Tina Jones - Banville & Jones Proprietor/ Principal, Wine & Drinks College Manitoba

Tina Jones is a highly successful Manitoba entrepreneur, an active community contributor and philanthropist, and well-known Winnipeger.  She is the owner of Banville & Jones Wine Company, the largest private wine store and destination wine and drinks school in Manitoba; she is a partner in the highly successful Green Carrot Juice Company; a partner in The Rink, a Manitoba facility that provides innovative programming for budding hockey players; and a partner in the RHA Nationals, an integrated program that brings together an unparalleled hockey program with fine schooling. Tina is also engaged in community work, most notably as Chair of the Health Sciences Centre Foundation Board of Directors.

Ms Jones has inherited a strong entrepreneurial spirit from her father Pierluigi Tolaini, who immigrated from Italy and built (from a single truck) the largest privately held transport company in Canada.  Pierluigi has fulfilled a lifelong dream to create great Italian wine, and Tina is proud to be working with him to build the Tolaini wine brand.  Tina has grown up with an understanding that success is built upon vision, hard work, building great teams and continually reaching for excellence.

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 is also Past President (2015-17) of the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers Manitoba Chapter and the current 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, 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 - Purchasing, Assistant Manager, Sommelier Instructor, Certified Sommelier, DipWSET

Andrea’s background in education and her extensive study of wine and travel provide WDCM students with an enriched experience.  A professional teacher and certified Sommelier, Andrea also holds the Diploma in Wines and Spirits from the Wine & Spirits Education Trust (WSET)® (graduating with Distinction). She is a certified instructor with the Wine Scholars Guild, specializing in the wines if Italy and holds the title of Certified Specialist of Wine through the Society of Wine Educators.  Andrea is an accredited Sommelier instructor with the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers (CAPS/ACSP).  She has experience in wine management, sales, staff training and restaurant training.  Andrea also serves on the Board of CAPS/ACSP (Manitoba) and has extensive experience in managing and delivering wine events and seminars.  Andrea’s travels have taken her to wine regions throughout North America and Europe, including a winemaking stage at Tolaini Estate in Tuscany.  She also serves as a member of the expert judging panel of the London-based International Wine & Spirits Competition.

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.

Rob Stansel - Assistant Manager, Certified Sommelier

Rob is a Certified Sommelier (CAPS) and Assistant Manager, who has worked in all facets of our business for over a decade.  He currently assists Jill in Purchasing, and has been known to tell a story or two at our Wine & Food Evenings. He loves vermouth, craft beer, and obnoxiously oaked Chardonnay.

Jenny VanDenDriessche - Office Manager

Jenny is our ever-efficient Office Manager. When she’s not filing mountains of paper and organizing our work lives, she’s having a good time at a Jets game or busy being the best hockey mom to Alexis. She loves her dog, Oreo, but is no fan of spiders, especially Tuscan ones.

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.

Sara McDonald - Special Events Coordinator, Wine Specialist WSET L3

Sara, our events coordinator, started her wine career after finishing the Hotel and Restaurant Management Diploma from Assiniboine Community College. You can find her working hard making sure all the events are enjoyed by all. She also completed her WSET L3. When not planning events, Sara is our resident cheese expert.

Matt Benger - Administrator, Wine & Drink College Manitoba, Wine Specialist WSET L3

A true jack of all trades, Matt is an integral part of the Banville and Jones team. While completing a Master’s degree in Politics, Matt helped us run our delivery logistics for several years, then spent six months teaching English in Colombia. We rejoiced when Matt made the decision to rejoin our team! As the Administrator of Wine and Drinks College Manitoba, he oversees all things wine education here at the store. You can find him teaching Essentials of Wine Classes, sharing his love of wine and food at one of our events, helping our customers find the perfect wine for their next meal, or assisting Todd with our licensee accounts. Matt has completed his WSET Level 3 and is continually furthering his wine education. A lover of all wines Burgundian, he is particularly fond of Chablis.

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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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 coordinating deliveries and inventory, teaching our Essentials courses, or hovering in his favourite section of the store, Spanish Reds.

Alex Allardyce - Wine Specialist WSET L3

Alex became passionate about wine after working in wineries in the south of France. After her return home she quickly completed her WSET L3. You can often find her sharing her love of wine at our wine and food events and teaching Essentials of Wine classes. Alex is also a lover of all things Cabernet Sauvignon.

Renée Vincent - Wine Specialist WSET L2

Renée is our Wine of the Month Club coordinator, ensuring that all our members get exciting new wines to try every month. She currently has her WSET L2, and is a Master Angler.  Renée refuses to be held to a single wine region; she likes them all.

Josie Duthoit - Wine Specialist WSET L2

Josie started in wine after many years of restaurant experience and has WSET L2. She says her three main loves are “business, wine and the great outdoors”. Josie makes sure that we have lovely baskets and accessories available. She is also a coordinator for the Wine of the Month Club. Favorite wines; anything Spain or Italy.

James Johnston - Wine Enthusiast

James joined Banville & Jones in 2016, and has quickly become an integral part of the team. You can find James stocking and helping out our logistics team. He has taken a number of wine classes and is interested in learning all he can about wine. When pressed for a favorite wine, James is quick to respond with anything French or Italian. How can you choose between them? When not at the store, James is a brilliant musician and can play almost any woodwind instrument.

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