Leadership in Wine #37 - Anna Krykunivsky
In 2014, Anna was part of the opening beverage team for One&Only Hayman Island, Whitsundays, this first exposed her to some Court of Masters Sommeliers training and a fantastic wine list. Spending some time with Huka Lodge at the start of her adventure in New Zealand set the scene for the NZ wine industry.
Anna has been living in Queenstown for the last few years working as a sommelier. She worked recently for Imperium Collection (The Grille, Eichardt's) as a group sommelier managing several exclusive wine lists. She is also in the process of gaining the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) Diploma. Anna is currently travelling and studying in Europe preparing for her final exam.
Anna was awarded Emerging Wine Service Professional of the Year at the Queenstown Hospitality Awards in 2019. She has 12 years of experience in hospitality with the last 4 years specialising in wine.
How do you define leadership?
Motivating others to achieve a common goal. Leading by example. In our profession, it’s creating opportunities for learning and achieving goals, allowing people to use their initiative and grow in their own confidence. Being a good listener, using what you learn to encourage others and continuing to strive for more.
What are the main challenges of being a leader in the wine industry today?
Now with more and more technology and social media exchanges, the world of wine changes ever more quickly. This, in addition to the usual challenges (staff turnover, pay, training) makes it hard to maintain a good work/life balance.
What are your major breakthroughs in your career to become the leader you are now?
Several great things contributed, but I daresay I still have a long way to go to earn my stripes. Making the acquaintance of Jane Skilton MW, Jane’s unique passion for wine inspired me to learn more. We organised several WSET courses to be taught in Queenstown together. At the same time, Eichardt’s promoted me to Group Sommelier. Working with the talented and experienced local producers and suppliers quickly progressed my knowledge and skills. Guests ranging from those wanting the best value to those wanting the highest quality made for an incredibly challenging and ever-changing role. An experience I’m truly grateful for. With NZ Winegrowers I was also the first NZ sommelier to attend a Sommit™ conference in 2018. An invaluable experience to gain different perspectives on the global wine market from sommeliers around the world.
If you were starting your career in 2019 in the wine industry, what advice would you give to yourself to become successful and content?
In my experience, the industry readily recognises those who are genuine and passionate. Be true to people, they’ll be true to you. Have a couple of simple goals and be mindful in achieving them. Work hard, but also take your holidays! Maintain balance.
Find a mentor and learn all you can from them. Assess your own values and find people whose values align with yours. There’s no such thing as luck, it is when opportunity meets preparation that great things happen!