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Lawrence Herder – Winemaker/co-owner – Herder Winery & Vineyards

The road from amateur winemaker at 14 years of age to Similkameen’s winemaking guru has been bumpy. But it is unlikely that even a pack of wild horses could have shaken Lawrence Herder’s determination to be a winemaker. As a teenager residing in Southern California, he decided to make his own wine after trying his aunt’s homemade tipple.  During his high school years, Lawrence met his wife, Sharon, a Canadian who grew up in Nanaimo. Soon after earning a degree in Enology at Fresno, he established a winery in Paso Robles. Running into financial problems, they sold the winery and moved to Burnaby to run a family-owned printing company. Bored to tears, Lawrence quickly returned to winemaking – and a punishing workload. While getting his new winery started in Cawston, he worked as winemaker for Jackson-Triggs, and continued consulting for several others. The new winery opened in 2004 with 2003 grapes sourced from a tiny estate vineyard and other growers in the Similkameen. In 2007, the Herders purchased a 15 acre farm with rocky soil on Upper Bench Road. Tucked behind cliffs, it was the perfect site for growing Lawrence’s beloved red grapes. They relocated to the property’s grand residence overlooking the valley which houses the winery, tasting room and family home. A meticulous winemaker who insists on well grown fruit, Lawrence has been involved in several winery start-ups and enjoys sharing the wisdom he has gained through thick and thin.

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