Editor-in-Chief/Director of Sales
Jennifer Schell-Pigott has been fortunate enough to blend her career in writing, advertising and publishing into a package that embraces her passion: wine and food. As Editor/Director of Sales for Wine Trails Magazine, she is thrilled to be back in the Okanagan Valley where she grew up. A true farmer’s daughter, Jennifer was raised on a beautiful apple orchard in Kelowna. With deep farming roots running through the generations of her family, she has cultivated a deep appreciation for the earth, the farmers who tend it and the practice of sustainability. A huge advocate of eating local and supporting our growers, the success of the province’s wine culture constantly inspires and excites as it continues to sparkle on the world stage.
(Jennifer completed the advanced program of the WSET studying under Rhys Pender, Master of Wine).
Contact the Editor: firstname.lastname@example.org
Read her weekly newspaper column on food and wine here.
Photo by Moda Photography
Cassandra is a freelance wine, food and travel writer and broadcaster who appears regularly on Breakfast Television, can be heard on The Shore 104.3 and has been published in The Vancouver Sun, Western Living, BC Wine Trails Magazine, Vancouver Magazine, Northwest Palate, EAT Magazine and Concierge Quarterly, and many other publications. She was born in New Zealand, grew up in the Okanagan and has made Vancouver her home for the past 20 + years. She is passionate about local food and wine, and loves to travel to learn and report on what others are doing to promote their local culture.
Michael was originally trained as a Chartered Accountant, he now directs Accounting for Taste, a company dedicated to de-mystifying wine and sharing the enjoyment and benefits of moderate wine use. Activities include organizing and chairing Cellars of the World, Kelowna’s international wine competition, freelance writing on wine, food and travel, and consulting.
Lindsay’s passion for wine led her to Kelowna. Five years later, she has completed her WSET Advanced and works for the BC Wine Institute as their Communications Manager. She has a love of tasting, talking and writing about wine and hopes to begin the WSET Diploma in the near future.
Rhys is a wine educator, consultant, judge and freelance writer through his company Wine Plus+ and his website www.rhyspender.com. In 2010 Rhys became Canada’s youngest Master of Wine (MW). In 2008 Rhys was named as one of the “Top 40 Foodies Under 40” in Western Canada by Western Living magazine. His career plan is to wait for Robert Parker to retire so he can finally claim back his initials RP for wine reviews.
I’m third generation Kelowna born and raised. This Valley is a part of who I am and I’m always excited to discover new things- whether it be new wineries or restaurants. I’m excited to be back in the Valley after so many years to start a life with my new husband (who drives me all over for wine tastings!).
I have been lucky enough to grow up agriculturally aware in the South Okanagan. Every time I left, this little piece of heaven drew me back in. Good food, good wine and the great outdoors; life couldn’t be better here. This has made me into a passionate promoter of the region, the wines and the amazing local produce. I have been working in the wine and hospitality industries since I was nineteen and I love it. Wine has been a passion of mine for a number of years. I have attained my intermediate WSET certification and plan to embark on the advanced course this coming spring.
In 2005, Jon packed up the family and drove from Ontario to the Okanagan, for good reason. “This region is just a baby on the world agri-tourism scene. The farm to table experience here can rival the world’s best.” Jon is a sommelier and educator with over 20 years in the fine dining industry, cutting his teeth on the Toronto restaurant scene. Currently, he is the resident sommelier at Quail’s Gate Winery, after working three seasons at Mission Hill Family Estate. “The more I learn about wine and food the more I realize this will be a life long journey. The most satisfying part is taking as many people as I can along for the ride!”
Sue has been writing professionally since 1991. Starting in educational publishing, she moved on to writing books for young people. When she’s not skiing or on the yoga mat, Sue writes magazine articles on food and travel.
Jeannette is a writer based in the Okanagan, where she’s has been freelancing for several years. She recently quit her day job to open a small art gallery & bookstore – M gallery | book – in Penticton. Jeannette lives in Oliver with her husband Ian and their three cats.
Irene Ens (aka The Jam Goddess)
The Jam Goddess came to jam making late in life and has approached it with the zeal of any convert. She resides in Calgary where the notion of a 100 mile diet palls in February. Thank god she can look at summer’s bounty shining like jewels on her shelves. She travels to the Okanagan to buy only the best and most luscious fruit. You can buy her wares at The Grassroots and Millarville Farmer’s Markets in the summer.
Known for his energy, enthusiasm and passion—qualities he hopes translate in his writing with Wine Trails. He began his first career, broadcasting, at 18 in Calgary, Alberta, and various twists and turns along life’s path lead him to the wine industry. It’s a chapter in his journey he’s enjoying immensely! A specialist in marketing and communications, Kris also manages a wine blog, World of Winecraft, which you can read on www.wowinecraft.com
Luke is a professional wine lover, recovering musician, and creator of Winecountrybc.ca which features a weekly podcast about BC wine. He is currently blogging for the Okanagan Wine Festival Society and is a guest blogger for Consciouswine.com, which promotes sustainable, organic and biodynamic wineries on the west coast. He completed the Advanced WSET Level 3 at the Art Institute of Vancouver in 2007 and has worked in u-brews, cellars, vineyards, and wine shops since 2005. He is the current president of the Oliver Community Garden Society which helps promote food security and self-sufficiency through community garden sites and education.
Allison Fader has happily retired to the Okanagan Valley where she can draw upon her many years of wine-tasting, wine-making and judging (primarily in Vancouver and Ottawa) to enhance consumers’ knowledge of the BC wine industry. Her life-long passion for wine began when living and travelling throughout Europe as a child. She takes great pride in the world-class wines of the Okanagan and is enthusiastic about introducing them to others.
Arthur P. Dashman
Arthur is a former newspaper columnist and freelance writer. He began his career as a model and contributing writer at Modern Dog Magazine in Vancouver before settling into semi retirement in glorious wine country. A.P. spends his time interviewing wine hounds, menu planning as well as consulting in the areas of philosophy, psychology and world religion. Arthur describes his new lifestyle as “viniferously venerable” and considers wine country life as “fascinating”.
Raised on the grapeless plains of Saskatchewan, formally educated as an historian, and home-schooled in wine drinking. Peachland resident Barry Potyondi founded and ran a national cultural tourism company for many years before turning to full-time writing. Best known as a communications strategist, speechwriter and non-fiction author, he has always found time to contribute to magazines such as Northwest Palate, Canadian Geographic, Food for Thought, and Dreamscapes. His fondest hope is that he, like fine wine, may get better with age.
Natasha Chudyk is a freelance writer who has a passion for all things food and wine. She shares those passions on her food blog BettyDish.ca. She can be found sipping wine on the Naramata bench, eating local food at the farmers market or shopping for vintage clothing.
Creston Valley Advance publisher Lorne Eckersley's blood runs thick with printer's ink and wine. For 35 years he has been associated with all aspects of the community newspaper business and has written a weekly wine column for the last seven years. He and his wife travel North America and Europe, searching out new wine, food and opera experiences when they aren't rushing off to Calgary to be with their two young grandchildren.
Kirk has over 25 years experience in the newspaper and print industry. He has spent the last 21 years in the employ of Black Press. His award winning graphic design skills bring you the look and feel of BC Food & Wine Trails.