Winery welcomes new addition to oversee finances and HR of growing team
Tinhorn Creek Vineyards is pleased to announce the appointment of Louise Lalor as Manager of Finance & Administration at the winery. British-born Lalor was educated in the UK before she left to work in Europe, eventually settling in Canada and gaining her CPA designation as an Accountant.
Lalor grew up working in a family-run business, so she understands the many challenges involved. She brings with her a passion for enjoying wine in addition to international work experience including a three-year stint working at the Food & Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations in Rome, Italy.
Responsible for overseeing the finances and human resources of the winery, Lalor was keen to move to BC from Alberta to work in the hospitality, tourism and wine industry. “The team at Tinhorn Creek are fun, smart, enthusiastic and passionate about what they do – it’s a powerful combination,” says Lalor. “I love to have a view of the whole business, not just the numbers, and help pull all the pieces together to grow the business.”
Now settled in Penticton, Lalor hopes to continue to grow the company through developing Tinhorn’s people and its wines. Outside of work she enjoys exploring her new home with her family and dog. The free-spirited mom of three likes to play soccer, experiment with new recipes and visit her children who are based in New York and Edmonton.
Tinhorn Creek Vineyards is thrilled to announce that CEO Sandra Oldfield has been named as a Top 100 award winner in the Sun Life Financial Trailblazers & Trendsetters category of the Women’s Executive Network’s (WXN) 2016 Canada’s Most Powerful Women.
The 2016 Top 100 Award Winners will be celebrated at an evening Awards Gala at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, on Thursday November 24th where Sandra will become part of an exceptional community of now 939 remarkable female leaders. When Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Awards were launched in 2003, WXN wanted to highlight the incredible accomplishments of professional women across Canada. Founded in 1997, WXN is Canada’s leading organization dedicated to the advancement and recognition of women in management, executive, professional and board roles.
“I’m honoured to be recognized as a trailblazer and have the opportunity, as a female CEO in the wine industry, to act as a role model for younger generations and my peers,” says Sandra Oldfield. “At Tinhorn Creek we strive to be at the forefront of the industry; pushing boundaries and setting trends to promote Canadian wine.”
Sandra’s award recognizes her trailblazing in the wine industry, having been one of the few BC female winemakers when Tinhorn Creek Vineyards opened over 20 years ago and now one of the few female CEOs in the Canadian wine industry. Sandra spearheaded the establishment of BC’s first wine-growing sub appellation, the Golden Mile Bench, and has kept Tinhorn at the forefront of the industry by making them the first winery in Canada to move their entire production to screw top closures rather than corks in 2003 and starting the province’s first wine club, shipping wine direct to consumers. In 2009 Sandra tackled sustainability when Tinhorn Creek became Canada’s only carbon neutral winery and perhaps the achievement closest to Sandra’s heart has been the implementation of the most rigorous Health and Safety program of any winery in BC and achieving Canada’s Safest Employers Award, for outstanding accomplishments in promoting the health and safety of workers.
Sandra’s advocacy work promoting Canadian wines to Canadians has garnered the attention of national press through her political acts highlighting problems with access to wine (such as when she proved it is easier in Canada to order and ship a 12-gauge shotgun online than a 12 bottle case of Canadian wine) and campaigning for clearer labelling of grape origins for wines as ‘cellared in Canada’ contain Canadian grapes. Since 2011 Sandra has combined her love for wine, the wine industry and social media to being a weekly online discussion on twitter called #BCWineChat to bring together consumers, wineries, retailers and restaurants on specific topics of exploration weekly.
Autumn is an opportune time to visit Tinhorn Creek Vineyards to savour delicious local ingredients while watching grape harvest. Sip the ever-evolving wines that celebrate two distinct vineyards: one on the Golden Mile at the winery, Tinhorn Creek Vineyard; and the other across the valley off Black Sage Road, Diamondback Vineyard. Taste the creative seasonal cuisine at the onsite award-winning Miradoro Restaurant.
Enroll in events that herald the harvest. For Hops, Grapes & Grub, September 30th, the Miradoro team takes on the challenge of creating a scrumptious family-style, three-course dinner to match both with wine and ale; each course is paired with a Tinhorn Creek wine and a Cannery Brewing beer. Tickets are $85 inclusive. Partake in another elevated evening of exceptional food and wine during the Okanagan Wine Festival, October 4th, at the Guest Chef Dinner. Miradoro Chef Jeff Van Geest invites Chef Chris Whittaker from Vancouver’s Forage Restaurant to partner in creating a multi-course dinner paired with Tinhorn Creek wines. Dinner, wine and gratuities are included for $125 plus GST. Seating is limited so reserve your spot soon. For these dinners call Miradoro at 250-468-3742 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for reservations.
Another perennially popular Okanagan Wine Festival event is Grazing in the Vineyard, from 11 am to 1:30 pm, on October 3rd, 4th or 5th. Purchase your $55 ticket in advance at tinhorn.com to enjoy a hike through the vineyard with proprietors Kenn and Sandra Oldfield while sampling Tinhorn Creek wines with canapes from Miradoro Restaurant. Afterwards enjoy a three-course lunch by Miradoro. For members of perhaps the Okanagan’s most generous wine club, sign up early for the Crush Club’s Pick Up Party, 1 to 3 pm, October 1st, for an afternoon of music, wine and food.
~ Roslyne Buchanan, Food & Wine Trails Magazine, Sep 2016.
Anthony Gismondi: Tinhorn Creek's Sandra Oldfield a trailblazer Vancouver Sun wine columnist Anthony Gismondi in Vancouver.
Published on: April 21, 2016
When Sandra Oldfield, CEO of Tinhorn Creek Vineyards, speaks the rest of the Okanagan should listen.
The transplanted American, now proudly Canadian, has blazed a trail few others have in the Okanagan and as she closes in on 25 years at Tinhorn the valley should be thankful for her enormous contribution to the culture of British Columbia wine.
Oldfield has never sought the limelight but it is hard not to think she shouldn’t be in it given her list of substantive accomplishments at Tinhorn, many of which have inspired others across the valley to reach for higher levels.
The environment has been a big focus for Oldfield over the last decade — or to be more precise, her focus is the impact the winery operation places on the delicate ecosystem of the south Okanagan desert.
Oldfield’s team has worked closely with The Land Conservancy of BC to protect indigenous plants, animals, birds and reptiles that lived in the neighbourhood long before the winery came into play. All the property not under vines has been restored to native vegetation.
Oldfield has taken up the challenge of converting seasonal employees into full time assets by encouraging her best workers to acquire new skills and work efficiently inside and out of the winery year round. The winery recently added an employee mentorship and education program to its group of benefits to encourage employees to improve their education or access other staff members for mentoring.
The mantra at Tinhorn is safe people are happy people, and the winery is entering year three of its “serious plan for workplace health and safety.” The winery team recently received an Occupational Safety Standard of Excellence certification, the first small business in B.C.’s food manufacturing industry to do so.
There have been many other firsts at Tinhorn: it is also the first carbon neutral certified winery in B.C.
There is a huge commitment to hiring and buying local at Tinhorn to help it stay rooted in the community. It’s no wonder the average employee has been around over six years. In fact, if you stick around for a decade of employment you can take a two-month paid sabbatical to as they say “rest, recharge and come back rejuvenated.”
Oldfield is also a social media maven, with more than 12,000 Twitter followers and her weekly #BCWineChat at 8 p.m. Wednesdays has engaged consumers on a wide range of topics. It’s not a Tinhorn discussion group but rather an open forum for wine drinkers that is now an important link to the Okanagan Valley wine culture.
Tinhorn’s wines have never been better. Oldfield hired viticulturalist Andrew Moon and winemaker Andrew Windsor to lead the charge and clearly things are turning the corner. And, with a little more time to tend to running the day-to-day operations of Tinhorn, Oldfield pulled off another first with some help from her neighbours — securing the Okanagan Valley’s first approved sub–appellation, or GI, known as the The Golden Mile Bench.
Last weekend I tasted the Oldfield Series Chardonnay and Gewürztraminer, the first two Tinhorn labels to sport the Golden Mile Bench GI on the front label. I don’t mind saying they taste as appealing as the screwcap that closes every bottle of Tinhorn wine looks, yet another first in the valley.
Oldfield and her team run a crack concert series and the winery’s Crush Club is one of the best run in the country. To top it all off, Miradoro, the on-site winery restaurant, just won Vancouver Magazine’s Best Winery Restaurant Award in B.C., for the fifth year in a row.
Oliver, BC (April 19, 2016) – Tinhorn Creek Vineyards will release its first Golden Mile Bench Oldfield Series Chardonnay wine on May 1, 2016. Since 2009 Tinhorn Creek’s CEO and president Sandra Oldfield has been closely involved in efforts to create British Columbia’s first sub-appellation, the Golden Mile Bench, which is located on the western side of the Okanagan Valley, opposite the Black Sage Bench, just south of Oliver.
“The unique soil of the Golden Mile Bench is very rocky as it comes from the mountain ridge behind the bench, not from glacial deposits like most of the valley,” says Tinhorn’s Winemaker Andrew Windsor. “The new Oldfield Series Chardonnay has a deep golden colour from its long and gentle aging in oak. The nose jumps out of the glass with intense honey comb, white flowers, caramel and citrus fruit. It has immense palate weight while retaining a lovely linear and fresh citrusy flavour. The balance is incredible. The palate delivers in waves, honey, lemon, marzipan, biscotti, and pineapple. It keeps coming, layer after layer, and the finish seems to last forever.”
In March 2015 the new sub-DVA ‘Designated Viticultural Area’ of the Okanagan Valley DVA was granted by the BC government, recognizing the Golden Mile Bench’s unique terroir due to its unique rocky soil and micro-climate that benefits from afternoon sunshine - making it cooler than the eastern side of the valley.
There will be limited availability for this first release – join Tinhorn Creek’s “Oldfield Club” to get your hands on a bottle or look out for it on select restaurant’s wine lists – including Miradoro, the recent winner of Vancouver Magazine’s Best Winery Restaurant Gold award for the fifth consecutive year.
If you love fruity sweet wines, you must try this recipe!
1 bottle Tinhorn Creek Gewürztraminer
Zest of 2 lemons
1/2 cup granulated sugar ( to your taste)
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (from two lemons)
1 Granny Smith apple, cored, halved, and thinly sliced
1 Bartlett pear, cored, halved, and thinly sliced
1 can (12 ounces) seltzer
In a large pitcher, combine wine, lemon zest, and sugar. Stir until sugar dissolves. Add lemon juice, apple slices, and pear slices and mix well. Place pitcher in refrigerator for 4 hours to chill and allow flavors to blend. Just before serving, top sangria off with seltzer.