HQ Wine + Spirits is BC’s Newest Sales Agency: Good people collaborate and bring great wines to the market

Christine Coletta and Steve Lornie established their thriving Okanagan Crush Pad winery in 2011 to bring custom crush wine services to the Okanagan Valley and to create a home for their own wine production. After their fifth anniversary, Coletta and Lornie opted to expand the portfolio handled by their in-house sales team to include select import products. They chose the name HQ Wine + Spirits, as the team refers to their small, bustling Vancouver office as “headquarters”. The company focuses its efforts on British Columbia, a market the team knows and loves.

In addition to Okanagan Crush Pad’s Haywire and Narrative labels, longtime friends and colleagues of Coletta and Lornie are the first winery suppliers to sign on: Poggiotondo, owned by Alberto Antonini and Alessandra Renieri (Tuscany, Italy), Parra y Familia, owned by Pedro and Camila Parra (Bio Bio, Chile), and Loveblock, owned by the Crawford family, Erica and Kim, (Marlborough, New Zealand). The team has been proudly representing Skip and Judy Stothert’s Coolshanagh wines (Naramata, British Columbia) for the past two years, and is excited to continue to do so.

“Our own wine production grows steadily each year, and we have received very strong support from the trade and media in British Columbia for our Haywire and Narrative wines,” notes Coletta. “It felt like the right time to expand, and we want to work with like-minded wine producers with exciting projects. The common ground among the wineries in our portfolio is that we are all family operators with a passion for preserving farm land and making wines that articulate the story of the place where they are grown.”

The agency is in the capable hands of Rebecca McKinney, who joined the Okanagan Crush Pad team in August 2016 as director of sales and promotions.

“Wine is about connecting the dots. There is a natural partnership between OCP and the producers we are launching our new business with, and we are all proud to be on the same team,” says McKinney.

Handling portfolio and wine selection is business associate David Scholefield, who has dedicated his life to the pursuit of authentic wines. Scholefield was instrumental in recognizing the need for a rich wine culture in Vancouver in the early 1980s – and contributed to the scene that is now vibrant and diverse. Coletta and daughter Alison Scholefield will oversee marketing, communications, social media, and work with additional long time associates to complete the picture.

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