Proprietor, 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 is involved. Trish handles the entire back office of this fast growing enterprise; daughter Lauren just received her MBA in Bordeaux with a focus on luxury brand management, food, and wine; and son Riley just spent the summer working for the winery in Vancouver while finishing 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.
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 and is continuing to upgrade and expand his knowledge of the wine industry.
Gabriel is married and in his spare time 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.
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 that 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 Mebourne, 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.
Winery Sales Manager
Tyson grew up in the seaside town of Whiterock about half an hour south of Vancouver BC. Wine came into play at a young age which Tyson credits to his mother. She was a big supporter of Okanagan wines and he was fortunate enough to try some excellent wines that made him curious. After graduating from High School, Tyson ended up backpacking through parts of Australia and there he was drawn to the beautiful, vast, and diverse wine regions he visited. With wine fresh on his mind Tyson landed his first wine job in the Riverina, NSW of 2002 working harvest for Casella Wines, and quickly learning the ropes of big production wine making.
After his one year tenure at Casellas' he moved on to other wineries to further his knowledge of the industry. In 2004 Tyson enrolled at Tafe College in the Riverina and received a certificate in Wine Industry Operations. During his enrollment he landed a job with De Bortoli Wines. At De Bortoli Tyson worked in many areas of winery operation, from must analysis, to working on all major filtration systems. After Australia, Tyson travelled to Germany for a few years not only to learn more about wine but also to master the German language. When his time in Europe was over he headed back home to BC to continue his wine career.
In an effort to learn all aspects of the wine industry he started working for numerous wineries throughout BC in various positions from wine sales, cellar hand operations, to vineyard operation. During this time Tyson also worked part time for a few upscale restaurants, learning about food and wine pairings which really brought his palate to life.
To date Tyson has worked 11 vintages for 9 different wineries in 5 countries. It is Tyson's passion to share his knowledge about excellent food and wine.