Laughing Stock Vineyards Acquires New Winemaker

Laughing Stock Vineyards Acquires New Winemaker

Laughing Stock Vineyards is excited to welcome Sandy Leier as their new Winemaker starting July 4, 2022. Sandy brings more than 15 years of experience working with premium BC VQA wines and is eager to bring her talents to the Naramata Bench.

“I am absolutely thrilled to be joining the team at Laughing Stock Vineyards,” remarks Leier. “Throughout my career, I have had the opportunity to travel for work to many regions, and Naramata is second to none. I look forward to working with the viticulture and winemaking teams to consistently craft the premium, terroir-driven wines that Laughing Stock has become known for.”

Having grown up in Kelowna, Sandy was instilled with a love of the land from an early age. Her passion for sustainable farming and innovation led her to complete a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry at UBC Okanagan where she developed a passion for winemaking. Under the mentorship of Master Winemaker Howard Soon, Sandy spent the past 15 years working with and eventually leading the winemaking operations at Andrew Peller, Sandhill, Gray Monk and Wayne Gretzky. A voracious learner, Sandy is also in the midst of completing the Viticulture Certificate Program at Washington State University so that she can better understand the best practices in growing premium grapes while remaining responsive to evolving conditions that each new harvest presents.

“We could not be happier to welcome Sandy as Laughing Stock’s new Winemaker,” says Derek Kontkanen, Director of Winemaking Operations at Arterra Wines Canada. “She is incredibly well-respected in our industry and, with her passion, leadership and eye for innovation, the future of Laughing Stock is in good hands.”

Sandy succeeds Senior Winemaker Dave Carson, who recently retired after an illustrious 40-year career in the BC wine industry, and will be supported by Assistant Winemaker Kaitlyn Berendt and Cellar Hand Cohen Park.

For more information about Laughing Stock Vineyards, visit or follow on Facebook or Instagram.

Located on the picturesque Naramata Bench, Laughing Stock Vineyards was founded in 2003 and have been crafting terroir-driven wines of the highest quality ever since. Their highly acclaimed wines, including flagship Bordeaux-blend Portfolio, have been twice awarded Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Excellence in B.C. Wine and named the Best Red Wine in Canada by Decanter World Wine Awards. Laughing Stock joined the Arterra Wines Canada family of estate wineries in 2017.

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