Winemakers

Craig McDonald
Winemaking Vice President  |  Wayne Gretzky Estates Senior Winemaker - Ontario Wines

Craig has nearly two decades of winemaking experience, having made wines in Oregon, Australia, New Zealand and Niagara.  His international exposure has afforded him the opportunity to experience 27 vintages, 16 of them in Niagara.

Craig has been awarded Ontario Winemaker of the Year twice, once in 2008 and again this year 2016! He was the founding winemaker and creator of  Wayne Gretzky Wines. Previously, Craig produced wine with Villa Maria in New Zealand, Penfolds in the Barossa Valley, De Bortoli in the Yarra Valley, as well as at Sokol Blosser Wines in Oregon.

Now leading the winemaking team for Wayne Gretzky Estates, as well as overseeing national winemaking for Andrew Peller Limited, the largest Canadian-owned wine company, Craig is instrumental in crafting the award-winning Wayne Gretzky wines consumers have come to love.

 

Sandy Leier
Wayne Gretzky Estates Winemaker - British Columbia Wines

Sandy Leier grew up in wine country. Raised in Kelowna, she continues to call the sunny Okanagan home. Her lifelong interest in science led her to Okanagan University College, where she completed a degree in Chemistry. In 2006, Sandy joined the winemaking team at Andrew Peller Limited. She worked as an assistant for an intensive year learning the key aspects of the winemaking process, which only further sparked her interest and led to her eventual role as a winemaker for the non-VQA portfolio of wines. During this time, Sandy has gained invaluable experience working with wines from all over the world. Sandy further developed her skills and transitioned over to the VQA portfolio where she was Winemaker for Calona Vineyards until 2015.

Today, Sandy brings her talent and passion to Wayne Gretzky Okanagan wines. She is excited to be working with the wonderful growers of the Okanagan and Similkameen Valleys and takes great pride in her role of bringing wine to life, from vineyard to bottle in the place she calls home.