Restaurant Awards 2022: Introducing Our Sommelier of the Year

Christina Hartigan of AnnaLena is Vancouver magazine's Sommelier of the Year winner for 2022.

Introducing Our 2022 Sommelier of the Year

Christina Hartigan, AnnaLena, 1809 W 1st Ave., Vancouver

jeff savage and christina hartigan pose in vancouver restaurant Botanist
Photo: Tanya Goehring. Bartender of the Year Jeff Savage (left) and Sommelier of the Year Christina Hartigan (right) pose in Savage’s Botanist home base.

It’s easy to imagine sommeliers as beings that are born into this world fully informed on the grape, requesting riesling with their pablum to cut the blandness with some much-needed acidity. But the truth is that they all had to learn about wine just like every other oenophile, and the best of them never stop that process.

And Christina Hartigan knows a thing or two about learning—she was a newly minted high school history teacher when she caught the wine bug and fed her passion by reading voraciously, working a harvest in France and doing pretty much anything she could to be around fermented grape juice. Ultimately, that led to her giving up teaching to take a chance on working at a new Kitsilano upstart called AnnaLena.

That was in 2015, and since then she’s worked with fellow SOTY alum Jill Spoor on the opening of Botanist, then at Wildebeest, and then at Bufala Edgemont. Then, last fall, she returned to AnnaLena, this time as wine director. And while she’s a much different sommelier this go-around—one who’s lauded by customers and colleagues alike both for her wine knowledge and for her ridiculously open approach to the craft—she still brings that air of discovery to everything she does.

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