For the farmer, wine is the transformation of sunshine and water into healthy, terroir-driven fruit. For the winemaker, wine is the application of skill and craftsmanship to those grapes to transform them from a simple fruit into a delicious, complex accompaniment for food. For the importer, wine is the beautiful relationships it fosters -- between the farmer, the winemaker and the consumer. We are allied by our love of wine and by the common belief that our experience of it is enriched when we are able to share it with our friends, family and community.
It is our honour to represent some extraordinary products -- wine and spirits -- made with loving care by talented and dedicated small producers, and it is our pleasure to share them with you.
Marina Beck - Partner, Sales
My journey in the wine business began back in 2006 when I started looking into my family history, heritage and culture. I traveled to Campania, Italy to visit my extended family, and I met my cousins Ciro and Antonello Urciuolo for the first time. Their passion and dedication to the family winery was so contagious that it ignited my desire to take a new path in life. It was a path that would bring family, tradition and wine together.
Along the way, I have met other families who have captured my heart and my admiration. Their dedication to quality and pursuit of excellence continues to inspire my own path. I love sharing their stories and am determined to spread the word of their amazing products here at home, with my community.
Christopher Walker - Partner, Western Canada Sales
Christopher has always had a passion for food and wine. A Chef by trade, he has worked in some of the best kitchens in Toronto, Michigan, Alsace, and Calgary, which he has called home since 2005. He made the switch from restaurant life to wine agent in 2008.
For Chris, wine is a food group, best enjoyed when partnered with a wonderful meal in the company of friends and family. Wine makes a good thing even better, whether it is a beautiful setting, or a memorable dish or simply the company of awesome people. Chris has built strong relationships in the food and beverage industry based on his integrity and genuine passion for bringing together great people with great wine.
Aaron Prasad - Spirits Specialist
Aaron has been on the Calgary spirits scene and a well-known libation connoisseur since before there even was a scene! He was the Spirits Guy at VineArts for 6 years, and since getting his CSS designation (Certified Specialist of Spirits), he runs educational sessions for bartenders and service staff. He brings a depth of knowledge, creativity and experience to our growing portfolio of spirits, and is keen to keep spreading the love the well-crafted cocktail. Take advantage and book a visit from Aaron and get ready to be inspired!
Aleesha Alward - Marketing & Logistics Manager
Aleesha is the magician at Wine Alliance HQ who make sure all our ducks in a row. We're not sure where the duck would be without her! She loves the family aspect of the business - the stories behind each winery and the relationships that grow out of a shared passion for wine and family. Born and raised in Calgary, Aleesha actually studied "The History of Alcohol" as part of her Art History degree, so be sure to ask her about the drinking habits of the ancient Egyptians next time you see her!
Kim Chernow - British Columbia Sales
Maybe it’s her love of travel that is to blame? Kim has been working in the wine business for over 15 years. What started as a part time gig back in 2006, soon turned into a lifelong passion as she fell in love with the stories and personalities behind the wineries. It’s the perfect fit for someone who thrives on being immersed in different cultures and working with people from around the world. Kim owned and operated a boutique wine store in Calgary for 6 years, and then in 2014 made the move out to B.C. to work in a winery and get some hands-on experience in winemaking. She's the perfect ambassador for Wine Alliance as she continues to share her appreciation for the process and the product.