Sommeliers in Canada

Media Release 

23 November 2017

New Zealand Winegrowers Sommelier Scholarship recipients announced

New Zealand Winegrowers congratulates the first ever Canadian sommeliers selected to participate in the New Zealand Winegrowers International Sommelier Scholarship.

The 2018 scholarship winners are:

Jascha Baraness - 360 The Restaurant at the CN Tower (Eastern Canada)
Jackie Cooke - Avec Bistro and Provision Restaurant (Western Canada)

First launched in 2015 as a scholarship for Australian sommeliers, the New Zealand Winegrowers International Sommelier Scholarship is now a global initiative with the two Canadian sommeliers joining scholars from Australia, Asia, the UK, Ireland, Europe, New Zealand and the USA.

Each scholarship recipient attends a Sommit™ event, which is limited to just 20 sommeliers with content targeted exclusively to their interests. Next year’s Sommits™ will take place in Nelson and Central Otago, two of New Zealand’s top winemaking regions.

Hosted by Master Sommelier Cameron Douglas and Master of Wine Stephen Wong, the events are a celebration of the lesser known aspects of New Zealand wine, with emphasis on the facets that resonate with the sommelier community.

Marketing Manager Canada, New Zealand Winegrowers Robert Ketchin says the response was overwhelming and there was an impressive caliber of applicants, showing the commitment from sommeliers in Canada to learn more about New Zealand wines.

“We look forward having Jascha and Jackie come back to Canada as scholars and ambassadors for New Zealand wine, sharing personal wine discoveries and insights from their trips with restaurant guests and the wider sommelier community – something we simply can’t replicate in a classroom.”

New Zealand wine continues to perform strongly on the global stage, with over two decades of uninterrupted value growth. Canada is New Zealand’s fourth export market with wine exports valued in excess of CAD$200 million in sales.

Visit for more information.


For further information contact:

Robert Ketchin & Anik Gaumond
New Zealand Winegrowers
705 444 0195

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