Meet Our Team

HomeMeet Our Team

Gina Fernandes Harfman

Owner/Winemaker

Gina is owner, winemaker and leader of the team at Nostalgia Wines. She’s the fourth generation from her family to sink her hands into South Okanagan soil.  She’s a proud mom to son Jaxson, born in 2011, and daughter Vida, born in 2015. The family lives on the winery’s 17-acre property.

Gina attended Fine Art school in Kelowna, airbrush courses in Las Vegas and was working airbrushing and pinstriping hot rods and motorcycles. She made her first wines with grapes from her father Ken Harfman’s vineyard for a family function in 2009.

“It was a Gewurtztraminer and a Merlot, and I custom pinstriped the labels,” says Harfman. “I had to make a lot of wine, knowing my family. And I loved doing it, so September 2009 I enrolled in Okanagan College to learn more about winemaking.”

She worked at Cassini Cellars as assistant winemaker and began helping with crush at Nostalgia Wines (then called Oliver Twist) in 2010.  In 2012 Harfman took over ownership of the winery when she was just 32 years old. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Gina is a classic car lover, and has a 1961 Chevrolet Bel Air fondly called “Ollie” after its previous owner. Those who have visited the property will remember her 1938 Chevy truck blooming with pink petunias in summer months. Following her love of hot rods, Nostalgia Wines is host to an annual Show, Shine ‘n’ Wine the second weekend of July. It’s an official Collector Car Appreciation Day event.

Gina is happy to accept a glass of any Nostalgia Wine, and her favourite wine to make is Rockabilly Red. “I feel like a mad scientist, trying all the different combinations and percentages of wines in the blend until I get it just right. She’s got to be a rockin’ wine every vintage to live up to her name!”

Gina Harfman

Sheila Whittaker

General Manager

Sheila grew up in Osoyoos as the wine region grew up around her. She moved to Ottawa to pursue a Bachelor in Journalism and from there traveled, lived and worked in Japan, Greece, Ireland, Scotland, Montreal and Vancouver before returning to her hometown and joining Nostalgia Wines as the General Manager in March 2019.

She wrote professionally for ten years and worked for a large wine import agency as a marketing director for seven years. Like her appetite for great food and wine, her thirst for knowledge is also insatiable. Her studies in wine include the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) diploma, Certified Sommelier by the Court of Master Sommeliers, French Wine Scholar and Italian Wine Scholar.

She first met Gina in Osoyoos Primary School Kindergarten, and they worked together many times growing up (walking dogs, babysitting, scooping ice cream, picking apples and more). After many years of friendship, it was wine that brought them back together in a working relationship.

Sheila has a great love for all wine, and at Nostalgia Wines the savoury, characterful Syrah is her favourite. “I have an ongoing conversation with our Syrah. Every time I try it, it tells me something new about itself. I keep coming back to learn more!”

Sheila Whittaker

Teresa Linklater

Wine Experience Associate

Teresa, Nostalgia Wines’ resident silver fox, is originally from Ontario, and lived on Vancouver Island for 10 years.

“When I was thinking about moving to the Okanagan, I thought a job in a wine shop would be fun,” she says. An opportunity at Nostalgia Wines crossed her radar and she applied. “When I met Gina and learned more about the winery, I knew it was a perfect fit,” she says. In 2022 she will celebrate her fifth season with Nostalgia Wines!

In addition to being an animal lover and a Rotarian, Teresa has a big love of wine and food. Her favourites at Nostalgia include the Syrah, Rockabilly Red, Merlot and Chardonnay. “I never thought I’d say I’m a Chardonnay fan, but it won me over!”

Teresa Summer 2021_Nostalgia Merlot 2018

Colleen Madill

Wine Experience Associate

Colleen Madill graduated from the University of Toronto and was ready for an overseas adventure, but due to the pandemic, she decided a Canadian adventure was the better bet. She drove from Toronto to see the Okanagan for the first time, and to start work at Nostalgia Wines in 2021.

Colleen’s interest in winemaking and strong interpersonal skills make her a great asset to the team, and we’re excited to welcome her back in 2022.

Colleen

Rita Crone

Wine Experience Associate

Rita’s long distance love affair with the Okanagan went on for decades before she finally moved to Osoyoos.

“I love everything about it – the weather, the mountains, the lakes, and the wines of course!” she exclaims with a big smile.

Once she realized her dream of living the Okanagan wine country life, it was time to move on to her next dream: working at a winery! She found the opening at Nostalgia Wines and got the job.

“The universe coordinates things for us!” she says of the great timing and fit with the team.

Originally from Humboldt, Saskatchewan, she worked as a social worker and therapist throughout her career. She has a son and three step-children, and 10 grandchildren.

“I love the wines, so it makes it really easy to work here,” she says, naming Kerner, Viognier, The Girls White, Syrah, and Malbec among her favourites.

Rita Crone

Jack Babcock

Wine Experience Associate

Jack left Toronto in search of sun, and when doing his research he discovered that the South Okanagan was not only the warmest place in Canada, but Oliver was the Wine Capital! He was sold and made the move.

Once here in 2020, he joined us for a tasting on our patio and Teresa knew he’d love our Kerner. She was right!

“It is the most fantastic grape varietal wine I’ve had in my entire life,” he says with enthusiasm. He knew then he wanted to work with us, and he was the first person to apply in 2021.

In his previous life he worked in film production, from production assistant to management, sound recording and camera work. A Jack of all trades, one might say!

Besides being a hard core Kerner fanatic, Rockabilly Red with a great food pairing tops his list. He loves to sip this big red alongside a BBQ Portobello mushroom sandwich.

Nostalgia Wines | Jack Babcock