Nikki Callaway and “Olli”

New Quails Gate winemaker Nikki Callaway and her dog, Olli

New Quails Gate winemaker Nikki Callaway and her dog, Olli

Quails Gate has announced that Nikki Callaway will take over the reins from Grant Stanley as winemaker. (Stanley left Quails Gate this spring to join 50th Parallel.)

Callaway is no stranger to Quails Gate. For the last five years she’s worked up the way at Mission Hill. This marks the the first time in a couple of decades that Quails Gate has returned to hire someone locally. The winery has hired offshore since bringing in Aussie Jeff Martin (who eventually left to open La Frenz) in 1994.

Callaway looks ideally suited for the job She’s worked in several major regions, including Burgundy and Bordeaux.  For a while now (as Mission Hill head winemaker), she’s been focusing on Pinot Noir—a priority for Quails Gate.

First hand reports confirm that Olli (above) also likes Pinot and has already reserved a spot on next year’s Winery Dogs of BC Calendar


Here’s the full release…

July 23, 2013 (Vancouver, BC) – Quails’ Gate winery is pleased to announce that Nikki Callaway has joined the team as winemaker.  Nikki is already well known in the BC wine industry, and she brings with her a wealth of experience gained working in vineyards around the world.  She worked the harvest in South Africa’s Stellenbosch region, as well as holding several cellar master positions throughout France, including in the Loire, Burgundy and Bordeaux regions. Nikki’s official start date at Quails’ Gate will be August 1st, 2013.

A Canadian by birth, Nikki spent nearly a decade living in Dubai, UAE before returning to Canada for her formal education.  She successfully completed her Bachelor’s in Biology at the University of Victoria in 2004, then headed to Europe to learn winemaking from the ground up.  Her winemaking career began with the 2004 vintage in the Beaujolais (Château La Louvière) and Bordeaux (Château Palmer) regions of France and culminated when she graduated with a Diplôme National dOœnologue (DNO) from the Université Bordeaux II in 2007.  Upon her return to Canada in 2009 she worked as a winemaker for Mission Hill Family Estate.

Tony Stewart, CEO and proprietor of Quails’ Gate winery, notes “We are very excited to announce Nikki as our new winemaker.  She is intimately acquainted with several renowned international wine regions as well as having experience crafting wines right here in the Okanagan.  Her spirit of collaboration and vision for the future of Quails’ Gate are a perfect match for our long-term plans, and we are thrilled to bring her aboard to work on what is already proving to be a strong vintage.”

Quails’ Gate has received numerous awards and accolades for its wines, including outstanding results at this spring’s Pacific Rim Wine Competition, Decanter World Wine Awards, and International Wine & Spirits Competition.  The winery is excited about working with Nikki to continue to produce outstanding wines that enhance British Columbia’s profile on the world stage.