A team of advisors assisted in choosing the best clones and rootstock for our site based on its microclimate and terroir.
Helping businesses and charities grow, Suki is a tireless philanthropist and businessman. As President and CEO of CRS Group of Companies, Suki runs companies in Western Canada primarily related to commercial real estate, and is a champion for several BC non-profits. An advocate and fundraiser for numerous causes close to his heart includes BC Children’s Hospital, Rick Hansen Foundation, Ronald McDonald House BC, and Special Olympics BC. A decade ago, he identified a unique opportunity to help another venture thrive, and acquired a rock strewn 220 acre piece of land for Vanessa Vineyard.
After many years in Canada’s financial industry, John left the business to pursue different projects that were off the beaten path – taking up farming on two continents. A keen desire for new challenges saw him purchase a finca in Northern Argentina’s Salta province. While with his friend and business partner Suki, he also co-founded Vanessa Vineyard in the then fledgling and equally striking Similkameen Valley wine region. At Vanessa, John brings his knowledge and appreciation of wine to oversee the direction of their winemaking program and pitches in on all aspects of the business from the cellar to winery to bottling line.
A living legend, for over three decades Howard Soon has been on the leading edge of winemaking innovation. Originally a brewmaster, a taste for more creativity saw him join the fledgling BC wine industry in 1980. Shortly thereafter, Howard began establishing milestones in BC wine, becoming the first to release a series of single vineyard designated wines, amongst innumerable other benchmarks. His collaborative relationships with growers led him to Vanessa Vineyard in 2006, where working with our viticulture team, he oversaw the planting of our vineyard. He subsequently purchased the vast majority of our grapes for his highly-acclaimed Sandhill Vanessa Vineyard wines. In 2017 Howard “retired” to “go back to the workbench” as he coins it, focusing on truly small lot winemaking as Master Winemaker for Vanessa Vineyard.
Vineyard Developer and Manager
Coming from the third generation of an agricultural family that has been leaving their footprint in the Okanagan since 1926, Robert has 41 years of experience in vineyard development and management, and is dedicated to the land and the production of quality fruit. Robert, along with his son Nathan, manage the vineyard day-to-day. They are renown for their numerous innovations and the continual improvements of vineyard management techniques.
A fourth generation farmer who grew up in Oliver, British Columbia. Nathan studied business at Malaspina University in Nanaimo and then apprenticed under his father, Robert Goltz. Bringing to Vanessa Vineyard his reputation for innovation, Nathan has extensive experience from managing several well-known vineyards through years of practice and earned knowledge.
“Intrepid traveler & team builder”; British born but locally grown, Sandeep developed a love of nature working the family farm during her childhood in the nearby Fraser Valley. An outdoors enthusiast who has traveled the world, she is always up for a challenge. Working with CRS Group since 1999 running the day-to-day operations, she helped grow the company by building a team of talented staff from across the globe. Being part of the vineyard and winery from their inception she has developed an appreciation for wine and its intricacies, she’s now returning to her agricultural roots, pursuing a new challenge in assisting the growth of Vanessa Vineyard.
In hospitality since the age of 15, Blair has an extensive range of employment experiences in the restaurant and wine business. From working in the kitchen of a pizza parlour as a teenager to managing a couple restaurants in Whistler in his 20s, he loves the “front of house” interaction with guests whilst also enjoying cooking in the “back of house”. However, as Bar Manager at the famed Wickaninnish Inn, he found his true calling with British Columbia wine. This calling led him to the Okanagan where he landed first as Food & Beverage Manager at the Naramata Heritage Inn, followed shortly thereafter at Red Rooster Winery. As Estate Manager there he oversaw their retail store for almost a decade. A desire for a more intimate and hands-on work environment drew him briefly to Poplar Grove Winery and ultimately to Vanessa Vineyard where he saw a team of like minds who are passionate about food, wine and people.
Having fully embraced the BC lifestyle Blair is an avid surfer from his years living in Tofino and snowboarder from his time at Whistler. In the winter he can also be found on his backyard ice rink skating with his family and friends.