Proprietor of Painted Rock Estate Winery Ltd.
The son of a Canadian Forces fighter pilot, John was born in 1958 on a Manitoba military base. “I moved 20 times by the time I was 20,” he says. He was working his way through college with a job in a lumber mill when he noted that a friend who had become a stock broker was much more prosperous. So he left university and embarked on a career in the brokerage industry.
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.
In 2004, recognizing that the quality of wines in this region was improving dramatically and driven by both his passion for wine and his desire to create a legacy business for his family, he purchased the land in south Penticton known locally as “The Blackhawk.”
Perched high on a bench on the east side of Skaha Lake south of Penticton, backing up against the famed climbing bluffs. Once an apricot farm, it had been fallow for 17 years. He planted in 2005 and 2006 and now has roughly 25 acres under vine, all of it Bordeaux reds or Syrah except for a block of Chardonnay. On the advice of consultants, he has planted multiple clones of every variety, giving his winemaker good blending options. John was confident that this terroir and its site influences presented “a unique opportunity to create exceptional wines” and that he had “both the opportunity and the obligation to do this property justice.”
John and Trish’s vision was and remains to grow exceptional grapes in their estate vineyard to produce ultra-premium wines that reflect the perfect marriage of new world fruit and old world processes, employing the best modern technologies and expertise, while respecting old world traditions. Most satisfying of all is that the whole family has been involved. Trish handles the entire back office of this fast growing enterprise; daughter Lauren just joined the company in the position of Business Development Manager after having received her MBA in Bordeaux with a focus on luxury brand management, food, and wine; and son Riley spent the summers working for the winery in Vancouver while he finished his degree at UVIC.
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.
Business Development Manager
John and Trish Skinner's vision to create a legacy business is being fulfilled today as their daughter Lauren joins the team at Painted Rock Estate Winery in the position of Business Development Manager.
Lauren has worked toward being a part of Painted Rock since its inception, spending summers in the first Painted Rock tasting room while attending the University of Victoria. Lauren also attended industry events alongside John over the years. In 2011 Lauren moved to France to complete her MBA in Luxury Brand Management, Food and Wine from INSEEC Bordeaux.
Upon completing her education, Lauren wanted to gain experience in marketing from established brands before coming into the family business. She began her career in commercial real estate with Cushman & Wakefield and later worked in residential project marketing with the Onni Group. Working for these reputable companies gave Lauren a breadth of knowledge and a work ethic that will help Painted Rock on its continued quest for excellence.
Gabriel Reis began working at Painted Rock Winery as a cellarhand during the 2009 harvest. In his few short years 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. Gabe is continuing to upgrade and expand his knowledge of the wine industry and is currently enrolled at the University of Washington.
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.
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.
Jill Butterworth Penner
Senior Sales Consultant
Although both of Jill’s parents were born and raised in the Okanagan Valley, Jill grew up in West Vancouver.
Upon finishing her Bachelor of Arts Degree in International Relations at the University of British Columbia, Jill moved to Switzerland to pursue her education in Hotel Management. It was during Jill’s time in Europe that her discovery of wine began.
Upon returning from Europe, Jill spent 23 years as a hotel manager in Vancouver only to find that she needed a new challenge and some more time with her family. In 2010, Jill brought her hospitality experience and business management skills to John Skinner’s new venture, Painted Rock Estate Winery.
Sales & Event Coordinator
An Island girl at heart, Kirsten has spent the last 10 years travelling, studying and breathing wine since first being bitten by the wine bug on a trip through Europe in 2004. Upon returning home, it became extremely apparent that wine was more than just fermented grape juice but an art and science that she had to know more about. Kirsten spent the next 2 years living in the Barossa Valley, Australia, undertaking a Diploma of Wine & Food while working at Saltram Estate Winery and completing her WSET Advanced Certificate. Upon finishing her Diploma, the bright city lights were calling and she spent the next 5 years in Melbourne, completing a Degree in Business Marketing and working at winestyle, a specialist online wine retailer and as the wine buyer/sommelier at La Luna Bistro.
Upon returning to Canada, Kirsten spent a year in Vancouver working for The Wine Umbrella with clients including; Wines from Spain, Wines of France and Wines of Germany. In 2012, a Marketing Coordinator role with the BC Wine Institute had Kirsten once again packing her bags and making the move to the Okanagan Valley. Currently undertaking her WSET Diploma, Kirsten is excited to bring experience in all facets of the wine industry to her new role as Sales & Events Coordinator at Painted Rock Estate Winery.
Wine Shop Manager
Born and raised in Caledon, Ontario, Jasmine’s foundation into the culinary world of wine and food came early thanks to her mother, a chef and caterer.
Jasmine studied Hydrology at University, though after graduating quickly realised that her interests lay in the hospitality sector and took a job at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, which is where her love of wine began. Undertaking the CAPS (Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers) certification at Niagara College, Jasmine then moved to Toronto and worked as Beverage Manager/Sommelier at various restaurants including Reds, Weslodge, The Chase, Ascari Enoteca, Elleven.
Wanting to learn more about the winemaking process, in 2013 Jasmine volunteered for her first harvest at O’Shaughnessy Estate Winery in Napa Valley. In 2014 Jasmine was introduced to John Skinner and with an interest in BC wines, decided to make the move to the Okanagan Valley to complete her second harvest with the Painted Rock team.
Jasmine has recently completed the Viticulture Certificate Program at Okanagan College, and is looking forward to her first season as Wine Shop Manager at Painted Rock.