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Featured Winemaker

Welcome to our page featuring Canada's winemakers. Each month
we will feature a winemaker from across Canada.
One whose wines help to make Canada an International star in the world of fine wines.

Sandra Oldfield

Winemaker / President /CEO Tinhorn Creek Estate

In 1995 Sandra Oldfield decided to pack up her 66 Mustang and move from Santa Rosa, California to Oliver joining Tinhorn Creek. She studied winemaking and Canadian history at the University of California at Davis (affectionately known as UC Davis) It was at UC Davies that Sandra meet her future husband Kenn Oldfield one of Tinhorn Creek Estates founding partners. Sandra resumed her studies and was awarded her master's of Enology in 2002.

Since harvest their first grapes in 1994 Tinhorn Creek Estate winery has risen to be among the elite wineries in Canada. Much of that due to the dedication, determination and passion of Sandra; not only as a winemaker but a promoter of Canada's wine industry .

Since then she has taken the production from 1,000 cases to more than 35,000 cases all with 100% estate-only fruit. In addition, she led Tinhorn Creek to become the first carbon neutral winery in Canada as well as the first winery in BC to receive a certificate of recognition for its vigorous health and safety program. This year the winery is celebrating its 20th anniversary

Our 20th anniversary is a great time to celebrate what we've managed to build in an ever-changing BC wine industry," says CEO and Winemaker Sandra Oldfield. "It's a chance to look ahead to where Tinhorn Creek and BC wine lovers are heading. I'm very excited about what the next 20 years will have to offer because I know we'll be right there helping to shape and strengthen the wines and the wine industry.”

Today one of the reserve wines at Tinhorn has been wisely named the Oldfield Series. The prices on these wines range from $22.00 up to $250.00 This includes my favourite Oldfield Series Kerner Icewine

Before it became fashionable to do so, the owners and management were committed to sustainable practices at the winery and in its vineyards. Tinhorn Creek is passionate about taking care of the environment. Environmental initiatives include native plant restoration, a beetle release program and the installation of a fence to separate snakes from field workers and equipment. Tinhorn Creek Vineyards adds to its sustainability practices by becoming the first Canadian winery to complete the Climate Smart program and offset their carbon footprint to become Canada’s first Carbon Neutral Winery.

Since Kenn and Sandra have embraced a multifaceted stewardship approach to protect the critters in the vineyards and the environment in their care. As a result of their efforts, The Land Conservancy has recognized Tinhorn Creek Vineyards as a
Conservation Partner

Besides been a winemaker and business women Sandra is a wife and mother of a beautiful daughter. There is also an extend family of cats and dogs. Some how she also finds time for twitter. Starting#BCWineChat December 2011 to help facilitate brining our industry together, to combat various government agencies who control our industry using the “divide and conquer” method.

Recently Sandra has been working with the provincial and federal government to help change existing regulations to allow shipping of Canada's wines between provinces. In order to prove a pint Sandra ordered a shotgun and bullets from a dealer in Saskatchewan and had it shipped to her. Proving it was easier to purchase weapons on the internet and have them mailed to you than a bottle of wine.

Returning to her winemaking skills when asked about her winemaking philosophy she has this to say:

Winemaking is not really a philosophy, it’s a beverage; but my thoughts toward winemaking are
1) Know your grapes because then you can know your wines.
2) Do your job right in the vineyard.
3) Pick ’em ripe.
4) Don’t screw it up after they’re picked.
5) Lastly, have a good time doing what you do and the wines will respond. To summarize... “It’s the grapes, Stupid.”

I let the weather and the grapes themselves set the plan for the year rather than me trying to imprint on top of the grapes

See more on Sandra Oldfield in our Women of Wine section


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