#BCwine continues to thrill on the world stage drawing an incredible range of international talent to the Okanagan to join our local wine scene. These three stars represent the exciting new age of winemaking in Kelowna. Cheers!
Nikki Callaway, Quails’ Gate Estate Winery
Nikki joined the team at Quails’ Gate in 2013 and has generated great excitement and fanfare with each new vintage. Born in Calgary, when she finally returned to Canadian soil, she brought with her an incredible wealth of information and a dynamic international resume. Trained in cellars of Bordeaux where she also studied and received her degree, she then travelled to work in South Africa adding another layer of expertise to her craft. Quails’ Gate’s medium size, family operating style and excellent vineyards were a perfect fit for Nikki’s vision.
- She is a big dog lover with an affinity for black labs. She has a new puppy named Max so prepare to swoon over this adorable baby winery dog if you see him at QG!
- She grew up in Saudi Arabia and Dubai.
- She loves sailing.
Winemaking philosophy: Quails’ Gate’s winemaking brand is to create the highest quality, handcrafted wines from vineyards focused on providing a sense of origin and terroir. And to that formula, add Nikki’s own unique style that she describes as “a little attitude, some science and lots of passion”, sums up a perfect winemaking equation.
Shane Munn, Martin’s Lane Winery
Shane Munn is a New Zealander who joined our wine scene at the uber-elite Martin’s Lane Winery. He is the GM and winemaker of Anthony Von Mandl’s newest winery that creates only two wines – a top-tier Riesling and Pinot Noir. Shane’s great passion for wine, for Pinot Noir and for organic and biodynamic viticulture, made him the perfect fit for this exciting and sophisticated label. Shane has crafted wines at impressive wineries in New Zealand, Burgundy France, Eastern Canada, as well as spending time at G.D. Vajra historic estate in Barolo, Italy.
Fun facts about Shane:
- He initially graduated with a B.Sc in Statistics & Operations Research in his hometown of Palmerston North, NZ before years later realizing he could make his passion a career and went on to achieve a wine science degree based in Hawkes Bay.
- Early in his career, he worked as local winemaker Ann Sperling’s assistant at Malivoire Wine Company in Ontario. It was she who introduced him to biodynamic viticulture.
- He is allergic to Pinot Gris! Yes, really - to the point of anaphylaxis.
“Elegance & character are primarily what I look for in any wine – any great wine should be beautiful too. Winemaking? Detailed, uncompromising but mostly gentle and guiding.” – Shane Munn
James Schlosser, Niche Wine Co.
This is a super small, super amazing winery with a super busy winemaker. James and his wife Joanna are busy parents of a small child (Hugh), they both have full-time jobs and they operate the family vineyard and winery. James is creating a beautiful repertoire of whites and reds (that includes a rare Pinot Noir Blanc) and they just released their first bubbles. James received a Bachelors and Masters degree in Oenology and Viticulture from Brock University.
Fun facts about James:
- He also has a full-time job at the Cancer Agency.
- He is learning how to write HTML in his ‘free time’.
- He has never met a Pinot Noir he didn’t like.
- He has a goal to one day follow harvest around the world for a year and experience crush 24/7/365.
"When it comes to growing grapes and making wine, it's important to be as attentive as possible but it's equally as important to understand that ultimately, wine is an expression of the things you can’t control.” – James Schlosser
Jennifer Schell is a writer & columnist, former editor of BC Food & Wine Trails Magazine and internationally award winning author of three cookbooks titled: The Butcher, The Baker, The Wine & Cheese Maker. Co-founder of Garagiste North Wine Festivals, she is also co-owner of Schell Wines - one of Kelowna’s newest small lot wineries. Born and raised on an orchard in East Kelowna, Jennifer’s family roots run deep in agriculture. An advocate for all things local, she focusses on shining the spotlight on the people of the food, wine and farm scene. www.jenniferschell.com