Following My Passion – Sandra Oldfield

If you haven’t had a Tinhorn Creek Wine you have been missing out. A wonderful friend and awesome winemaker for Tinhorn Creek, Sandra Oldfield, talks to us about how she found her passion.

Following My Passion

Sandra Oldfield

www.sandraoldfield.com

Sandra and her sdopted daughter Melody 2005

I was not raised with wine in the house. My father was not a winemaker. There were not 7 generations stretching back to the “the old country” that handed their knowledge down to me. I never worked the land or grew up on a farm. I backed into the wine industry as a diversion from a relationship gone bad.

If you go to work at a winery and find yourself staying later than you’re scheduled for, not taking lunch breaks, absorbing every tidbit of information you can glean–you may have to recognize you’ve found a career that is right for you. Even if you already have a degree in business. Even if you’ve never taken a college science class in your life. Even if your parents think you’re whacked. Even if you are on the rebound.

My passion for wine was carved out by myself. It was not handed to me. It led me to 2 ½ years of Chemistry, Physics, Calculus, and Biology classes in between working one full time job and one part time job in the wine industry. It led me to the Master’s Program at the University of California Davis. Once there, it opened up a world of learning that I could take to any level of my choosing—and I sucked the marrow out my two years in the program. I learned that a little bit of knowledge leads to a universe of knowledge yet unknown. I was treated as an equal by professors who I had only read about and admired for their lifetime’s work. Idolized. I also learned what it was like to attend a real college party—two or three times a week!

My passion for wine led me to my husband. A Canadian studying viticulture at Davis, starting a new venture in some place called the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia. It pulled me North. Away from my home and my family and the only life I had ever known.  Away from my colleagues in the wine industry and away from my mentors and classmates. Away from my support network.

My passion for wine was now intertwined with a new life where I was once again very much on my own. Working through what would work and what would not work based on trial and error. Learning the rhythms of nature and seasons and weather. Walking row after row in our 130 acres of estate grapes to get a sense of place. Learning not only how to be managed but how to manage others. Employee after employee, consumer after consumer, and friend after friend, I began to build a new house of support. A new network of interactions. Not a home I had been given but one I had built myself.

A rebound that turned out to be a slingshot to a new life.

Posted by Passaggio Wines


One thought on “Following My Passion – Sandra Oldfield

    Lea C. said:
    June 11, 2013 at 2:22 pm

    What a wonderful story! Cheers!

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