria, Spain, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.

treadwellcuisine.com

 

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 is a regular contributor to VINES Magazine as well as TASTE Magazine. Daenna can also be heard weekly on the Tasting Room Radio (on stations throughout B.C. and Alberta) and she has been published in numerous local and internationally distributed publications.

winediva.ca
winescores.ca

 

Jennifer Wigboldus • Sommelier • Educator

Jennifer Wigboldus is a LCBO product consultant working in Kitchener Ontario. She has completed both her Wine & Spirits Education Trust Advanced Certificate and Diploma through Toronto’s Independent Wine Education Guild. She also enjoys teaching LCBO tutored tastings that involve cheese and sweet wines as well as presenting at Wines 101 and Try Before You Buy events.  She loves introducing new wines to consumers, presenting the niche, unusual and wonderful bottles to broaden their tasting knowledge. 

lcbo.com
 


Jennifer Wilhelm • Sommelier Educator

Jennifer is a CAPS certified sommelier and holds credentials from WSET. She is wine program coordinator at Niagara College and an instructor within several wine programs including the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers. In 2010, she was awarded Wine Educator of the Year through Brock University’s Promote the Promoters Awards. Jennifer is also sommelier at the Mark Picone Culinary Studio in Vineland, has been a wine judge, speaks at seminars and provides staff training in hospitality and wine service.

niagaracollege.ca
canadianfoodandwineinstitute.ca

 





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