Our Team

Gneiss Wines brings our passion for the South Okanagan region to life. Our team is here to share our stories and experiences with you!

Mike Daley & Matt Kenyon+

Mike Daley & Matt Kenyon, District Wine Village

Craig Welsman+

Craig Welsman, Partner

Josie, Christine & Mike+

Josie, Christine & Mike, Managing Partners

Kayla Sahara+

Kayla Sahara, Guest Services Manager

Mike Daley & Matt Kenyon

Mike Daley & Matt Kenyon, District Wine Village

Family roots in the South Okanagan stretch back to the 1920’s, Matt is the 4 th generation in the Kenyon family actively involved in South Okanagan business development and community activities.

 

Many business ideas are born over glasses of wine and that is exactly what happened with Okanagan Falls born and raised, long-time friends and neighbours, Max Brock and Matt Kenyon.   Max had previously travelled throughout the US and had seen the model of winery clusters in other wine regions and wanted to bring the model to BC, the first of its kind in Canada. Together, they created a concept to launch this one-of-a-kind village in wine country. Expanding on this concept was to include Matt’s love of beer and food resulting in the inclusion of a craft brewery and a restaurant on site.
Sadly, Max passed away before breaking ground. The District Wine Village project continued on, and is now being built in honour of Max and his family.

Michael Daley, an industry veteran was brought on as Director of Operations to bring the project to fruition, and the vision to life in further planning and the building out of the village. The rest as they say is history.

District Wine Village is being built with a local community mindset, to celebrate artisan production and craftsmanship.

Mike Daley & Matt Kenyon can be contacted at info@gneisswines.com.

 

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Craig Welsman

Craig Welsman, Partner

Born and Raised in Penticton, Craig’s Grandfather, Evans Lougheed was the owner of one of the original wineries in Penticton back in the 1970’s and 80’s, Casabello.  In younger years Craig would go to the winery to unofficially take part in crush and watch the grapes come into the cellars. Growing up in the Okanagan one becomes accustomed to fruit being a big part of everyday life with vineyards and orchards. Craig’s uncle owned a vineyard down in Osoyoos where many family gatherings took place together.

 

Craig has been actively pursuing options for reentering the wine industry and continue on the family tradition. The District Wine Village presented this opportunity and having friends who were involved looked like a great way to participate.

 

When asked why Craig was particularly interested in partnering in this venture:

Our Gneiss winery family is a group of some of the most experienced and talented people in the industry and presents an amazing opportunity to broaden my experience and learn while having a lot of fun along the way. I believe the variety of different proprietors, events, and activities in the village will create a real sense of community and family and create a destination where many customers will be able to participate in exploring unique options, while enjoying our wines for many years to come.

Craig Welsman can be contacted at info@gneisswines.com.

 

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Josie, Christine & Mike

Josie, Christine & Mike, Managing Partners

Michael Daley and Josie (Tyabji) were both raised in Kelowna and from farm work growing up, their personal foray working in the Wine Industry began in 1986 working in sales and marketing as part of their South Okanagan Oliver family winery. Josie was raised with father Alan working in the wine industry in Kelowna, who had dreamed of owning his own winery, purchased with a partner in 1984 and named Okanagan Vineyards.

In 1987 Mike and Josie moved permanently back from Vancouver to the South Okanagan to partner in running this Oliver winery for the family, along with other family businesses and as a group it was decided that premium wine was the future of the industry. Replanting of the Rd 11 vineyard in Oliver, the Dark Horse vineyard resulted in some of the first Cabernet Sauvignon in the Okanagan at a formative time when the small group of pioneers were banding together in rebuilding the wine industry, post FTA 1988. There were around 12 wineries at the time. In 1996 the property was acquired by Inniskillin as their premium Okanagan site and Mike moved over to the Jackson Triggs winery, while Josie took on a number of different projects over the years throughout the company and within industry.

As the Director of the Jackson Triggs winery, Mike worked closely with the Osoyoos Indian Band and led the Oliver team in building out the premium winemaking program and cellars to accommodate the grapes planted in 1998 onward, along Osoyoos Lake Bench. Winemaking from vineyards such as SunRock, the team achieved putting the South Okanagan on the International red wine map for the 1st time making history with 2004 “Best Shiraz in the world” at the IWSC in London, earning the prestigious Rosemount trophy, among other Best of Nation accolades.

Mike retired from Jackson Triggs in 2014 to pursue new opportunities working with local wineries and fruit producers, launching a premium cider for BC Tree Fruits as well as personal construction projects, and during this time Matt’s Village vision came to light and Mike joined in to bring it to fruition.

 

Josie continued on working in different roles throughout the company including the Nk’mip Cellars partnership until December 2019 when she retired from the VQA Estate and industry role with Arterra, holding positions with numerous industry and government boards and organizations over the years.

 

The family tradition continues with the 3rd generation of wine, with daughter Christine Daley joining in the Gneiss wine business. Christine grew up in the wine industry working in different aspects of the winery retail, sales, marketing and events before moving to Calgary to become a realtor. In early 2019 Christine moved back to Penticton and restarted her wine industry career with wine through Great Estates Okanagan.

 

Josie, Christine & Mike can be contacted at info@gneisswines.com.

 

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Kayla Sahara

Kayla Sahara, Guest Services Manager

Kayla has early roots in the British Columbia Wine Industry, beginning her work as most do working in the vineyard at Noble Ridge with her family. This work in the winery vineyard, talking with the people on site initiated her interest in what potential there could be in continuing down the wine industry career path.

Kayla then began expanding her knowledge at the BC VQA Wine Information Centre in Penticton. Kayla spent 4 years there. With ample wines to taste and learn about, she decided a good next step would be to move on up and join on to a successful Naramata Bench boutique winery, so ventured over to Laughing Stock Vineyards.

 

In addition to daily work experience, Kayla was honored to be included in judging the BC Spring Wine Awards 2 years in a row as well as participating as a junior judge at Wine Align, Canada’s Premier Wine Awards. She also finished her WSET 2 and is completing her WSET 3.

To expand on wine knowledge she participated in the LFNG winery harvest/crush in 2018.

 

In addition to working with the current owner’s of Gneiss throughout the years in industry, Kayla & Christine both grew up in the South Okanagan and spent their high school years as great friends. Throughout the years they supported each other’s careers and are excited to be working together once again.

 

 

Kayla Sahara can be contacted at kayla@gneisswines.com.

 

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