Janet Dorozynski

2014-04-21_14-10-58By day, Janet is the Government of Canada’s chief wine guru, where she is responsible for managing the Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada cellar, overseeing a program to assist Canadian Embassies to serve and promote Canadian wine, beer and spirits, and works with Canadian producers on international business development. Janet has worked in numerous capacities in the international and Canadian wine industry for more than a decade and has taught about wine and the business of wine for many years. She holds the Diploma in Wine and Spirits and is an accredited educator with the Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET). Janet is a Professional Affiliate of Brock University’s Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI) and Chair of the Advisory Board for the Governor General’s Award in Celebration of the Nation’s Table, recognizing excellence and innovation in food and drink. Janet has been reviewing wine and judging at wine competitions across Canada, the US, Europe and South America since 2001 and is co-chair of the Ottawa Wine Challenge.

Read our interview with Janet below…

1. How many years have you been working with wine?
I began formally studying wine in the mid-1990s and working in the wine industry in 2000.

2. What was your first wine related job, article, or assignment?
My first real wine job was at Wines of South Africa in Stellenbosch, working on wine tourism, marketing and media relations. I had the chance to do many different things and it was an amazing experience.

3. Is there a grape or style of wine you are personally attached to?
I tend to drink more white than red wine and like aromatic whites, with Riesling probably being my favorite variety, or at least the one I go back to time and time again.

4. What was your first Canadian “aha” wine moment?
I remember tasting a vertical of Trius Red in 2001, where we tasted a half dozen or so vintages from the 1990s. I was very impressed by this red meritage and tip my hat to J-L Groux, a pioneer of the red blend in Ontario, who obviously recognized that the blend is greater than the sum of its parts in Ontario.

5. Which grape(s) do you feel is/are Canada’s best bets in terms of producing top quality wine?
In terms of white grapes, I think we consistently do Chardonnay and Riesling very well in BC and Ontario. I also like what Nova Scotia has done with its signature white blend Tidal Bay. For reds, Cabernet Franc and Gamay, a personal favorite (GoGamayGo!) also do well in the major growing areas, though I also like some of the examples of Foch and Baco that we see across the country and they have been known to age very well.

6. What would you like consumers to know about Canadian wine?
That we make some damn fine wine in Canada! As I’ve said elsewhere, our wines stack up well against foreign competitors and I’ve little patience with those who continue to write off Canadian wine as bad (or entire regions from anywhere for that matter). That relates more to cultural cringe than reality.

7. How many years have you judged Canadian wine?
I’ve been judging Canadian wine, along with wines from across the world since 2001.

8. What do you enjoy most about judging at The Nationals?
It’s a well-run, professional competition that is extremely fair to the wines. We don’t judge too many wines each day and a great “quality control” measure is that the top scoring wines have been tasted several times and by many judges. It’s also a fantastic opportunity to be able to taste such a range of Canadian wines all at once and be able to see what’s trending, what grapes and styles work and taste from new and up and coming regions.

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