STEVEN & NICOLE FRENCH - PROPRIETORS
Steven and Nicole met at the University of Western Ontario and upon graduation moved to Calgary where they spent twenty years, Nicole in education and real estate development and Steven in oil and gas.
Successful entrepreneurs with an inherent family motto of will and determination it was their desire to create that beckoned them to an industry steeped in creativity. They purchased their first vineyard site in 2011 with the foresight of combining their love for both wine and the rich tradition and culture of wine making into a brand that would deliver excellence without compromise, the Little Engine brand.
Their family motto: "Dreams don't come true, dreams are made true."
SCOTT ROBINSON - WINEMAKER
A winemaker who believes a wine should speak for itself. His element is the cellar and vineyard. An artist with wine, his canvas begins to show colours as he works through the entire spectrum from veraison, to harvest, from crush to barrel and ultimately to bottle. Scott becomes animated when he is sharing his wine and wine making knowledge. A masters in Oenology with Distinction from the University of Adelaide led to multiple vintages in New Zealand, Australia and the Okanagan. A continuous researcher and teacher, Scott furthers the industry’s growth as a Winemaking instructor at the Okanagan College and serves on the BC Wine Grape Council Research & Development Committee.
MATT RADEMAKERS - VITICULTURE
Matt is the type of person who thrives in an outdoor environment. His viticulture career began in 2003 in Wanaka, New Zealand. Arriving in Canada the following year he worked throughout the Okanagan and Vancouver Island before calling the bench his home.
While completing the Viticulture program at the Okanagan College he quickly worked his way up to Vineyard Manager managing vineyards in excess of 135 acres. His drive to manage a small vineyard dedicated to employing the right practices is what drew Matt to Little Engine.
Matt's philosophy is consistent: no matter the size, all vineyards require understanding, and dedication to produce wine of exceptional quality.
KARI SCOTT - WINE CLUB MANAGER
Kari shares a thirst for innovation and staying current with technology to create concrete sequential strategies to execute Wine Club releases & events, without a hitch.
Her Bachelor Degree with honours in Business Management & Marketing, and various distinctive wine courses, led her to dive in to the most lively, growing, and demanding industry in the Okanagan: B.C. Wine.
Balancing creative ideas while paying special attention to details of our members, Kari is enthusiastic to follow along with the pursuit of perfection.
JONATHAN YEE - TASTING ROOM MANAGER
Jonathan joined the Little Engine team in September 2018 following a successful career in fine dining restaurant operations and wine retail management. Accredited by the International Sommelier Guild and Wine & Spirits Education Trust, his passion for wine & all it entails stems from his love of wine culture - its history, modern industry and colloquial use all provide valuable insights to our overall enjoyment of wine.
Creating an exceptional experience for guests at Little Engine Wines is Jonathan’s primary focus. Visitors who want to taste the finest wines on the Naramata Bench and connoisseurs who are looking for inspiration or furthering their education are all welcome – he & his team are here to provide guests with the knowledge & understanding of quality wines made by quality people.
DEANNA CARLONI - BRAND MANAGER (Alberta, Interior Okanagan)
Deanna's experience in Hospitality and Wine Sales started over a decade ago after making the decision to be a permanent resident of the Okanagan Valley after living in Vancouver and the United States. Accredited by the Wine & Spirits Education Trust, completing up to level 3 passing with merit, as well as completing her Diploma in Hospitality Management, her interest and excitement for the BC wine industry is contagious.
Her passion for wine has led her to Alsace, Italy, South Africa, Napa/Sonoma, Washington and every wine producing region in Canada. Deanna's main role at Little Engine is building the brand in the Alberta and the Okanagan.
SHANNON EERT - BRAND MANAGER (Vancouver, Vancouver Island, Whistler)
Shannon has been spreading the good word (and wines!) of Little Engine since 2016. Initially, as a team member at Joe Fortes Restaurant in Vancouver, one of Little Engine’s greatest supporters. Then as sommelier at Nimmo Bay Wilderness Lodge, where Little Engine is the House wine. And now, as Brand Ambassador, she oversees sales and service education for restaurant and retail in Vancouver, Whistler and on Vancouver Island.
Shannon is accredited by the Wine & Spirits Education Trust, completing level 3, with merit. She has 15+ years experience in Vancouver’s restaurant industry. Her approach to sales at Little Engine is simply to expose the wines to on brand clients and use training sessions with the staff to allow a partnership of respect and momentum to mutually grow.
Gilbert & Olive - Gopher Control