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Our Team

Love and Labour Since 1925.
 
"There is some serious wine making and viticulture going on here."
David Lawrason, Wine Align

Ann Sperling & Peter Gamble

Head Winemakers/ Partners

 

Ann & Peter are not just your average ‘flying winemakers’; having great respect for viticulture and distinctive terroirs, they like to spend a good deal of time ‘on the ground’ in the vineyards.

Sperling Vineyards is a project particularly close to Ann's heart; it's the land she grew up on.  Honouring the generations who established and worked our family farm since the 1880s, Ann and the team continue to achieve excellence at Sperling Vineyard: learning from the past, looking deeper, and forging new paths.

Ann has won many international awards; most recently 2021 Riedel Winemaker of the Year by the Cambridge Wine Society and Mondial des Pinots Switzerland Grand D'Or & Prix Meilleur for the top Pinot Blanc.

From her earliest winemaking positions in the eighties, Ann pursued hands-on and hands-off skills in areas of whole-farm, vine management, single vineyard bottlings, indigenous fermentations and non-interventionist winemaking methods.  Her talents were applied to a significant string of top-end vineyard and winery projects in B.C. and Ontario.  Then, with Ann at the winemaking helm, Southbrook Vineyards became Canada’s first Demeter certified winery in 2008. 

Her winemaking husband, Peter Gamble, works as lead consultant in key winery start-ups in Ontario and Nova Scotia.  Together they run their passion project Versado; a perfect terroir for their 1920 planting of Malbec, high in the Andes in Mendoza, Argentina.

Jill Richardson Branby

Operations Manager

 

When Jill was asked to join the Sperling Vineyards project in 2003, she jumped in with both feet.

Working closely with Ann and Peter in Niagara while attending Brock University, & working at Malivoire Wine Company, Jill's passion for wine was solidified.

Her background in English Literature & Psychology, and her desire to learn new skills has equipped her for all types of scenarios in the wine industry: from opening our first wine shop in the "garage", designing our websites to all aspects of winery management. Her passion for people has helped to build a strong team dynamic & work culture at Sperling Vineyards. 

Graphic Design & Photography are other passions of Jill's, and as such, many of the images used in our marketing and print material are hers.

You'll most likely find her on-site at the winery - possibly with one of her 4 children - and she's always happy to say hello. Cheers!

Rickard Branby

Winemaker / Vineyard Manager

 

Growing up on his family’s 450-acre grain farm in Linghem, Sweden, Rickard is no stranger to agriculture.

School, travel and a successful career in international sales took him off the farm, and on to stints in Australia, Svalbard (Norway,) The Netherlands & across North America when he met his wife, Jill, in Beamsville, Ontario, in 2004. They now have 4 children.

Partnering with Ann, Peter, Paul & Susan to take on the vineyard & winemaking role at Sperling Vineyards, Rickard received his Vineyard Management certificate in 2008. Under Ann’s tutelage he has transitioned the Sperling Vineyard properties to organic certification and is an integral part of the creation of Sperling Vineyards’ single-vineyard wines. 

Working closely with Ann, Rickard has worked on many internationally recognized award-winning wines, including Decanter Gold (95 pts), three Decanter Bronze and Mondial des Pinots Switzerland 2015 Grand D’Or & Prix du Meilleur Pinot Blanc. 

Fluent in Swedish, Dutch and English, Rickard is always happy to come down to the wine shop and visit with guests, often in their native language. Don’t be surprised if you hear some Swedish during your tasting!

Susan & Paul Richardson

Managing Partners

 

Having worked successful careers in Education, and Direct Sales throughout BC,  Paul & Susan wanted to pursue a different kind of passion project - one with close family connections.

Paul works closely with Ann, Jill & Rickard to oversee the winery. You'll often find him working in a variety of different capacities on the property. Susan works with Ann & Jill to grow our presence in the Lower Mainland. 

Susan grew up on the Sperling heritage site, and from the mid-1960s Paul has called it home, too. Partnering with with Ann & Peter in 2008; their goal has always been to create wines of elegance and character from the land they grew up on. The ideal? Keeping the land in the family for generations to come.

Honouring Susan & Ann's grape-grower father, Bert Sperling, is another aspect of this project. Bert planted many of the varieties on the family property; including Riesling in 1978 and seedless Sovereign Coronation table grapes in 1986 beginning an industry that is still going strong today. He also taught each of his children & grandchildren the value of hard work and dedication, as only a farmer can. 

You can find Susan & Paul on site, particulary through the summer and Coronation table grape harvest months. They're always happy to say hello!

 

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