Jen Oishi

Jen Oishi

Gray Monk Estate Winery (Winemaker)

The Winemaker at Gray Monk Estate in Lake County, Jen Oishi started her career at Gray Monk Estate and is still there. She applied for an interim lab position at Gray Monk in 2012, immediately after completing her degree in microbiology from the University of British Columbia, and “never left.” “Science drew me to enology”. She worked closely with Gray Monk’s previous winemaker, who was an excellent mentor, before being appointed lead winemaker in 2020.

Jen mentioned that one of her goals as winemaker is to “keep the previous owners’ traditions alive.” The previous owners, George and Trudy Heiss, were the first to plant the Pinot Gris vine, a vinifera varietal, in Canada and became known for producing fruit-forward white wines.

When we asked Jen if she had had time as winemaker for any career highlights, the normally understated Jen lit up and said I “hit a home run” with a new wine, the Gray Monk Odyssey Chardonnay; we had the pleasure of tasting its first two vintages, 2021 and 2022, and found them both to be excellent examples of the varietal.

Updated 06/23