'Ask Us' Mini-Series -- 50th Parallel Winery Interview
We had the pleasure of sitting down with proprietors and owners, Curtis and Sheri-Lee Krouzel to ask them some key questions about all things wine. Check out our mini interview below!
What excites you both about BC wines?
C: The uniqueness of our place [the Okanagan] — we go around the world and taste wines with existing and potential international clients and you can see the look on their face, they can taste the quality is there and they can tell it’s different but they don’t know why. I guess we’re spoiled and that’s really exciting.
S: First of all, they’re Canadian! Secondly, if I’m touring the world and I’m tasting other wines it makes me so damn proud because our wines are that good.
What excites you most about working in the industry?
C: We’re babies in this industry and we’re (the Okanagan) on the cusp, the beginning of being world-recognized. Just being able to be something new and exciting.
S: The people, the hard work and the passion — you don’t go into this business without passion and with passion you get personalities. Personalities make the wine industry, without them, there’s no industry.
If you weren’t in the wine industry, what industry would we find you in?
C: Surf instructor
S: Fitness or entertainment
What accomplishment are you most proud of?
C: Having the plan and the dream and it becoming a reality. 50th Parallel, the land, the team and everyone and everything around us. Now just seeing all of our visions coming to reality.
S: The fact that I survived the first block one in 2009 — we came from the city, and people would tell us “good luck!” [about starting the winery]
What’s your favourite lesson you’ve learned in life?
C: Being raised by two moms in a really women focused background. I learned from them: compassion and love and to lead with your heart. When growing a business like this, that’s the key thing — lead with your heart.
If you could have dinner with any wine maker in the world, who would it be (if it wasn’t your winemaker, Matthew Fortuna)?
C: I wouldn’t say a winemaker. But I’d like to get “bubbly” at dinner with some wineries in Champagne because I haven’t made enough rounds through there. Possibly a dinner at Taittinger, if they had a good restaurant — they have a nice family based company.