Featured Winemaker

Lydia Tomek

Cheers from my heart to your glass

The lively, fun loving and very skillful winemaker at the historic Herdner Estate winery is Lydia Tomek. Well into their third generation of grape growing, the Hernder family has transformed a love of viticulture into one of the largest family Estate winery operations in Canada.

Lydia obtained an Honours Bachelor of Science Degree in Oenology and Viticulture in the Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute at Brock University. Lydia was inspired and motivated by Dr.Wendy Mc Fadden Smith and Dr. Helen Fisher at Vineland Research Station.

Lydia made use of her summers working at 13th Street, Henry of Pelham, and Hillebrand wineries. Among her many awards she won as a student were 2001 Top winemaking student at Excellence of Women In Gastronomy and Most Distinguish Graduating Oenology and Viticulture Student. Lydia would go on to win numerous winemaking awards.

2004 Lydia became acting winemaker for Hillebrand under the guidance of Robert Summers. A year later, she joined the winemaking team at Jackson Triggs where she worked under the direction of Kristine Casey. In 2006 she became head winemaker at Hernder Estates

Her proudest achievement is the creation of “Pink”, a rose made to help raise money and awareness towards breast cancer in Niagara. This wine was the first step towards developing the Hernder-Picasso Foundation. Since the release of “Pink”, more than $250, 000 have been pledged towards cancer treatment in Niagara and two other foundation wines have been released, Blue and It's Our Time Red.

When people ask me “How did you get into this?” One of my many answers to this is “I think I got into this because of where I came from, I’m not exactly sure but when I go to work I have the chance to do something that is artistic, cultured, ancient and scientific. And when I look at my strengths academically and look at where I came from it all makes sense. I get my love for people and food from my mother and my
appreciation to culture, history, and reflection from my father

As a winemaker Lydia has won more awards than we can post here. Even her own website and Herdner's website no longer list all the awards. It is enough to say Lydia is at the top when it comes to winemaking in Canada. As person and a mother she also ranks at the very top.. She makes Herdner,Ontario and Canada proud.

Through my winemaking techniques, styles and philosophies I strive for balance and purity. I love that I am able to express myself creatively through my wines and can combines older rustic traditions with new world technologies. I love the fact that when I go to work I am creating and nourishing wines which ultimately create memories, encourage dialogue, and bring joy to people



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