The Genesis Team is a tight-knit group of wine innovators with experience and insight earned across the industry and around the world. The unique qualities and potential of the climate and soil of Niagara, Ontario made this the natural choice for the incubation site for Genesis.
Philip Chae President & Founder
Following the acquisition of a Masters degree in Computer Science from Seoul National University in South Korea, Philip spent the next 15 years working with start-ups and innovators to design, plan, and launch new products in both domestic and global markets. His expertise includes financial structuring, investments, mergers and acquisitions, and international sales and marketing including import and export.
After so many years working to make the ambitions of others a reality, Philip’s success allowed him to take the natural next step of focusing on his personal dream: designing and owning a winery and wine innovation lab. After extensive research covering many winemaking regions around the world, he chose Niagara, Canada and studied Winery Management and Viticulture at Niagara College to immerse himself in the winemaking potential of the land. He then worked at Inniskillin Winery and Rockway Vineyards in sales and as a cellar hand for several years to experience all aspects of the business.
Philip is to be found most days in the Origin Sparkling House managing the break-out success of Genesis Wine Group’s first product, Origin Aromatic Sparkling Wine, working around the clock to bring his spirit of innovation to the region and sharing it with like-minded winemakers and entrepreneurs.
“Genesis Wine Group is perfectly designed to bring new ideas and products to the Niagara Region. Our patience and years of investment in the global wine industry and business incubation strategies have led to the careful planning and execution of our vision. We’re very excited.”
Greg Wertsch Vice-President & Founder
Established viticulturist and entrepreneur Greg Wertsch founded Between the Lines Winery in Niagara-on-the-Lake before he was 30 years old.
Greg’s viticulture career began with 17 years’ experience working on the Wertsch family vineyard followed by a degree in International Wine Economics from Geisenheim University in Germany. Since moving to Canada and establishing Between The Lines Winery, he has grown the winery to produce the articulate and coveted line of Red Barn wines that are recognized as being accessible, affordable, and drinkable, making the winery a can’t-miss, favourite destination among wine enthusiasts and visitors to the region.
Fearless and resolute in his vision, Greg has expanded the winery product line and guest experience to create a new dynamic and fresh culture in the region. His expertise has drawn a loyal following and incubated new thinking among emerging entrepreneurs, both in his roles as a former Niagara College Instructor in Vineyard Management, Wine Production, and Farm Equipment, and as a wine marketing instigator.
Now also partner at Genesis Wine Group, Greg remains very busy in his natural state as a Wine and Winery Business Consultant, guiding new viticulturist entrepreneurs in winery setup, export, vineyard design and management, and winery sales and marketing.
“The Niagara region is only beginning to realize its global potential, and we’re doing what we can to accelerate the transformation. We’re not bound by hundreds of years of winemaking tradition here. We have a perfect opportunity to surpass worldwide quality benchmarks and put our stamp on the industry.”
Ye 'Lucian' Cao Treasurer & Founder
Lucian Cao brings to the table an obsession with the exquisite, encompassing wine, food, packaging, and technology. His fascination with design and natural ability to structure resources around an opportunity, made him a natural fit within the Genesis Wine Group partnership.
Lucian’s path to Genesis began with culinary studies in China and took him on a food and beverage industry tour around the world, working as a sous chef on Vancouver Island where he co-developed an appreciation for wine and the export business followed by food and beverage industry studies at George Brown College in Toronto, and an engagement in fine dining at Canoe restaurant.
In a quest to learn more about the Canadian wine industry, Lucian and his wife hiked from Grimsby to Niagara-on-the-Lake, backpacking for two weeks on a 67-winery tour. This pivotal trip ultimately compelled him to turn his focus to the wine industry. Drawn to the Niagara Region, Lucian then took up winemaking and viticulture studies at Niagara College while working as a Cellar Technician, which led him to meet the people destined to become the Genesis team.
At Genesis, Lucian’s focus is balanced between managing the finances and export logistics of the innovator and advancing his winemaking skills as an Associate Winemaker under Yannick Wertsch.
“Genesis is very proud of Origin. It’s the perfect product—it’s original, beautifully crafted and designed, and will be in high demand in both the domestic and Asian markets. It’s like the ace of spades—rare and of the highest quality.”
Yannick Wertsch Winemaker & Founder
Yannick brought his deep roots in European winemaking tradition to the soil of Niagara over 10 years ago. His training began with 17 years on the Wertsch family winery, and was followed by a degree in Oenology and Viticulture LVWO at Weinsberg in Germany.
After arriving in Niagara with plans to design, finance, and build a winery, Yannick absorbed local viticulture, undertaking winery and viticulture technician studies in preparation to co-found and co-own Between The Lines Winery, where he has presided as winemaker since 2009.
Yannick’s exposure to multiple winemaking traditions and styles, and viticulture have positioned him as an innovator, pairing new winemaking styles with regional varietals, and introducing new vines to produce new wines, like his highly-coveted Lemberger Reserve.
Quiet and thoughtful, Yannick can typically be found in the Genesis lab, practising the alchemy of winemaking design to concoct and test innovative new wines of the highest quality.
“Genesis Wine Group was created to support and celebrate invention within our industry, starting with our own original wines. As a winemaker, it is an amazing opportunity to push the boundaries of wine craft, with quality and drinkability remaining the essential priorities of my discovery and winemaking process.”
Horst Wertsch Consultant
Founder of the Wertsch vineyard in southwestern Germany, from 1998 until 2009 Horst put his family’s deep knowledge and tradition of viticulture to practice, earning widespread recognition for the quality of his wines and his passion for their creation.
His sons, Greg and Yannick, have grown into the winery heritage, drawing on Horst’s experience and advice to support the evolution of Between The Lines Winery, and now Genesis Wine Group.
Horst is a valued consultant, offering mature perspective on the international wine sector and trade, and the culture of innovation that begins in the vineyard.