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What do you love most about
MD: There’s lots of variety in the job,
it allows you to be close to nature and
every vintage shows something different
and interesting that reflects the year it’s
made. Also, it’s a great lifestyle. It is hard
work and long hours, but the rewards are
What is your favourite wine to make,
and is there a particular wine that you
prefer to drink?
MD: That’s like asking which of my children
is my favourite! I prefer drinking whites and
lighter, fresher reds for sure. Champagne is
always a go-to for me.
You also oversee the production of
grape-based spirits for OCP. Why did
your winery decide to branch into the
MD: Yes, OCP has a small portfolio of grape-based
spirits under the Narrative label. We
don’t like the idea of discarding anything
than can be transformed into good prod-uct,
so we use any leftover wine to produce
spirits in our still.
What can you tell readers about your
MD: We currently have a grape-based
gin and a grape-based brandy under the
Narrative label. They are produced with
the same grapes that we use for our
wines, so they are also organic. They
are not as popular as our wines, but
many guests will try them when they
visit our tasting room and they really
Where does your inspiration come from
for your grape-based spirits?
MD: The principles are the same as with
our wines. We produce small batch, organ-ic
spirits that reflect the area where they
come from. We find that they also have
a better texture and weight to them than
Generally speaking, what are the main
challenges you experience in your job?
MD: The long hours can be challenging
when you have a family, but overall the
good outweighs the bad.
Is there one thing in particular that
you believe is necessary for a successful
MD: Being willing to make sacrifices.
What tips do you have for new entrants
to this industry who want to move up
MD: Don’t expect to work just 40 hours a
week, never ask to bank hours, expect to be
cleaning the winery a lot for a number of
years and don’t complain.
What are you most excited about when
you think about the future of Canada’s
MD: Watching serious people who have
researched a site through soil testing and
weather and climate monitoring to ensure
it is suitable for the grapes they are plant-ing,
and are focused on making high-end
wines succeed in this country.
SUMMER 2020 § POURED CANADA § 27