The Son of a Canadian Forces fighter pilot John spent the majority of his youth in Comox BC moving to Vancouver in 1979 to attend SFU. In 1983 John embarked on a successful career in Vancouver's brokerage in industry, retiring from Yorkton Securities in 1998 and later Canaccord Capital in 2009.
John was a stockbroker in Vancouver for more than 25 years, during which time he became an avid wine enthusiast. John and his wife Trish dreamed of having their own vineyard after spending time exploring wineries in the South of France with their family.
Always interested in the wine industry and a serious wine collector John paid close attention to the Okanagan's emerging wine industry. He paid particularly close attention to the wineries who had participated in the Canadian governments "Vinifera Program" who where paid to replace the high producing, low quality hybrid varieties with vinifera in an effort to improve the quality of the regions wines and its reputation. In 2000 a friend introduced him to two wines from Burrowing Owl, a participant in the program. The fruit was ripe and the wines were wonderful. The journey began.
Entrepreneurial by nature he thought if he could find the best property and apply the most aggressive mandate there was an excellent opportunity to make a difference and be an early participant in this emerging wine region. In 2001 John thought he'd go to the Okanagan and buy a winery. The more he looked the more he learned. There are no two properties alike and most that were for sale were for sale for a reason. For three years he looked and it wasn't until he was introduced to the renowned 56 acre "BlackHawk" property on Skaha Lake in Penticton that he new he'd found his opportunity. The property was center of what was once known as the largest apricot orchard in the British Commonwealth and had lain fallow for seventeen years. During the search for the ultimate property John had resolved that if he could not find a 10 out of 10 property worthy of the most aggressive mandate he'd move on. He had also become very familiar with the resources available to rate the potential of the various candidates so when he'd founded the "BlackHawk" it's potential was immediately apparent. From soil type to aspect to heat units to site influences this property ticked all the right boxes.
John and his team spent 2004 preparing and analyzing the property and devising a planting strategy which was implemented in 2005. Renamed for the 500 year old pictographs bordering the property the Painted Rock property was immediately validated for its potential with its first vintage winning two coveted BC Lieutenant Governors Awards.Two years later Painted Rock won two again going on to win 2014/2015 InterVin International Wine Awards Winery of the Year.
The property continues to over deliver on its promise and John has resolved to stop at nothing to realize its ultimate potential. Considering himself a steward of a legacy family business he's determined that generations of his family will grow with, and benefit from, this amazing opportunity.
Director of Sales and Marketing
John and Trish Skinner's vision of creating a legacy business was fulfilled when their daughter Lauren joined the team at Painted Rock Estate Winery.
Lauren worked toward being a part of Painted Rock since its inception. She spent summers in the first Painted Rock tasting room while attending the University of Victoria and attended industry events alongside John over the years. In 2011, Lauren moved to France and completed her MBA in Luxury Brand Management, Food and Wine at INSEEC Bordeaux.
Upon completing her education, Lauren gained valuable experience in marketing in the Vancouver real estate industry before coming into the family business in 2015. Since starting with Painted Rock she has completed her WSET Level 3 with Honours. She is now in the role of Director of Sales and Marketing.
Born in France and raised on the family vineyard Alain went on to engineering school and then completed a diploma in viticulture, oenology and economics in 1983. He then completed an M.B.A. from the University of Bordeaux in management & administration.
After many years in the industry Sutre became the owner and general manager of Ertus Consulting in 2000. Specializing in vineyard and winery project management, global analysis of agricultural firms and the analysis of the entire wine production process. Today Alain's "team" focuses on complex projects and quality-driven programs.
Alain Sutre was engaged by Painted Rock in 2006 to integrate vineyard and winery objectives and to blend the wines. Our signature wine and Alain's primary focus is our Gold Medal winning Red Icon. Believing that "the unique nature of the Okanagan will soon yield wines as identifiable as those from Bordeaux, Burgundy, or Napa-distinctly Okanagan wines, rich in flavour and character," Alain understood our mission from the beginning. Trish and John were also confident the vineyard team with Alain's guidance had just the blend of craft, skill, and passion to deliver this vision.
Gabriel Reis began working at Painted Rock Winery as a cellarhand during the 2009 harvest. His position continued to grow and evolve over the years and he is now our Winemaker. In this short time Gabe has been lucky to have some amazing mentors in the industry. For Gabriel, working in wine industry is truly getting back to his roots. Gabe grew up in Cawston, BC on a fruit orchard, where he spent his childhood picking fruit and getting a great understanding of the terroir of the region.
After high school Gabriel went to University and various technical schools, while he decided what career path to pursue. It wasn’t until a trip to Europe in 2007 that he truly discovered a passion for wine and began to consider pursuing wine as a career.
He attended the winery assistant certificate program at Okanagan College in 2009 and finished his Enology certificate through Washington State University in 2016.
In his spare time, Gabriel enjoys playing soccer and exploring the rugged hillsides of the Okanagan Valley by mountain bike, as well as tasting wines from around the world.
Accounting and Administration Manager
Hospitality & Wine Club Mgr
Brand AmbassadorRead Bio
Brand Ambassador, Lower Mainland, Whistler, Vancouver Island
Born and raised on the West Coast, Sarah has a love of the ocean, mountains, and of course BC wine! Sarah began her passion for wine while obtaining her Bachelor's Degree in Biology at the University of British Columbia. Who knew an elective course in Wine Science would someday lead to her career path today. Having been in the wine industry for almost a decade, Sarah is excited to join the Painted Rock team as Sales Manager bringing her experience, excellent level of professionalism and services to the Lower Mainland, Whistler, and Vancouver Island markets.
Vineyard ManagerRead Bio
Barry was born in Calgary, Alberta and raised in Chilliwack BC.
He started with Painted Rock as the vineyard manager in 2005 and completed his viticulture certificate at Okanagan College in 2006.
Barry currently lives in Penticton with his two kids
Barry loves his kids, farming and wine.
Joining Painted Rock in November 2018, Lora Henriksen brings creativity and passion to her role as Event Coordinator. With over 5 years event experience and her Bachelors Degree in Business Administration, Lora’s keen eye for detail and passion for planning are what makes her the perfect pairing for events at Painted Rock Estate Winery.
What Lora cherishes most about events, is seeing so many wonderful people come together from all over the world to celebrate in something beautiful. Lora truly loves being behind the scenes, helping to ensure every little detail has been taken care of. Her calming presence and outstanding organization is sure to take away any stress that may arise during event planning.
Come walk through the vineyards with Lora and discuss your next event – she can’t wait to meet you and to create memories to last a lifetime.
Winery Weiner DogRead Bio
Winery Weiner Dog
Buddy is our winery weiner dog. He is the smallest member of the team, but what he lacks in height he makes up for in volume and character. He can often be spotted in the arms of one of the Skinner's, because at 13 years old with one inch legs, sometimes he just isn't in the mood to walk. If he's on the move it's probably to chase one of the vineyards many marmots or greet a visitor (this often includes a welcome bark for good measure).