MARISA VARAS

CO-FOUNDER & DIRECTOR

Marisa’s journey into the wine industry seemed inevitable. It was one which combined her passion for people and appreciation for culture and tradition. As Marisa developed her palate at a young age through family wine tastings in their cellar, time further piqued her curiosity.

Upon completing her B.A. in Cultural Geography (with a minor in business) from the University of Victoria, Canada, Marisa went on to travel throughout many European wine regions. She continued on to achieve her MBA at Regents University, in London, UK. Returning home to Vancouver, she recognized the importance in combining her undeniable passion for wine with continued education, and so she pursued WSET courses while working for a local wine agency.

Marisa brings to AmoVino varied and effective skills entwined within her love of people. She is fluent in English and Spanish, and you’ll likely find her sipping a full-bodied Spanish red!

JESSICA LUONGO

CO-FOUNDER & DIRECTOR

Jessica has always been destined for the wine industry. Her family has longstanding ties to the B.C wine industry, so it’s no surprise she has heard the world of wine calling her name. After falling in love with wine and wine culture while living in Italy and teaching herself Italian, her passion grew as she returned to Vancouver to work side by side with her grandfather at his agency.

As she explored wine through strong mentorship, formal education with WSET, and many years of experience in multiple levels of the wine industry, she found a deeper need to advocate for small, family producers, and give them a fighting chance in one of the toughest territories in the world. “There is a world of wine out there to discover, and it’s up to importers to bring the world of wine to B.C” As she sees it, the best way to accomplish this goal is to source some of the worlds best wines to inspire, surprise, and fill an unparalleled demand for wine knowledge and appreciation on her home ground.

DONITA DYER

OKANAGAN SALES REPRESENTATIVE

As bubbly and complex as a vintage Blanc de Blancs Champagne, Donita has worked in Sales & Marketing within the Travel & Tourism industry for years, which led her to a natural passion for wine. She currently holds her WSET 3, French Wine Scholar, and is the winner of the 2016 Les Dames D’escoffier scholarship towards her Masters of Champagne.

When she’s not studying or selling wine, she’s teaching about it at ‘Wine 101’ school for bartenders, or writing about it in her blog, Wine & Food Concierge, and ‘The Pink Tank’. (solely dedicated to rosé wine!) Donita also enjoys cooking, exploring new cuisines and cultures, and reading a good book. Did you know she’s also famous? Her hands have been in commercials and ads around the world, and she has also dabbled in acting! From working directly with small, local B.C. producers, to years of wine rep experience in Vancouver, and a bit of travelling in between, Donita offers a well-rounded set of skills that will surely strengthen AmoVino’s sales team. She  is a warm addition who brings an enthusiastic, positive energy that you can’t deny.