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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 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.

watersandwine.com
vinesmag.com

   
Derek Barnett • Winemaker

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. 

meldvillewines.com


Ben Bryant • Winemaker

Ben is Chief Winemaker at Mission Hill Family Estate. Ben gained extensive winemaking experience across Australia, including notable regions of the Barossa Valley and Hunter Valley. He also spent time living in Hong Kong while working throughout Asia. With the goal of producing nothing less than world class wines, Ben returned to the Barossa Valley in 2014 as Chief Winemaker for Jacob’s Creek, St Hugo and Wyndham Estate and the Australian portfolio of Pernod Ricard Winemakers. Ben carries this pursuit of excellence through to Mission Hill Family Estate. He hopes to leverage the family owned and farmed vineyards, unique terroir and microclimates, and generations worth of agricultural expertise to redefine what’s possible for Canadian wine in the eyes of the world.  

missionhillwinery.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

   

Julie Garton • Winemaker 

Julie is currently the Wine Director for the Four Seasons Hotel and Café Boulud in Toronto. Julie discovered a passion for wine while working and traveling abroad for over 6 years with visits to various wine producing regions along the way. Upon Returning to Toronto she enrolled in George Brown college and attained my Certified Sommelier designation through the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers. In 2018 she earned her Advanced Sommelier Certification through The Court of Master Sommeliers with the next pursuit being the Master Sommelier diploma. She is also certified as an Italian Wine Ambassador through the Vin Italy Academy in Verona, and has worked as a Wine Educator for the Wine Specialist Certificate program through George Brown College in Toronto.

cafeboulud.com

 
Heather McDougall • Sommelier 

Heather McDougall is a certified sommelier (International Sommelier’s Guild & WSET) who has spent the last decade honing her skills in both retail and restaurant settings. She completed her certifications in 2008 in Calgary and worked as a Wine Director (Rush, Model Milk & Vintage Chophouse) and as a buyer /sommelier in the top boutique wine stores (BIN 905 & Metrovino). Teaching and tasting have always been a large component of her roles and continue to be since moving to Toronto. She has held the position of Wine Director (Splendido & The Chase) and has been the General Manager and Head Sommelier at Montecito Restaurant and By The Glass Wine Bar.

montecitorestaurant.ca

   
Lorie O'Sullivan • Sommelier • Media

Based in Toronto, Canada, Lorie is the manager for Dymon Wine Cellar a new state-of-the-art wine cellar and lounge opening Fall 2019. She was previously the head Sommelier for TOCA, the signature restaurant in the Ritz Carlton Hotel for the past 5 years. She has also developed many award-winning wine lists for restaurants. A Niagara native who is currently working towards her Advanced Sommelier designation in the US.

tocarestaurant.com
lorieloveswine.com




 

Adam Pearce • Winemaker 

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.

twosistersvineyards.com


 
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). He is the Canada consultant to The World Atlas of Wine. His latest books are Wine: A Social and Cultural History of the Drink that Changed our Lives (2018), The Wines of Canada (2017), 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 books have been widely translated. He is currently working on books on Burgundy, South-west France, and Cabernet Franc. He has judged in wine competitions in the US, Canada, New Zealand, Chile, Italy, and France.

rodphillipsonwine.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

  


Melissa Pulvermacher • Sommelier • Educator

Melissa Pulvermacher is a Toronto-based sommelier, educator and wine-writer. Melissa teaches the WSET program as well as the Wine & Oenology course for the Hospitality and Tourism department at The University of Guelph. She also works as Import and Operations Manager for Cru Wine Merchants, managing an international portfolio of 40+ wine producers.

pulvinowine.com 

  
Debbie Shing  • Sommelier 

Debbie Shing, Dip. WSET, Certified WSET Educator Debbie Shing is the Ontario Director for GALLEON, the luxury direct-to-consumer arm of Canadian wine agency Dandurand. Hailing from Vancouver, Debbie’s wine journey began in 2003, stocking shelves at BC Liquor Stores during university. Soon after, Debbie handled media relations, product releases and special events for BCLDB, which then led her to Mark Anthony Brands, where she managed Trade Marketing for BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario. After completing her WSET Diploma, she shifted into sales on-premise before assuming her current role overseeing a consignment fine wine program as well as private and corporate clients for GALLEON. Debbie is currently based in Toronto and enjoys giving back to the wine community by teaching WSET Diploma and Advanced classes at IWEG (Independent Wine Education Guild).

iweg.org

   
James Treadwell • Sommelier 

James has trained and worked as a Sommelier in both Canada and the UK.  He worked as Sommelier at Queen’s Landing Inn in Niagara on the Lake and in England as Sommelier at the Chewton Glen - arguably Europe’s most prestigious hotel and spa. Since opening Treadwell in 2006, James and his sommelier team have what many consider to be the finest selection of Ontario wines in Canada. James has completed his Sommelier certification through the Court of Master Sommeliers (including being named as the Walter Clore Winner) along with been named one of Ontario’s “Top 30 Under 30” (OHI), one of Niagara’s “Top 40 Under 40” (Business Link), and “Niagara Entrepreneur of the Year” (NEYA), and has judged at both the Canadian Wine Awards and Intervin Wine Awards.

treadwellcuisine.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 and is now the winemaker at Ravine Vineyards. 

ravinevineyard.com
lydiatomek.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 also contributes to VINES Magazine, TASTE Magazine and Montecristo Magazine.

winediva.ca
winescores.ca

  



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. 

theshoreclub.ca

  


Martin Werner • Winemaker

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.

ravinevineyard.com

   


Jennifer Wilhelm • Sommelier • Educator

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.

niagaracollege.ca
canadianfoodandwineinstitute.ca

  


Ross Wise • Winemaker

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 Black Hills Estate in the Southern Okanagan Valley. 

blackhillswinery.com