“The strength of the team is each individual member.
The strength of each member is the team.”
- Phil Jackson
In addition to our incredible ownership team, we also have an amazing team of up to 30 employees who have come to work at Fort Berens as part of their own journey. Each of us took different paths to get us to this location, but we are all held together here by our passion for discovery and our commitment to building the long-term sustainability of our business and the region.
Fort Berens Estate Winery is governed by a four person board comprised of Rolf de Bruin, Hugh Agro, Dan Barnholden and an independent director, Kenn Oldfield, Chairman of Tinhorn Creek Vineyards.
Rolf de Bruin and Heleen Pannekoek share the management duties. Heleen also is responsible for sales to restaurants and liquor stores. Rolf is responsible for all sales direct to consumers.
Megan De Villiers and Danny Hattingh work together as a team. Megan is our vineyard manager and viticulturist while Danny is our winemaker.
Megan is originally from South Africa and earned a bachelor’s degree in viticulture at the University of Stellenbosch through the Cape Institute for Agricultural Training, including cellar technology and plant production. Before moving to Lillooet with her winemaker partner Danny, Megan worked at vineyards on Vancouver’s coastal islands and the Okanagan.
Danny studied at The Cape Institution for Agricultural Training in Elsenburg, South Africa, earning undergraduate degrees in Viticulture and Oenology. He has worked on Vancouver’s coastal islands and spent several years at wineries in South Africa – with a brief stint in Oregon, Washington. Before moving to Lillooet with his viticulturist partner Megan, Danny worked as a winemaker in the Okanagan.
Lesley Provost is our Director of Hospitality. She holds sommelier certification from CAPS (Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers) and CMS (Court of Master Sommeliers) as well as a Level 4 Diploma from the Wine and Spirit Education Trust in the UK. She is a former Top 10 Canadian Sommelier as named by WOSA (Wines of South Africa), a two-time winner of the Wine Tasting Challenge (North America's largest tasting competition) and a former champion of the LCBO's Vintages Go Local tasting competition. Lesley also brings over a decade of management and sommelier experience from top properties in Toronto like FRANK at the Art Gallery of Ontario, Susur, Terroni and Antler.
Jackie Van Vliet is our Discovery Club & Events Coordinator and Ida Foisy looks after our accounting and bookkeeping.
With our team and our new facility, we have high expectations of what we can achieve in the next five years.