Stephanie Stanley

Stephanie Stanley

Peak Cellars (Winemaker)

Stephanie Stanley is the Winemaker at Peak Cellars in Lake Country. Born and raised in the Okanagan to parents of German heritage, she had the good fortune to travel to Germany after her second year at Brock University to take a job with friends of her parents. This was just before her third year in college when she needed to decide how to focus her science interests. “At heart, I am a scientist.”

After she returned from Germany that summer, “a lightbulb went off” as she remembered the wine festivals she had attended and now missed: “I knew that I wanted to be a winemaker.” Okanagan College had just started a joint program with Brock and she was able to complete her BS with Honors from Brock University’s Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture program in 2003.

Stephanie held several cellar, harvest, and research positions after graduation. From these experiences, she learned that despite her strong interest in science, research was not the direction she wanted to go for a career. She took a one-year position at Sandhill Cellars in 2003, an Andrew Peller winery, filling in for a person on maternity leave. She then was offered a full-time position as a winemaker, a role that she held there for 10 years. “Still feeling a deep-seated desire to travel the world to make wine and learn more,” Stephanie and her spouse moved to New Zealand in 2015. For the next four years she travelled back and forth working vintages in New Zealand’s Marlborough Region and in the Okanagan. Stephanie accepted an assistant winemaker position at Peak Cellars during this period, and subsequently was named its lead winemaker, a position she has held since 2019.

When asked about her career highlights, Stephanie talked about her passion for working with Riesling and other aromatic whites. Highlights include working with the team at Sandhill Cellars when it won Best Winery and Best of Class for their red and white wines, and the recent recognition Peak Cellars received at the 2023 Los Angeles International Wine Competition. The winery received six honors, including the 2021 Riesling from Peak Cellars being named Best of Class and awarded a gold medal, and the 2020 Glacial Till Pinot Gris and the 2021 Grüner Veltliner receiving a gold and silver medal, respectively.

Updated 06/23