We are pleased to welcome these esteemed wine experts to BC wine country!

 Matthew Wentzell

Experience Wine Tours
Kelowna BC, Canada

Matt runs experience Wine Tours with his wife Shannon. It is a boutique wine tour company with a focus on showcasing the best wine and food the valley has to offer. Matt is also a partner in Vice & Virtue Brewing.

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Matt Wentzell

Sid Cross

Bon Vivant
Wine & Food Media
Vancouver BC, Canada

A passionate wine & food personality who is known internationally. Past Honorary President globally for The International Wine & Food Society. Enthusiastic educator on both wine & food plus judging for The Canadian Culinary Championships. Many awards including The Gourmet of the Year by The Society of Bacchus America “for outstanding knowledge of food and wines and for imparting this knowledge to others”, Officier de l’Ordre du Merite Agricole by the French Government, Membre d’Honneur of Academie du Vin de Bordeaux, British Columbia Restaurant Hall of Fame, co-Founder of the Chefs’ Table Society of BC etc.

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Kelcie Jones

Wine Director
Vancouver BC, Canada

A perennial student of wine, Kelcie has completed the WSET Diploma and the Court of Master Sommeliers certification. She lives and works in Vancouver, where she is Wine Director for Chambar Restaurant. Outside of wine, Kelcie holds a Masters degree in English Literature from the University of Toronto.

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Kelcie Jones

Barbara Philip

Barbariain Wine Consulting
Vancouver BC, Canada

Category Manager at BC Liquor Stores.

Mark Filatow

Chef | Sommelier | GM
Waterfront Wines Restaurant
Kelowna BC, Canada

Mark Filatow represents the pinnacle of culinary excellence and is the driving force behind Waterfront Restaurant and Wine Bar. After graduating with honours from the Dubrulle Culinary Institute, Mark honed his culinary skills at some of the most prestigious restaurants in BC including Tofino’s Wickaninnish Inn, Vancouver’s Bishops and Diva at the Met and Kelowna’s Fresco Restaurant.

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Zachary Geballe

Wine Educator
Tom Douglas Restaurants
Seattle WA, United States

I am the Wine Educator for Seattle’s iconic Tom Douglas Restaurants, as well as the host and producer of the VinePair podcast and a freelance wine writer.

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Sharon McLean

Cru Consultancy
Victoria BC, Canada

Sharon is a certified sommelier through the International Sommelier Guild and an award winning wine instructor. She is the leading instructor of Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET) and Wine Scholar Guild courses on Vancouver Island, the global instructor for the online French Wine Scholar courses and the Education Director for Vessel Liquor Store. She is also a wine judge and a freelance wine writer. In 2009, she completed the WSET Diploma with the highest marks in Canada. Since then she has gone on to become a French Wine Scholar, and Italian Wine Scholar, an accredited Bordeaux instructor, a Certified Sherry Educator and completed certification through the Center for Wine Origins (Wine Location Specialist in Port & Champagne). Sharon is pursuing the Masters of Wine certification and has passed the first year assessments.
When not engaged in a wine glass, she is a highly sought after management consultant with more than 25 years of international experience.

Brad Royale

Brad Royale Consulting
Calgary AB, Canada

Brad Royale is a Sommelier and beverage/event consultant based in Calgary, Alberta. Royale lists Canadian Rocky Mountain Resorts, Hotel Grand Pacific, Wine Align, IDMG, British Columbia Wine Institute, Wines of South Africa, Wine Scholar Guild and Top Drop Canada as clients. Royale has been involved in retail and restaurant management for twenty years and holds Diploma credentials from both the International Sommelier Guild and WSET. Known for his discerning tasting skills, Royale has been involved in professional wine judging for the past 15 years, being retained by Wine Access, Culinaire Magazine and WineAlign. Royale has won multiple awards for his wine programs from Wine Spectator, Wine Enthusiast, World of Fine Wine (Three Stars) and The Vancouver Wine Festival. In 2012 Brad launched his own wine label, Kitten Swish, a micro-negotiant that sources carefully curated wines from France, Germany, Spain, United States, Hungary and Canada. www.bradroyale.com www.kittenswish.com

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Dr. Jamie Goode

Wine Critic
Wine Anotak
London, UK

Jamie Goode is a British author with a PhD in plant biology, and a wine columnist of The Sunday Express. Goode also contributes to wine publications such as Harpers, The World of Fine Wine, Decanter, GrapesTALK and Sommelier Journal.

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Gurvinder Bhatia

Quench Wine Editor | Vinomania Consulting
Edmonton AB, Canada

Gurvinder Bhatia left a career practising law to pursue his passion for wine and food. He is the wine editor for Quench (Canada’s most widely distributed wine and food publication), wine columnist for Global TV Edmonton, a wine and food consultant, international wine judge & speaker and the wine director for Prestige Wines and Guru Restaurants. Gurvinder was the owner of Vinomania wine boutique (opened in 1995) for over 20 years, named one of the 20 best wine stores in Canada. In addition, Gurvinder was the wine columnist for CBC Radio for 11 years. Gurvinder is also the founder and director of Northern Lands, our country’s largest all-Canadian wine and culinary festival. He was certified in 2016 by Vinitaly International Academy of Verona as the 6th VIA Italian Wine Expert in the world.

In addition to possessing a law degree (JD) from Washington University in St. Louis, Gurvinder also earned his Masters Degree in Business Administration (MBA) with honours from Bradley University in Illinois. In 2015, Gurvinder was named by Alberta Venture Magazine as one of Alberta’s 50 Most Influential People. Gurvinder is frequently asked to speak on numerous wine and food related topics locally, nationally and internationally. He often speaks on the Alberta market and wine and food in the context of people, place, culture and history.

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Sebastien Le Goff

Vice President Service | Head Sommelier
Cactus Club Restaurants
Vancouver BC, Canada

A highly talented and respected veteran of the Vancouver and Canadian restaurant scene, Sebastien Le Goff brings one-of-a-kind expertise to Cactus Club Cafe. Le Goff’s esteemed career as a sommelier and restaurant manager has been built in top rooms throughout Vancouver, across Canada and around the world.

Dawn Smith

Inn at Langley
Langley WA, United States

As professionally trained chef, Dawn’s passion for wine emerged as a direct result of her experiences in the kitchen. The daughter of a chef mother, Dawn grew up in the restaurant business. While working as an instructor at a culinary college, she was given the opportunity to take wine classes and one class just led to another, and then another… Dawn has earned certifications from the International Sommelier Guild, the Wine & Spirit Education Trust, and is an Advanced Sommelier with the Court of Master Sommeliers.

She has worked as Assistant Wine Director at Canlis Restaurant in Seattle, Wine Director of three restaurants for the Heavy Restaurant Group in Bellevue, the Wine Director and General Manager at Cafe Juanita in Kirkland, Lead Sommelier at Stoneburner Restaurant in Ballard, and as a Sommelier at John Howie Steak Restaurant. Having recently moved from Seattle to Whidbey Island, Dawn is excited to have joined the restaurant team at The Inn at Langley as their Sommelier and wine buyer.

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Dawn Smith

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Iain Phillip

Barbariain Wine Consulting
Vancouver BC, Canada

Wine Teacher and Presenter (WSET And Wine Scholar Guild) Contributor to Taste Magazine. Various wine consulting projects.

Lingzi He

Education Director
Grapea & Co.
Shanghai, China

Education Director of Grapea & Co.

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Justin Keay

Senior Writer
Old and New World
London, UK

Wine and current affairs writer.

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Alain Canuel

General Manager
Pidgin Restaurant
Vancouver BC, Canada

Originally from Quebec City, Alain traveled extensively throughout South America and France and eventually landed in Vancouver, where he fell in love with the West Coast. It was at this time that his passion for wines emerged and resulted in a Sommelier diploma in 2005.

Accustomed to working in high-volume restaurants back east, Alain decided to try a more intimate approach in Vancouver. Initially, he worked for two years in the 45-seat restaurant Il Ducato, but soon moved on to the Diva at The Met where he was quickly promoted to restaurant assistant manager and wine director.

Prior to embarking on his latest endeavor with Pidgin, Alain has managed the Diva at the Met, Burrowing Owl Winery, Araxi Restaurant and Bar in Whistler, r.tl(regional tasting lounge), Pier 7, and Tableau Bar Bistro
Alain is at home in award-winning settings and now puts his experience and enthusiasm to further use as General Manager

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Audrey Surrao

Concepts Ltd.
Kelowna BC, Canada

Audrey Surrao is a well known and respected restaurateur owning and operating restaurants in Kelowna BC since 2001. She is the owner of 5 (Five) well known restaurants: RauDZ Regional Table, micro bar & bites, Sunny’s Modern Diner, and The Okanagan Table Kitchen in Kelowna, as well as Terrafina at Hester Creek Estate Winery in Oliver.

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Roy Yeung

Sommelier | Assistant Manager
Yardbird | RŌNIN
Hong Kong

Bali born, HK based, LA spirit. Passionate wine lover, japanese spirit enthusiast. Friendly, Curious, Humble, Positive.

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Geoffrey Hou

Wine Team Lead
Save On Foods
Surrey BC, Canada

Wine team lead | Sales expert | WSET 3 | MBA | Wine and food enthusiasts.

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Chris Struck

Union Square Cafe
New York BK, United States

Chris Struck credits his upbringing in a large hybrid French-Deeply Southern U.S. family in the coastal city of Destin, Florida as what incited his passion for food and beverage at an early age. He began cooking professionally within Chef Tim Creehan’s fine dining restaurant group at the age of 14 and supplemented his formal restaurant apprenticeship with self-study trips to Europe, working in both kitchens and vineyards to gain greater knowledge of regional cuisines and wines. After completing his undergraduate degrees in Culinary Arts & Food Service Management at Johnson & Wales University, Struck gained certifications from the Wine & Spirits Education Trust, the Society of Wine Educators, the Court of Master Sommeliers Americas, and the Deutsche Wein und Sommelierschule in Koblenz, Germany. Struck holds an Executive MBA in Food Marketing from Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia. Practical restaurant experience has included opening 8 restaurants in capacities of both front and back of house throughout his career, most recently at Racines NY, where he served as an assistant sommelier, and Danny Meyer’s flagship Union Square Cafe, where he currently works as a sommelier. In addition to working as a full time sommelier and consultant, Struck began teaching as an adjunct lecturer in the College of Hospitality Management at the City University of New York (CUNY) in 2018.

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Jenna Briscoe

General Manager
Café Medina
Vancouver BC, Canada

Jenna developed her love of wine over last ten years she has spent in hospitality. Her time as a sommelier has been spent working in several restaurants, including Vancouver’s own Hawksworth and Elisa and abroad at Medlar and Lorne in London, England.

She has successfully completed the Wine & Spirits Education Trust (WSET) Diploma and is an educator in Vancouver. She is a VinItaly International Italian Wine Ambassador. She lends her expertise to projects such as Top Drop Canada, a terroir focused wine festival and is an international wine judge for competitions such as 5 Star Wines.

Jenna’s home is as the General Manager of Café Medina in Vancouver, Canada, where she has contributed to the restaurant’s esteemed reputation and worked to build an award-winning team over the last 7 years. In 2016, she was recognized by Vancouver Magazine as one of the top six front-of-house ‘All-Stars’ in the Vancouver scene.

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Rod Philips

Wine writer | Wine historian
Ottawa ON, Canada

Wine writer and Contributing Editor off NUV0 Magazine (Canada) print and on-line. Contributor to Vines Magazine (Canada) and The World of Fine Wine (UK). Author of The Wines of Canada (2017), Wine: A Social and Cultural History (2018), 9000 Years of Wine (2017), French Wine: A History (2016), and other wine books. Currently writing books on the wines of South-west France and cabernet franc around the world. Permanent judge in InterVin (Canada) and TEXSOM (US) wine competitions. Canada consultant to World Atlas of Wine.

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Charlene Owen

Wine team Lead
Save On Foods
Kamloops BC, Canada

After discovering BC wine in 2013, Charlene knew she had discovered her career and passion. Her joy of wine continues to expand as her knowledge grows. Team Lead in Kamloops since October 2016.

Christina Hartigan

Wine Director
Vancouver BC, Canada

Christina Hartigan is the Wine Director at Wildebeest Restaurant in Vancouver. After working a harvest in Burgundy, she decided to pursue a career in the wine industry. A Court of Master Sommeliers Advanced.

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John Isacs

Wine writer | Consultant | Founder and CEO of
Vancouver BC, Canada

John is CEO of EnjoyGourmet and the senior author of ISACS Guides (published and distributed in China, HK, Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore), including the award-winning ISACS Wine Guide; he has a weekly wine column in Shanghai Daily newspaper, monthly columns in Z Mag (China’s leading luxury magazine), Men’s UNO, Taiwan’s Stuff magazine and contributes to numerous other publications and is a frequent guest on TV and radio programs in China, Taiwan and HK. John provides Greater China market entry and development services to governments, wine regions and corporations. He also organizes and hosts wine events for the European Union Chambers of Commerce in China and Taiwan, Cathay Pacific, IBM, Societe Generale, Credit Agricole, Alcatel, Estee Lauder, Daimler Benz, DIAGEO, Microsoft and many other prestigious companies. John is frequently a wine judge and speaker at major wine events around the world.

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Dr. Janet Dorozynski

Wine Educator | Trade Commissioner
Global Affairs Canada
Ottawa ON, Canada

By day, Janet Dorozynski is a Trade Commissioner at Global Affairs Canada where she works on international business development for the wine, beer, spirits and tourism sectors. Outside her day job, Janet has been reviewing, writing and travelling to wine regions for the past two decades to keep on top of wine and the industry globally. She is a writer and national judge at WineAlign.com, a contributor to GismondionWine.com and wine columnist for Luxe Magazine Ottawa.

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Jason Yamasaki

Group Sommelier
JOEY Resturant Group
Vancouver BC, Canada

Jason Yamasaki – a life and a career dedicated to hospitality, service, food, & wine. Professionally, he is the Sommelier for the Joey Restaurant Group creating the wine program for over 30 restaurants across Canada and the westcoast of the United States. Jason earned the title of British Columbia’s Best Sommelier in 2015 when working as the Head Sommelier at Chambar Restaurant and competed in Canada’s Best Sommelier 2015 & 2017. Jason has a bachelor’s degree in Hospitality Management, a vintage in Austria, and a background in casual & fine dining.

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