Sunday, June 9, 2013

Get To Know... Sandra Oldfield

Photo courtesy Tinhorn Creek
Sandra Oldfield
Vintner and CEO, Tinhorn Creek Vineyards
Golden Mile Bench, BC

As head of the winemaking team and as CEO of Tinhorn Creek Vineyards, Sandra Oldfield is involved in nearly every aspect of the business. Whether it be deciding the approach each varietal will receive or championing the winery's involvement in social media. As host of the weekly #BCWineChat on Twitter, Sandra directly engages the public in a range of subjects from food'n'wine pairing to navigating the strange liquor laws of the Province. It's a forum that attracts both the public and her fellow winery representatives and gives direct access to the people behind the products you love so much. In fact, she does this so well, that you may already know Sandra thanks to her always-honest approach to all topics and witty tweets, but we never miss an opportunity to engage her at IconWines and are thrilled she's participated in this series.

Get to know Sandra a bit better and get to know Tinhorn's wines...

Key wines to try:
Oldfield Series Cabernet Franc
Pinot Gris
Oldfield Series 2Bench Rosé

1. What do you enjoy most about making wine?
It's the bridge between farming and people's enjoyment. What could be better?

2. What inspired you to become a winemaker?
When I was put into the lab to work at Rodney Strong I found I wanted to stay longer at work when my shift had ended and I showed up to work early. Once I realized that was happening for the first time in my life I told myself I had to pay attention to that.

3. What causes you the most stress during harvest?
I guess I used to say "weather" but really that's not the case anymore. I guess I'd say it's usually when a piece of equipment breaks down what I most need it. It doesn't happen a lot but certainly it is the most stressful part of the job.

4. What is your favourite and/or least favourite wine cliché?
Great wine is made in the vineyard--is both my least and my most favourite wine cliche. It has become trite but it certainly is true. Sometimes though I think it overlooks the fact that it takes really great dedicated individuals to make great wine too.

5. Away from the cellar and vineyard, what’s your greatest passion in life?
That's hard because obviously my family is my greatest passion but a more complete answer is traveling with my family--I love going to other countries with them and seeing what's out there.

6. After a long day of work in the cellar, what do you turn to for refreshment?
Whatever is open! Does a hot tub count?

7. If you could take credit for one other BC wine on the market today, which would it be and why?
I'd say a really great Riesling (although I've never made one) perhaps like the one from Orofino.

8. Of the wines in your portfolio, do you have a favourite food pairing to go with one of the wines?
2012 Pinot Gris is what I'm drinking a lot of right now and it goes with so many things, but I love it with the split pea risotto at Miradoro Restaurant!

9. What do you think will be the next big trend in BC wine over the next few years?
Sub Appellations

10. Screwcap or cork? What’s your preference?
Screwcap, or course. Someone contacted me today with my thoughts on a vertical they are doing of our Oldfield Series Merlots from 2001-2008 and I'm only nervous that the 2001 might be off because it's the only one with a cork. I find it interesting though that if the others are "gone" or over the hill it is because they are truly over the hill....not because they were sealed improperly.

More on visiting Tinhorn Creek and their family-friendly winery, here.
- Liam Carrier ©copyright 2013

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