Mary Vari 1999


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Having been raised in a “dry” household where salt and pepper were considered exotic spices, it’s easy to see how Mary was captivated by the discovery of the vast range of aromas and tastes wine had to offer. Wine became a perfect complement to her love of music, ceramic arts, and history and she decided to learn as much as possible about this new-found interest. Living in Buffalo, NY at the time, she soon learned that the most in-depth courses could only be found in Toronto, so she began her weekly treks to enjoy the expertise of IWEG’s dedicated instructors. From Certificate to Diploma classes and then to studies with the Institute of Masters of Wine, the weekly treks turned into nearly daily excursions to take advantage of the abundant tasting opportunities and classes. So she pulled up stakes and moved back home to Toronto in 2002.

Inspired by the gracious hospitality of the Niagara wineries, it didn’t take long to learn that wine studies were a great excuse to travel to the world’s wine regions! This led to extensive study trips abroad as well as frequent visits to Canadian and US wine growing areas. Mary credits her sanity today to the fact that she never actually took the IMW examination, but rather decided to enjoy her firm footing in wine studies and keep current on new developments. As Guild Administrator and Executive Director for IWEG from 2002 - 2012, Mary was delighted to be able to share her enthusiasm for learning about wines and spirits with IWEG’s students and to help them to reach their greatest goals in learning about the noble grape.

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