Originally from Dryden, Ontario, Allison looked forward to a future in plant science and ecology. After completing her Bachelor of Science at Lakehead University, her passion sparked for Ontario viticulture while visiting the Niagara Region and falling in love with the art, science and beauty that is Ontario wine.
Allison then enrolled and graduated from the Niagara College Winery & Viticulture Technician program in 2014 and she hasn’t looked back since. Her new passion took her around the world to participate in grape harvests in Australia and Oregon, while also spending some time at a few local wineries before landing an exciting job with Flat Rock Cellars in 2016. With a little time, and a lot of hard work, Allison grew into the role of Assistant Winemaker, and finally Head Winemaker where she perfected her craft in producing award-winning wines, including a Best in Show at the 2022 Decanter World Wine Awards. At the beginning of a new harvest in 2022, Allison began her role as Head Winemaker at Niagara College Teaching Winery, coming back to where it all began.
Allison is the first female winemaker at the Teaching Winery – but not the first NC graduate. Former Head Winemaker Gavin Robertson, who graduated from the Winery and Viticulture Technician program in 2011, has been a fixture of the Teaching Winery for more than a decade – beginning as a student in 2010, then full-time after graduation. He was happy to pass the torch to Allison, who he knows well from both NC and the industry and praised the natural talent and hard-earned industry experience she brings to the College. After having a wonderful career so far in the Ontario wine industry, we are ecstatic to welcome her back to our Teaching Winery, where she continues to produce outstanding wines and become a valuable mentor for the budding industry professionals.
When she should not be in the cellar you can find Allison crafting, completing crossword puzzles, and running around with her two beloved dogs Maeve and Lola. Her drink of choice is a cold glass of bubbly paired good company (and hopefully a couple dozen oysters).