About Observatory Wines

I grew up in Saanich near the Dominion Astrophysical Observatory, which we would hike up to as a family to look out through the huge telescopes and over to a survey pad to gaze over the southern end of Vancouver Island and up at the stars.

An observatory exists as a vantage point with a broad perspective. It's a symbol that is meaningful to me, as over my career I’ve had the opportunity to work with many wineries and vineyards in regions around the world. Observatory wines are the culmination of all of my experiences and the perspectives I've gathered through those experiences.

My story in the world of wine started during the 2001 harvest, at Sumac Ridge winery in Summerland, BC. I was 19 at the time, and starting at the very bottom. During my interview the head winemaker said, “You’ll be cleaning, lifting heavy sh*t, and, ummm, cleaning. Do you really want the job?” Indeed I did.

After a few years of seasonal work being a cellar hand to ski bum to a valet at a golf course I headed abroad, and travelled and worked to gain practical, hands-on knowledge and experience in the industry. I lived and worked in the Okanagan, Australia, New Zealand and in Austria. I observed and learned and gleaned everything I could from those experiences. Now, 21 years after saying yes to that first job, I am proud to be presenting wines that I truly believe in. They encompass all of my observations - observations of wine, but also of all of my lived experiences.

Thanks to everyone who has helped me along my journey, especially my family, who supported and encouraged my adventures around the world. And thank you to Luke and Jennifer Smith of Howling Bluff winery for allowing me the opportunity to showcase my passion for wine.

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The observatory near my home was one of the first places I learnt to be still and observe. The art on my label is a drawing of the observatory building by the talented Caledonia Mathieson, fading around the edges as our memories tend to do.