Winemakers • Chaberton Estate Winery

Meet Our Winemakers.

Gary Zhygailo - Chaberton Winemaker

Gary (Gennadi) Zhygailo


  • 2016—Joined our team
  • 2003—Master’s Degree in Fermentation and Winemaking Technology
  • 2002—Bachelor’s Degree in Food Science

Gary joined the Chaberton Team as a cellar assistant in August of 2016 and has now taken the position of winemaker here at Chaberton Estate Winery.

Growing up in the south of the Ukraine in a wine region not far from the Black Sea, Gary has always loved the beauty in living and raising a family surrounded by vineyards. He has a passion for new world Sauvignon Blanc with notes of tropical fruits and the big bold Bordeaux style reds.

Graduating from Odessa National Academy of Food Technologies with a Bachelor’s Degree in Food Science in 2002 and a Master’s Degree in Fermentation and Winemaking Technology in 2003, Gary was hired on as a cellar hand at one of the largest wineries in the Ukraine. During his tenure from 2003-2009 he was promoted to assistant winemaker and then to cellar manager.

Before joining us at Chaberton, he worked in several areas of the wine industry, including as an oenologist and technical sales representative for a French producer of oenology equipment.

Outside of work, Gary loves to spend time with his family, including his two young children, camping, playing soccer, and watching hockey. He is a big fan of Dynamo Kyiv and, of course, the Vancouver Canucks.

ELIAS PHINIOTIS - Chaberton Winemaker

Elias Phiniotis, Ph.D.,


  • 1991—Joined our team
  • PhD. in Chemical Sciences
  • Masters of Science (MSc)
  • Doctorate in Technology and Chemical Engineering

Our consulting oenologist comes from a long line of winemakers and grape growers. Born in Pera-Pedhi, Cyprus, Elias has been with Chaberton Estate Winery since 1991 when the Violets produced their first vintage.

Completing his Masters of Science (MSc) and Doctorate in Technology and Chemical Engineering at the Technical University Budapest, he then went on to complete his Ph.D. in Chemical Sciences, specializing in Food Science & Technology/Properties of grape juice and wines.

Not ready to stop learning, Elias moved to Canada and completed his Business Administration Certificate at Okanagan College, and began his own consulting business for wine entrepreneurs in British Columbia. He has consulted with several Okanagan and Fraser Valley wineries including but not limited to Desert Hills Estate, Quails Gate Vineyards Estate, Cedar Creek Estate, Sumac Ridge Estate, and Glenugie Winery, as well as working for PricewaterhouseCoopers and other accounting agencies doing audits of the wine industry.

Enjoying semi-retirement, Elias works closely with proprietor Anthony Cheng and winemaker Gary Zhygailo to develop and blend all of our red wines.