Canada's First Master of Port Crowned

The Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers is please to announce Gabrielle Plastre of Montreal is the winner of the first Master of Port competition held in North America. Ms. Plastre showed tremendous poise and a rare depth of knowledge in the muti-day competition held recently in her home province of Quebec.

The Master of Port Canada 2019 Competition was the culminate of a gruelling year-long challenge, originating  in Canada, with preliminary competitions held across the country, before a quater-final round held in Portugal which tested the expertise of Canada's top Port experts.

The semi-finals were held in June (2019) at the Institut du Tourisme et d'Hotellerie du Quebec. The final round which saw three competitors compete for the title via a demanding practical examination process before expert judges was held at the Ca'Conc' Theatre at the Montreal Marriot Chateau Champlain.  

CAPS Canada will like to congratulate all the competitors on their success.


CAPS is pleased to congratulate the winners of the preliminary round of the ‘Master of Port Canada’ competition.

The ‘Master of Port’ is a prestigious title awarded to professional sommeliers who are presently working in the hospitality industry and who have displayed expert knowledge in the area of Port associated with wine production, Douro Demarcated Region, history, brands, years and harvests, pairings and moments of consumption and service. The ‘Master of Port’ holder becomes an ambassador of the ‘Port’ brand and thus, is recognized by the industry as a specialist and a representative of the excellence that makes Port one of the best wines in the world.   The title ‘Master of Port’ is awarded to an individual who ranks first in a competition that is made up of theoretical and practical tests before a jury of recognized and respected individuals, and by the Port sector in Portugal.

The Intituto dos Vinhos do Douro e do Porto, I.P. (IVDP,I.P.)’s decision to offer a competition in Canada demonstrates two ‘firsts’. It is the first time it will be offered in Canada, and the first time it will be offered in a country outside of France.   To-date, Le SYNDICAT des GRANDES MARQUES de PORTO (S.G.M.P.) et L’UNION de la SOMMELLERIE FRANÇAISE (U.D.S.F.) in France have been the only group to work with the IVDP, I.P. to offer the ‘Master of Port’ competition, with professionals from France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg able to compete. The Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers / L’Association Canadienne des Sommeliers Professionels (CAPS/ACSP) is honoured to have been invited to work with the IVDP, I.P. in delivering a national competition here in Canada, in offering professional development opportunities to its members, and in the promotion of both Port wines and sommellerie across Canada.

After a preliminary on-line competition, 10 CAPS sommeliers won the right to compete in a quarter-final round held in Porto, Portugal. After days of intensive learning and competitions, 5 competitors have moved on to the semi-final and final rounds. The semi-final and final will be held in Toronto, in 2019. The initiative represents a important step forward for CAPS.

Congratulations to the 5 dedicated individuals representing Canada at this prestigious event.

Christina Hartigan (CAPS – British Columbia Chapter)
Leagh Barkley (CAPS – British Columbia Chapter)
Andrea Eby (CAPS – Manitoba)
Jose Luis Fernandez (CAPS – Ontario)
Gabrielle Plastre (CAPS /L’ACSP – Quebec)