Mt. Boucherie Estate Winery is excited to welcome Brett Thiessen as their Manager of Viticulture to oversee all of the winery’s vineyards in the Okanagan and Similkameen. Brett brings a wealth of experience in organic and biodynamic viticulture and will be working with the teams at both Mt. Boucherie Estate Winery and sister-winery Rust Wine Co. to implement sustainable, organic growing practices.
Having been raised on a cattle ranch in Alberta, farming was not on Brett’s list of career aspirations early on, however, after years of working in the restaurant industry, wine became an irresistible passion. While managing a wine boutique, he had the opportunity to travel to Germany and France where he saw the art and joy of grapegrowing and winemaking first-hand and his career aspirations shifted.
In the spring of 2017, Brett moved to the Okanagan to pursue his dream. After studying at Okanagan College in Penticton, he started at Summerhill Pyramid Winery in the cellar, but was quickly promoted to Vineyard Manager. When the opportunity presented itself to work with Mt. Boucherie and Rust Wine Co., Brett was excited about their long-term vision of sustainability and the desire to move to organic growing practices.
“We could not be happier to welcome Brett to our team,” says Craig McCulloch, VP and CEO. “He is an absolute delight to work with and his passion for the long-term sustainability and success of our vineyards is contagious. With Brett in the field and Jeff [Hundertmark] in the cellars, we have a truly engaged and dynamic team who will take our wines to the next level.”
Managing 300-acres spanning across five vineyards in the Okanagan and the Similkameen, Brett envisions a time when the soil is healthy and full of life and each site is farmed as its own ecosystem. “We have some of the most beautiful vineyard sites in the valley and it is my goal to start farming with nature instead of against it. The conversion to organic is going to take time, but we are starting this year by removing all synthetic chemicals from our vineyards in order to build a sustainable relationship with our soil and our vines. This shift is not only safer for our team, our neighbours and our environment, but it will inevitably lead to the consumer having more honest, pure wines with a true sense of place.”