Corrie Krehbiel

Corrie Krehbiel

Mission Hill Family Estate (Chief Winemaker)

The Chief Winemaker at Mission Hill Family Estate in West Kelowna, Corrie Krehbiel, always loved agriculture. Her parents were a third-generation fruit-growing family. She also loved science. While still in high school, she was offered a job on the bottling line of a winery, and this led to a series of jobs at Cedar Creek Estate Winery that she greatly enjoyed. Ann Sperling was the winemaker at Cedar Creek and seeing a successful woman in this role altered Corrie’s mindset about a future career.

There were no enology programs in the Okanagan at the time, and, after initially considering medicine, Corrie decided to complete the Food Science Bachelor of Science Honors program at the University of British Columbia. To further her background in winemaking, she opted for the Viticulture and Enology program at Lincoln University in New Zealand, choosing it over the University of California, Davis, because of the more practical orientation of its curriculum. She graduated in 1998.

“Five years of university for this!” her father exclaimed on seeing Corrie covered in lees” (sediment that forms during the fermentation process), but as Corrie noted during our conversation, “it is all about loving what you do.” She worked as an assistant winemaker, associate winemaker, and winemaker at well-known wineries for the next several years after graduating, completed her MBA, and then held a winemaker position at Cellar Tek Supplies, where she provided technical support for BC winemakers and consulted worldwide. In 2015, Corrie accepted a winemaker position at Mission Hill Family Estate, where she worked with the then chief winemaker who became an important mentor. She was promoted to Chief Winemaker in 2020, and is the first Canadian and first woman to hold this position.

Mission Hill is known for quality wines. Corrie introduced us to several wines in its Legacy Series: the 2020 Perpetua, a single vineyard Chardonnay, and the 2017 Compendium, a dense red blend crafted from Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc. Also in this series is the highly regarded Oculus, a Bordeaux-style blend made from South Okanagan fruit.

Updated 06/23