Christine Coletta and Steve Lornie, owners of Okanagan Crush Pad
, are pleased to announce the addition of Steven (Steve) Latchford and Lynzee Schatz to their winemaking team. They will work closely with chief winemaker Matt Dumayne. Latchford will manage custom crush client wines, while Schatz will oversee sparkling wine production, which now exceeds 7,500 cases annually.
Okanagan Crush Pad’s new winemaking team: Lynzee Schatz, Matt Dumayne, and Steve Latchford; Credit Lionel Trudel
Steve was born in wine country in Prince Edward County, Ontario and was destined for winemaking from a young age. Starting his wine studies at Niagara College before he could legally taste wine, he had to wait one year before taking his first sensory evaluation class. When he graduated in 2004 he had already been working at Jackson-Triggs Niagara Estate for three years.
Working under winemaker Marco Piccoli at Jackson-Triggs, Steve dedicated himself to learning about and making Icewine and sparkling wine. Later, working alongside charismatic winemaker Thomas Bachelder, Steve helped to produce the first vintage of Le Clos Jordanne, once highly sought-after, small-lot wines made from organically-grown Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Steve spent time working in the vineyard and exercising his creativity in the cellar, winemaking and blending.
In 2007 Steve planted his feet in the Okanagan Valley. He spent the last decade working at various wineries on the Naramata bench, gaining experience working with grapes grown from all areas of the Okanagan valley. He is excited to cross the lake, to focus on organic wine production, to join the winemaking team at Okanagan Crush Pad, and to work closely with Matt Dumayne and the winery’s custom crush clients.
Raised in Kelowna BC, Lynzee Schatz was introduced to wine through her mother, who was a budding wine aficionado and avid gardener. In 2006, Lynzee worked at Summerhill Pyramid Winery, where her inquisitive nature gained her the opportunity to start shadowing the cellar hands. These early experiences left Lynzee with a fascination for wine, planted the seed for her future career, and provided her first efforts in organic winemaking.
Lynzee has a Bachelor of Wine Science from Charles Sturt University in Australia. She has traveled widely, completing many vintages abroad including stints at Pisoni Vineyards and Winery in California, Domaine Chandon and Yeringberg in Australia’s Yarra Valley, and Tawse and Angels Gate in Ontario. Her travels have gained her extensive experience with sparkling wine production, and while at Yeringberg, she realized her love of farming; in particular, rearing lambs, minding sheep, and cattle work.
Lynzee returned to Canada in 2014 and for three years, split her time between making wine at Vancouver Urban Winery and brewing for their sister company, Postmark Brewing. Longing to bring her experience and education back to the Okanagan, Lynzee relocated to Penticton in August 2018 and is excited to get her hands on the sparkling wine lineup and put her work experience from Domain Chandon to good use.
The new team members replace departing newlyweds Jordan Kubek and Tyler Knight, who, along with Ron Kubek, will be opening their own winery in Summerland this coming year.
“We couldn’t be more pleased to see Jordan and Tyler moving on to such an exciting future. They have played key roles in making OCP a success story and we thank them for their passion and commitment,” noted Coletta. “We have very strong new arrivals to the cellar with decades of experience and expect to process more than 600 tons of grapes this coming harvest. We know that Steve and Lynzee will help us push quality to even greater heights.”
About Okanagan Crush Pad Winery
Okanagan Crush Pad
has quickly built a reputation as a premium producer and has received many awards and accolades since its launch in 2011, and with chief winemaker Matt Dumayne at the helm. Christine Coletta and Steve Lornie created Okanagan Crush Pad as a purpose-built custom crush facility. From here, their own wines, Haywire, Narrative and now Free Form are made. Located in beautiful Summerland, BC, the winery overlooks Switchback Organic Vineyard, a site that is home to chickens and ducks. Dumayne and his cellar team craft unadulterated wines using state-of- the-art concrete tanks, native yeast and minimal winemaking intervention. The wines reflect the region’s unique high mountain/northern desert setting noted for its intensely hot, short growing season with hallmark cool evenings.
Visitors to the guest center, built into the heart of the production facility, get a rare glance into the art of fine winemaking and distilling, and can sample and purchase a wide range of wines and spirits made onsite.