Laughing Stock Vineyards in Naramata has welcomed a new winemaker to its helm.
Sandy Leier brings over 15 years of experience working with premium BC VQA wines to her new job.
“I am absolutely thrilled to be joining the team at Laughing Stock Vineyards,” said Leier.
“Throughout my career, I have had the opportunity to travel for work to many regions, and Naramata is second to none. I look forward to working with the viticulture and winemaking teams to consistently craft the premium, terroir-driven wines that Laughing Stock has become known for.”
Leier grew up in Kelowna, and has always had a passion for sustainable farming and innovation.
She completed a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry at UBC Okanagan where she developed a passion for winemaking.
She then spent 15 years under the mentorship of Master Winemaker Howard Soon, eventually leading the winemaking operations at Andrew Peller, Sandhill, Gray Monk and Wayne Gretzky. Currently she is in the midst of completing the Viticulture Certificate Program at Washington State University.
“We could not be happier to welcome Sandy as Laughing Stock’s new Winemaker,” said Derek Kontkanen, director of winemaking operations at Arterra Wines Canada.
“She is incredibly well-respected in our industry and, with her passion, leadership and eye for innovation, the future of Laughing Stock is in good hands.”
Leier succeeds senior winemaker Dave Carson, who recently retired after a 40-year career. Leier will be supported by assistant winemaker Kaitlyn Berendt and cellar hand Cohen Park.