Directors

John Bayley, BCGA President

John Bayley is a lover of all things wine and vine. He started his career with one of Vancouver’s specialty wine retailers where he developed his palate and passion for wine while also obtaining his Sommelier Diploma. He brings the BCGA his enthusiasm and ideas from experiences  working with various wineries and vineyards in places such as Oregon, Burgundy, and New Zealand - where he studied Oenology and Viticulture at Lincoln University.   He is now committed to working with the soils of the Okanagan and to helping grow grapes that are a true expression of the land. John Bayley, president of the BCGA, has been on the BCGA board since 2018. 

Mason Spink, BCGA Vice President

Growing up in Victoria B.C., Mason was bitten by the wine bug early in life and decided to move to Ontario to study winemaking. After successfully completing his Bachelor of Science degree in Oenology and Viticulture with honors at the Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute at Brock University in St. Catharines Ontario, Mason moved back to B.C. During Mason’s time a Brock university he completed an undergraduate thesis on the study of Lady Bug taint in wine. After returning to BC, Mason joined the winemaking team at See Ya Later Ranch, as the assistant winemaker and was quickly promoted to winemaker where he held that position for six vintages. During this time Mason also work with Okanagan College as an instructor of both winemaking and viticulture classes. Just before the start of the 2013 vintage, Mason joined the Dirty Laundry Vineyard team. As the winemaker at Dirty Laundry Vineyards Mason oversees a small but effective team that carries out all viticulture and winemaking practices.

Mason Spink, BCGA Vice President, has been a director on the BCGA board since 2016. He served as President of the BCGA from 2016-2018.

Amy Richards

Amy’s impressive career was launched after obtaining a Bachelor of Viticultural Science from the University of Adelaide in Australia, after which she travelled to the South Island of New Zealand to purse her interest in cool climate viticulture and winemaking.  
In 2004, Amy returned to Adelaide to join the South Australian Research and Development Institute, investigating the effect of irrigating Cabernet Sauvignon with moderately saline water on soil salinity and vine performance. The results of this research lead to a keynote address at the 2007 Australian Wine Industry Technical Conference, Cooperative Research Center for Irrigation Futures Presentation of Conference in 2009 and the award of Australian Viticulturist of the Year in 2011. In 2009, Amy moved to Treasury Wine Estates in the role of Viticulturist for McLaren Vale and Langhorne Creek vineyards and then in 2015, was relocated to California, USA where she managed their portfolio of grower contracts in the Napa Valley. In 2020, inspired by the region’s potential to produce outstanding red wine grapes. Amy relocated to the Okanagan Valley. Amy joins Phantom Creek Estates equipped to lead and maximize the efficiencies of the winery’s vineyard operations. Along with her husband, two young sons, and a crazy dog, Amy loves to travel and looks forward to exploring all that Canada has to offer. Amy has been a director on the BCGA board since 2020. 

Felix Egerer

Felix has been the Viticulturist at Tantalus Vineyards in Kelowna since 2018. He received formal training at UC Davis and Geisenheim University as well as harvest experiences in cool climates around the world eventually leading him to work the 2016 harvest at Tantalus before switching from a winemaking track to viticulture. His focus lies on regenerative agriculture systems. Felix has been a director on the BCGA board since 2020 and also holds a position on the WGBC Board of Directors.

Ken Sapsford, P.Ag., ex-officio

Ken received his Bachelor of Science in Agriculture degree in 1979 from the University of Saskatchewan. From 2000 to March, 2015, he was employed as a Research Assistant in the Department of Plant Sciences at the University of Saskatchewan managing the field research program for weed control in the major and minor crops grown in the prairies. Prior to working at the U of S, he was a Conservation Agronomist with the Saskatchewan Soil Conservation Association promoting direct seeding.

Ken has also been involved in a 3,000-acre family farm with his brother. The family farm was sold in 2012, and he and his wife Joy purchased a small vineyard in Kaleden and also started a private agriculture consulting business. One of the projects he was involved with in 2015 was a research trial for the Okanagan and Similkameen Invasive Species Society, to find a control option for Puncturevine in the South Okanagan. They had a couple of products show promising results and there are plans to continue the project for another year.

In 2008, Ken was the recipient of the “Distinguished Agrologist” Award from the Saskatchewan Institute of Agrologists, and in 2014, received the “Excellence in Weed Extension Award” from the Canadian Society of Weed Science.

Ken has been involved with numerous boards in the past including the Saskatchewan Institute of Agrologist and the Canadian Weed Science Society. He is very interested in the science and art of growing grapes and believes his prairie agriculture and research background can bring a different prospective to the issues that come before the British Columbia Grapegrowers Association. Ken has been a director on the BCGA board since 2016. 

Pierre Levesque

My adventure into the Viticulture business took root in 2000 when my wife and I purchased a small acreage and planted our own “retirement hobby” vineyard. Being green to the industry, we contracted expertise from several viticulturist and irrigation experts to gain knowledge. We found immediate intrigue in this field and soon heightened our involvement in vineyard operations by taking on an absentee owner’s neighboring 9 acre property. Demand for service to local properties grew, and as a result in 2003 Earlco was formed. I was part of the continual growth of the company until 2019 when I moved on to Lake Breeze Vineyards as Vineyard Manager.   

I have traveled and attended trade shows, Viticulture conferences here in Canada and Germany and traveled to New Zealand and assisted Nick Mills from Rippon Winery with his bio Dynamic approach in wine making and vineyard management. I have also traveled to the Bordeaux and Burgundy regions and observed and learned on the terroirs and  goblets style of growing wine grapes.   I was the crush pad assistant for Lake Breeze in 2004.

I am currently involved with:

  • BCGA Starling Control Program
  • March, 2018 attended the Canadian Biopesticides and Minor Use  Pesticides Priority Setting Workshops in Lac Leamy  Gatineau, QC
  • Penticton Okanagan College Advisory Committee for Viticulture Program

The Canadian wine industry is just starting growing and I see with the high quality product we are offering to the international market is just a beginning.

Pierre became a BCGA director in 2018.

Rob Achurch

A self-confessed weather geek and lover of all things dirt, Rob is our expert in the science of growing grapes. He first developed a long-lasting love of nature growing up on a farm in rural Australia, reinforcing his passion with a degree in Viticulture from Charles Sturt University. Technology allows him to understand and realize the fruits potential, but organic farming keeps him grounded and in search of holistic and sustainable solutions that are not dependent on chemicals. Seeing the difference organic farming has made in the vineyards has confirmed his belief that vines should be grown naturally, respecting the land and the variability that each season brings. Rob has been a BCGA director since 2020. 

Sue de Charmoy

Sue was born into a farming family and grew up on a sugar cane farm in South Africa. She went on to study Physiotherapy in Cape Town and so began an introduction to vines and wines. After a backpacking adventure in the Northern Hemisphere, which included Canada, she spent the next 20 odd years working as a cardio pulmonary physiotherapist and lecturing in the field in South Africa, Bahrain and the Sultanate of Oman. She chose to immigrate to Canada and arrived here in 2013 to a small vineyard. She completed the Viticulture Certificate Program through Washington State University in 2016/2017. Since then she manages the vineyard and is motivated by current research in farming that focuses on the least impact on the environment while still sustainably growing a quality crop in a small vineyard. Sue became a BCGA board director in 2020. 

Troy Osborne

Born into a farming family in Ontario, Troy and his wife Michele moved to the Okanagan Valley in 1994. After working one year in the carpentry trade he entered the industry at Quails’ Gate Vineyards.  During his tenure with Quails’ Gate, Troy quickly worked up the ranks to a management role. In 2001, he moved south to join Vincor Canada. Troy currently holds the position of Director of Viticulture with Constellation Brands where he oversees 1,100 acres of vineyard and more than 30 contracted growers across the Okanagan and Similkameen Valleys.  A firm believer in co-operation, Troy believes that teaming, collaboration and collective learning are dynamic processes that contribute to the ever-increasing successes of the BC wine Industry. Troy has been a director on the BCGA board since 2017. 

Contact BCGA

Post Office Box 1138,
Penticton, BC, V2A 6J9
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PHONE: 1 877 762 4652