Women of Wine
Christa-Lee McWatters Bond
• President & Chief Executive Officer
Former owner of ENCORE Vineyards Ltd is an Okanagan-based wine company known for brands such as TIME Estate Winery, the McWatters Collection, and Evolve Cellars.
Christa-Lee has been part of the BC wine industry since birth. Growing up as the daughter of BC wine ambassador Harry McWatters included an upbringing that instilled in her a true appreciation and love of wine. She worked in the family business throughout her school years and in 1995 became a sales representative for Sumac Ridge Estate Winery and Hawthorne Mountain Vineyards. In 2000 both operations were acquired by Vincor International and Christa-Lee was named BC Sales Manager for the newly formed Sumac Ridge Estates Wine Group. Later, she was promoted to Marketing Manager for Sumac Ridge Estate Winery, See Ya Later Ranch, Nk’Mip Cellars, Osoyoos Larose, Okanagan Vineyards and the Great Estates of the Okanagan, where she was responsible for all marketing initiatives and on-site hospitality programs. Christa-Lee worked with the Vintage Consulting group in 2010 to provide management consulting services on sales and marketing aspects of the wine business. She joined ENCORE at the start of 2015.
Madame Andrée Bosc – wife, mother and winery matriarch of Château des Charmes. She holds a B.A. from Brock University and a Masters in Public Administration from Niagara University, New York. Madame, as she is affectionately called, is a former French teacher who loves to welcome her former students to the winery. She is a tremendous ambassador for the winery. In 2006 she, along with her husband Paul Bosc Sr ,were named Niagara-on-the-Lake's Citizens of the Year and presented with the Lord Mayor's Award of Excellence.
General Manager Unsworth Vineyards
co-owner Omega Viticulture Consulting
“I sort of fell into it. I was a papered chef for many years. I grew tired of working every evening and every weekend, missing every holiday with my family. I wanted to work outside. I took a summer job working in a vineyard so I could save up enough to go traveling. Just before I left, the manager asked if I would come back to work after returning from my trip.”
After a few months in Asia Sarah returned to her vineyard position at Enrico Winery in 2007 where she took over the duties of vineyard manager. The opportunity to take viticulture and oenology courses through the Okanagan College presented itself and she took it. Two years later, the 2009 vintage would be her first at Enrico Winery with guidance from Daniel Cosman, her soon to be husband.
“I met my husband during my first vintage at Enrico. He was my mentor as I struggled to find a balance between scientific and artistic winemaking. We made wonderful Pinot Gris, married quickly, then started a family; it was all very romantic.”
In 2011 Sarah became the General Manager of Unsworth Vineyards on Vancouver Island. Sarah and Daniel were approached by Tim and Colleen Turyk while Sarah was on maternity leave. The idea of helping create a winery from scratch was very intriguing. Managing at Unsworth keeps her busy but it gives her the flexibility to help in the vineyard, winery and tasting room while working on marketing and brand development from home.
“I still love to cook but now I cook at home just for my family. As for the winemaking side of things, I'm looking forward to producing wine this year (2012) exclusively for our wine club members and on site restaurant here at Unsworth.”
Linda earned her B.A. and her M.A. in English, History and Journalism from the University of Western Ontario.
She was honoured with the Queen’s Jubilee Medal for service to the wine industry as Niagara Business person of the Year.
is President and CEO of Colleges Ontario, the advocacy association for Ontario’s 24 Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology. In this role, Ms. Franklin has focused provincial and national attention on the coming shortage of skilled workers and the importance of the college system in addressing this challenge. She initiated a system wide marketing campaign highlighting the value of a college education, as well as launching a groundbreaking campaign focused on aboriginal students. Previously, Ms. Franklin was the President of the Wine Council of Ontario, where she directed a multi-million dollar marketing campaign for the domestic wine industry and developed a strategic plan for the sector supported by $40 million in government funding.
Mrs. Franklin began her career as a writer and communications specialist. She has served as the Chief of Staff for an Ontario cabinet minister, as the head of communications for a professional regulatory body and as vice president of a communications consulting company. In 2005, Linda was named Niagara’s Business Person of the Year. She was also awarded the Queen’s Jubilee medal for her contribution to the advancement of the Ontario wine industry. Ms. Franklin has a degree in English and History and a Master of Arts in journalism from the University of Western Ontario.
Cindy is a trusted marketing advisor to wineries seeking to build their brands, and build direct-to-consumer sales. Her love for the wine industry ignited the opportunity to follow her dream and pursue her passion by starting an agency focused on building wine brands. She loves the opportunity to get involved in the vineyard and can be found helping (and enjoying the views) whenever she can.
With her love of travel, proven sales experience and knowledge of distribution systems in different countries, Cindy has helped BC wineries open export markets in China, Europe, and the United States. She has also advised wineries on the complexities of the US wine distribution market. For Cindy, the most exciting part is going to a new country, meeting a diverse group of people and finding an importer for her brands.
Cindy has not lost the travel bug so is often planning her next journey - typically to one wine region or another, expanding her knowledge of different varietals, wine styles and terroir. Her travels have led her throughout leading wine regions including Tuscany, Napa, Australia, France, Spain, Argentina, and the Okanagan. Cindy loves to tweet and blog with enlightening ideas about wine marketing and her wine travels @cindyferrie. Cindy is very excited about building a new cottage in Osoyoos. When not ‘living her dream’ Cindy enjoys continuing her travel to the world’s wine regions, particularly if there is a patio with wine and cheese.
co-owner Town Hall Communications
Since 1997, Leeann Froese has worked with Canada's best-known wineries (yes, she helped them earn that distinction) to dream, shape strategies, and communicate key messages. Her success in generating publicity for her clients translates to a bookshelf filled with press clippings. She knows how to find, craft, and share clients' stories. These days, the behind-the-scenes work excites Leeann. She loves counselling clients and helping them build brand strategies and events that they bring to life. Their success is hers. At Town Hall where the firm offers public relations, media relations, social media outreach, logo and graphic design, advertising campaigns, and marketing strategy, Leeann's role is to manage client projects and create and oversee strategy. A little media relations is added into the mix.
Leeann regularly gives to her community. She was on the committee that established the BC Hospitality Foundation ( www.bchospitalityfoundation.com ), an organization that provides financial support to individuals within the hospitality community who are coping with a financial crisis arising from a health or medical condition. Leeann also believes in mentorship and sharing knowledge; hence, she is a member of the BC Chapter of Les Dames d' Escoffier ( www.lesdames.ca ), a society of professional women that promotes the education and advancement of, and supplies advice and assistance to, women in careers related to food, wine, hospitality, and nutrition. Additionally, Leeann is a leader at Cub Scouts, where she and the youth she leads learn new skills together. If she is offline, her favourite thing to do is watch birds.
Shirley- Ann George
The Wine Industry Champion Award was presented to Shirley-Ann George, founder and President of the Alliance of Canadian Wine Consumers, better known as FreeMyGrapes. George has been instrumental in the movement to allow Canadians to buy wines from wineries not located in their own province. After many years of hard work, George’s winery-to-consumer delivery leadership led to the unanimous passage of Bill C-311 in 2012, which delivered the first amendment into the federal Importation of Intoxicating Liquors Act (IILA) in 84 years and eliminated the federal restrictions prohibiting individuals from moving wine across provincial
General Manager Blackwood Lane
Kim Collins is the winerier's General Manager . She has been the smiling face of the winery from the begining. is also a Certified Sommelier, getting her accreditation through the International Sommelier Guild.
In the Summer you will find Kim producting her amazing pizza at the wineries out door firewood pizza oven.
Look for "Kimz Korner" on their website
Kim plays the drums and is studying aromatherapy.
She is the proud mother of two daughters.
Pinki Gidda MT Boucherie Winery
former Wine Shop Manager
“The best thing about my job is the opportunity to learn. There is so much knowledge available in the wine industry, and not just from industry professionals but from customers as well!”
Pinki Gidda's first memory is working in the vineyard, and it's no wonder given the fact that the Mt. Boucherie vineyards have been in her family for more than forty years! Though Pinki has not spent much time exploring other global wine regions, she is completely immersed in the wine culture of the Okanagan Valley.
Pinki loves her career and is the social butterfly of the family, naming her favourite job perk as the opportunity to meet, greet and talk with people every day. In addition to making visitors feel welcome, Pinki also oversees all aspects of the wine shop and the development of marketing strategies.
Loving and understanding wine is similar to having an appreciation for art and culture so it is no surprise that Pinki's Masters of arts & literature, earned in India where she was born, supports her passion and livelihood.
Despite the seemingly endless amount of paperwork that comes with her role at the winery, Pinki makes time for other favourite activities including yoga, exercise, shopping and enjoying dinner with a great bottle of wine with family and friends.
Canada’s first female Master Sommelier
Jennifer began her career by waiting tables. In time she became the head sommelier for Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment and Prestige Account Manager for Jackson Family Wines.
At Maple Leaf sports she oversaw a team of 10 somms and an investment in wine that pushed well into the millions. At E1leven alone, Huether managed a 4,000-bottle, 600-label wine cellar, which included co-ordinating purchases to match the chef’s current menu and customer taste.
The masters exam is extremly difficult only 8% pass. Huether was working full time and raising two toddlers while studying for the exam.
McManus Marketing & Communications (Kelowna, BC)
How does one stick handle a career change from NHL hockey to Okanagan wine? Meet Angela McManus, Principal of McManus Marketing & Communications in Kelowna, British Columbia.
Angela is a seasoned marketing and PR/communications professional with twenty four years of experience spanning the world of Canadian art, NHL hockey and BC VQA wine. During her ten year career with the Toronto Maple Leafs she moved up the ranks adding value to the Leafs marketing activities and building their community relations department and managing more than $1.5 million in fundraising in her role as Director of the Leafs Fund (for charity).
In 2002, with a thirst for a new adventure and to learn new things Angela signed up for a few ski lessons which led her to beautiful BC. She came for the snow and discovering Lake Okanagan and the wine, decided to stay.
Shortly after arriving in Kelowna, Angela was scouted by Cedar Creek Estate Winery and offered the position as the winery’s inaugural Marketing Manager. At Canada’s award-winning Cedar Creek Estate Winery, she parlayed her marketing and communications expertise to the world of wine. During her tenure she was responsible for developing and managing the winery’s strategic marketing plan including advertising, sales, consumer and trade events, media and community relations and PR functions. In five years she grew wine-club sales and valued added PR in a very significant way. “When I started at Cedar Creek, I was quickly able to see the cultural capacity of the wineries and it was there that I began to pioneer new events such as the Sunset Concert Series, Women We Know Art Show, Women & Wine event and the Barrel Art Auction, to align the winery with arts and culture.”
During this same period Ms. McManus attained her Advanced Wine and Spirit Education Trust Certificate and was active in the community as a Board Member for the Rotary Centre for the Arts, Kelowna Tourism Advisory Council Member and a member of the British Columbia Wine Institute Marketing Committee. “Being active in the community comes naturally to me. It’s something that not only do I enjoy but that I also understand the benefit of to both community and business.”
Angela contributed to Quails’ Gate Winery – Okanagan Valley, in 2009 in the position of Director of Marketing and Communications. Recently, as Director of Marketing at The View Winery, she enhanced the brand to grow wine shop sales and fans significantly and was instrumental to the winery receiving The Kelowna Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards for Tourism & Hospitality. “At The View I saw the incredible potential of the Red Shoe brand and enjoyed the creative process to deliver its full marketing potential. The Red Shoe (art) Project and The View Cares (charitable giving program) are two initiatives that I am most proud of.”
A little known fact about Angela: in her spare time she pursues another creative passion as a makeup artist and stylist at her burgeoning company StyleConcierge. “My tagline is ‘Branding YOU with Beauty & Style!’. And of course one of the best ways to do this is to pair the perfect red lip with an equally perfect Okanagan wine!”
In 2014/15 Angela was Marketing Consultant to The Vibrant Vine/Okanagan Villa Estate Winery. “The Vibrant Vine winery experience is truly like no other. To have the opportunity to work with visionary Proprietors Wyn and Marion Lewis on their Vibrant brand and experience, one that celebrates wine, art and music...kept me vibrant too!”
McManus Marketing & Communications was a finalist for “Marketer of The Year” at the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce 2015 Business Excellence Awards. So as her business tagline indicates “The Marketing is Working!”
Barbara Philip MW
Barbara Philip MW was the first Western
Canadian to achieve the Master of Wine
designation and was the only female MW in the
She is currently a Portfolio Manager
for the British Columbia Liquor Distribution
Branch (BCLDB), where she is responsible
for the European wine selections in BC Liquor
Through Barbariain Wine
Consulting, Barb works as an international
presenter, journalist and judge. In addition
to lecturing across the United States, Europe
and Canada, Barbara has judged for the
Argentina Wine Awards , The Dallas Morning
News Wine Competition and the Decanter
World Wine Awards in London. She is a
regular contributor to Taste M magazine and is
a bi-weekly columnist on CBC Radio One's
‘ On The Coast '.
Public Relations Manager, Inniskillin Wines, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario
• Born in Toronto, raised and educated in St. Catharines
• Graduated from St. Catharines Teacher’s College
• Graduated from Brock University, B.A. in Psychology and Education
• Taught primary school for 16 years in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Lincoln County
• Assisted at Inniskillin Winery on a part-time basis since its inception in 1975
• Assumed full-time status with Inniskillin in 1986
• Initial responsibilities were three fold: managing the Wine Boutique, Special Events
and Tour Programs; handling Public Relations; calling on LCBO, hotels and restaurants
throughout southern and northern Ontario as an Ontario Sales Representative
• Handling all media relations from the Winery in Niagara-on-the-Lake and assisting with media for Jackson-Triggs Niagara Estate Winery and Le Clos Jordanne.
• Liaising with Inniskillin Marketing and Public Relations Teams-Coletta Communications, Constellation.
• Organizing and hosting VIP visits/events at the winery for media, government, senior executives,
trade and celebrities from around the world
• Hosting Export initiatives, Theme Dinners, Wine tastings, Author Series, Celebrity Icewine Picking etc.
• Conducting wine presentations/seminars and speaking engagements (corporate, educational institutes, general public, service clubs)
• Authoring various Inniskillin, tourism and wine industry related articles
• Promoting Ontario/Canadian Wine as a whole through wine and culinary tourism initiatives
• Present and Founding Committee Member, Cuvée - a fund raiser for Niagara Community
Foundation, celebrating Excellence in Ontario Wines (1989-present)
• Niagara College Public Relations Advisory Committee (1999-present)
• Niagara College Photography Advisory Committee (2010-present)
• Riesling Experience Committee, CCOVI (Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute-Brock University)
• Past member of the Ontario Wine Council Tourism Committee (8 years)
• Past Chairman, Niagara-on-the-Lake Wineries Marketing Committee (13 years).
• Niagara Wine and Food Classic Committee Member (4 years)
• Terry Fox Run committee member and Dream Team Member (9 years)
• Member of the Tourism Committee and various Special Events, NOTL Chamber of Commerce
• Past Chairman, TEMCO, NOTL Tourism and Economic Management Corporation (3 years)
• Past Co-Chair, Shaw Shivaree Fundraiser (2 years)
• Past Board Member, Niagara-on-the-Lake Elderhostel
• TIDC (Tourism Industry Development Centre-Niagara College) Steering Committee (8 years)
Debi Pratt was awarded the coveted Lifetime Achievement award for over 35 years of service helping to build Ontario Tourism as a pioneering member of the wine industry (amongst other great things).
from the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario. Upon her retirement
Inniskillin named a vineyard in her honour
• Binational Star Award-Women in Tourism, 2009
• Exceptional Hospitality Award Ontario Wine Society Committee, 2009
• Promoter’s Award, CCOVI-Educator, 2006
• Honorary Member Les Clefs d'Or, 2004
• Niagara Business Woman of the Year, 2003
Women In Business Council awards Debi with Life Time Achievement award.
Favourite pastime, besides visiting other wine regions around the world, is kayaking down the Niagara River!
Lauren is the second generation of Painted Rock Estate Winery, established by her parents John and Trish Skinner when she was in high school.
Lauren has worked towards being a part of Painted Rock since it’s beginning. She spent summers working in the first Painted Rock tasting room while attending the University of Victoria and attended industry events alongside John in the early the years. In 2010 Lauren moved to France to complete her MBA in Luxury Brand Management, Food and Wine at INSEEC Bordeaux.
After completing her education, Lauren gained valuable experience in marketing in the Vancouver real estate industry before coming into the family business in 2015. Since starting with Painted Rock she has completed her WSET Level 3 with Honours. Lauren has worked her way up in the business through various roles is now Painted Rock’s Director of Sales and Marketing.
Margaret is an internationally published wine, spirits, food, spa, golf and travel writer, who has authored well over 2,000 articles on these subjects for magazines and newspapers. She’s the travel columnist for the National Post newspaper (Forks & the Road), the spa columnist for Best Health magazine (Paradise Home & Away), the spirit & cocktail columnist for Zoomer magazine, the spirit columnist for WineAlign and the culinary travel columnist (Global Gourmet) for Travel Industry Today.
She wrote the monthly wine column for over 25 years in both Chatelaine and Toronto Life and has written regularly in other wine publications including Winetidings, Wine Access and WineAlign since 1979
Margaret has co-authored/edited two books, “The Romance of Wine and Food” and “101 Big Ideas for Promoting a Business on a Small Budget”. She is also author of the first three annual Toronto Life Wine, Beer and Spirits Guides which review all wines, beers and spirits on general list in Ontario.
Margaret is a founder, director and first treasurer of The Travel Media Association of Canada and a member of the Society of American Travel Writers. As a member of the Society of Wine Educators, Margaret has taught wine courses at the YMCA, The Skills Exchange, The Learning Annex, Creative Entertaining, The Creative Touch Cooking School, Harvest Kitchen and Georgian College as well as for private corporate groups. She was founder and host for many years of The Toronto Life Wine & Dine Experiences that were held monthly at top restaurants in Toronto.
Margaret has participated as a wine judge at many competitions around the world. She has appeared on numerous radio and TV Shows as a wine expert, including Live It Up (CTV), Midday (CBC-TV), Morningside (CBC Radio), CFRB Talk Radio, Canadian Living TV (CTV) and Report on Business TV. In winter 1995 she acted as host for a video production by the LCBO “Shop the World – Spirits Promotion”. In January 1996, she was a speaker at the Symposium on Alcohol Privatization and has been a guest on Metro Morning and CBC Radio Noon, to present her views on deregulation.
Margaret founded and was first president of the Wine Writers Circle of Canada and is a member of the Wine Writers Circle in England. She has acted as an expert witness in wine disputes involving Champagne, Entre-Deux-Mers and other trade mark usages. Margaret is also a regular consultant to the hospitality industry and assisted with the creation of The Sommelier Guild of Canada. Margaret also has organized and run a number of wine fairs including the visit of Vignobles & Signatures, The Pacific Northwest Wine Fairs, and The Premiere Bordeaux Barrel Tasting. Margaret got her debut in the wine field, as a winner of blind tasting competitions. Back in 1978, when Margaret entered her first Toronto competition, she captured both the first prize and the “women’s prize”.
A graduate of Carleton University with an Honours Journalism degree, she speaks conversational French, German and Demotic Greek.
is the Director of Western BC Wine Authority (BCVQA) Estates for Arterra Wines previously known as Constellation Brands. Prior to that she was the general manager of Okanagan Vineyards Winery and Vineyard.
Josie was the first woman to chair the B.C. Wine Institute, serving two terms before stepping down last month. She is a director of the Canadian Vintner's Association and is in charge of the Arterra Wines in British Columbia (Sumac Ridge, See Ya Later Ranch, Jackson-Triggs, Sawmill Creek and Inniskillin).
Before Vincor was purchased by Constellation, Tyabji was national business operations strategist and, 10 years ago, helped negotiate the deal with the Osoyoos Indian Band to create a joint venture. The award-winning Nk'Mip Cellars is 49 per cent owned by Constellation now Arterra Wines
Josie brokered the deal to get wine into grocery stores
Anjana came to wine later in her career after completing a Master's degree in English
literature and enjoying a successful 15-year career in ommunications, during which she ran
her own consulting business for seven years. In 2013 she decided to shift her focus to her
love of wine and food and received Sommelier certifications through the Canadian
Association of Professional Sommeliers (CAPS) and The Court of Master Sommeliers in 2014.
After certifying, Anjana quickly went on to distinguish herself at three premiere Toronto
restaurants. She started her Sommelier career at Canoe and then left to open Alo
Restaurant, where she created a critically acclaimed wine list and innovative wine pairings
for a constantly changing tasting menu. Her most recent restaurant was Bacchanal, where
she held the positions of Sommelier and General Manager.
In addition to her restaurant experience, Anjana has married her communications skills and
wine knowledge in her company Wednesday Night Wine, which she has been running since
2016. She has provided consulting services to clients like Wineries of Niagara-on-the-Lake,
revamping communications strategies and updating websites and social media. She
continues to work with private and corporate clients in Toronto, providing wine education,
events and building cellars, as well as writing her popular wine blog
Anjana is faculty at George Brown College, teaching wine courses in the continuing
education department and considers this one of the most rewarding aspects of her work.
She also writes for wine publications, including Vitis Magazine, and has been involved in
many volunteer activities in the wine world such as judging at Intervin and as a board
member for CAPS.
When not working on all things wine, Anjana enjoys drinking wine with family and friends
and most of all with a great book.
Jennifer is a CAPS certified Sommelier and holds credentials from WSET in both wine and spirits and a diploma in Hospitality Management. She has worked in hospitality and event management for 25 years.
She joined Niagara College in 2006 as an instructor, was Wine Program Coordinator from 2009 to 2014 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 actively involved in the wine industry as an international wine judge, mentor, speaker, event coordinator and fund raiser. She provides front of house and wine sales training to many area wineries and restaurants.
In 2012, Jennifer was a recipient of the Top 40 Under 40 Business Achievement Award and in 2014 was awarded the Lieutenant Governor’s Community Volunteer Award for her contributions to the Ontario wine industry and community. She is currently an instructor at the Canadian Food and Wine Institute, Sommelier at the Mark Picone Culinary Studio and part of the VineSleuth sensory team for the development an app called Wine4.Me.
Send us your nominee
Women of Wine
Home | Sitemap | Featured Wine | New | Gallery | Contact
| Tourism Links|Wine Terms
©2020 Robert A Bell