Kathleen joined Bella as our Assistant Winemaker in 2016 having an already deep passion for fermentation and farming.
Raised on Salt Spring Island, Kathleen had a desire from an early age to be a part of the beverage community, going so far as making “forest concoction” drinks and then forcing them on her family. She cut her teeth at Garry Oaks Estate Winery working in the vineyards before moving on to the cellars at Averill Creek Winery.
After leaving Averill, Kathleen had an opportunity to do a three month stage at Colombaia Winery in Italy that changed everything for her. It was at Colombaia that Kathleen deepened her passion for small production, natural wine, that spoke of the place, area, vintage and a holistic farm ecosystem, which included aiding in the production of their ancestrale sparkling wine.
Returning home to Vancouver Island, Kathleen was determined to continue her path of fermentation and organic farming practices so she joined the team at Sea Cider Farm and Ciderhouse as their assistant cider maker.
While chatting with a mutual friend about her experiences at Colombaia, Kathleen learned of a winery in Naramata that just released the pacific northwest’s first ancestrale sparkling wine and she reached out to join our team. We are beyond grateful that Kathleen’s path brought her to our door.
And what did Kathleen call those “forest concoctions” that she pushed on to her family all those many years ago? Poppyshake.