Tina Jones - Banville & Jones Proprietor/ Principal, Banville & Jones Wine Institute

Tina Jones is the business owner, Wine Institute Principal, and visionary behind Banville & Jones. Tina has overseen its growth into the largest private wine store and destination wine school in the province. Tina has created the environment for wine education to meet the highest international standards, making it possible for her staff to pursue studies in wine, including with Banville & Jones Wine Institute, the Wine and Spirit Education Trust, the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers, the French Wine Society and Court of Master Sommeliers. She has brought chefs together with wine lovers and food lovers to create exciting private and charity events in the province. Her work has raised the bar in the hospitality industry and for the Sommelier profession.

Tina has traveled the world to source producers, study the industry and pursue opportunities for Banville & Jones. She has a particular fondness for Italy (especially Tuscany, where members of her family own and manage vineyards and wineries), and for California (where she pursues her love affair with smooth Napa reds).

Mike Muirhead - General Manager and Buyer

Mike oversees the operations of the company, with a staff of 40, an inventory of 2500 different wines from around the world, numerous restaurant customers, and an important retail segment.  Mike has worked in fine restaurants from North America to Australia, and holds wine qualifications include Sommelier, the WSET Level 3 Advanced Certificate (Distinction), and the CSW from the Society of Wine Educators.  He also serves on the Board of CAPS Manitoba.  He has worked vintage at Tolaini Estate in Tuscany, and has participated in the invitation-only Pinot Camp in Oregon. His wine travels have been extensive, and he is has a sincere appreciation for well-made wines; however he admits to a special love of the Pinot family.

Gary Hewitt - Purchasing, Wine Educator, Certified Sommelier

As the person who began work with Banville & Jones before a store existed, Gary is not only the longest serving staff member: he is also the architect of the Banville & Jones wine selection. Gary’s MSc in industrial fermentations gives him an envious scientific background for the study of wine. In addition to his Sommelier credentials, Gary holds the prestigious Diploma in Wines and Spirits from the Wine & Spirits Education Trust (WSET)® for which he was awarded the Wines of Australia Scholarship for top achievement. He is an instructor in the WSET programs, and also holds certification as an instructor from the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers (CAPS, affiliated with ASI), the French Wine Society, and the Society of Wine Educators. He also serves the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers Manitoba Chapter, as President and Education chair. His professional wine work has included extensive travel through the world’s wine regions; he holds a love for the wines of Germany, and has worked a wine-making practicum in Germany’s Pfalz (Lingenfelder).

Sylvia Jansen - Wine Educator, Wine Consultant, Certified Sommelier

In addition to her Sommelier credentials, Sylvia holds the Diploma from the Wine & Spirit Education Trust® and was awarded the Wines of Germany Scholarship for top achievement. She joined Banville & Jones in 2002 following a successful but somewhat misguided career in the university system. She is a Sommelier Instructor with the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers (CAPS, affiliated with ASI); and holds the Train the Trainer Certificate from the Society of Wine Educators. She also serves on the Board of CAPS (Manitoba) as past president. Sylvia teaches in WSET and CAPS programs, and also develops our wine appreciation courses; she writes extensively for our publications; and she collaborates in training in Banville & Jones’ important wine retail work. Her enjoyment of travel and languages have taken her to many of the world’s wine regions, but interestingly, Champagne has received multiple visits.

Saralyn Mehta - Assistant Manager, Director of Sommelier Services, Certified Sommelier

One of our certified Sommeliers, and serving on the Board of CAPS (Manitoba chapter), Saralyn is Director of Sommelier Services and an Assistant Manager of Banville & Jones. Saralyn has an extensive background in hospitality. When she arrived at Banville & Jones she found she was in good company in her love of great wine, great food and in her approach to a high standard of hospitality. As Director of Sommelier Service Saralyn helps build and maintain stocks for personal wine cellars all over Manitoba. She is also a regular contributor to The Cellar Door magazine and confesses to a small love affair with the great white wines of Burgundy.

Andrea Eby - Sommelier, Educator

Fascinated by the connections between wine, culture, history and geography, Andrea found herself in a Banville & Jones wine class a few years ago. She found herself being teased away from a teaching career in the school system into adventures in teaching wine. A certified Sommelier, Andrea also holds certification with the Society of Wine Educators, and is nearing completion of examinations for the Diploma in Wines and Spirits (WSET). She is an accredited Sommelier instructor with the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers (CAPS, affiliated with ASI). Andrea is an assistant manager, and both teaches in our programs and co-directs the cellar programs of Banville & Jones. She also serves on the Board of CAPS (Manitoba) as Operations Manager. Andrea’s wine travels have taken her from the North America to Europe; she has worked the vintage at Tolaini Estate in Tuscany, and while appreciating well-made wine from around the world, she admits to a particular fondness for the wines of Italy.

Todd Antonation - Licensee Manager

Our Licensee Manager and wine specialist, Todd has tremendous hospitality experience throughout Canada. Todd holds the Level 2 certificate from the International Sommelier Guild (ISG), and holds a keen understanding of what restaurant customers want and what restaurants need. He works with more than 60 restaurant clients to develop great selections and innovative wine lists. He ensures stocks are available, and that every wine list change is a good one. Todd’s tastes in wine are tremendously varied, but he admits to a fondness for any wine with a Spanish accent. He also knows that there is a good wine pairing with any NFL football game, especially another Denver win.

Jill Kwiatkoski - Sommelier, Directrice Logistics

Jill is a long time foodie who turned to all thing wine when we opened our new store. Starting as our special events coordinator, Jill took her passion for wine and logistics and has become Banville & Jones Directrice – responsible for all ordering, receiving and supplier relations. Jill has her level 1 and 2 ISG certificates, and has successuflly completed the Canadian Professional Sommelier Program (CAPS). When she is not making sure all of our wine gets here on time, she loves travelling, and learning new languages.

Rebecca Lechman - Wine Specialist WSET L3, FWS

On her 35th birthday Rebecca decided to pick up and change careers following a long time passion of hers – wine!  With the combination of a biology degree and years of experience in hospitality and event management Rebecca knew Banville and Jones was the perfect next stop on her career path.  A lifelong student Rebecca has completed her WSET level 3 as well as her French Wine Scholar certification.

When she’s not immersed in all things Banville and Jones Rebecca is enjoying her other great passion project – her little cottage on the sea in the beautiful province of Newfoundland!

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Anna Everett - Wine Specialist WSET L3, Logistics Manager

Banville and Jones is more than a wine store.  We also service the wine needs of some of the very best restaurants and lounges in Winnipeg and beyond.  Anna is the main person in charge of “back of house” logistics.  From receiving all of our wine orders to coordinating deliveries Anna makes sure these operations run smoothly.  No small job, Anna does it all with a smile and her infectious laugh keeps the team happy and moving!

Anna hails from a long line of family members in Winnipeg’s finer hospitality scene and has inherited a passion for food, wine and great service.  She currently holds her WSET 3 and is looking to continue her wine studies in the future.  A true free spirit Anna refuses to be tied down to any particular wine region.

Rick Watkins - Certified Specialist of Wine, Wine Specialist WSET L3

Rick is a full time librarian and full time wine lover. Rick has been with us almost since the beginning making sure that our cave is full, and that the most current reviews are ready and available. A real life encyclopedia on wine ratings, Rick can recall Robert Parker (‘Bobby’ to Rick) or Wine Spectator scores at the drop of a cork. He has an extensive cellar and his enjoyment of research means that he always knows the story behind the wine or the winery. You can find Rick in the store on Fridays and Saturdays or working an event, but if you need a wine rating during the week, just pop down to the Cornish Library, we’re sure he wouldn’t mind talking wine at his other job too.

Steve Lagimodiere - Wine Specialist WSET L3

Steve has worked in the Winnipeg wine industry for several years.  As a long time St Vital resident it’s only natural he ended up at Banville and Jones.  Steve holds his WSET3 and is interested in further pursuing his wine studies in the future.

A gifted musician, Steve has been a recognized member of the Winnipeg music scene for over 2 decades and a large portion of his time away from the store is spent giving private guitar lessons.  When he’s not geeking out on wine Steve can be found teaching our Essentials courses, hosting Wine and Food Evenings or hovering in his favourite section of the store, Spanish Reds.

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