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Key editorial acquisitions at VineRoutes: New regional editor, contributing editor

January 15, 2024

In an effort to expand on regional coverage, Alana Lapierre will serve as editor for eastern Canada; Tod Stewart joins as contributing editor

VineRoutes Media is pleased to officially announce two key editorial acquisitions and regional expansion. Alana Lapierre has been named regional editor for eastern Canada, with her coverage set to focus mainly on wineries in Quebec and Nova Scotia, as well as the regional food and wine scene. In addition, she’ll continue to contribute international features as needed.

As a content creator and magazine contributor, Alana has followed her passion into wine in parallel to an international career as a human resources executive. Certified in Wine (WSET Levels 2 & 3), Champagne (Comité interprofessionnel du vin de Champagne) and a Le Cordon Bleu trained food & wine writer, she has written for various publications (including Forbes), wineries and agents. She has lived, written, worked, and sipped her way across five continents, and currently makes Montreal her home.

“In an effort to expand our coverage of Canadian wine, we are thrilled to have Alana on board. With her knowledge and perspective of the Canadian wine scene, we’ll be able to showcase the best of eastern Canadian wines and experiences to our rapidly growing readership,” says editor and brand principal Carmelo Giardina. “There are so many wine regions in Canada and we aim to explore, and cover, them all.”

Tod Stewart joins VineRoutes as contributing editor with more than 40 years of professional writing experience. An award-winning journalist and published author, Tod has worked as a consultant, trainer and educator to the hospitality industry, the Ontario wine industry, and the beverage alcohol trade. He holds numerous professional certifications in wine, spirits and sake, and was a past instructor for the Toronto chapter of L’Academie du Vin, and a Vintners Quality Alliance (VQA) panelist and verifier. He is a Whisky Ambassador and has acted as a judge for the Toronto International Sake Challenge, and, currently, the Canadian Artisanal Spirits Competition.

“Tod is somewhat of a Swiss army knife when it comes to his range of capabilities and what he will be able to offer VineRoutes. With his experience and his passion for both wine and spirits, not to mention food and wine related travel, Tod will no doubt be a formidable asset to our expanding coverage,” says Giardina.

Additional updates to the VineRoutes editorial team, announced via social media within the last six months, include:

  • Andrew Coppolino was brought on last summer as a contributor to bolster Food and Drinks coverage.
  • Lidija Biro will continue as a main contributor, adding value to VineRoutes’ local and international wine coverage and wine-related travel content.
  • Michelle Paris is an experienced wine educator and contributes wine-related educational content.

The above writers join VineRoutes’ impressive roster of experts who have been part of the editorial team for multiple years:

  • Shannon Mastaler is a co-founder of VineRoutes and took on the role of lifestyle editor last year, contributing food & wine and travel & leisure content.
  • Leah Spooner has been with VineRoutes since 2021 as a contributing editor, mainly focusing on Canadian and international features that provide tips to consumers.
  • Gillian Marks, PhD. was promoted to contributing editor in January of 2023 and focuses on international and US-related topics.
  • Priya Rao contributes sustainability-related wine features, in addition to plant-based food and wine experiences. Priya also hosts a variety of video segments for VineRoutes.
  • Jennifer Huether, MS is a special contributor, sharing various feature interviews and wine experience-related stories.

“Having a solid contributing team allows us to take an important step in VineRoutes’ evolution in the modern media landscape, providing content that resonates with all generations of wine, food and spirits consumers,” says Giardina. “We strive continuously to be a trusted source of information around wine culture, and we’re thrilled to have such a strong team in these key roles.”

For more information about VineRoutes Media, and its team, visit


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