Our Winemaker

Sydney Valentino

Sydney Valentino brings over 10 years of experience to her role as winemaker for Sandhill Wines. Born in Winnipeg and raised in Kelowna, she holds deep roots in the Okanagan wine region she proudly calls home.

Majoring in chemistry and completing a Bachelor of Science at the University of British Columbia Okanagan, Sydney's plans to become a high school math and science teacher quickly turned into a love for the wine industry after a summer spent working in the tasting room at Calona Winery. This promptly inspired Sydney to achieve her Winery Assistant Certificate from Okanagan College. Since joining Andrew Peller Ltd over a decade ago, Sydney has had the opportunity to dip her toes into the many facets of the winemaking industry, starting as the non-VQA winemaker, overseeing winemaking operations for brands such as Cooper Moon and Peller Family Vineyards. From there, Sydney led the winemaking team for Wayne Gretzky Okanagan before moving into her current position as head winemaker for Sandhill Wines in April 2023.

Sydney had the privelege of working closely alongside previous Sandhill winemakers Sandy Leier and Howard Soon, both of whom were mentors to her. Sydney embodies Sandhill's terroir first philosophy and continues to combine modern and traditional winemaking the way Sandhill has done so proudly since the beginning.

Sydney lives and breathes the quintessential Okanagan lifestyle. Her favourite pastimes include cooking, reading and soaking up the Okanagan weather with her two kids.