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 visiting wineries in the South of France with their family. After watching the Okanagan’s emerging wine industry, in 2001 John decided to explore entering the industry and set out to find a winery or property to purchase. The more he looked the more he learned about the valley and the unique opportunities and challenges each property offered. He quickly resolved that if he couldn’t find a property with the potential to make world-class wines, he would move on. After three years of searching he was introduced to the renowned 56 acre "BlackHawk" property on Skaha Lake in Penticton. Once the largest apricot orchard in the British Commonwealth, the estate had lain fallow for seventeen years. It was immediately clear that this was a raw prospect with unlimited potential with the right mandate. From soil type to aspect to heat units to site influences this property was a jewel that would require patience, expertise and capital to bring it to deliver on it’s promise.
John and his team spent 2004 preparing and analyzing the site and devising a planting strategy which was implemented in 2005. Renamed for the 500 year old pictographs bordering the property, Painted Rock was immediately validated for its potential with its first vintage winning two coveted BC Lieutenant Governors Awards. Painted Rock has gone on to win numerous awards for the their wines as well as InterVin International Wine Awards Winery of the Year twice in both 2014/2015 and 2018/2019. Their flagship Red Icon was most recently named Decanter’s Canadian Wine of the Year 2020.
John has passionately remained involved in every aspect of the winery since it’s first release in late 2009. He was the sole representative, introducing the wines personally to restauranteurs, sommeliers and retailers in the Lower Mainland while continually travelling to the Okanagan to meet with the vineyard and winery teams. In 2016, John and Trish moved full time to Penticton where John spends his summers touring guests and through the property and offering tastings to his Wine Club Members. John has always seen the potential in not just Painted Rock, but the entire BC wine industry. He has passionately advocated for small businesses to local, provincial and federal government on a range of issues most notably including truth in labelling and interprovincial trade barriers. John has worked tirelessly over the past 10 years to help build the international profile and brand awareness of Canadian wines through attending international trade events such as Canada Calling at London’s Canada House and ProWein in Dusseldorf, Germany. He was a founding member of The Okanagan Wine Initiative, a group of wineries who aim to bring international attention to the wines of the Okanagan Valley. Most recently, OWI arranged for Steven Spurrier (Decanter) and Dave McIntyre (Washington Post) to visit the Okanagan Valley and in collaboration with the Okanagan College put on a townhall event for the industry to attend. Currently, John is working alongside UBC and local and provincial government to develop a BC Wine Centre of Excellence to Penticton which proposes to offer educational opportunities and resources to the industry.
John remains committed to tapping into the full potential of both the Painted Rock property and the BC wine industry. 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.
Event & Tasting Room ManagerRead Bio
Event & Tasting Room Manager
Originally from Australia’s Gold Coast, Kate moved abroad to London, England in 2007 and began her career in hospitality sales and events at the Cumberland Hotel. In 2008, she moved to Vancouver, BC and continued her career with Fairmont Hotels and Resorts. During her time with these various hotels she had the opportunity to plan events and weddings for celebrities, professional athletes, politicians, yes, even royalty.
Her passion for wine began back in Australia after traveling to the Coonawarra and Barossa Valley Wine regions. After visiting Sonoma, Napa Valley and the Okanagan, she decided to complete her WSET levels 1-3 in Vancouver and aspires to complete her Level 4 Diploma in Wines.
In her spare time you will find Kate cooking, swimming and paddle boarding in the lakes of BC and travelling in search of surf spots and hiking trails. She is passionate about trying new wine varietals and helping others discover wines they have never tried before!
Sales ManagerRead Bio
Sales Manager, 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.
Accounting & Administration ManagerRead Bio
Accounting & Administration Manager
Upon moving to Penticton, Petra sought an opportunity to put her finance and accounting knowledge to work in the wine industry. She was committed to working for a winery that shared her meticulous attention to detail and that led to her joining the Painted Rock team in the summer of 2020.
Petra holds a Bachelor of Commerce and is a level two Chartered Financial Analyst candidate.
Petra can be reached at email@example.com.
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).
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.