Category: Monthly Meeting Sharing a Glass: Shining a Light on Ontario Women in the Wine Industry

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October 10, 2023: 7:00 pm -
Trillium United Church Hall
415 Linwell Road
St Catharines, ON L2M 2P3

Jennifer Wilhelm, CAPS certified wine Sommelier

Jennifer Wilhelm has held multiple roles in Ontario’s hospitality and agritourism industry for 30 years. She is a CAPS certified wine Sommelier, holds credentials from the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) in both wine and spirits, credentials from Prud’homme Beer, a diploma in Hospitality Management, and studied Human Resources Management with a focus on training and development.

She joined Niagara College in 2006 as an instructor, was Wine Program Coordinator from 2009 to 2014, developed and taught classes in the wine, beer, spirits, culinary, and tourism, and hospitality programs, managed the viticulture practicum program, and created and executed signature college events.  She is a past board member and instructor for the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers, an international wine judge, speaker, consultant, emcee and past committee member for Wine, Women, and Style, and past VQA panelist.

She currently works for the Town of Lincoln, as the Youth Skills Studio Tourism Training Program Liaison, developing a tourism and hospitality training program for the region. This unique program is the first of its kind, with a goal of attracting, developing, and retaining a skilled work force to rebuild and upskill a well-prepared generation to enable this important sector to grow and thrive.

Jennifer has been the recipient of several prestigious awards, including Ontario Wine Educator of the Year through the VQA Promoters Awards, 40 Under 40 Business Achievement Award, and the Lieutenant Governor’s Community Volunteer Award for her contributions to the Ontario wine industry.

She has recently completed a book about the women who shaped the foundation of the Ontario wine industry, a compilation of memoires, tributes, and yet untold behind the scenes stories of these influential women and their contributions.

There are books that tell the stories of the men who forged the Ontario wine industry but very  little has been written about the incredible women who worked and still work in this realm; unsung heroines juggling families, children, homes, farms, and the endless daily tasks that make life and communities sustainable;  all while planting and tending vineyards, affecting change through politics,  lobbying for new laws and government assistance for growers, developing brilliant business plans, pouring their passions into winemaking, keenly marketing our wines, and strategically building world-class experiences in Ontario wine country.

Jennifer’s book, Sharing a Glass, shines a light on these exceptional, yet under applauded women, role models, and mentors, with an aim to keep them alive in our archives, and our hearts, for their distinctive contributions.

In one of her first author addresses, Jennifer will share pivotal moments in Niagara’s history, and give us glimpses into the minds and hearts of these trailblazing women, to appreciate what fueled their fires through life’s storms and forged them into difference makers.

More information about Sharing a Glass: Shining a Light on Ontario Women in the Wine Industry