Andrea Lee, did not set out on a wine career when she enrolled at Simon Fraser University to study molecular biology and biochemistry (something “very boring,” she says now). On graduating in 2006, she took a research internship with a pharmaceutical firm until the company, amid a business downturn, laid off staff.
She then took the opportunity to travel, ending up in New Zealand until a car accident prevented here from continuing in a vineyard job. She came back to Summerland and, after recuperating, went to work in the wine shop at Sumac Ridge Estate Winery and then at Chaberton. To upgrade her wine skills, she enrolled at the University of Adelaide in Australia for a master’s degree in enology. On graduating in 2012 she turbocharged her career by making wine in both hemispheres. She worked with three different Australian wineries, including Josef Chromy Wines, a distinguished producer in Tasmania. Back in the Okanagan, she made the 2014 wines for two Summerland wineries, Sage Hills Winery and Saxon Winery.
In July 2015, Andrea Lee returned as winemaker at Langley’s Chaberton Estate Winery where she once had been a cellar hand.
Elias Phiniotis, Ph.D., our consulting oenologist, comes from a long line of wine makers and grape growers. Born in Pera-Pedhi, Cyprus, Elias has been with Domaine de Chaberton since 1991. He works closely with proprietor Anthony Cheng and winemaker Andrea Lee to develop and blend all of our red wines.
If you are interested in furthering your personal knowledge on the process of wine-making please join us for one of our complimentary winery tours.