Founders

 
Nupur Gogia

Founder, Island Vines

Nupur Gogia is a level 4 WSET Diploma Graduate and is currently in Stage 2 of the Masters of Wine Program. She has been working in the trade for the last 7 years and has recently started her own portfolio of natural wines. In addition, Nupur runs her own wine company, Island Vines that runs wine dinners, wine classes and consults on restaurant wine lists.

 

A chameleon with many forms, Nupur has also completed a doctorate in Sociology and published several articles and co-authored a book. She is an avid traveller and a passionate hedonist that loves all things culinary and fermented grapes in form.

 
Carrie Rau

Wine Educator

Carrie Rau is a proud Cree/food and wine professional living and working in Toronto, Ontario. She is a CAPS (@capsontario) Sommelier candidate and a WSET instructor for Levels 1 and 2 at IWEG Drinks Academy (@iweg_canada).

 

Carrie graduated WSET Diploma (@wsetglobal) in 2020, has her Level 2 from International Sommelier Guild (@isgsommelier) and is a member of the Court of Master Sommeliers (@mastersommeliers_americas). She is currently working as certified red seal chef in recipe research and development at a large Test Kitchen that specializes in product development.  

 

As she is very passionate about career development and wine education, she has her eye on future food and beverage trends and is always looking for the next exciting opportunity in the hospitality industry.

 
Nabilah Rawji

Sommelier

Nabilah Rawji is the former Wine Director of Shangri-La Hotel, Toronto, and is accredited through the Court of Master Sommeliers. She was most recently one of only four Canadians, and the only woman of color,  to achieve the Court of Master Sommeliers Advanced designation in 2019. Having previously worked as a field biologist she brings a scientists' curiosity and rigorous approach to the world of wine. 

Nabilah strives to create lists that enable people to experience the classic wines of the world while leaving room for an adventure into lesser charted territories.

 
Debbie Shing

Founder, Quvé Group

Debbie Shing is a WSET Level 4 Diploma graduate and Certified WSET Instructor with nearly 20 years of experience in wine sales and marketing across Canada.

 

She is the founder of Quvé Group, a sales and marketing firm primarily focused on wine, and Quvé, an online lifestyle boutique.

 

Prior to establishing her companies, Debbie has worked at two of Canada's largest wine agencies, as well as in government liquor stores and the head office of BC Liquor Distribution Branch.

 

Debbie is on faculty at IWEG Drinks Academy since 2014 and has worked as guest sommelier at Barberian’s Steak House and BlueBlood Steakhouse.

 

She is also the current Membership Chair on the CAPS Ontario (Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers) board of directors, and is on the judging panel for Canada’s 100 Best Restaurants since 2019.

 

Debbie lives in downtown Toronto and speaks fluent French and Cantonese, with a good understanding of Italian and Spanish.

 
Chanile Vines

Founder, Vinesplay

Chanile Vines is the founder of Vinesplay, a wine club and importing firm. Praised as a community builder, for sharing her passion with clients, and supporting winery owners, her joy for making wine appreciation accessible to everyone is contagious. Angela  (CBC) says her guests “can’t stop raving about the experience” with Vinesplay. Chanile’s sense of wanderlust and love of wine paired with her educational background in research  and psychology makes her a triple threat for bridging the gap between great wines and consumers. She has amassed a group of over 3000 wine club members; motivated by her personal motto to provide an enriching space for businesses and people to grow, connect, and have fun.  

 

She has her Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET®) Level 1 & 2 Awards in Wines, earned her BSc. and MSc. In Psychology.  Chanile was the President of the Ontario Wine Society, Toronto Chapter. Her wine and business expertise have been featured in  The CBC, Food and Wine, Entrepreneur, Eligible Magazine, Future Female and Catering Magazine.  

 
Beverly Crandon

Web Operations & CMS Certified Program Candidate

Beverly Crandon is a current CMS certified sommelier candidate, wine lover, and marketing operations addict.

 

Beverly has been able to lend her hand both as a consultant and a direct leadership employee in various organizations, from Fortune 500s to startups looking to generate mind share, revenues, and a recurring member-base, in their area of discipline. She aims to combine her work experience, love of wine, and wine education to date and broaden wine appreciation and advancement in those not deemed the ‘traditional’ wine consumer or professional.

Beverly Crandon started her career as an International Operations Director for fortune 500 tech companies and then expanded to the world of traditional media, always with a strong focus on product development, online strategy and effective sales funnels. During this time, she covered verticals such as automotive, real estate, gaming, dating, employment, directory, and generalist consumer goods.

Her overarching motto with Vinequity: wine should be inclusive and through that approachable. No one should be denied the pleasures of vino!

 
Olivia Siu

Founder, Crazy Wine Asian

Olivia Siu is a WSET Level 4 Diploma candidate, consultant and content creator at Crazy Wine Asian, and wine educator at Wineflocks, a virtual wine community that helps millennial wine consumers discover products they love. She completed her French Wine Scholar with highest honours and is currently pursuing her Loire Master-Level certification with the Wine Scholar Guild. 

 

She worked at one of Canada's largest wine and spirits distributors, as well as one of the country's leading wineries in the Okanagan valley. Before joining the wine industry, Olivia built a successful marketing and design career in the technology sector with experience growing start-up companies into multi-million dollar businesses. 

 

Olivia grew up in Hong Kong, lived in Montreal for a decade and is now based in Toronto. She speaks fluent Cantonese, Mandarin, English, with a good understanding of French.