Written by Katya Irwin
Meet Catherine Scott-Taggart
Catherine Scott-Taggart could tell you a thing or two about wine. It’s not just about tastings – although, that’s certainly part of it. She’s one of those deeply knowledgeable types who studied horticulture and plant physiology, received intense winemaking training in Australia and has since been working in the industry.
Today, she works out of Cowork Penticton, helming the Canadian customer support office for software company Process2Wine, which specializes in – you guessed it – vineyard and winery production management. Process2Wine is based in Bordeaux, France, and is used by companies worldwide.
Catherine grew up near Montreal and is thankful now for her bilingual education, which has proved essential for this job. After leaving Australia, she worked in Ontario for a while before moving to Penticton with her husband Jason James, a winemaker, in 2005.
When they arrived, they found a rental house downtown, which suited the couple and their dog – a Border Collie cross, now 16 years old – just fine. But that year, right during the middle of harvest, the owners decided to sell the home. To make a long story short, the couple purchased the house and have lived there happily ever since.
“I adore Penticton,” says Catherine. “It’s stunningly beautiful and I like the size of the town. It’s really walkable and I like the feel of it, with the cute WW2 buildings, and the Farmer’s Market is wonderful.”
While wine is (fabulous) work, music is passion. Catherine is humble about her musical skills, although she’s clearly highly skilled.
She plays clarinet and saxophone, and plays in three community bands: clarinet in the Penticton Concert Band & Valley Winds Woodwind Quintet and alto sax in the South Okanagan Big Band.
In fact, Catherine studied music at McGill University, but a highly competitive atmosphere zapped the joy out of pursuing music as a profession.
Catherine was born in Wimbledon, U.K., and immigrated to Canada in 1967, her family settling in Montreal. After her musical stint McGill, she earned degrees in horticulture & plant physiology, followed by a post-graduate winemaking program at the University of South Australia in Adelaide.
“That was intense winemaking. The educational standards are really high. We worked hard but had a lot of fun,” she recalls.
She and her husband moved to Penticton in 2005, both working at wineries, before she shifted gears to her latest position in 2014.
These days, when not out walking the dog or playing instruments, she enjoys cooking and trying different meals from local restaurants.
“The food here is amazing. The restaurants are just great, unfortunately,” she jokes. “With all the makers, the Farmers Market, the active music and arts scene, and the friendly community, I feel very lucky to have ended up in this fantastic town.”