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Women of Wine

Sue Ann Staff ` Winemaker
Photo by Fred Couch

The wine business is not an old boys club; women are hugely important throughout Canada's wine industry and that is certainly worth celebrating.

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Contributors

Henrietta Antony

is the owner of the fabulous Chapelle Ste Agnès established in 1977. Located in the Sutton Mountains of southern Quebec, it is one of the worlds most beautiful and exciting wineries.

Henrietta was an antiques dealer in Montreal she worked her way up the ladder from making lampshades to a very respected owner. She closed her antique business in 2011 to focus on the winery

In 1989 she was the first woman member of the Rotary Club of Westmount, where she became very involved. Every year she offers visits to her vineyard for residents of The Manoir, the club's senior residence. Always the entrepreneur, Henrietta hosts events, including gala weddings, at the estate in Sutton

She was born in southern Moravia and says winemaking has always been in her DNA


Judie Barta

founded Meadow Vista Honey Winery in 2009. Judith is an innovative thinker and pioneering entrepreneur with 20 years of experience in the wellness and wine industries. She is recognized among colleagues and in the media for spearheading entry into new categories, identifying key business drivers and developing new marketing and distribution models designed to drive sales, profit and market-share growth. Judie built a strong track record of successfully creating strong brands from the ground up and excels under pressure.

Her love for organic food and wine inspired her. In 1990 at the age of 18 established her own company. She founded and later sold the Bergamot Wellness Centre in Kelowna

She is a BC VQA judge. Judie is often referred to as the Queen Bee. She believes the Okanagan is a great place to start a business, not only because of its very supportive community, but also for its beauty and global appeal.

Judie oversees operations and sales to ensure Meadow Vista business and financial objectives are met. Her wealth of experience in the food and wine industry combined with her drive, creativity and confidence gained through her strong entrepreneurial experience provide the foundation required for success.


 

Marlize Beyers - Winemaker Hidden Bench

Marlize joined the Hidden Bench team in the spring of 2010 bringing with her a wealth of knowledge and experience having made premium wine in Niagara and internationally. In addition, Marlize has an intimate knowledge of working with estate grown, bench fruit acquired over the last five vintages working in Niagara. A graduate of the renowned University of Stellenbosch, Viticulture and Oenology programme, Marlize is extremely well qualified and passionate to carry on and enhance Hidden Bench's reputation for making benchmark, terroir driven wines from its three estate vineyards. Marlize's belief that winemaking is a craft, supported by a healthy dose of science meshes very well with Hidden Bench's quality-focused attention to detail from vineyard to bottle and natural winemaking style.

When Marlize is not busy in the vineyard or the cellar, she can be found travelling or working in her garden with her husband Meiring and their young son David or on a running or mountain bike trail staying fit.

 


 

Stéphanie Beaudoin

Co-owner of La Face Cachée de la Pomme

Stéphanie Beaudoin was born in Montréal in 1969. Well known in the world of visual arts, she holds a Master's Degree in Art History. In 1996, she directed her first short film that was presented throughout Canada at Famous Players cinemas. In 1998, Stéphanie met François Pouliot and joined him in what would become a fascinating team venture. With her vision, energy, and unflagging attention to detail, she helped commercialize the product line and develop the company's branding. In 2005, she was awarded the “Women's International Entrepreneurship” first prize by the Québec Business Women's Network .

François Pouliot, the founding president of La Face Cachée de la Pomme in 1994, collaborated on the creation of the very first ice cider - a new and original product also known as apple ice wine. Thanks to Québec's apples and cold winters, he would go on to produce liquid gold - Neige (snow) - and become the leader of a completely new industry rooted in Québec's terroir: ice cider.

In 2007, the Fundacion de la sidra in Spain recognized them for their contribution to the development of ice cider and for introducing it to the market in Québec and the rest of the world. The family estate has received over 90 international awards. As for Neige, this product is now enjoyed in more than 20 countries including Canada, France, England, Spain and the United States.

 


Brooke Blair

 

As a Jackson-Triggs winemaker, Brooke manages all red wine production and plays a role in the production of all premium wines crafted at the facility. Her responsibilities include evaluating quality through batch tasting; determining and preparing VQA blends for bottling; hosting tastings and winemakers' dinners and working with vineyard managers and growers to monitor the harvest. Brooke says, "winemaking is an important balance between science and art. By combining the two, I aim to make the finest quality wine possible."

Growing up in Mount Gambier in South Australia, Brooke was inspired by the world-class wineries around her and by her father's career as a vineyard manager.

Brooke completed a Bachelor of Agricultural Science (Oenology) at the University of Adelaide, Australia. During her studies, she gained hands-on experience in every aspect of winemaking, including grape processing, fermentation management and juice and wine analysis both while she worked as a cellar hand at the Jamiesons Run Winery and during a 10-week placement as a cellar hand at Hollick Wines.

After university, Brooke became the assistant winemaker at Hollick Wines for 3 vintages. She experienced a northern hemisphere vintage when she travelled to Mustiguillo Bodega, Spain where she also honed her skills in laboratory analysis and tasting. Jackson-Triggs Okanagan Estate finally drew Brooke away from Australia. She was mentored through several vintages by the world-renowned winemaker, Bruce Nicholson, and was promoted to Winemaker, Red Wines in 2007. A year later she got to explore a different approach to ‘big reds' and to broaden both her tasting and winemaking skills when she traveled to Chile to complete the 2008 vintage with several wineries located in the famous Maule, Curico and Colchagua Valleys.

In 2015 she returned home to Australia.

 


 

Marie Bohnet

is the co-owner and winemaker at Cypress Hills Vineyard and Winery in Saskatchewan. Although they ( Marie and her husband Marty ) had experimented with wine kits and armature winemaking it was not until 2003 when the Canadian Cattle Industry was devastated by BSE and the resulting fall out did they seriously consider entering the business.

It was a brave and dangerous move to sell their cattle and switch to task of making a winery work in Saskatchewan. But fear and common sense did not hold us back… we sold our share of the cow herd to Marty's brother and set about our adventure in the spring of 2004. The Winery was licensed in 2006 and opened to the public in June 2007

In 2007 they won the Saskatchewan Tourism “Rookie of the Year” Award Winner!
2010 Sask Tourism Business of the Year and 2010 Canadian Wine Awards - Four Bronze Medals

 



Sandrine Bourcier

•  Sandrine Bourcier was born and raised in France.

•  Her education includes 2 years of Biology, 1 year of Chemistry, 2 years of Oenology, earning her Diplome National d'Oenologie in Toulouse, France.

•  Sandrine worked in the south western of France at La Cave de Técou before immigrating to Canada.

•  She then worked for Stonechurch winery from 1993-1996.

•  She met the Speck Brothers in California in January of 1994 and began to work for Henry of Pelham in September 1997 as the assistant winemaker. She then worked as winemaker and is now the head winemaker.

 


Nikki Callaway

Canadian by birth, Nikki spent nearly a decade living in Dubai , UAE before returning to Canada for her formal education.  She successfully completed her Bachelor's in Biology at the University of Victoria in 2004, then headed to Europe to learn winemaking from the ground up.  Her winemaking career began with the 2004 vintage in the Beaujolais (Château La Louvière) and Bordeaux (Château Palmer) regions of France and culminated when she graduated with a Diplôme National d'Oœnologue (DNO) from the Université Bordeaux II in 2007.  Upon her return to Canada in 2009 she worked as a winemaker for Mission Hill Family Estate.

While at Mission Hill Nikki produced an award winning Pinot Noir. the Martin's Lane Pinot Noir was named best of class by Decanter Awards

In Aug 2013 she became winemaker at Quails Gate



Christine Coletta

Christine's long-ranging career started in the hospitality industry where she spent several years holding management roles in Vancouver-based restaurants and hotels. She went on to work in restaurant construction development and oversaw the construction, marketing and management of several successful fine dining establishments.

From there, Christine formed Coletta Consultants Ltd. in 1986 and worked on several provincial and federal government initiatives, notably the creation and marketing of the hospitality industry training program “Serving it Right”. She also worked with the federal government on the Canadian International Conference Task Force.

She held the position of executive director to the then newly formed British Columbia Wine Institute (BCWI) from 1990 to 1999. While at the BCWI, Christine's efforts put VQA wines on the map. She defined BC wine country by creating marketing and branding programs that built awareness for BC wines across Canada and in international markets. Years of experience with clients in Canada and around the world followed, and Christine was recognized at the 30th annual Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival where she was awarded the “Spirited Industry Professional” award for her industry contributions. In 2007 Christine created a partnership called Coletta & Associates Management Ltd. with long-time employees Leeann Froese and Julian Scholefield.

In 2011 Christine and her husband Steve Leonie established Okanagan Crush Pad in Summerland British Columbia A one stop shop for the wine industry in British Columbia. Their goal is to provide assistance every step of the way from the field to the marketplace.

In 2011 they also founded Haywire Winery. On occasion Christine can be found driving her tractor and tending the Pinot Gris at the family's 10 acre Switchback Vineyard.

2013 inducted into the BC Restaurant Hall of Fame (BCRHOF)



Evelyn Campbell

Owner / founder Blasted Church Winery

Evelyn Campbell led a previous life as a Certified General Accountant and worked in a Professional Accounting practice as well as a software firm in Vancouver. Twelve years ago, she and her husband, Chris, took the leap of faith, and invested their life savings in an Okanagan winery with a (then) nondescript presence.

The winery was re-invented as Blasted Church Vineyards in 2002. Blasted Church gained immediate success in the wine industry with highly treasured wines and edgy never-before-seen approach to branding and marketing. 

Evelyn is no stranger to the tourism industry. In her early career days, she earned a Hotel Management Diploma from the prestigious Hotelfachschule, Salzberg, Austria. She has worked in management roles with major hotels in Vienna, Montreal, Banff and Vancouver. In addition she has managed a major heli-skiing operation in the Canadian Rockies.

Skiing remains a passion for Evelyn to this very day ... as does the opportunity to promote Blasted Church wines in the apres-ski marketplace.  

 


Shelly Covert

Shelly is the co-owner tasting room manager and sales director for Covert Farms Estate Winery in Oliver, BC.

After graduating from University of Alberta Shelly taught school for a number of years in Alberta and Korea. During summers she sold products from Covert Farms.

In 1995 Shelly's passion for wine took over and she returned to the farm to begin the work of planting a vineyard.

Historic Covert Farms was founded in 1959, Covert Farms believes in crafting fine wines while being careful stewards of the land. The winery is working towards Organic and Biodynamic certification. Signature wines are Red Blends: Amicitia, MDC, Stoneface, The Bluff


Suzanne Corkum of Sainte-Famille Wines Ltd

The Corkums Suzanne and Doug were among the earliest pioneers of the Nova Scotia wine industry, first as grape growers and then as proprietors of Sainte-Famille Wines Ltd., which first opened its doors in 1990. Suzanne Corkum is the co founder and CEO of the winery

Suzanne is the past president of the Nova Scotia Grape Growers association and previously managed the association, she is secretary of the Nova Scotia Winery Association.


Caroline Cottrill of Robin Ridge Winery

Caroline and her husband Tim purchased their Keremeos acreage in the beautiful Simikameen Valley in 1996.  They turned the rocks and weeds into their dream of a mecca of wonderfully producing vines, grown using the Geneva Double Curtain Trellis system.  They have the perfect blend of palates between them to cover every aspect of wine building.  Caroline has a gift for establishing the successful components of wines.


Robin Ridge Winery is a small family run estate winery.  Caroline is co-owner and manager of Robin Ridge, the mother of four children, manager of the local Pharmasave, as well as a founding member and Chair of the Simikameen Wineries Association.


Brenda Hetman-Craig
Owner 40 Knots Winery

Brenda Hetman-Craig owns 40 Knots Vineyard and Estate Winery with her husband Layne Craig.  They came to the Comox Valley to invest in a retirement job that gave them the ability to use their education and skills from other careers and do something they really love.  It is their dream that this Vineyard and Winery will be a legacy for their grown daughters and grandchildren.

Brenda brings Business Management education and experience to the operation while her husband looks after the vineyard and cellar.  Brenda can be found in the tasting room, meeting with customers and at festivals and events.  

Brenda is very passionate about providing high quality products and service to 40 Knots customers.  "We have a choice in this business, we can concentrate on quality or quantity.  Our business objective  and mission statement is "to grow and craft high quality, ethical, clean wines that are distinct to Vancouver Island, creating value for our customers and community"".  

Brenda is also very community focused and says "Being a community member means contributing to the community".  She has years of service in volunteer organizations.  Since taking over ownership Brenda has used her creativity to develop fund raising programs that benefit groups such as the Military Family Fund, the Water Shed Project, the City of Courtenay Legacy Fund and the Comox Valley Marine Rescue Society to name a few. She is also proudly a member of an international organization that provides humanitarian services.  






Leslie D'Andrea

Owner,
Noble Ridge Vineyard & Winery
Okanagan Falls, BC


I started my Undergrad studies at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ont. studying Biology, later transferring into Life Sciences. Thirty years after graduating, I find myself applying more of that Biology degree than ever before! I went on to get my Masters in Health Administration. I loved working in health care, initially in the acute sector in education and project management, later focusing on gerontology and older adults, specifically in the area of healthy aging. I have always loved the older adult population, starting with a very close relationship with my maternal grandmother. Today, I have become involved with a volunteer “Age Friendly” project here in Okanagan Falls. What goes around, comes around. I am also fortunate enough to have both my parents still around and am in the process of helping them move from Ontario out here to Penticton. Can’t wait!

Jim and I moved into the wine world following a 3 month sabbatical from our full-time jobs in 1998. We took our 3 elementary school aged children (at the time) out of school and off we went. Backpacks on our back, we travelled mainly by train, following primarily the Mediterranean. We explored Italy, France and Spain, learning and enjoying. It was halfway through this trip, where Jim declared that his dream was to own and run a vineyard and make world-class, premium wine. It took me a little longer to get it, but it has now become our shared passion and the focus of pretty much everything we do. We returned to Canada, started teeing up with Realtors and taking courses. We found our land in 2001 and have never looked back. We spent 5 years planting and opened our Shop in 2006. Through that time, we commuted back and forth between Calgary and OK Falls as Jim worked full-time in Calgary and our children completed their schooling in Calgary. Understandably, a key part of our success has been the wonderful staff that have build Noble Ridge. Without them, we would not have been able to achieve all that we have.

Today we have 34 acres in Okanagan Falls, 22 planted to vines. We grow all of our own grapes on our OK Falls property and are very proud of the wines we produce. We have learned that our customers’ wine experience is as important as making beautiful wine which has led to the continued development of our beautiful site and customer experiences such as our annual Harvest Work Day and Lunch which we just completed again today. It has been a  lot of hard work and I am continually learning, but it has also been one of the most rewarding things that I have ever done. We have found our passion, and hope to continue on this path forever.



Audralee Daum

Audralee Daum

Black Cloud Winery

Audralee is the co-owner of Black Cloud and Daum Cooper Winery Services Ltd.

With her husband winemaker Bradley Cooper, Audralee produces Pinot Noir exclusively for their boutique BC winery, Black Cloud. In addition, they share the duties operating a thriving consulting service for the wine business in BC and beyond.

Originally from Alberta, Audralee grew up in the food and beverage industry, enjoying the flexibility the industry offered to support her studies in Psychology and Counselling. For 15 years Audralee worked as a Counsellor and/or Support Worker while always keeping a connection to the hospitality industry to feed her soul and her love for wine.

Landing in the Okanagan in 1996, she spent many seasons in customer relations/retail at Lake Breeze winery before taking on the launch of Black Cloud in 2008, and making that her full time focus in August 2013.

When she's not managing her business, Audralee likes to travel, paddle racing canoes, run, cook, and spend time with friends and family


Jenifer Dean

winemaker-manager at Country Cider located in Ontario's Prince Edward County. The County Cider Company is an artisanal cider producer that also makes grape wine. The winery has earned more than its share of awards for its ciders, wine and business practices.

The awards include a Gold Medal and Best in Show at the Toronto Wine and Cheese Show and the Ontario Premier's Award for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence

Visitors flock to this successful business, but back in the 1990s Grant Hoes (owner) and Jennifer knew local sales alone could not sustain them. They traveled all over Ontario promoting the product and negotiating licensee deals. Today the County Cider Company is one of the County's most popular destinations and Grant and Jennifer are two of Canada's best cider makers, but they don't rest on their laurels they keep moving forward


Katie Dickieson

Katie was just appoint ( July 202) winemaker at Peller Estate Ontario after working under Howard Soon at Calone Winery. Howard referred to Katie as a Brilliant winemaker

Katie Dickieson was destined to be a Winemaker. As a young girl growing up on a farm, Katie had a strong appreciation for the potential of each harvest and enjoyed the exciting challenge each harvest brought.

Throughout Katie's career as a Winemaker, she has taken this childhood appreciation and love of agriculture with her. Though Katie joined the Peller Estates Winery team as Winemaker in June, 2012, her roots run deep with the winery, having spent time working with the Winemaking team in the Niagara Peninsula and the Okanagan Valley in 2006.

Katie has explored and worked at wineries overseas including Omihi Hills in Waipara, New Zealand and Man O' War Vineyards in Waiheke Island, New Zealand. Here, she gained experience with cool climate Pinot Noir as well as red Bordeaux varieties, Syrah and Sauvignon Blanc. Katie also held a position at Domaine du Monteillet, Vignobles Montez in the Rhone Valley, France - a small quality producer.

 

Photograph provided by Fred Couch


Amy Dickinson

Waupoos Estate Winery

was born and raised in Barrie Ontario. She studied literature abroad in England and general arts in Montreal, anything involving creativity is a point of interest. Winemaking became more than an interest, it developed into a passion. Amy studied at Niagara College in the two year Winery and Viticulture program followed by the one year Wine Business Management program. She has worked for the past two and a half years at Reif Estate Winery in Niagara on the Lake in retail and wine production. "Winemaking is one of those unique practices that harmonizes science and nature. Every year is different. Once the grapes have been harvested the creative possibilities become infinite. Wines can be similar but they will never be the same. From the vineyard to the bottle each step is as exciting as the last."



Alishan Driediger

is the co owner ( along with Rhys Pender) and winemaker for Little Farm Winery in the Similkameen Valley

While travelling in the south of France with Rhys in her early 20's, Alishan took a course in the language, wine and food of the region and a dream was sparked to one day live and work immersed in food and wine culture.

Her interest in food and wine led her to earn a Professional Culinary Diploma and study in the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences at UBC as well as earning a certificate in winemaking from Guelph University. Now growing grapes and making wine for Little Farm Winery Alishan is furthering her winemaking education by taking the University of California – Davis' winemaking program. She also recently completed the Level 3 Award in Wines and Spirits from the Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET).

From starting off working in the cellar, vineyard and cellar door in the wine industry 14 years ago through opening a catering company and then creating the well-loved Okanagan Grocery bakery in Kelowna, all the way back around to the wine industry again, Alishan's life and career have indeed been immersed in food and wine.  When the opportunity to create their own version of the wine dream in the Similkameen Valley presented itself in 2008, Alishan and Rhys jumped right in.

 

 


Renate Dyck

Renate is the daughter of Opa Epp who started planting vines in 1957. Renate loved playing in the vineyards and quickly fell in love with farming. So it was just natural that after she married Ken Dyck they purchased their first farm in 1971 . They quickly increased the number of vines. selling the grapes to the small local wine industry starting to emerge in the Niagara Region at that time. In 1976, they became one of the first farmers to plant Riesling grape vines. While many nay-sayers believed that Riesling vines would not be able to survive the harsh Canadian climate, they proved them wrong and today Cattail Creek Estate Winery has some of the oldest Riesling vines in Ontario


 

Roselyn Dyck
Cattail Creek Estate Winery

Growing up on a vineyard was fun, but it was wine that piqued Roselyn's curiosity with its many complexities and nuances and how each wine is dependent on the actions in the vineyard. This lead Roselyn to learn about the many wines of the world. After graduation from the University of Toronto in 1997 with a Honours Bachelor of Science she returned home to work in the local wine industry and became a certified Sommelier in 1999 through the International Sommelier Guild. She was then offered a position with the LCBO as a Product Consultant where she continued her studies and successfully completed the challenging Diploma of Wines and Spirits offered through the Wine and Spirits Education Trust based in London, England in 2001.

Over the past 13 years, Roselyn has held various positions in the wine industry, each one teaching her valuable lessons about both the wine industry in general and the business of wine. After the birth of her son, Alex, she returned home to Niagara on the Lake and undertook the development and management of Cattail Creek Estate Winery.

Passionate about wine, yet drawn to its simplicity, Roselyn believes that while wine can be very complex and intimidating, its focus is about all the good things in life – good food, great company and wonderful memories.

When Roselyn isn't at the winery, she spends all her time with her son transforming Transformers, playing cars, watching soccer games and colouring

The history of Cattail Creek Estate Winery goes back to 1956, when Opa Epp a true farmer at heart, saw the potential for grape vines in the Niagara Region and planted his small, ten acre farm with grapes. His daughter, Renate, loved playing in the vineyards and quickly fell in love with farming. So it was just natural that after she married Ken Dyck they purchased their first farm in 1971.


 

Christina Ferreira
Co Owner Squeezed Wines

Take 12 years of event planning, marketing and promotions in the BC Wine Tourism Industry and a marketing degree behind her and we've got Christina's knowledge for where to take Squeezed. Fuelled by her passion for BC Wine, BC Food and Tourism this makes the decision for partnering with her siblings Nicole and Michael probably the easiest decision made thus far in her career.

Christina is principal of Impact Events; a full service conference and event management company based in Kelowna. With a diverse and impressive client list, Christina has managed and organized corporate and community events throughout the Okanagan Valley. She has worked with leaders in business and industry as well as private, small business, and non-profit groups.

For fun Christina is an avid roller derby player (and president of the Okanagan Roller Derby Association) and spends as much time with her dogs (our vineyard workers in the photos on this site) as possible.

 


 

Darlene Feding
Saddle Ridge Vineyards

Born in Nova Scotia, Darlene and her family moved often, finally settling in Kamloops when she was a teenager. After high school, Darlene attended college for four years, where she studied human brain behaviour. In 1976, Darlene met Bill while he was in Kamloops to buy a bull. And in 1978, they were married.

Darlene learned and grew to love what she calls, “the cowboy way,” while she and Bill worked side-by-side at their ranch of the day. Darlene knows how to handle all the heavy-duty ranch equipment and perform the jobs solo; in fact, she did just that for two years while she remained at the ranch and Bill went to Oliver to set up for their move to the Okanagan.

After their many years ranching in BC’s rugged Cariboo, Darlene and Bill were able to realize their dreams: vineyard and grapes for her, feedlot and cattle for him.


Darlene’s favourite wine is Syrah, which comprises nearly one quarter of her Saddle Ridge Vineyard plantings. After many years of selling her
beloved grapes to other wineries and cheering them on to receive national and international awards and recognition for the wines they made from them, she decided it would be fun and intensely gratifying to find out what could happen to the grapes when made into wine under her own label.

“I want to grow the best wine grapes possible within this amazing, unique environment,” says Darlene. “We are so lucky to live here.”


Heidi Fielding

Co owner and Marketing Manager of Fielding Estate Winery, Lincoln Ontario. She is also responsiable for sales.


Heidi engages visitors through her warm personality and shares her passion for wine and her family with every guest.  She was also a recipient of a 40 under 40 award and a finalist in Young Farmers of Canada. Enjoy your wine tours and tasting with Heidi.




 

Kristy French
winemaker at the View

is a graduate of Western Australia's Curtin University Wine Excellence Centre in Margaret River with a Bachelor's of Science in Viticulture and Oenology. Her winery career started with an historic winery on the Swan River in the heart of Swan Valley, Australia.  Since her move to Canada in 2006 Kristy has enjoyed working in both the wine and brewing industry.  The Okanagan is the perfect home for Kristy as she pursues her passions for wine, food and the outdoors including hiking, camping fishing and snowboarding.  She is also the ideal new winemaker come diva at The View Winery with her passion for all things fashion




Emma Garner
Winemaker at Thirty Bench Winery

Emma is a graduate of the Oenology and Viticulture program at Brock University. She has also travelled to Australia, New Zealand, France, Germany and British Columbia developing her passion for fine wines.

Emma began working at Hillebrand Winery, where she made wine in various capacities until 2005 when she began working for Thirty Bench Wine Makers. In 2010 she garnered the desirable Thirty Bench winemaker position. Emma believes in allowing the vineyard to express itself by making wine with minimal intervention. She loves working with Rieslings and ferments them at low temperatures to retain as many aromatic compounds as possible resulting in wines bursting with complexity and intensity

"I love the fact that food and wine are the driving factors for why I go to work every day. Knowing that I can contribute to the enjoyment of life for people really keeps me motivated ."



Karen Gillis

Is the winemaker at Red Rooster on the Naramata Bench

Karen grew up in a family of Chefs In 1996 she graduated with a Diploma in Food Technology from the British Columbia Institute of Food Technology. She successfully persuaded this career choice developing produces still used in today's market. After three years her desires led her to join Andres wine now Andre Peller Ltd.

Within two years she was the assistant winemaker moving to Kelowna in 2006 She became head winemaker at Red Rooster producing some amazing wines

Recent award include a double good at the 2012 All Canadian Wine Championships for her Pinot Gris

She remains a avid chef enjoys outdoor sports and is renovating her home

 


Andréa (Dr. Dre) Glass
winemaker at Good Earth

Andréa is a native Niagarian and the 5th generation on her father's farm! Dre also has the distinction of being the only one in her family who has travelled to 6 continents.

She honed her winemaking skills at the Bodega Familia Mayol in Argentina, Merry Edwards in California, as well as Flat Rock, Southbrook, Ravine and Reif, here in Niagara. She's a graduate of the Niagara College Winery and Viticulture Technology program and is working towards her Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers certification.



Caroline Granger

President and CEO The Grange, Winemaker

Caroline Grace Granger was born in North Bay, Ontario and was raised and educated in Toronto. She is the eldest of three children of Robert and Diana Granger. The Granger family's agricultural roots go back several generations and for this reason Caroline's parents were determined to expose their children to farming.

In 1997 Caroline moved her family back to the farm on which she grew up after many years away. It was with her children and the future of the family farm in mind that she found the idea of the vineyards so alluring. Their longevity meant that, if she were to succeed in starting this project, it would tie her family to the farm for generations to come. Today, nearly over decade has been invested into her vineyards, and many of the man hours that have helped bring the vision to fruition have come from her family; each of her children pitching in a helping hand wherever it could be used. Her eldest child, Maggie now 23, was her first vineyard helper. The two younger boys, Brandon age 18 and Quinton age 14 have been helping for most of their lives.

She was the first woman from Prince Edward County win Woman in Business Award and the first woman from the wine industry. Caroline was also the first wine industry representative to be appointed by the Federal Minister of Agriculture to the board of Farm Credit Canada- Canada’s leading agricultural bank


Nancy A Gorski
co owner Colchester Ridge Estate Winery

Nancy Gorski holds a Master's degree in English Literature. She taught briefly as a sessional instructor at the University of Windsor, but spent much of her time raising two talented sons who have both been involved with the vineyard and the winery operations since the fields were planted. Over the last few years, Nancy has furthered her education, concentrating on the Master Taster's course offered through Brock University's satellite campus in our area in order to hone her sensory acuity and appreciation of wine and also that she might highlight to our customers the many advantages of “going local” when choosing wine.

The world of wine has become a passion for Nancy, as well as for her husband of 29 years. Together, they hope to elevate the recognition of Canadian wines to new and well-deserved heights. She is involved in administration and hospitality at the winery and conducts tasting seminars. She also writes our tasting notes, but maintains that these are templates because the experience of wine-tasting is personal. Customer satisfaction is her topmost priority.




Helen Grond

Helen is co-owner of Middle Mountain Mead on Hornby Island. It began with a packet of lavender seeds! Helen has a passion for growing plants, mostly herbs, and especially lavender. She ordered a packet of lavender seeds and after a few years, and a sloping hillside bathed in purple hues, she had more lavender than she knew what to do with.

Helen started researching the various uses of herbs and came across intriguing references to mead. The most impressive highlighted the fact that mead was of important significance in the ancient mythologies. Helen found its history so enriching they began making Mead.



 

Barbara Hall

Currrently at Church and State

is the former winemaker at Chaberton Estate Winery located in the rolling hills of South Langley in the Fraser Valley. Chaberton is one of the first established and largest estate wineries in British Columbia. Prior to joining Chaberton, Barbara obtained her B.Sc. in biochemistry (major in wine and plant) at the University of British Columbia Okanagan. During her time at UBCO, Barbara spent her summers in the vineyards and joined the cellar teams of Quails' Gate Estate Winery, Andrew Peller and Red Rooster Winery during harvest. Her passion for wine caught the attention of her professors and she worked on three research projects as an undergraduate. She received an I.K. Barber School of Arts and Science Undergraduate Research Award in 2008 and graduated with two published research papers from her work. She joined Chaberton in 2011 as an Associate Winemaker to Dr. Elias Phiniotis and was promoted to Winemaker in 2013.

During her time in the Okanagan, Barbara was able to feel vintages unfold in vineyards throughout the valley. Appreciating the nuances of flavour and aromas in the wine from grapes grown in the heat of the desert vineyards, compared to the equally intriguing, but different nuances from the vineyards that experience a cool afternoon breeze off Okanagan Lake. As two thirds of the Chaberton harvest comes from the Okanagan and Similkameen Valleys, the knowledge that she acquired during her time spent in the Okanagan is proving to be invaluable. The Fraser Valley, with its snow-capped mountains, cooler summers and morning mists, has provided some of the vistas that Barbara brings to the expressions of Chaberton's estate grown grapes. The nuances of the seasons and of the land are what Barbara wants to share in the wine. It is said wine is a time capsule for the season, and that everyone that has been a part of the process is part of that wine. Barbara believes deeply that wine allows us more time with a moment that has passed too quickly as well as celebrating the present moment.



Gina Haverstock of Gaspereau Vineyards

Gina was a medical student when she went to work at Jost Winery for the summer. Her boss, vintner Hans Christian Jost, has since declared her taste buds among the best he's come across. With his encouragement, she embarked on viticulture studies instead. In 2006, Jost hired her back as winemaker at Gaspereau Vineyards, near Wolfville, NS

Her winemaking philosophy: small volume sharpens your focus and allows you to go for precision and quality. This winery is winning accolades for its rich, full-bodied reds such as DeChaunac, Lucie Kuhlmann and its flavourful whites, L'Acadie Blanc, Seyval Blanc, New York Muscat and Riesling


Marie Hebrard

Marie was born (auspiciously on Canada Day) and raised in the south of France. After completing university, she arrived in Keremeos, BC seven months pregnant and set on making the Okanagan her new home. After years of organic crop farming in the Similkameen as one of the first members of the Similkameen Organic Producers Association (SOPA), Marie started working in 2005 at the vineyard now know as Seven Stones while attending school. From there she worked in the vineyard at Road 13 Vineyards before relocating to Osoyoos and arriving to work at Hester Creek in 2006. At Hester Creek she worked in the wine shop and the cellar before taking a full time position as assistant to Rob Summers.

Marie has an infectious, engaging personality, and loves cooking, wine, people and taking in culture and nature.


Trudy Heiss

Gray Monk Estate Winery

The Heiss family moved from Alberta to the Okanagan and began their vineyard in 1972. George and Trudy Heiss were at the front of the line presenting their request to be allowed to make (and sell) wine from their own grapes. That began the Estate Winery program - which many believe was the turning point for British Columbia wines

Trudy has done almost everything from driving the tractor to marketing to dealing with government bureaucrats, making a considerable contribution to the success of both the winery and the industry.

In 2011 Trudy was honoured by the Women Entrepreneurs Organization



Linda Holford

Owner and president of the Rocky Creek Winery in Cowichan Bay, BC.  Born in Calgary, Alberta, she worked in the oil industry as a pipeline technologist,  moved from Calgary to Sarnia and then Vancouver Island.  Linda took time off to start a family;  but volunteered on committees such as town council and PAC president. 

In 2004 she started the winery as sole proprietor; just to start on a dream of her husband Mark while he was at work. The winery started with a 3 acre vineyard and has grown to 10 acres as a corporation. The Holfords dream is to pass their very successful winery on to their children.

Linda started as president of the winery due to her background in the oil industry where she worked with many projects and construction crews. She also spent many years working in budgeting and reserve planning, which is also critical for running a corporation. 

Linda works in the vineyard and winery along side her husband and winemaker Mark. She focuses on all the other details that entail getting the wines to the bottle and on the store shelves. 

Linda loves gardening, working around the property creating wonderful gardens to enjoy both personally and professionally. In her spare time Linda likes to read and explore the Cowichan Valley with her dog either hiking or running.

 

 


Alma Hollingshead

Co-founder and owner of Erine Shores Vineyard, one of Canada's southernmost wineries. The winery's opening in 2002 made it the fifth modern day winery in this region. The winery has enjoyed much critical acclaim and awards for its estate grown wines. Alma is especially known for her hospitality.

 



Lauren Horlock
Harwood Estates

Lauren joined Harwood as Winemaker and Vineyard Manager in May 2011, bringing a strong professional reputation and winemaking talent honed across a path from Prince Edward County to New Zealand.

Lauren has a formal education in the arts and sciences of viniculture and viticulture, earned at the same school in Niagara where so many well-known Winemakers have launched. But, more important than the training is her natural feeling for the vines and the thousands of mysterious, seemingly mystical steps that will turn them into wine. She's a natural.

Not every Winemaker is also the Vineyard Boss. They're two extremely complex disciplines that often seem to pull in opposite directions. In the few wineries where the Winemaker calls the shots from start to finish, the results are generally outstanding. We're seeing that at Harwood.

Winemaking is a long and slow procession, often taking two or three years, or more. Now, finally, some of Lauren's own creations have been released ... the outstanding 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon, 2009 St. Laurent, and 2010 Marquesa to name a few ... and it's plain to see that this is a winemaker to watch. And wait until you try her soon to be released Merlot!

Lauren's an ideal member for our adventurous team. We're already talking about inventing new winery experiences ... growing grapes that have never been tried in The County ... making more wines that everybody says are "impossible




Sarah R. Hoodspith

Co-owner and Director of Sales and Marketing Vignoble CARONE Wines

With nearly 15 years of experience in marketing and communications, Sarah R. Hoodspith has established herself as an expert to be reckoned with. Throughout her diverse career she has excelled in nearly all aspects of MARCOM – branding, public and investor relations, art direction, print/online production, and event management.

Her career in the wine industry began when a “hobby” vineyard was planted on her husband, Anthony Carone's family land just north east of Montreal. Falling in love with the entire grape-to-glass process, in 2004 Sarah was instrumental in establishing the Amateur Winemakers of Quebec (Association des vinificateurs amateur du Québec) and two years later she lead the Amateur Winemakers of Canada's national competition acting as the organization's Vice President. In 2008, Sarah and her husband were honoured to receive the bronze order of merit in agriculture (Ordre de mérite agricole) award by the Québec government. An avid entrepreneur, Sarah was profiled in 2012 in the government of Québec's “Jentreprends.ca” initiative promoting business savvy entrepreneurs.

Today, the family winery – Vignoble CARONE Wines – boasts 10 hectares of vines producing wines that have been served to the British monarchy, numerous high level domestic and foreign diplomats and are distributed to an international client list. At CARONE, Sarah's responsibilities as Director include overseeing all marketing and sales growth initiatives for the company.

As if that was not enough, Sarah is also the Director of a boutique MARCOM agency with offices in Montreal , Toronto and New York where she architects integrated campaigns, develops social media campaigns, and is responsible for business development and expanding the agency's service offerings.

Sarah frequently lectures about new branding initiatives, re-branding strategies, and client engagement via social media. She sits on the marketing committees of Le Conseil de développement bioalimentaire de Lanaudière and Tourisme Lanaudière, is a member of the organizing committees for Les Péchés Mignons de Lanoraie, and is a member of the Board of ACCORD Lanaudière, Slow Food Lanaudière, and Développement et de promotion touristique de la MRC de D'Autray. Sarah also volunteers her time for numerous charities. She holds a Bachelors of Commerce degree, majoring in Marketing and Human Resources, from the John Molson School of Business, Concordia University .




Yvonne Lrvine

assistant Winemaker Creekside

Yvonne -- better known in the industry by her nickname: "Monkey" - caught the wine bug from nearly a decade of slogging it out in restaurant trenches. After forays into biotech and HR, she decided to throw caution to the wind and follow her love of fermented grape juice, turning her considerable determination towards the goal of winemaking. Yvonne graduated from the Niagara College Winery Technician program, during which she strong-armed her way into a harvest position at Creekside for her practicum. She's been here ever since, sweet-talking the ferments, playing mad scientist, and holding an opinionated seat at the tasting table. Yvonne can generally be found obsessing over our precious Sauvignon Blanc grapes, indulging in after-hours vineyard picnics and trying to organize a Creekside glee club


Pauline Joicey

Is co-owner of Redtail Vineyards along with her partner Gilbert Provost. Her passion for drinking good wines eventually became a passion to make good wines from grapes grown in very traditional ways. This became her dream for retirement .

In 2002, after attending a seminar on starting a winery, Pauline and Gilbert toured suitable properties with a realtor in the western part of Prince Edward County. During that trip they found an11 acre property, just south of the village of Consecon, and purchased it

From the start it was important to have Solar Powered Organic practices in the vineyard and the winery. Redtail produces two wines Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir


Amber Pratt (Jones)

Amber Jones grew up in Victoria, B.C., having a passion for all things that grow from a young age.

After studying Horticulture in Victoria, and working in the Landscape and Nursery Industry for a number of years, she took a few WSET courses just for fun and was bitten by the wine bug.

Ready for a new challenge, Amber moved to Penticton to take the Viticulture and Winery Assistant programs concurrently.

Then, the education really started when she worked as Cellar Hand for Michael Bartier at Road 13, and subsequently as Assistant Winemaker to Graham Pierce at Black Hills Estate Winery.

In 2013 she wrapped up her first harvest as Winemaker for Chris Jentsch at his brand new facility in Oliver under the label C.C. Jentsch Cellars. She is excited to work hand in hand with an owner who is also the hardworking grower, and his entirely estate-grown fruit; Amber is looking forward to spending more time in the field, learning how to craft amazing wines that start in the vineyard.





Nicole Judge

Owner Spirit Tree Cidery

Born and raised in Caledon by her Irish mother and British father, cider is in her blood. A love of animals from an early age led Nicole to veterinary medicine.

Nicole graduated from the University of Guelph in 1995 with a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree. Upon graduation, Nicole worked for 5 years in private small animal practice in Caledon.

Nicole met Thomas in 1999 and became an active part of the orchard business while continuing to work at the clinic. In 2000, Nicole joined Hill's Pet Nutrition and spent eight years working in various roles from Veterinary Account Manger, Customer Marketing Manager and District Sales Manager for the Veterinary Business for Central & Eastern Canada.

She is currently the Chief Operating Officer for the Ontario Veterinary Group, a group of 6 veterinary hospitals located in Toronto, Whitby and Ottawa.

You'll find Nicole at the cidery on weekends; working in the office, chasing her busy toddler around the shop or chatting with customers in the bakery.


Magdalena Kaiser

Magdalena has been in the wine industry almost her entire life. She began working at Inniskillin Wines as a young teen and bottled wine with co-founder and father Karl Kaiser at the age of five. With over 35 years’ experience in wine, culinary tourism and communication strategy she brings passion and expertise to the industry she loves. A lifelong promoter of local wine, she is now the Director of PR at the Wine Marketing Association of Ontario where she proudly showcases VQA Wines of Ontario wine to top media and trade from home and abroad. WSET certified but the journey of wine learning never ends.






Dr. Lorraine Kane

owner River Stone Estate Winery


Lorraine is the co-owner, but like many wives on family farms, has a town job. Lorraine is a rural family doctor in the nearby community of Osoyoos. Fortunately for Ted, she was raised on a farm and understands much of the weather and financial concerns that are common to the industry. When not in the clinic or hospital, she can be found in the gardens that surround the house and winery. Her other interest is sampling wines and developing her palate, but operates mainly on the principle that a good wine is one that you like.



 

Regan Kapach

Born and raised in the Alberta foothills near Calgary. Her education expands from a Bachelors Degree in Asian studies, courses in blacksmithing and fine arts to finally a Diploma with Honors standing from the Niagara College.

Regan gained experience working at Tinhorn Creek and Le Vieux Pin in the Okanagan. She is very much enamored by terrior driven wines that are unique by place, not person. Regan's experience and training expounds every size of winery "but I am happiest in a medium to small setting where intimate involvement with every batch is possible. "

Regan's hobbies include oil painting, cooking, outdoor exploring, all colors of music-listening, my super dog and even super-er hubby! Ask Regan about her BBQ Smoky Pork Ribs with Asian Slaw

Her achievements include first place in the annual Oliver Winemakers' Cup snow boarding competition, two ten kilometer running races and proudly one of likely only a handful of caucasians to make (and devour) kimchi on a regular basis

In 2016 she was winemaker at 16 mile cellar in Ontario

 



Angela Kasimos

winemaker Riverview Cellars

Angela's path to Niagara has been anything but typical. Born in Montreal and raised in St. John's, she received her BSc in Biochemistry from Memorial University Newfoundland in 2005. Through a senior Food Science class she was exposed to wine production, which prompted her to seek out Brock University's much-acclaimed Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI). Angela would then graduate within 1 year, holding a Certificate in Grape & Wine Technology. She truthfully jokes, "I actually harvested Riesling the same day as Convocation!"

In the past few years, Angela has worked with a variety of challenging harvests: the gift and curse of working in such an unpredictable area. Beyond her practical experience, Angela continued theoretical work with Brock's top viticulturalist Dr. Andy Reynolds through 2007, and stays current by attending specialty CCOVI lectures annually.

Angela's duties lead her through every aspect of wine production. Her boots are scruffy from hours spent trudging down vine rows, directing leaf-pulling and cluster thinning. Her t-shirts are stained with red wine, a common result of barrel filling, racking, fining, filtering, tank-cleaning, or many of her other oenological responsibilities.

"If I've learned anything, it's that you have to work with the season," muses Riverview Cellars Winemaker Angela Kasimos.

"I always want to make great wine. Every winemaker wants to make great wine. But, each year is different. Focus your attention on the higher quality grapes and treat them like spoiled children. Then you're making excellent wine."



Jacq (Jacqueline) Kemp

 is a former research nutritional scientist who put aside her lab coat to follow her passion in winemaking.  She received her winemaking degree from Lincoln University New Zealand in 2000, and she has since gone on to work multiple vintages in Burgundy, Western Australia, New Zealand and Canada. At Akarua winery in Central Otago, New Zealand, Jacq gained national, and international, recognition for their Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Gris. 

Since having a family and moving to Canada Jacq has focused on winemaking in the Okanagan Valley and, has Moraine Estate Winery team in 2012 to again follow her passion for making Pinot Noir and Bordeaux reds.  Jacq strives to make vineyard focused wines that are balanced, elegant and distinctly varietal.

She also works as a consultant.

 

 


Judy Kingston

is a lawyer by profession. She has had a distinguished career as a technology lawyer with leading national law firms. In December 2006, Judy moved from Toronto to Naramata to devote her full time attention to the establishment of the Serendipity vineyard and winery.

In preparation for the launch of Serendipity wines in 2010, she worked as the assistant winemaker at a neighbouring winery as well as a trainee winemaker in Martinborough, New Zealand during their harvest and crush.

An accomplished chef trained in France, Judy applies her high standards of quality and attention to detail, combined with her creative flair, to her winemaking




Korol Kuklo


Korol was born and raised in Kelowna. She spent some time in Vancouver, where she received her Food Service Tech Diploma from VCC Langara and subsequently work for 16 years in institutional Food Service, before returning to the Okanagan.

Upon returning to the Okanagan in 1997, and settling in Osoyoos, Korol took the Winery Assistant Program from OUC in Penticton. The following year she was hired by Tinhorn Creek to work on the bottling line and was later hired to work in the tasting room. In September 1999 she was hired full-time in the Cellar. Sandra Oldfield took Korol under her wing and taught her winemaking. Soon Korol was in charge of all the analyses and ordering of packaging.

In 2006 Korol was officially promoted to Assistant Winemaker and had the added challenge of introducing Tinhorn Creek's new bottling line for Stelvin capping to the cellar. She took the challenge in stride with very little training and successfully ran the bottling line for six years.

Korol has successfully completed her WSET Level 3 and has plans to start working on her WSET Diploma in 2013.

She currently lives in Osoyoos with her husband, Joe, three Boston Terriers, and two French Bulldogs. She has 2 grown children, Owen & Jessica, and in January 2013 will become a grandma to a baby boy.

 

 



Donna Lailey

Donna Lailey was a physical education teacher before becoming a farmer in 1970. She and her husband David converted the Lailey family fruit farm into a thriving vineyard with a reputation for growing top quality grapes. Donna has been an active force in the evolution of the Ontario grape and wine industry and in the Niagara business community. She has also held several government appointments in the agricultural sector. Donna is a founding member of the VQA and was named the first Grape “Queen” in 1991 for the best vineyard

Over the years Donna has been actively involved in the industry and has served on several government bodies including the Niagara Parks Commission, Grape Growers Marketing Board, the Agricultural Research Institute of Ontario (“that was an interesting experience,” she says, “because you dealt with all commodities”), and was involved with the creation of the Greenbelt Act.

The vineyard the Lailey's created on their 23 acres across from McFarland House on the Niagara Parkway in Niagara-on-the-Lake started with some French hybrids her father-in-law had planted on the old fruit farm and has grown to include a winery in 2000 that principally produces Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc and Riesling. Along the way, Lailey Vineyards has won various international awards for their wines including a Silver Medal (2008 Chardonnay, Brickyard Vineyards) and three Bronze Medals (2008 Chardonnay, Old Vines; 2008 Pinot Noir, Canadian Oak; 2008 Syrah) at the InterVin International Wine Awards in November 2010


Catherine Langlois

Proprietor/ Winemaker Sandbanks -Winery

Catherine was raised on a farm in Québec, and this upbringing prepared her well for the physical work in the vineyards of Burgundy. Her real vocation is in the soil and in 2000 she planted her six acre vineyard in Prince Edward County. Catherine's hard work and genuine passion for her craft have produced many fine, award-winning wines.

 


Lyse LeBlanc

is the winemaker for Mastronardi Estate Winery. At one time she owned her own 3,500-case winery in Harrow. The wines have an extremely high reputation making over 8,000 cases per year

The winery uses state of the art wind machines to protect their large 100 acre vineyard from frost damage.


Dana LeComte

is the cheerful smiling face behind Tugwell Creek Farm and Meadery in Sooke on Vancouver Island. Tugwell Creek Honey Farm and Meadery was licensed as British Columbia's first Meadery in 2003. Dana is co owner along with Bob Liptrot.

The couple have built a very successful award winning business from honey

 


Sandy Leier

Winemaker Calona Wines

Born in Vancouver and raised in the Okanagan Sandy ha a life long interest in Science. Sandy was inspirited and began enjoying wine when she became friends of people working for Calona winemaker Howard Soon

In 2006 she joined Andrew Peller Ltd. working as an assistant winemaker gaining valuable experience. She completed the Howard Soon Wine Appreciation Course and obtained her WSET Intermediate Certificate an international recognized course

She is a devoted mother of two, loves to cook and enjoys camping and dancing

 


Stephanie Leinemann

Winemaker Peller Estates

Stephanie a native of Kelowna studied Science at the University of the Okanaganbefore taking a break to work in Germany. It was in Germany that she developed her passion for wine. Upon her return she transfered to Brock University recieving her degree in Oenlolgy and viticulture.

In 2002 she was chosen as the Top Women Student at the Women in Gastronomy Studies. Stephanie graduated at the top of her class and was awarded the Presidents Medal.

She joined Andrew Peller Ltd as an associate winemaker in 2003 working under Howard Soon

Stephanie likes to travell, cook and loves the outdoors. She enjoys volleyball and wakeboarding


Christine Leroux

Christine is one of the most sought after winemaking consultants in Canada. trained in France, consults to wineries including Rustic Roots, Quinta Ferreira, Oliver Twist, Thornhaven, and now, 40 Knots. Christine is also a wine educator, teaching oenology at Okanagan College as a component of the assistant winemaker program where she guides new and young winemakers.

She graduated from University of Queens with a degree in Biology/toxicology in 89. In 1993 National Diploma of Oenology from Bordeaux University in France. Followed by three years as assistant winemaker in Australia, California and at Inniskillin. From 1996-98 she was the head winemaker at Inniskillin in Oliver. In 1998 she started her consulting business.



Pam Luckhurst

is the co-owner of Road 13 Vineyard on BC's Golden Mile along with her husband Mick. Following their tour of wine regions in New Zealand, and subsequently the South Okanagan, Pam was intrigued and smitten with the aura surrounding the wine industry. They found that the Golden Mile Winery was for sale and purchased it, later changing the name.

With the growth of the winery, Pam now has more time to spend in the wine shop and winery lounge, doing what she enjoys best: chatting with customers and serving wine

Pam belongs to South Okanagan Winery Association, Banée of Oliver, Okanagan Wine Festival Society




Rossana Di Zio Magnotta
President and CEO of Magnotta Winery

the third largest winery in Ontario and most award winning winery in Canada with over 3,500 awards for product excellence. The company, which marked its 20th anniversary in 2010, has been an innovator of world-class Ontario wines and exclusive products including Sparkling Ice™, the world's first sparking Icewine, and Enotrium , Canada 's first Amarone-inspired red wine which just received the 2011 Lieutenant Governor's Award for Excellence in Ontario Wines. She has also just launched G.Marquis, a collection of premium wines now available at the LCBO that offers high quality, attractive value and a unique and authentic brand personality which is already winning top awards at international wine competitions. Under Rossana's leadership, Magnotta products have also expanded into global markets including the US, the UK, Europe and China.

Rossana's business and branding strategy has always been about creating interesting wines for wine lovers that exceed their expectations. Last year alone, Magnotta launched an unprecedented number of new products to join its long line of over 180 wines. Most of all, she identified long ago the need to demystify wine by empowering consumers with product knowledge which has proven to be a key component to her branding success. A winery is one of the most difficult businesses to sustain for a long period of time and many have come and gone but the strong brand that Rossana has built over the years has earned her loyal, enthusiastic followers, making Magnotta's over 20-year presence in the marketplace truly unique.

For more than two decades Rossana has also been passionate about healthcare. A long time supporter of Toronto hospitals, foundations and charitable organizations, she has sat on the Board of Directors of Humber River Regional Hospital, pioneered a pre-screening program for Colorectal Cancer and is now leading the way to build Canada's first research and screening facility for Lyme disease. Her early career as a Certified Canadian Registered Laboratory Technologist helped define her as a young adult and prepared her for an unexpected journey. From lab technologist to winemaker to community advocate, Rossana's dedication to healthcare gave her a strong sense of caring about the human condition.

It is no surprise that she would find a way to leverage her successful business to instigate change and improve people's lives. For eight years she has been tackling the obstacles that are preventing Lyme disease sufferers from being heard by telling Canadians the real story about this devastating disease. Through her winery, she has launched awareness campaigns and major fund raising initiatives from annual events to charity wines and works diligently with the Canadian Lyme Disease Foundation as a member of the board. She has also just established The G. Magnotta Foundation for Vector Borne Diseases .

Throughout her remarkable career, Rossana has been bestowed many honours including the following awards of distinction:

  • Queen's Jubilee Medal for exemplary dedication to her community
  • Community Building Award from the Italian Chamber of Commerce for commitment to the Italian-Canadian community and philanthropic work devoted to Lyme disease
  • Rosemary Davis Award from Farm Credit Canada for excellence in the Canadian agriculture industry and as an outstanding role model in the community
  • Citizen of the Year by the City of Vaughan
  • Business of the Year by the Vaughan Chamber of Commerce
  • Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernest and Young
  • Canadian Woman Entrepreneur of the Year for Innovation as well as the top Canadian woman representative for the Leading Women Entrepreneurs of the World
  • continues to rank every year in Profit Canada 's Top 100 Women Entrepreneurs
  • achieved and maintains Platinum Status for Magnotta as one of Canada's 50 Best Managed Companies

Prudence Mahre

Along with her husband Beat they were the original founders of Red Rooster Winery. They took their tiny winery and developed it into one of the most prominent wineries in BC before selling in 2005. Prudence found how deeply she missed running a tasting room and kibitzing with visitors. That is why she launched what is now Ruby Blues.

The winery also sells shoes. Yes shoes (like Harry's Law) it all came about because the model for the shoes on the wine labels was a pair of winged shoes that Prudence had found several years ago. She left one with the label artist and has the other in the winery tasting room. Of course, visitors would ask about the shoe and Prudence would joke that shoes would soon join wines in the shop.



Kathy Malone Winemaker Hillside Winery

Raised in the mountains of Vermont, Kathy has called the Okanagan “home” for more than three decades. Kathy spent 1985–2008 working at Mission Hill Family Estate Winery where she had substantial responsibility for making many of Mission Hill's best-selling wines. In 2008, Kathy made the move to Hillside to share in the Naramata Bench lifestyle.

How good is Kathy? Put it this way: John Simes, Mission Hill's senior winemaker, hired two winemakers to replace her

What makes the Naramata Bench unique in the Okanagan is its geography. It is a strip of vineyard land, with fairly complex soil, about 25 km long on the east side of Okanagan Lake. The aspect of most of the bench is a gentle slope facing the west, meaning the vineyards benefit from long days of sunlight, with the lake effect moderating summer heat spikes as well as seasonable winter cold. The benefit of the sun is magnified when the rays of late afternoon sun bounce from the lake onto the vines

Kathy's commitment to quality has been awarded numerous times throughout North America. Under her guidance, Hillside is the only BC winery producing Muscat Ottonel, a truly unique and unusual aromatic white wine, which has developed a huge customer following

Author John Schreiner writes Kathy is highly regarded by her employers as she continues to raise the bar on wine quality. At a recent tasting, I found the new releases from Hillside among the best I have ever tasted at this winery. In the last few years Kathy has been focusing on Estate grown grapes and the Naramata Bench. It is the best place in the Okanagan to grow grapes” ; she claims

Kathy has been the R&D Chairman for BC Wine Council for the last 4 years




Niva Martin
La Frenz Winery

Niva and Jeff Martin come from the Riverina area of Australia. Jeff was trained in Australia as a winemaker. On a visit to the Okanagan in 1989 they fell in love with the country and returned in 1994 with their two young daughters for what was termed “a working holiday”, and were captured by the sun-drenched beauty of the Okanagan Valley. There, Jeff found a place as one of the first university-trained winemakers in the valley

Armed with twenty years of experience in both the Canadian and Australian wine industries, the Martins fulfilled their lifelong dream of producing world-class wine in their own winery. Niva is the administration manager for LA FRENZ. She has a diverse background in sales and marketing, as well as a good palate and a lifelong appreciation of world class wines.



 


Sherry (Martin) Karlo

Co Founder, Owner at Karlo Estates

Sherry Martin has been surrounded by artists all her life. She grew up on the North East shores of Georgian Bay, the youngest of a family of seven.

At the age of 16, Sherry moved from Byng Inlet, Ontario to attend the Etobicoke School of the Arts (ESA) in Toronto. After receiving advanced standing into grade 11, she studied drawing, painting, printmaking, photography and sculpture. As a Fine Art Major who graduated at the top of her class, Sherry was accepted into the Ontario College of Art (OCA now OCADU). Sherry studied Fine Art in preparation for the Florence Italy exchange program, when, with the birth of her child, she turned her focus to commercial arts, specifically, Advertising

Over the course of Sherry’s career, her work has been cited in Marketing Magazine, The Advertising and Design Club of Canada Annual and Applied Arts Magazine, as well as Germany’s Archive Magazine, Communication Arts out of California and the New York Festival. After working at top agencies in the Canadian advertising industry, owning her own shop and having been lured back to her alma mater (OCADU) to teach, Sherry now turns her focus back to Fine Art.

Sherry Martin works from life. By focusing on the human figure, portraiture, still life and landscape, she practices observation while depicting classical ideals of beauty. Through an Atelier style study, academic lineage can be traced back through the Renaissance to Classical painting, affording knowledge from a long line of Masters such as Michelangelo, Raphael and Bellini through Caravaggio, Matisse, Sargent and Rockwell. In Sherry’s pursuit of Classical Realists, she joins the new movement to keep old world techniques alive and maintain a better understanding of fine art.

Sherry’s work is heavily influenced by her enjoyment of good food culture, music and dance, animals, world history from a Celtic perspective and wine. Sherry Martin’s work hangs in public institutions, galleries and private collections throughout Canada.




Angela Marotta and Melissa Marotta-Paolicelli
Proprietors of Two Sisters Vineyards

As sisters we have been fortunate to be part of a family who have always exposed us to the wondrous enjoyment of life through wine and food.  Even from a young age –the quality of ingredients and the history of wine have captivated our senses and peaked our curiosities.

Growing up in an Italian household, it was a way of enjoying time together.  The culture of “good living” with friends and family is an integral part of our lives.
A strong work ethic was instilled in us at a young age, as we were fully involved in the family business, which was real estate and land development. 

We have 7 children between the two of us representative in our logo of 7 grapes.  This will be a multi generational operation and we will continue to strive to produce wines that would make our family and fellow wine lovers proud.  With our state of the art facility and responsible farming methods together with our wine maker, Adam Pearce we have opened with award winning wines and have set our standards to the highest level.  It is in our core to please each and every visitor walking through our doors.  We have always been consumer driven and thrive on satisfying our consumers.

Our future here is rooted within these vines and the passion to please the palate in both wine and food will stand the test of time.
As sisters and proud proprietors of a Niagara winery, we have made it a mission to bring focus on Ontario wines within the wine industry at large.



Anna Maruggi

Winemaker at Chateau Des Charmes Wines

She has a bachelor's of Science in Biochemistry,

Trained at Chateau Des Charmes

 


Julie Martiniuk

Owner Stoneboat Vineyards

Judy and her husband Lanny bought an orchard in 1979on Black Sage Rd in Oliver and turned into a vineyard and winery.

30 years and three children later, the Martiniuks have expanded their original 15 acres to nearly 50, and are busier than ever with the winery. Julie's background in pharmacy has prepared her well for much of the winery's lab work, and when she's not analyzing samples, she can be found in the wine shop pouring for guests. Lanny, a grape grower first and foremost, is generally preoccupied with managing the vineyards and overseeing winemaking operations, though he pops into the wine shop now and then.


Eadie Mastronardi

Proprietor of Mastronardi Estate Winery Award Winning Winery in Lake Erie North Shore In 2002, Tony and Eadie Mastronardi purchased a large 40-hectare block of mature vineyard and entered the wine business. They hired winemaker Lyse LeBlanc, whose experience with her own small winery made her familiar with the region's winemaking. Mastronardi offers over 15 different varietals, with some emphasis on Bordeaux red varieties, a regional specialty. Vidal Icewine and Merlot have struck gold. The winery offers in-depth vineyard and production tours, holds two-hour wine-tasting seminars for groups of 10 or more, and frequently hosts weddings and other group functions.

Eadie is past president of the Essex Pelee Island Coast (EPIC/SWOVA)



Christie Mavety

Blue Mountain Vineyards & Cellar

Growing up on the estate, it was natural for Christie to work in the vineyard, in the plant nursery, and in the winery cellar during her high school years as a summer job.  During those years she became familiar with the operation of the vineyards and as well as the processing of the grapes from harvest to bottling.

Christie’s formal education started in the Okanagan and then transferred to the University of Victoria where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Art History. Her interest in the wine industry continued as she took Professional Wine Education Courses and then successfully completed the International Sommelier Guild Diploma Program. Throughout these years wines and foods continued to be very important to her as she continued to complete further education and work experience.

We are fortunate to have Christie join us at the management level in Sales and Marketing. Responsibilities include personal contact with our customers in the management and operation of the tasting room as well as through phone calls and email. 

Cristie is the new marketing face of Blue Mountain.  She ensures the image and reputation of the Blue Mountain winery will continue to be promoted through Mavety family presence at winery events, through the media and trade shows as well as coordinating refreshed and new designs in the labels, boxes and packaging of Blue Mountain products.




Rori McCaw
Winemaker Cooper's Hawk Vineyards

She studied winemaking and viticulture for 3 years at Niagara College and further mentored under the guidance of one of Canada's few grandfather master winemakers, Carlo Negri at Colio Estates in Harrow where she was hired on full time and stayed for a few years Rori then started her own business consulting.

Along with her consulting she provided mobile wine chemistry analysis within the region for the smaller boutique wineries

Tom O'Brien the proprietor of Cooper's Hawk Vineyards convinced Rori to come and be his winemaker in 2009.

Her interest in wine is long evolved stemming from a European background and her Papa Joe who taught her how to make wine and Grappa as a child, When old enough to actually drink the wine a greater appreciation was gained. 

"When Papa Joe had told me he heard of a course in winemaking that I could take and pursue professionally Rori got butterflies and knew right away what she was going to do with my life. Existing to make wine"

I am now fully content with my hearts desire to find the right job for me that i could express the art form within me and also a scientific side that has always been natural for me.  When you love what you do and going to work is a need, I think that's when you know you're doing the right thing and it will reflect in the work you do. For me it's a no brainer and the easiest job in the world.



Mary McDermott

 

Winemaker, Sommelier, Explorer. From a young age Mary has had a thirst for knowledge and adventure. A desire to pursue a lifelong dream
of crafting small production wines in the cturesque Okanagan Valley prompted Mary’s move in 2014 from Niagara to the warmer climes of B.C.’s renowned Naramata Bench at Township 7 Vineyards & Winery.

Her vision for the boutique winery entails expanding their small lot, fine wine program with additional single vineyard designate offerings, enhancing their Bordeaux reds program at a world-class level, as well as boosting the sparkling wine production. In the cellar she will augment the winery’s premium oak barrel program with upgrades to large oak barrique fermenters. With more improvements planned in the vineyard and winery on the horizon.

Mary’s wine journey first began following graduation from Ryerson University when she fell for the charms and culinary talents of a local chef and the two of them travelled the world. After several years abroad experiencing the wine regions of Italy, France, Australia and New Zealand she was inspired to complete her Sommelier training.

A stint on Canada’s west coast as Sommelier at the popular Monk McQueen’s Fresh Seafood & Oyster Bar was shortly followed by a return home to
the Niagara Region to expand her wine expertise.

Immersing herself in wine country hospitality, Mary served as Sommelier at Cave Spring Cellars fine dining restaurant, Inn on the Twenty, while finishing her Bachelor of Science in Oenology and Viticulture at Brock University. Obtaining her first
taste of winemaking, she landed at Niagara-on-the-Lake’s prestigious Stratus Vineyards as cellarhand and then assistant cellarmaster at Cave Spring Cellars. Soon thereafter in 2010, Mary oined Niagara’s premier winery family, Peller Estates premium wineries; Trius Winery at Hillebrand and Thirty Bench.

As winemaker, her responsibilities covered the gamut of skills from directing cellar staff, to monitoring vineyards, supervising the facility, to public relations, to her favorite roll of actually crafting fine wine.

Many of her wines achieved national and international acclaim, most recently the Chardonnays from the All Canadian Wine Awards 2014, Decanter World Wine Awards 2014, International Wine & Spirit Competition 2014, and Chardonnay du Monde 2014. Though her real labour of love turned out to be the sparkling wine program, where she was esponsible for Canada’s most extensive production of premium sparkling wines, overseeing everything from managing grapes on the crush pad to the tirage and disgorging.

Now on the west coast, Mary is looking forward to life on the beautiful Naramata Bench and enjoying the bounty of the Okanagan Valley with her usband/personal chef!


Tanya Mitchell

Is the director of operations and Winemaker at Sprucewood Shores Estate winery

She obtained a Chemical Engineering degree McMaster University She developed a true understanding of what it was like working in a winery at the same time,work alongside two great winemakers from Henry of Pelham in Niagara during their busy crush season in 2003.

 

Tanya traveled to Europe and Australia to gain experience working at other wineries (Langanook Wines and Sutton Grange Winery),before moving to the Lake Erie North Shore region for herfirst vintage (2004) at Sprucewood Shores Estate Winery

 



Jennife Molgat

Since 2006 Jennifer Turton-Molgat has proudly led The View Winery to success, in her the role as President. Jennifer's vision and inspiration for the winery and its vineyards is drawn from her family's passion for the land as pioneering Kelowna orchardists and agriculturists since 1922.

Under Jennifer's guidance The View Winery has become one of the Okanagan Valley's most tasted and visited boutique wineries – renowned for its exceptional aromatic whites, expertise in crafting quality Pinotage and its sexy red shoe label.

With her effervescent and creative style, Jennifer leads all aspects of The View Winery's operations and teams including vineyards, cellars, sales and marketing and guest services.

Jennifer enjoys hosting guests at The View's tasting room as well as providing her personal touch, often hand-delivering wines to customers across B.C. When she is not busy at the winery, Jennifer pursues her equally important passions including her family and equine friend Lazarro.

2013 Kelowna Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards (first place in the category of Tourism/Hospitality)...The View Winery.

 


Alison Moyes

Alison began her career in the food and beverage industry as a certified sommelier for some of Halifax' finest restaurants, where she began to consider a change to winemaking.

After completing two degrees in microbiology and oenology & viticulture from Dalhousie and Brock Universities, respectively, the Okanagan beckoned. Alison worked two seasons at Osoyoos Larose before joining the team at Stoneboat in 2010, becoming co-winemaker in 2011, and winemaker-in-chief in 2013.

Along with her poise, fantastic palate and prowess in the lab, Alison possesses a keen aptitude in translating the unique characters of the winery's vineyards and fruit into honest, expressive wines.

In 2016 Alison was at Liquidity Wines

 



Megan Renae Mutch

A former pharmacy technician,Megan is now winemaker at Cerelia Winery she studied at Okanagan College and mentored through her initial vintages by an excellent coach, John Weber, the co-owner and winemaker at nearby Orofino Vineyards.

Cerelia is a family owned and operated winery in Cawston BC

~ photo provided by John Schreiner


Izabela Muzzin

a grape grower, winemaker, sommelier but wine enthusiast first and foremost. Izabela have grew up in the Lake Erie North Shore wine industry and has been involved with, and studying wine from a young age. Her father has worked in the wine industry as long as I can remember.

Today Izabela is part of the winemaking team at Aleksande Estate winery in the Lake Erie North Shore region of southwestern Ontario. She work alongside my family, my husband and a great team of spirited, enthusiastic people loving what we do and celebrating what I've termed the spirit of wine – the fundamentals of life which include the combination of family, friends, great food, great wine and music.

 

 


OkanaganLifepicture from


Heidi Noble

Heidi is a professionally trained chef and sommelier, winemaker and published author. After graduating with a B.A. in Philosophy and Western Literature from the University of Western Ontario, she embarked on a culinary career attending the esteemed Stratford Chef's School. Her restaurant career was spent at some of Canada's best restaurants including Montreal's Tôqué and Toronto's Art Gallery of Ontario.

In 2000, Heidi moved out of the kitchen and trained with the Canadian Sommelier Guild in Vancouver. She then worked in Vancouver's wine trade with a small, niche European wine importer for four years. Heidi's winemaking skills have been self-taught, and guided by the sage advice of many winemaking friends and colleagues from around the world. She has spent countless hours researching, reading, travelling and, most importantly, wine drinking.

Heidi is the Executive Winemaker at Joie Farm. She manages the winemaking team as well as running the vineyard and coordinating vineyard contracts with winemaker, Robert Thielicke



Nicholette Novak

Host & Owner
The Good Earth Food & Wine Co

Nicolette Novak was born and raised on the farm in Beamsville where The Good Earth Food & Wine Co. is located. Ms Novak graduated from the University of Toronto with an honours B.A. in International Relations. Upon graduation, Nicolette worked for the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food in the market development branch, followed by four years as a ministerial assistant at Queen's Park in Toronto.

For eight years, from 1987, Nicolette managed the family farm in Beamsville. She farmed 220 acres of tender fruit, developed a farm market and, during the spring and autumn seasons, hosted school tours for more than 6,000 grade school children.

In October 1998, Ms. Novak launched The Good Earth Cooking School. Working closely with Michael Olson (Founding Chef, Inn on the Twenty ), she renovated the tiny cottage on her Beamsville farm into an intimate and charming cooking school, complete with facilities to host 12 students plus an instructor. The Cooking School offers both indoor and outdoor demonstration kitchens and has, over the past 14 years, instructed, entertained and fed thousands of willing guests.

In 2006, 8 acres of Cabernet Franc and Riesling grapevines were planted on the property and Nicolette's expansion of the business from The Good Earth Cooking School to The Good Earth Food & Wine Co. became a reality. In 2010, the winery and bistro opened to the public, creating one of Niagara's great food and wine destinations.


 

 

 

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