Elaine's winemaking career began in 2009 when, after 7 years of cancer research and competitive Ultimate ended, she decided to go back to school for Oenology. She loved the lab, as her Master’s of Science degree from the University of Victoria shows, but wanted to do something slightly more creative. So she packed her bags and headed down under where she obtained a Graduate Diploma of Oenology from the University of Adelaide.
Upon returning to Canada she landed her first vintage at Vincor's Jackson-Triggs. Shortly, thereafter she joined Blasted Church where she was lucky enough to obtain her training under the wise, well-known and omnipotent Winemaker Mark Wendenburg. Elaine's winemaking accomplishments serve as a strong testament of Mark's impressive leadership style and stewardship abilities. Together, they helped recruit, train and build an accomplished winery team that consists of Evan Saunders, Assistant Winemaker; Greg Gillson, Cellarhand; and most recently Alex Wilson, Cellarhand.
Although Elaine joined Blasted Church in winter of 2010, she received her official Winemaker Wings in the spring of 2014. While some might poke fun at Elaine's methodical, calibrated, and always nerdy scientific mannerisms, everyone tips their hats to her crafty, strategic, take-no-survivors kind of hyper-competitiveness. Her winemaking style has a scientific backbone balanced nicely with a certain romantic, open-mindedness that lets the true varietal characteristics shine through. Elaine is fortunate enough to collaborate with Assistant Winemaker, Evan Saunders, whose experience, strengths and talents are invaluable components to the Blasted Church winemaking team.
The perfect blend of Prairie charm and enological wit, Evan joined the congregation in 2014 as a cellar hand, but recently rose to Assistant Winemaker at Blasted Church.
After completing a degree in microbiology from the University of Victoria, Evan moved to Ontario to study Grape and Wine Technology at Brock University. Applying his scientific background with wine was a perfect pairing. Returning to BC, Evan spent over three years learning the art of Bordeaux style reds at Osoyoos Larose, Oliver, BC, and traveled to Sonoma for a Pinot Noir harvest at Kosta Browne in Sebastopol, CA. Evan brings a wealth of red wine making experience to our winemaking team.