Sandra grew up in Northern California studying International business from California State University Sacramento and a Master’s degree in Enology from the University of California Davis. In 1995 she moved to BC to start Tinhorn Creek Vineyards. Over the next 20 years as winemaker was the first in Canada to use Stelvin screw top caps, expanded the marketability of Cabernet Franc and became a hub for South Okanagan events including a yearly concert series and the Oliver Festival of the Grape which she started with her husband, Ken.
In 2011 Sandra stepped into the CEO/President role at the winery and continued with innovative initiatives such as driving for BC’s first sub appellation—the Golden Mile Bench, establishing Tinhorn Creek as Canada’s only carbon neutral winery and winning Canada’s safest employer award for Hospitality and Canada’s Top 100 Powerful Women awards, both in 2016.
Tinhorn Creek’s major shareholders sold the winery in the fall of 2017 and Sandra and Kenn began anew, starting Elysian Projects a beverage and tourism consulting company. Her desire to give a hand up to the beverage industry led her to create the annual business conference “Fortify” which helps small companies get better at human resource, marketing and financial issues.
Sandra is an active board member of the Tourism Industry Association for BC (TIABC) and is passionate about health and safety across the province. She loves social media and created the #BCWineChat hashtag on twitter in 2011 which she still manages weekly, every Wednesday.