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Lloyd Schmidt

Lloyd Schmidt
The Visionary

As Lloyd Schmidt gazed out over the freshly pruned St. Urban vineyard he exhaled, “I can’t wait to see green on the vines again.” That vision has been Lloyd’s professional driver for over 6 decades. The future, whether it be a few weeks, a few months, or a few decades is where Lloyd is most comfortable and creative. Since he was a young “scion” himself, Lloyd has possessed the ability to see beyond the present, look past the biases of the day and forge new perspectives. Lloyd has always operated on the thin edge of being “before his time”. He will chuckle and freely admit that there were times when he found himself on the wrong side of that edge but it never stopped him, and in many ways it just made him more focussed and determined. “I’ve never been alone. Starting with my father and mother, then my beautiful wife and on to many others of position and influence, I’ve always had doors opened for me and I am externally grateful for that.” Lloyd always saw the potential on “the other side of the door” and others saw the potential in him. At 16 years of age, Lloyd’s father (due to illness) gave him signing authority for all business on the family farm including payroll for the staff of 40. As Lloyd showed a keen eye for business, his father also insisted that he attend the Pitman Business College in Vancouver when he came of age. At that time Brian Roberts, President of Growers Wine in Victoria, a friend and a man of influence in the British Columbia wine industry opened a few doors for young Lloyd and became an important mentor for many years. Lloyd and Noreen’s second son and winemaker for Vineland Estates Winery was named for this man. Lloyd fully embraced the rigorous coaching from his father Frank, a visionary in his own right, as they worked together shoulder to shoulder. Frank Schmidt was a pioneer in the BC grape and wine industry and he infected his son with a strong work ethic and more importantly a belief in the long game and a progressive future not yet imagined. Lloyd understood that it was his imagination, intuition and creativity that were being called upon to help shape tomorrow. From establishing new innovative vineyards, to actively investing in emerging businesses, to immediately sensing the true “wine-heart” of individuals, and to viscerally connecting with enterprising, passionate colleagues, Lloyd has crafted a notable career in viticulture and winemaking that has literally changed the landscape of how we grow and make wine in North America. Lloyd takes this notoriety with his signature side-long glance and humble grin. “If I have been inspirational and helpful to the next generation in any way, then I am happy. We must give back and ensure that the ones that follow us know that tomorrow is only limited by what we can dream. Our greatest days are ahead of us and I always want to be a part of that.” He pauses with his eyes cast toward the vineyard, “In early spring I love to pick up tilled soil warmed by the afternoon sun. To me it smells of the future.”