The annual Spirited Industry Professional Award is presented
to an individual who has made a significant contribution to the sales, service
or promotion of wine in British Columbia. The Festival solicits nominations
from across the province to recognize Spirited Industry Professionals who have
made a significant and indisputable impact upon British Columbia wine culture.
2015 Spirited Industry Professional Award Winner
Soon, a born and raised Vancouverite, has been a trailblazer in the wine
business for 35 years beginning with Andres Wines, then Calona Vineyards, and
for the last several years as head winemaker at Sandhill Estate Wines. An
enthusiastic mentor to other winemakers, Howard has also selflessly shared
countless nuggets of knowledge with others in the industry. He is one of a select
group of certified wine educators in Canada and has served on the panels of
several major wine competitions in Canada and the US. Howard has an impressive
series of firsts to his credit: the first BC winemaker to release a series of
single vineyard designated wines, the first to produce a Super Tuscan blend and
the first to receive Red, White and Winery of the Year at the Canadian Wine
Awards in 2009.
2014 SIP Award
Mark co-founded the Vancouver Wine Academy and has demonstrated his commitment to the local scene by collaborating with the BC
Wine Institute to create a Train the Trainer module for educating restaurant
and wine industry staff. He was also the BC representative for the creation of
a Canadian National Standard for Wine Service. He is currently the
Global Education Director for Wine Australia.
2013 SIP Award
Sid Cross is a wine and food
writer and educator, honorary president of the International Wine & Food Society, an officer of France’s Ordre du Merite
Agricole, wines committee chair of the International Wine and Food
Society in London, England; and the only Canadian to be honoured as a
Membre d’Honneur of the L’Academie du vin de Bordeaux.
2012 SIP Award
Richard Carras, Vice President
Western Canada of Authentic Wine & Spirits Merchants, has been a leader in the wine industry for over 25
years. Inducted into the BC Restaurant and Food Services Association Hall of
Fame in 2011, Carras is also a past president of the International
Society of Wine Educators.
2011 SIP Award
Jurgen Gothe has seen his columns run in over 100 publications over the past few decades, and is currently the weekly wine columnist for the Georgia Straight as well as weekly spots for CBC on everything oenophilic. Jurgen can also be heard on The Peak FM airwaves commenting on BC’s local flavours.
2010 SIP Award
Anthony Gismondi has been writing on wine since 1983 and has been the weekly
wine columnist for the Vancouver Sun since 1989. He is also co-host of the weekly Best of Food & Wine
show on AM650 in Vancouver and the man behind www.gismondionwine.com.
2009 SIP Award
John Schreiner is Western Canada's most prolific wine writer and is the authority on BC wines. Not only does he write, taste and judge wines, he also makes wine.
2008 SIP Award
Christine Coletta of Coletta Consultants, providing marketing, strategic and special event services to the food and wine industries since 1986 and winner of the 2008 Spirited Individual Professional Award.
2007 SIP Award
David Scholefield, wine speaker, teacher and international wine competition judge, winner of the Second Annual 2007 Spirited Industry Professional Award.
2006 SIP Award
Darryl Weinbren, a partner at Authentic Wine & Spirits Merchants and a co-founder of VanWineFest, displays the inaugural Spirited Industry Professional Award presented to him at the 2006 Festival.
"the true decision-makers of wineries and the wine industry from around the world are all together, so the side meetings and boardroom discussions are more fruitful than any other festival in Canada, which of course, is incredibly valuable."