Toronto-born and bred, many of her friends and family find it amusing that nowadays Melissa would be better described as a farm girl at heart with big city roots. Coming from a nomadic bloodline, Melissa found herself living in a different town every few years in search of new professional challenges and forging new friendships. This quest combined with a passion for the culinary arts and hospitality that was instilled in her from birth, has led to living in many great cities including the latest place she calls “home” — the Okanagan.
In 2007 Melissa left a decade long career with Fairmont Hotels and Resorts to embark on a new adventure in the B.C. wine industry. She joined the Constellation (Vincor) management team where she continued to explore the local wine scene in between organizing memorable events such as See Ya Later Ranch Winery’s BC SPCA Dog Days of Summer fundraiser.
In 2009, Niva and Jeff offered her a seasonal position at LA FRENZ. Armed with unwavering support from her husband Rob and a firm belief that there are no wrong turns when you follow your heart, she accepted the opportunity. During the off-seasons she continued to exercise her palate and mind through tastings and ISG courses. Though Melissa could give you a list of “must see” wineries, LA FRENZ continues to be her uncontested favourite. She continues to savour not only every vintage, but the variety of opportunities that go along with her role. As the Sales and Hospitality Manager she is often found in the wine shop sharing her passion and exchanging knowledge with the many diverse wine enthusiasts.