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2019
WINE PANELIST

LYDIA TOMEK
HEAD WINEMAKER

BURNING KILN WINERY
NORFOLK COUNTY, ONTARIO

 

At the young age of 18 Lydia enrolled in the Prestigious Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture (CCOVI) Program at Brock University.  During her studies she received many scholarships and awards and finished her 5 year degree graduating top of her class.  Eight years later Lydia’s hard work, community efforts and wine accolades paid off as she was selected as one Brock University’s of 50 Most Distinguished Alumni.  She also became one of the faces for the University representing CCOVI and featured in their National Recruitment Marketing “Both Sides of the Brain” Campaign. 

Lydia is currently the Head Winemaker at Burning Kiln Winery and is extremely excited about making ultra premium wines using grapes grown on one of Canada’s most unique microclimates.  Once a prestigious tobacco farm in Norfolk Country, the rich soils of Burning Kiln Winery are now home to 30 acres of premium vinifera grapes and 6 kilns used to make wines world class and appassimento style wines.

Lydia’s professional winemaking journey began at the age of 23 when she accepted a winemaker contract at one of Canada’s most reputable wineries, Hillebrand Estates (now Trius Winery).  After completing her contract with Hillebrand Lydia also worked an assistant winemaker position at the prestigious Jackson-Triggs Niagara Estate and later moved on as Chief Winemaker for Hernder and Harvest Family Estate Wines.  Working at a Family Estates for 10 years, allowed Lydia to further develop her craft but also work in all aspects of the winery (oenology, viticulture, marketing, PR, management).

The work that Lydia has done outside her winemaking career is what makes this energetic mother radiate with beauty from the inside out.  Whether it is posing for Women and Wine Calendar to raise money for Grapes for Humanity, helping start a community foundation that is dedicated to improving Cancer Treatment in her community, guest speaking at community events to encourage young women in the careers, making a wine to honour a lost friend, or building the LocaLove Garden project at a local school, Lydia has learned that doing things with love makes life beautiful and is the secret ingredient to anyone’s success.  She takes the same principals of and care in the vineyard and cellars where she is dedicated to expressing a grapes special places and time and uniqueness in every glass.