About Us


The Ontario Wine Appellation Authority is led by a Board of Directors representing wineries, stakeholders and the Ontario Government with support from a technical committee.  The staff organization, including independent inspectors, implements the regulatory framework.



Ontario's Wine Appellation Authority is a not for profit corporation governed by an independent Board of Directors. Nine Directors are elected from winery members and one each appointed from the Ontario government, the Grape Growers of Ontario and the Ontario Restaurant, Hotel and Motel Association.

Of the elected Directors, 3 each are elected from large, medium and small class wineries with VQA wine sales of over 750,000 litres, 100,000 to 750,000 litres and under 100,000 litres respectively. Provision is also made for regional representation, including at least one Director from each primary appellation.

The Board of Directors is responsible for governance and setting strategic goals for the Appellation Authority. It oversees staff management and ensures effective policies are in place to carry out the regulatory and corporate functions of the organization. The Board of Directors meets 6 times annually.

A public Annual General Meeting is held each year, typically in July, to present a report on the Authority’s operations, present financial statements and conduct elections to the Board.

Board of Directors (July 9, 2024)

  • Derek Cartlidge, (President & Chair) Colio Estates Winery
  • Brian Schmidt, (Ex-Officio Director and Past-Chair) Vineland Estates Winery
  • Gabe Demarco, (Vice Chair) Cave Spring Vineyards
  • Nadia Senchuk, (Treasurer) Leaning Post Wines
  • Louise Engel, (Secretary) Featherstone Estate Winery
  • Tony Elenis, Ontario Restaurant, Hotel and Motel Association
  • Shiraz Mottiar, Malivoire Wine Company
  • Erika Neudorf, Arterra Wines Canada
  • Mary Shenstone, Government of Ontario
  • Paul Speck, Henry of Pelham
  • Dan Sullivan, Rosehall Run Vineyards
  • Mark Torrance, Andrew Peller Ltd.
  • Kevin Watson, Grape Growers of Ontario


The Standards Development Committee of the Ontario Wine Appellation Authority is charged with reviewing proposed regulation changes and providing advice on the implementation of existing regulations. It functions as a technical advisory committee to the Board of Directors and may perform research or make recommendations at the request of the Board.

The committee is composed of experienced winemakers, academics and other professionals with technical expertise required to evaluate viticultural and winemaking practices in Ontario. All sizes of wineries are represented, along with post-secondary institutions and the LCBO.

Committee Members (October 2023)

  • Gabriel Demarco (Chair), Cave Spring Cellars
  • Lawrence Buhler, Henry of Pelham Estate Winery
  • Lee Baker, Rosehall Run Vineyards
  • Derek Barnett, Karlo Estates
  • Dorina Brasoveanu, LCBO Quality Assurance
  • Allison Christ, Colio Wines
  • Levi De Loryn, Arterra Wines Canada
  • Emma Garner, Andrew Peller Ltd.
  • Ron Giesbrecht, Wending Home Estate Vineyards & Winery 
  • JL Groux, Stratus Vineyards
  • Martin Janz, Pelee Island Winery
  • Jay Johnston, Quai du Vin Estate Winery
  • Jennifer Kelly, CCOVI, Brock University
  • Rob Power, Creekside Estate Winery
  • Katherina Radcliffe, Ontario Wine Appellation Authority
  • Gavin Robertson, Niagara College
  • Brian Schmidt, Vineland Estates
  • Jan Schulte-Bisping, Paglione Estate Winery
  • David Sheppard, Flat Rock Cellars
  • Ann Sperling, Dobbin Estate
  • Rene Van Ede, The Foreign Affair Winery
  • Jim Willwerth, CCOVI, Brock University


  • Laurie Macdonald, Executive Director
  • Katherina Radcliffe, Director, Wine Standards and Communications 
  • Peter Harris, Director, Audit and Compliance 
  • Susan Piovesan, IT Systems and Inspections
  • Helen Ly, Office Supervisor and Wine Testing Administrator
  • Stan Loree, Accountant