VJ Gandhi is a pioneer and a proud Canadian citizen with epicurean taste, unafraid to take risks to pursue her deepest passions. And her deepest yet has to be her love for the complexity in a glass of fine-tasting wine. Throughout the years, her passion has led her on numerous sojourns to vineyards all over the world ~ Napa, Tuscany, Australia, New Zealand and even the far-flung shores of Newfoundland, Canada.
But the one place that captured her heart was the lush and ever changing panorama of Canada’s Okanagan Valley, British Columbia’s premier grape growing region that stretches for hundreds of kilometers; each sub region and micro climate producing a range of award winning varietals from full-bodied intense reds to vivacious, fresh and crisp whites.
Knowing her love for wine, it didn’t come as a surprise when VJ came up with an idea to market award winning Canadian vintages globally in the United States where she’d moved to in 2014. “Growing up, my family and I spent summers enjoying the Okanagan Valley and it’s abundance in wineries. Moving to California really opened my eyes to the lack of Canadian wines in the US. It has become my soul’s mission to change that.” – VJ Gandhi
Drawn to the award winning vintages and artisan winemaking heralded by the quiet family-run boutique vineyards and world-class operations of the Okanagan Valley wineries, VJ’s vision was to place her country’s hidden gems on an international platform. Determined to spark a global initiative, she created an online wine marketplace like none other. Today, her growing venture, Kascadia Wine Merchants, markets and sells Canadian wines into the US, attracting connoisseur’s eager to savor exclusive, high quality wines from the Pacific Northwest of Canada.
When she’s not indulging in a beautifully made meal accompanied by a delicious vintage, VJ can be found sourcing, tasting and selecting fascinating wines for the Kascadia marketplace. VJ works alongside her supportive husband and business partner, Co-Founder Vishal Gandhi, an engineer who helps out on their business when he has time outside of his other responsibilities. Together they work closely with vintners to communicate their vision for the wines they produce. VJ’s focus is on truly pushing the boundaries of what is possible for Canadian wine brands and her life’s direction lies in searching for the very best exclusive and boutique selections for her discerning customers and buyers.
VJ is also active on social media and loves the dynamic platform that the medium provides for the industry – the story telling, the personal moments and the sharing of all that is loved about Canadian wine. She enjoys sharing her authentic and genuine enthusiasm for her country’s wine, often turning most into converts. She regularly hosts wine tasting and pairing events and blogs regularly about her adventures in wine. With a solid marketing management background, and experience in business management, over the course of her career VJ has developed, implemented and managed several large scale projects in finance, human resources, and behavioral health for high profile organizations such as the federal government, BC provincial government, the 2010 Olympic Games and behavioral health firms.
This wife and husband duo have big plans for Canadian wines in the near future. Stay tuned as Kascadia Wine Merchants will be expanding their wine portfolio and customer reach over the following year!