Meet Our Team
Meet the folks who make Singletree wines
The Etsell family has deep roots in the farmlands of Fraser Valley; husband and wife team Garnet and Debbie have always kept farm life an important part of their family values. While the family diverged in their career and education paths, they eventually reunited with a shared passion to grow their own vineyard and winery.
Garnet Etsell grew up in Vancouver on a blueberry farm but moved to Alberta where he attended Olds Agricultural College. Upon returning home, he changed paths slightly to pursue an Accounting and Agriculture degree at the University of British Columbia.
This led to more than 30 years of experience as the both the CFO for an agricultural group of companies in Abbotsford, as well as working with dairy, sheep, poultry, hay and grapes, which paved the path in 2010 for Garnet to return to the farmlands to start his own family winery.
A jack-of-all-trades, Garnet’s role with the winery involves planning, financing, administrating, and proudly serving as the chief gopher to care for the vineyards. The “three-in-one” viticulture, manufacturing, and marketing aspect of the business is what Garnet likes most about owning a winery. In fact, Garnet considers his family farmers first and foremost – they just all happen to enjoy good wine. He is heavily involved in farming high-quality grapes, which naturally create great tasting wine. He considers the work a challenge, but feels his greatest rewards are when family, friends and customers enjoy his wine.
Although raised in the heart of Vancouver and having worked in the banking industry for six years, Debbie always felt her true calling was on the farmlands where she could watch sheep graze, run her hands deep through the soil, and pick berries off bushes during long, hot, summer days.
From working on Garnet’s family blueberry farm in Richmond, to owning a hobby farm in Chilliwack, then working with the BC Agriculture Research and Development Corporation on their program delivery, and then as the executive director for BC Blueberry Council, Debbie has always been passionate about celebrating and sharing the bounty of the land and food systems in BC.
Singletree is a dream come true for Debbie. There is no better way for her to share her passion for the farmlands than being a part of a family-run business with those she loves most.
Debbie’s marketing role at Singletree brings more than a delicious taste of wine, as she is ready to share with wine lovers the rich farming and pioneering heritage of Mt. Lehman.
Winemaker / Viticulturist
Andrew spent most of his childhood in Chilliwack where his family ran a sheep farm. Andrew’s first work experience outside of the family was not until he moved to Mt. Lehman at the age of thirteen, where he worked at a chicken hatchery after school. Farmlands and agriculture were always a part of Andrew’s life but it wasn’t until his summer job as a vineyard tech at the Mission Hill Family Estate Winery that he realized he wanted to start his own vineyard back in the Fraser Valley.
After completing a diploma in horticulture from the University of the Fraser Valley, Andrew returned to his family farmland in Mt. Lehman where he and the rest of the Etsell family realized their dream in planting a vineyard and creating Singletree. Certified as a winemaker from UC Davis in 2013, Andrew continues to add drops of honesty, integrity, and loyalty to every bottle of Singletree wine.
Social Media & Special Events Coordinator
Growing up on a cattle farm in Mt. Lehman, Laura always loved running through the fields and working hard for the food that was served on her dining table. She could not have known at this time that her teenage friend from down the road would one day be her partner in business and life, and that they would have a family and open a winery together.
What these formative years working with her family did do for Laura, however, is help her build a strong work ethic, and this served her well as she departed the farm and entered the workforce as an insurance broker. During this time, after gaining eight years of valuable experience, Laura realized how much she missed the farmlands, and wanted to get back to her roots.
Laura has since discovered that what is important to her is working with the land and farming with her children. She returned to Mt. Lehman where her home and passion lies within the music, laughter, and friendly chatter from her friends and family as they work the vineyards. Laura is also passionate about animals, and as you enter the winery, you are welcomed by Laura’s two horses, Mocha and Roper. At the winery, Laura oversees the winery’s social media, wine shop, and wears other hats as required. She is also W.S.E.T 3 Advanced certified.
Outside of Singletree, there is no sitting still. Laura enjoys baseball, other sports and spends her time as a mother and owner of Ginger Snips hair studio.