I’m an Okanagan girl who, after many years spent working (in architecture, hence the ‘designs’ part of the name) and travelling abroad, decided to come back to the Valley and try to get a foothold in the wine industry. In the past several years I have managed to work in the cellar as an assistant winemaker, in tasting rooms, and I have worked two crush seasons. This, however, was enough for me to realise that I’m not cut out for cellar work. I branched out into the Sales and Marketing side of the industry which, as a ‘people person’, has much better suited me.
2012 was my big year of wine touring in central BC. I visited a total of 138 wineries, meaderies, cideries, and one distillery. I completed my WSET Level 2 and began my Level 3, which I passed with Distinction. Since 2013 I have been teaching Wine Studies (Wine Sales Certificate Program, Introduction to BC Wine, and assorted wine workshops) at Okanagan College. I also worked for Liquidity Wines, in Okanagan Falls, for their first five seasons in a few different capacities over the years.
A couple of years ago I decided it was time to take the next steps in my wine education and enrolled in the Wine Business Management program through Sonoma State University. I completed that certificate in the spring of 2017 as a stepping stone to my next big step – the WSET Level 4 Diploma! I began my diploma studies in August of 2018 directly through WSET School London, where the Wine & Spirit Education Trust was founded. This is what will take up a large portion of my time over the next 18-24 months.
I plan on documenting part of my journey, be it wine region travels, or tasting sessions. I hope you will follow along on my journey. Cheers!
Erin Korpisto (Twitter/Instagram: @vinesanddesigns)