LA FRENZ Winery was built on hard work. Our team personifies this. With a passion for all things wine, we strive to produce the best wine, the best experience and the best service to cement the reputation of quality that has followed
LA FRENZ for the past 23 years.
Elise Martin, Operations Manager
Elise Martin, youngest daughter of Jeff and Niva Martin spent her formative years absorbing all aspects of viticulture and winemaking. With a business degree from the University of British Columbia, a winemaking certificate from UC Davis, and two international vintage sabbaticals, Elise continues expanding her knowledge of winemaking and viticulture.
Elise’s belief in implementing the best practices for sustainable, premium quality, grape growing shines through in her hands-on management of the winery, whether she is driving a tractor in the vineyard, assisting in the cellar or overseeing the day to day operations of LA FRENZ.
Elise Martin can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ross Baker, Winemaker
Ross, a native of Kelowna, grew up in the Okanagan immersed in the fresh orchard fruit and local wines. Wanting to stay local, attended UBCO for his Bachelors of Science in Biochemistry before realizing his science degree could take him into the wine industry. Ross got his start and found his calling working harvests across the Okanagan and New Zealand before becoming winemaker at Quails’ Gate Winery in 2018. Ross took over as winemaker at LA FRENZ Winery in spring of 2022. An integral part of his winemaking style is to showcase the valley and produce wines that can be enjoyed with the fresh local cuisine our valley offers. When away from the winery, he spends his free time enjoying the Okanagan outdoors including hiking and skiing.
Ross Baker can be contacted at email@example.com.
Cathy Davison, Administration Manager
Moving to Canada from Australia in 2003 and spending time between both BC and Ontario, Cathy finally made BC her home in 2010. She joined LA FRENZ in 2016, enticed by the passion and teamwork that make up the LA FRENZ family.
Cathy completed a Bachelor of Visual Arts degree at Curtin University, Perth Australia in 1993. Since then. she has worked in a variety of roles from running a youth hostel to managing art galleries to running her own business for 10 years and everything in between. This unique background has bought a varied skill set to LA FRENZ, from taking care of the wine club, managing the accounts, overseeing the marketing and being a general “Jill of all trades”.
“Working within a small team gives me the opportunity to see firsthand the real dedication that all our staff have for the BC wine industry and the drive to make and promote the best wines possible. It brings me joy to know that these wines will be shared with others and the memories that will be made when enjoying them.”
Cathy Davison can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Laura Walkinshaw, Wine Shop Manager
Laura joined the family-owned business in 2019 in the role of Wine Shop Manager. Having worked in the industry for 20 years, Laura came to LA FRENZ with a well-informed understanding of the wine history and the expectations of her new role. She shares the family’s passion for excellence and their proficiency in generating it in others. Laura brings business skills to the company with a degree in business administration and wine education knowledge.
Laura developed a love of travel, food and good wines and an appreciation for the people who produce them, early on having travelled wine regions throughout Europe, North and South America and New Zealand. Her management style evolves from her parents’ philosophy of focusing on people and a love of the beautiful Naramata Bench. She embraces the traditional culture of wine with her sights set always on innovation and exploring the endless world of wine.
Laura Walkinshaw can be contacted at email@example.com.
Jeff and Niva Martin, Founders
Jeff and Niva both hail from the Riverina area of Australia and were involved in grape growing and winemaking from a young age.
At age eighteen, Jeff started working for the renowned Australian producer McWilliams as a trainee winemaker at their half million case Beelbangera facility. Here, Jeff gained a wealth of experience in a wide range of styles: table wines, fortified wines, and even fine brandy distillation.
In 1989, following a working sabbatical for Jeff in Napa California, a short trip to British Columbia opened a door that couldn’t be closed. Jeff and Niva returned to British Columbia in 1994 with their two young daughters for what was termed “a working holiday” and were captured by the sun-drenched beauty of the Okanagan Valley. It was obvious to them, the Naramata Bench in particular, with its cool dry desert climate, glacial soils and pristine landscapes overlooking Lake Okanagan were infinitely suited to producing world class wines.
Jeff found a place as one of the first university-trained winemakers in the Okanagan Valley starting as Head Winemaker at Quails’ Gate winery in Kelowna. He spearheaded the production here, where his wines were an immediate success, setting new benchmarks for Canadian wine.
In 1999, together with their two young daughters Jessica and Elise, Jeff and Niva established the Rattlesnake Vineyard along with the winery and wine shop and so LA FRENZ was born.
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