Hello, my name is Sue Marko, owner of Aspire Wine Agency.
I have been in the customer service industry for over 30 years and from an early age I had a passion for food and wine, and they have always been focal points of my career, business-ownership and life…
I began seriously studying wine when I was employed by Andrew Peller Limited (Peller Estates Wines) as part of their Retail Sales Team, working primarily with liquor stores. Over the decade with which I worked with Peller Estates I evolved into the on-premise Licensee Account Manager working with Chefs from distinguished restaurants to create wine lists specifically paired for their unique menus. I instructed their staff, training them on tasting, pairing and recommending wines to customers.
I also worked with other food-service venues which is how I became a great lover of golf as I had secured many excellent clubhouses as loyal clients! My favorite marketing work was organizing and executing the Wine-Makers’ Dinners which were always so well received by the guests and so much fun for everyone involved! The truth is, when you love what you do it’s not really work.
In 2002, I decided to pursue the dream of starting my own business where I could showcase my culinary abilities while continuing to learn about and share my own knowledge of wine with my global patrons. I moved to Valemount, British Columbia to build an outdoor recreation lodge that became a successful destination to both summer and winter vacationers. Being a fully licensed restaurant, I provided full-meal packages which included gourmet creations for breakfast, packed lunches and 3-course dinners… which included recommendations for the wine-pairing. My business was unique and very successful. I had the BEST reviews on the internet and continued building on my success until I sold the business at the end of 2016.
I resided in Valemount for 14 years and over that time I visited the Okanagan and Similkameen regularly, keeping up with industry trends for my business and focused on becoming familiar with the newer, boutique wineries. I have always loved the humble farming roots of these winemakers and winery owners and it is always a pleasure to meet them, learn their philosophies and get to know their stories and to better understand their wines. There is so much enjoyment to have in these casual, comfortable places, where industry and big-business just don’t belong and where it is about the WINE and not about the packaging or – as I like to call it – the show. I moved to the Okanagan Valley in 2017 and this became the whole reason for me to start this venture; so I could share these experiences and lead the consumers toward these very special places that are producing such incredible products.
Without wine life would be VERY boring! I am grateful to have the opportunity to represent these hard-working families and friends who are driven by their passion for making wine, and that I can share my discoveries and experiences with you to further your discoveries with some of the hidden treasures of this region.
I hope to see you at one of the many wine tastings I am holding at various vendors – check my events page out or Like my Facebook page for all the latest updates!
Sue is a WSET Level 2 in Wines and Spirits
“He who knows how to savor will no longer drink wine
but rather taste secrets.” ― Salvador Dali