20 Minutes with Anna Krykunivsky

No5 Church Lane took a bold step and switched to a wine list focused on Central Otago wines. Sommelier Anna Krykunivsky wanted to showcase the fabulous variety and quality of local wines—so that’s what she did. “The huge amount of [local] talent and passion is incredible,” said Krykunivsky, “To our knowledge, no other restaurants offer an exclusively Central Otago Wine list, but obviously there is huge support from local businesses and eateries.”

Krykunivsky revels in the New Zealand winemaking industry. “The main thing for me is the people of the wine industry; they’re just incredible. There’s an immediate team spirit that’s so unique to wine—wine folk are my cup of tea!” Krykunivsky describes her journey with wine as a way to learn about how the world works in a fun way. With a wealth of on-the-job experience in addition to her Level 2 and 3 Wine & Spirit Education Trust qualifications, Krykunivsky hopes to continue learning from one of the most world-renowned wine regions.

Wine invokes a unique response from everyone. Krykunivsky believes, “Enjoying wine is subjective and personal, great wines come in many guises. It really just depends on what suits your mood, company, and budget. It could be an unforgettable one with amazing complexity, flavour and concentration, or a $20 bottle that you drink every Friday with your best friend…”

In a changing wine industry, Krykunivsky thinks that the New Zealand wine culture is organised and integrated. “New Zealand wine does cohesiveness really well. The friendly and innovative kiwi attitude presents a positive picture which increases perception and therefore sales and enjoyment of the industry. The atmosphere in the New Zealand industry is generally upbeat with intelligent, passionate people making strides.” In her push to encourage sourcing from local wineries, Krykunivsky believes that what we have here in New Zealand is worth promoting. The openness that New Zealand's wine industry has to change and its readiness to evolve is critical. The response to her move towards local wines was met with enthusiasm from winemakers. “Quite a number of them were able to source or make available to me some older vintages and wines of small production usually unavailable or on very small allocations.” In a brilliant showcase of the quality of New Zealand wines, Krykunivsky’s change was also warmly welcomed from tourists and local customers alike.

Krykunivsky is currently planning a trip to Europe where she hopes to be able to explore Spain, France, Germany and Italy. She is open to trying new wines from a variety of regions and hopes to eventually make it back to England to re-experience “the bubbles of her home country.”

“In wine, you keep finding new things to be inspired by and research. The life-long global wine exploration has definitely begun!”