Sarah Bancroft: Through The Grapevine

Sarah Bancroft standing in Birch Block Vineyard next to dog in all white and holding glass of wine

Guest Editor Christy Wright interviews Vancouver-born media guru and VitaminDaily co-founder Sarah Bancroft, who is now turning her acumen to making wine.

4 min read


Sarah is someone who likes to keep busy, which is something all of us can relate to given recent isolation and self-quarantine practices. A former fashion buyer and award-winning magazine editor, Sarah, like all of us, has put travel on hold (she’s staying safe in the Okanagan Valley until she can visit her abodes in Vancouver and Palm Springs again). She is a journalist who loves to travel and you should treat yourself to her magical “a year in Paris” blog, a happy tie-over until we can all get away again. Read on for the scoop on Sarah’s vineyard, how to live like a Parisian, her Cougar picks for spring and more…

Think Like an Innovator

There is a saying that life can only be understood looking backward, but must be lived looking forward. If you’d told my 25-year-old self I’d be a grape farmer (because essentially, having a vineyard is just that) I might not have believed it.

But even though I’ve moved through being a fashion buyer to being a fashion editor to starting my own digital media company and, finally, launching the Birch Block wine brand, there is a theme that goes through it – each one was a first. I’ve had to create positions for myself where they didn’t exist, which isn’t the easiest route, but is definitely the most rewarding.

Sarah Bancroft leaning against tree in Birch Block Vineyard with her daughter

Say Hello to Cougar!

I love a good slide! Whether I’m on the pool deck in Palm Springs or at Jericho Beach in Vancouver, slides are chic and comfortable. I especially like the athleisure sportiness of Cougar’s leather Prato and suede Lupin slides, and the Pronya Shearling mule in camel. I love the Prato in white and the Lupin in a pop of coral. I wear a lot of tone-on-tone white in the summer, so the white Prato works really well with that. Coral and denim go well together, so I’ll pair my Lupins with a knee-length faded denim skirt and a floral-print blouse or a vintage tee. I’m seeing the Pronya for cool summer evenings at the lake in front of our fire pit.

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Adapt with Flair

Obviously, travel plans have shifted greatly for all of us and staying isolated can be stressful and frustrating. One thing that lifts my spirits a little is making a point of getting properly dressed each morning – no sweats, no all-day pjs! I have my Pronya mules with me here at the vineyard and they have been amazing! I wear them every day during self-isolation and now my whole family wants a pair for themselves.

Feet up on coffee table next to fire wearing Cougar Pronya Shearling Mule in Tan

Dress Like a Stylist

It can take a long time to build a personal style, but it’s so important. A lot of it is tied to confidence. You know that feeling when you’re wearing something you love and you feel happier, more pumped and life just seems to be easier? I strive for that feeling when I’m putting together an outfit. Sometimes it just happens, and sometimes I have to mix and match until I find it. It can be as simple as adding a dangly earring or swapping your flats for a heel (or vice versa)! I heard a model once say that the best thing to do when you are feeling under the weather is to dress up – I totally agree.

Sarah Bancrofts feet wearing black and white checkered pants with Cougar Prato Leather Sandals in White

I wear a lot of tone-on-tone white in the summer, so white Prato sandals work really well with that.”
— Sarah

Live Like a Parisian

I literally had to pinch myself every day of the year that we lived in Paris, and given current events I count myself so lucky to have these amazing memories. My biggest tip for Paris is to plan picnics – on the grounds of Versailles, in Parc Monceau, in Luxembourg Gardens, in the Tuileries Gardens, on the Canal St. Martin. Restaurants can be expensive, and not that great quality, despite what you would think; Paris is quite far behind other cities when it comes to fresh and healthy food (we had to make our own kombucha!). When we can all get away again, I’d suggest going to a Parisian market in the morning, grabbing a baguette, some pâté, some crudités, a basket of strawberries and a half-bottle of wine and pulling up some chairs at a fountain and watch the world go by.

Sara Bancroft walking with family walking at Parisien fair with Ferris Wheel ine

Savour A Fine Vintage

At Birch Block Vineyard we’re taking a natural approach to both our farming and our winemaking. We don’t use any herbicides or pesticides and we farm organically. We launched last year with our Endless Summer rosé because our Pinot Noir vines are young and ideal for it. We also pick our grapes earlier than most vineyards so that there is less sugar, and therefore less alcohol which is another trend we are starting to see in California and elsewhere. The bonus is that the wine is also very low in calories so you really can have “rosé all day!”

Sarah Bancroft with Husband having a picnic with wine.

Love Like a Mom

I think living abroad really helped our kids become more independent, having to make new friends, speak a different language. When my kids were really little, I didn’t get to see them a lot because of work, but now that they’re a bit older, we do things together, like go for manicures and shopping. Both my 11-year-old and my 14-year-old daughters borrow my clothes!

Sara Bancroft walking with family standing at inside a house

The Quintessential Cougar Shoe for Mother’s Day

Easy! The Prato leather slide in shell pink with a matching bottle of rosé.

Written and edited by Christy Wright christywrites.ca.

Photos courtesy of Sarah Bancroft.