Monday, March 21, 2011

Hester Creek draws on Vincor talent again

Photo: Rob Smith

Hester Creek Estate Winery has added firepower by dipping into the talent pool at Vincor Canada.

Rob Smith, who was Vincor Canada’s Okanagan sales manager for the past 13 years, has been named sales director at Hester Creek.

He was recruited primarily for his track record in sales. “He knows everyone, and is well liked for his easygoing nature and professionalism,” Hester Creek said in its announcement.

Before going into the wine business, Rob managed a Whistler restaurant for several years, experience that will serve him well now that Hester Creek also is opening a restaurant.

This is the second time that Hester Creek has attracted a Vincor veteran. Mark Sheridan joined Hester Creek last year as general manager after 10 years as Vincor’s director of vineyard operations in the Okanagan.

Born in Australia, where he trained, Mark arrived in the Okanagan just as Vincor began planting its extensive south Okanagan vineyards. By the time he left the company, wines from those grapes were winning awards around the world.

Recruiting talent from Vincor is only part of what Curt Garland, Hester Creek’s owner, has been doing to transform this winery, which he bought in 2004, into one of the Okanagan’s leading producers. He lured a veteran winemaker, Rob Summers, from Ontario where he had been the national winemaker at Andrew Peller Ltd. Last year, Hester Creek replaced its old winery with a thoroughly modern facility equipped with state-of-the-art winemaking tools.


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