We are delighted to announce the appointment of Ryan McKibbon as our new Assistant Winemaker & Vineyard Manager.
Growing up on a farm near Niagara’s wine industry, Ryan has been steeped in agriculture his entire life. Living a real farm-to-table lifestyle almost resulted in a culinary career. However a desire to pursue the many facets of winemaking from farming to the artistic and sensory side led him to Niagara College’s Winery and Viticulture program.
A passion for sustainable viticulture and winemaking, brought him to work in vineyards and wineries across the globe with a similar philosophy. His extensive pedigree includes stints at Phantom Creek Estates in Oliver overseeing their organic and biodynamic program; to Hidden Bench in Niagara which uses only organic fruit; to Crystallum Wines in South Africa that specializes in premium Chardonnay and Pinot Noir; and as a vineyard intern at Felton Road Wines in New Zealand where he studied organic and biodynamic viticulture; to name a few.
Ryan notes about working here, “Having traveled and worked in wine regions around the world, I am struck by the uniqueness of the Okanagan for growing premium, vinifera grapes. As a winemaker, it is a real treat to work in such a favourable growing area within Canada. The spectrum of varietals from south to north is remarkable, where you get the heat to ripen opulent Bordeaux style reds but yet also have the coolness for bright, aromatic whites and classic Champagne style wines, due to the Valley’s varied microclimates.”
Ryan holds his WSET Level 3 from Brock University and also brings with him, his Border Collie, Millie. She is adapting well to her life on the Naramata Bench and enjoying her time at Township 7. In the vineyard she likes to dig holes and in the cellar can be found cooling off under a tank.
We welcome you to stop by our Naramata Bench winery and meet Ryan and Millie!