Vinica Education Society is a not-for-profit society incorporated in British Columbia, Canada, focussed on diversifying the wine industry through innovative education and professional mentorship. We support people that are passionate about wine, but are experiencing systemic barriers to participation and advancement, develop into leaders in the industry.
Vinica is managed by a dedicated, volunteer board of directors:
Vinica’s Program Director Sarah Martin is UBC alumni and has since transitioned to entrepreneurship, managing the social enterprise Start Fresh Kitchen & Start Fresh Project Society in British Columbia, Canada. Sarah is currently studying wine in Master Tasting classes. Sarah is also a proud member of the Metis Nation of British Columbia, and graduate of their Aboriginal Youth Entrepreneurship Program. Email Sarah
Vinica’s Chief Operations Officer Chris Mann is a winemaker located in Kelowna, British Columbia. Chris has a BSc. from the University of Calgary and has since completed his Winemaking Diploma from UC Davis. After considerable success as a cider maker, winning double Gold medals for BC Tree Fruits, Chris has transitioned to wine. He has worked as an assistant winemaker at several Okanagan wineries. Chris is an advocate for BC wines and is eager to continue learning about all aspects of the wine industry.
Vinica’s Chief Academic Officer Mayu Takasaki is a lecturer at the University of British Columbia, in Kelowna, Canada. She teaches Japanese language, food and culture. Mayu has a keen interest in wine and sake, and is a member of the university’s wine club. She holds a Masters degree in Linguistics. Mayu speaks English, Japanese, French, and understands German.
Vinica’s Chief Sommelerie Officer Ana Gallegos has a bachelor’s degree in tourism, is a certified sommelier and holds a WSET Diploma. Ana is the founder of Ana Wine Co, the first trilingual blog dedicated entirely to explore wine and spirits. Ana is a judge of international wine competitions, a regular contributor to international publications, and a manager at the Société des alcools du Québec, in Montreal, Canada. Originally from Mexico, she’s fluent in Spanish, French and English.
Vinica’s Chief Learning Officer Arnica Rowan is a wine researcher and partner in Terroir Consulting, based out of British Columbia, Canada. She is a former college/university professor and in her spare time, writes for JancisRobinson.com. Arnica holds a B.Com (Hons), an M.A. and is a WSET Diploma Candidate. She speaks English and German and understands French.
Vinica’s Chief Production Officer Karnail Singh Sidhu is the winemaker and owner of Kalala Organic Estate Winery, in West Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada. Karnail is an organic viticulture advocate, and his organic icewine won gold at 2016 Chardonnay du Monde. Karnail is originally from the Punjab in India, and is fluent in both Punjabi, English and Hindi.
Vinica’s Chief Innovation Officer Paulo Brammer is the founder of Eno Cultura, Brazil’s foremost wine and spirits academy. Formerly head sommelier for a three Michel-starred chefs, Paulo now focusses on wine research and innovation, and was awarded Educator of the Year by both WSET Global and Wine Scholar Guild. Paulo holds a WSET Diploma, is a wine judge for Decanter UK, and speaks Portuguese, Spanish and English.