2018 Foodies of the Year: Christine Coletta
This dynamo has been pushing the envelope in the Okanagan, and making our wine world a much better place.
The Groundbreaker: Christine Coletta
Founder, Okanagan Crush Pad, Kelowna, B.C.
It’s easy to think that wine regions are forces of nature, evolving on their own, constantly maturing and getting better, but the truth is, if it weren’t for dynamic people pushing the envelope, they would remain stagnant and uninteresting, like Switzerland. Exhibit A in this theorem: the dynamic Christine Coletta.
In her previous incarnation, she founded Coletta and Associates, the dominant wine branding and marketing company in the province and the key force in changing public perception of B.C. wine from something considered overpriced and underwhelming into a commodity that the buying public could get excited about. But it was when she took Teddy Roosevelt’s advice and “got into the arena” of actually making wine that we saw just how much of a dynamo we had on our collective hands. With husband Steve Lornie, she founded Okanagan Crush Pad, which in short order became the pre-eminent custom crush facility, letting those who dream of making wine but have no winery in on the game. And if that wasn’t enough, she started her own brands—Haywire and then Narrative—and then populated them with an international roster of experts to set them on a course to making some of the region’s best wine. First up was hiring Kiwi winemaker Matt Dumayne (FOTY 2017), engaging legendary Italian wine consultant Alberto Antonini and then, for good measure, adding Chile’s Pedro Parra, the world’s foremost vineyard soil expert. And the team began to radically move the Okanagan wine conversation forward: organic, concrete eggs, natural wine, wild ferments are all just a few areas that OCP has been at the forefront of. Their recent purchase of the 50-acre Seacrest Mountain Vineyard—bringing their total to 80 acres—shows that this force of nature moves only in one direction—forward.