Meet the experts

Jimson Bienenstock
Jimson was raised in Canada, but spent the majority of his life in Europe. He holds an MA from Cambridge University and an Executive MBA from ESSEC in Paris, where he set up a series of bars and restaurants over a period of 15 years. Returning to Canada in 2005, he became the General Manager, Food & Beverage Director, and Sommelier of the critically acclaimed fine-dining restaurant George, where he personally selected the 500+ wines on the award-winning wine list. He also served as Board Director and Treasurer of the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers. In 2010, he assumed his current role as Food & Beverage Director of Outlets and Senior Sommelier at The Fairmont Royal York hotel in Toronto.

Cynthia Peters
Passionate about food and well-being, Cynthia is actively involved in a number of food-related endeavours. She is a personal chef and owner of From the Farm Enterprises Inc. and From the Farm Cooking School, located in her restored heritage farmhouse in Prince Edward County. Cynthia is a food writer for a number of publications and a community advisor for food- and tourism-focused provincial and regional boards. Creating healthy meals with farm-fresh foods is key to her cooking and teaching philosophy. Prior to launching the cooking school, Cynthia co-owned The Spice Sisters, a personal-chef business in Toronto. Cynthia is an honours graduate of Liaison College of Culinary Arts in Toronto and holds certificates from Le Cordon Bleu Ottawa Culinary Arts Institute.

Astrid Brummer
Joining the LCBO team in 2001, Astrid has had extensive experience sharing her passion for the world of wine, beer and spirits. In her role as Product Manager, Ontario Wines, she is an expert on the local wine scene and thoroughly enjoys helping consumers discover great local wines, as well as ensuring that Ontario wineries find success at the LCBO.

Rob Power
After working for 10 years as a sommelier in a number of Toronto fine-dining restaurants, Rob migrated to Niagara to pursue a formal education in winemaking. He graduated with the inaugural class of Brock University’s Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI) and immediately joined Creekside Estate Winery as Assistant Winemaker, becoming Head Winemaker shortly thereafter. Voted Winemaker of the Year at the 2008 Ontario Wine Awards, Rob continues to lead his skilled winemaking team in the creation of wines that are distinctive, adventurous and just plain tasty.

Albrecht Seeger
Albrecht Seeger is an eighth-generation grape grower whose passion for farming began in his family’s vineyard in Germany, where he grew up. After completing his formal education in viticulture and agriculture, he began working for his family. In 1978, he and his parents brought their grape-growing expertise to Ontario when they purchased a 70-acre farm in Niagara-on-the-Lake. Albrecht married Anja Bertelmann in 1987, and together they have grown the farm to 150 acres of premium vitis vinifera grape varieties. Viticulture has been their life’s work, and they’ve been recognized for their efforts: Albrecht was crowned Grape King by the Grape Growers of Ontario in 1998, and the Seegers were presented with the Award of Excellence in Viticulture at Cuvée (often referred to as the Oscars of the Niagara wine industry) in 2010.

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