Daniel Lagnaz one of the industry's most awarded winemakers who mentored many of today's Okanagan stars has joined the Rustico team in a senior advisory capacity.
Born in Switzerland, Mr. Lagnaz grew up working on his family’s estate winery participating from an early age in virtually every operational area: the vineyards, pruning, harvesting, crush, bottling, cellaring.
He apprenticed for three years with Schenk SA, one of Switzerland’s major premium wineries, gaining a vast amount of international experience in their wineries and vineyards in France, Algeria, Germany, Italy and Spain. During his tenure with Schenk, Daniel established a pilot winemaking laboratory managing research and development projects related to quality assurance for brands exported to the American markets.
Returning to university in Switzerland he obtained a Masters of Oenology and later the Certificate IngenieurTeckniker H.T.L. in the production of fruit juices, wines and distilled products.
He then relocated to Lindemans in Australia in the capacity of “Vintage Winemaker” working in their extensive winery and crushing facilities and later blending and finishing wines for bottling at their Sydney plant.
In 1982 Mr. Lagnaz joined the then fledgling Mission Hill organization as their Chief Winemaker and General Manager (in those early days when the winery had a dirt floor) and through more than 22 years was responsible for putting Mission Hill on the international map.
Over that time he won in excess of 400 awards nationally and internationally for the wines he created and has been called the “Wizard Winemaker” by his peers for his outstanding Gewurztraminer, Chasselas, and Botrytis Affected Optima
In addition to producing award-winning wines, Mr. Lagnaz was responsible for the creation of a variety of refreshment beverages for the Mark Anthony Group connected to Mission Hill. His success in that area is reflected in the quality products available from Okanagan Cider, California Cooler, and the spirit-based, Sting.
His skill in product development led to the introduction of a number of new flavors which have gained sizable market appeal in Canada and the U.S. The creation and development of the now famous, “Mike’s Hard Lemonade" undoubtedly the most notable brand its category in the marketplace, may be attributed to Daniel.
Daniel will be working closely with Proprietor Bruce Fuller to further build upon Rustico's launch portfolio and develop additional products through the months ahead.