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Victoria Velazquez

I currently I am the Assistant Manager and Local Buyer at Kitsilano Wine Cellar. I started my wine journey long time ago with the WSET 1 & 2 but I didn't start working in the Industry until 3 years ago. I currently have the level 3 for WSET and followed with the Italian Wine Scholar Unit 2. I would like to continue my education with the Unit 1 of the Italian Wine Scholar and the French Wine Scholar.

Victoria Velazquez

Christopher Mann

I am a passionate and meticulous Cellar Master and Foreman that is transitioning to a Winemaker role. I have strong leadership traits that have led me to be quickly moved into a management position at every company I have been employed. My continued pursuit of knowledge has led me to a B.Sc. in Biological Sciences with a minor in Analytical Chemistry, a winemaking certificate from UC Davis, my WSET Level 2 (with distinction) and WSET Level 3, as well as the completion of the Wines of British Columbia Level 1 and 2 Ambassador programs.

Christopher Mann

Reshma Mir

I have been working with wine for 10+ years while going to school at the University of Calgary. My interest in wine has always been consistent as other interests have come and go, so I’m looking forward to educating myself in this obvious area of intrigue.

Reshma Mir

Miroki Tong

A passionate enthusiast of all things wine, Miroki Tong has tasted her way all around the world, learning from winemakers, experts, and fellow enthusiasts, always eager to talk with someone who shares in her love of the divine drink that is wine. Her 10 years of auto-didactic experience is currently manifesting itself in written musings under the Instagram handle @9ouncesplease.

Miroki seeks to highlight not only the best wines for taste and value, but to introduce the world to the people behind the glass. Winemakers, bar owners, and people looking to make positive change in the wine industry are all highlighted with Miroki’s characteristic humour, endearing geekiness, and easy-going nature.

When not sipping, learning, and educating about vino, Miroki works as an independent business consultant. She holds an MBA with specializations in Strategic Management, Organizational Behaviour and Entrepreneurship, bringing her expertise to help build small businesses, and more recently, boutique wineries. She is also an award-winning international performer and musician with a background in production currently working on an upcoming Opera Metal EP. Her festival Altekrea (2011-2016) which augmented counterculture art, was also a twice award-nominated entity, and was accepted into the City of Kitchener’s Economic Development and Arts and Culture initiatives. Altekrea bisected arts, alternative culture, business and tech, and strove to augment the profiles of non-traditional artists, and provide important, and often overlooked, business education. In 2020, she was nominated for consideration to be one of Canada’s 100 Most Powerful Women in the Professionals Division.

Miroki currently holds a global roster of clients, from permanent retainer to focused projects. She has served on recommender juries for the Ontario Arts Council, Waterloo Region Arts Awards, and has acted as a third party expert and mentor for students at Wilfrid Laurier’s Entrepreneurship programs, Launchpad and University of Waterloo’s inaugural 2019 Innovation and Entrepreneurship Chinese Exchange summer program.

Miroki holds an Honours Bachelors of Arts and Business from University of Waterloo (2009), and a Masters of Business Administration from Wilfrid Laurier University (2016). Additionally, she has acquired international academic experience at the University of Ulster (Northern Ireland), Queen’s BISC Herstmonceux Castle (England) and Hochschule Osnabrück (Germany). She holds a Royal Conservatory of Music Level 9 in piano, and is trained in opera voice as a mezzo soprano.

Across all industries she has occupied, Miroki is an outspoken advocate for all facets of diversity and inclusion. She unafraid to challenge status quos, confront injustice whilst also maintaining that she herself has space to grown and learn to be a better contributor of positive social change.

Miroki Tong

Esther Onguta

I'm currently finishing up my PhD in Food Technology at Massey University in Palmerston North, New Zealand. Prior to this, I completed my MSc in Biotechnology specializing in Oenology and Viticulture at Brock University in St. Catharines. My thesis focused on sparkling wine and was titled, The impact of grape clone, yeast strain and protein on sparkling wine quality. While completing my Masters, I was a teaching assistant/lab demonstrator for just over two years teaching Oenology courses including: Introduction to Wines, Sensory Evaluation of Wine and Winery Processing and Equipment. I also hold a postgrad Certificate in Grape and Wine Technology from Brock.

Aside from learning about wine, I do also have experience in the hospitality industry. I hold a valid Ontario Smart Serve License. During my time in St. Catharines, I worked in retail at Inniskillin Estates in Niagara-on-the-Lake. I also worked at The Wine Shop in Toronto before moving to New Zealand to start my PhD.

In my spare time, I have made an effort to visit all wine regions of New Zealand. I've expanded my knowledge of wine by travelling and would like to transfer that knowledge to a career in industry. I am looking forward to moving back to Canada upon the completion of my PhD. My goal is to apply all my skills I've gained over the years to a suitable science related job in the food and beverage sector.

Esther Onguta

Grayce Yuen

I run production accounting, forecasting and planning and full-cycle accounting for a distillery. I also like to write about wine and spirits!

Grayce Yuen

Emillie Stephenson

Marketing communications manager and WSET Level 1 student.

Emillie Stephenson

Michelle Nguyen

What started as an interest in food, developed into 10 year love affair with hospitality, learning and growing through working in restaurants. I am currently working as a general manager in Toronto.

Michelle Nguyen

Rachna Contractor

Rachna Contractor is a server who started working in the hospitality industry eight years ago as a cook. She's worked in India at The Oberoi, Gurgaon and in Toronto at Momofuku Noodle Bar, Marben, The Broadview Hotel and Bar Raval. Rachna is particularly fond of Spanish wines. This year she's working towards completing WSET Levels two and three.

Rachna Contractor

Christina Sulaiman

I have been working in the restaurant industry since I was a teenager! I came to Canada to pursue higher education, but I ended up abandoning my Bachelor degree in Psychology from York University when I fell in love with the action-, pressure-, interactive-driven of being a server. When I realized that I could build a career out of restaurant industry, I told my parents I did not want to further my academic education. I became more involved in wine education. I broadened my knowledge by taking WSET level 2 and level 3 as well as French, Italian, and Spanish Wine Scholar Guild. I am currently enrolled in WSET diploma program.

Christina Sulaiman