As an advanced sommelier with vast professional experience in a wide array of roles within the wine industry, Alina has done everything from serving millionaire executives and government officials on private planes and running her own consulting business to driving a forklift and scrubbing filthy winery drains. The adventure started when she moved from the wild mountain country of northern British Columbia to downtown Toronto in her beat-up little hatchback over 20 years ago. It was here that she chanced herself into a job at a large LCBO store and had her memorable introduction to her very first glass of wine (1998 Inniskillin Riesling). To say that is was love at first taste would be an understatement. Here lay the gateway to a lifelong obsession and a wild ride through the world of wine.
After acheiving several high level certifications and visiting wineries all over North America and parts of Europe, Alina's sights were set upon learning everything there is to know about the production process of wine - and becoming part of it! Once again she was on the move, leaving Toronto for the gorgeous Niagara region of southern Ontario to take part in the Winery and Viticulture Technician program at Niagara College. She has since worked as an estate sommelier and cellarhand at some of Niagara's most prestigious wineries such as Flat Rock Cellars, Tawse, and Trius Estate Winery, as well as taking on the cellarmaster role at The Hare Wine Company.
Alina lives in St. Catharines with her prodigy daughter, Dierdre, who does proofreading and editing. Bosco, her lazy old orange tabby cat, lends moral support.
Alina can be found on Instagram under the username top.cellars.niagara