Uppercase Winery

uppercase sign against mountain in background

History

Bert Evertt has had his sights on the BC wine industry for decades. In his youth, as an accomplished opera singer, Bert was afforded the opportunity to travel across Europe, where he developed an appreciation for fine wine. Over the last 40 years, his focus has been on providing the highest level of care at retirement homes throughout British Columbia’s Lower Mainland.

‍During summer vacations in Osoyoos with his wife and three children, Bert slowly began to search for vineyards that represented the best of the Okanagan Valley. After extensively evaluating vineyards with consulting winemaker and viticulturist Pascal Madevon, Bert purchased 20 acres on the Black Sage Bench. Uppercase was born. In spring of 2023, Uppercase moved from the District Wine Village to its permanent home at 19 Eastside Road, formerly Matheson Creek Farm.

Lakeboat Vineyard and Winery

History

Owner Tara Mathison was drawn to Kaleden by the village’s quaint charm and friendly townsfolk, ultimately acquiring a boutique winery in this heart of the Okanagan Valley. Lakeboat crafts small-batch wines exclusively from locally-sourced grapes – a first for this established winegrowing region! It is our hope to lend a respectful nod to the rich history in this bustling agricultural community, and to provide benchmark examples of some of our favourite grape varieties to share with wine-loving friends and neighbours. We are working with our peers to establish a long-overdue sub-GI for this established vinifera winegrowing area. Please come by and taste this unique terroir for yourself!

Liquidity

Liquidity Sphere with view

History

The Liquidity vineyard shares the same road as Blue Mountain and a fence line with Noble Ridge and the Nature Trust of British Columbia. The tasting room features sweeping views over rolling vineyards to Vaseux Lake and the mountains beyond. Growing grapes since the 1970s, the property sits on the 20 acre Allendale vineyard. In 2005, Gordon Pekrul, an Okanagan-born developer of housing in Arizona, bought the vineyard with a winery in mind. Those plans were abandoned after the collapse of the real estate market in the United States three years later. In 2008, the property was acquired by a group of businessmen and wine enthusiasts led by Ian Macdonald, a Vancouver businessman. The group completely renovated the house to add a tasting room and bistro, which opened in May of 2014. They also built a functional and well-equipped winery in time for the 2012 vintage to be made there. In previous vintages, Liquidity made small volumes of wine at another winery while selling most of its grapes. In April 2020 Liquidity Wines was acquired by new owner, Anthony Von Mandl, and is a proud member of the Iconic Wineries of British Columbia. The vineyard has four hectares of mature vines, notably Pinot Noir, that Rolland Heller had planted. Another four hectares on the prime south-facing slope has been replanted. The vineyard was converted to efficient drip irrigation with moisture sensors and a weather station. Soil analysis has revealed that the vineyard has good soils for growing quality grapes. As of the 2020 vintage, Liquidity Wines and vineyards are certified organic. The Iconic Wineries of British Columbia make up the largest percentage of organically farmed vineyards in North America. At the end of 2014, a second vineyard (formerly Lusitano Winery) located a couple properties to the south of the winery was acquired in order to have the ability to increase production with estate grown fruit, bringing the total vineyard area to 12 hectares. This vineyard was originally planted in 2008 and contains Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Mayhem Wines

History

Founded by siblings Terry Meyer Stone and JAK Meyer, along with their respective spouses Andrew Stone and Janice Stevens, Mayhem Wines produces small-lot whites and reds from premium grapes grown in the Okanagan Valley. We have three long-term lease agreements on vineyards we manage including Anarchist Mountain Vineyard in Osoyoos, and two vineyards in Kaleden. We also have partnerships with devoted, quality-driven growers throughout the Okanagan Valley, including the Naramata Bench and Oliver. We aim to work with growers and vineyards that use organic and sustainable farming practices and give back to the land.

Born in Australia, raised in New Zealand, winemaker Ajay Chavan completed the Oenology program in
Christchurch, NZ. He brings a wealth of experience to the Mayhem team and with a low intervention
style in the cellar, yet hands on in the vineyard, Ajay’s passion is to create quality wines that tell the
story of the land, the vintage, and the people.

Mayhem Wines new tasting room is located on the same site as Meyer Family Vineyards, in Okanagan Falls.

Meyer Family Vineyards

Meyer Family Vineyards
JAK and Janice Meyer
Micro Cuvee Chardonnay

History

Under our original business plan, Meyer Family Vineyards began as a boutique producer of just premium Chardonnay wines, coming to market in early 2008 with just 600 cases from a 1.6-hectare vineyard in Naramata. Not long after, we realized that a viable winery needed to be larger. By the end of 2008, we purchased a larger second vineyard near Okanagan Falls. This property had 14.5 acres planted in 1995 including more Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and a block of Gewürztraminer, rounding out our portfolio. In order to focus and specialize on Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, a natural partner to Chardonnay, we ripped out 6 acres and replaced all with Pinot Noir as well as a couple more acres available. We believe this focus has enabled us to make some of the best wines in Canada.

We have twice received the honour of best Chardonnay in Canada in the National Wine Awards which is Canada’s largest and most prestigious wine competition. Recently, we have been nominated by UK’s Decanter Magazine as one of the top Pinot Noirs in the world outside of Burgundy. Not only were we thrilled to be nominated, but we were one of the 30 out of 80 wines nominated to receive a highly recommended designation. We now produce over 8,000 cases, predominantly Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs, along with a Pinot Noir Rosé, and a Chardonnay Sparkling. Our philosophy of a hands off natural approach to winemaking, and meticulously looking after the vineyard by hand, along with small lot wines expressive of the terroir they were grown in, has given us reason for huge excitement. Our wines are sold in 7 countries outside of Canada including a full corporate listing at 169 Marks and Spencer’s stores in the UK.

We hope you enjoy our wines as much as we enjoy making them!

Nighthawk Vineyards

chef inserting pizza into pizza oven

History

Welcome to Nighthawk Vineyards, a boutique, family-owned Okanagan Falls winery. This truly is a magical destination, with a distinctive terroir that contributes to some of the finest grape growing conditions, and if you’re lucky, you may see the nighthawks soaring above (amongst many other visitors we see!)

Nighthawk Vineyards was planted in 1999 by the Rasmussen family (who were also custom log home builders) and caught the eye of Daniel and Christy Bibby in 2012. After several years of planning, farm experience and financing they were able to purchase the property in 2014. The first season was about growing grapes for other wineries and some small lot wine production, while they built their modest tasting room and launched the brand and first estate vintages in 2015.

Bursting out of the gates, the Nighthawk Vineyards 2015 Pinot Noir won Gold at the Best of BC Wine Awards, Silver at the BC Lieutenant Governor’s Awards, and Best Red Wine in British Columbia by Okanagan Life magazine. Their Chardonnay and Gewurztraminer from that vintage also picked up some hardware…and the rest is history. Today their award-winning wines are found in high end restaurants and private liquor stores as far away as Norway! Nighthawk Vineyards is a boutique family run farmgate winery, focused on sustainable farming practices and high-quality small lot wine production. Their 60 acre parcel above Okanagan Falls is overlooking the panoramic Green Lake valley, and has 10 acres planted with Gewurztraminer, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. They now also lease and manage a 3.5 acre vineyard in Osoyoos which supplies Viognier, Roussanne, and Marsanne…with Merlot and Cabernet Franc rounding out their portfolio.

In 2020 they opened their outdoor “Vineyard Kitchen and Patio” with a distinctive menu developed using locally sourced, grown or foraged menu ingredients, and a wood fire oven from Portugal. The Vineyard Kitchen and Patio at Nighthawk Vineyards has been named “Best Outdoor Dining Experience in British Columbia” by LuxLife Magazine for two consecutive years. After years of planning, Nighthawk Vineyards opened up their luxury tenthouse accommodations in 2023, completing the long-term vision of a winery eco-resort and truly authentic experience in “the Heart of Wine Country™.

Noble Ridge Vineyard & Winery

History

Be Noble … in wine and life.

This winery took root in 1998 in Europe where Jim and Leslie D’Andrea visited numerous wineries during a three-month family sabbatical. Jim was already a wine enthusiast with a growing library of viticulture books and cellar of fine wines. They looked at vineyard properties in France and Ontario before focusing on the Okanagan, a region they believed held the tremendous promise for producing great wines. In 2001 they purchased a hilltop property on Oliver Ranch Road in Okanagan Falls, with a small vineyard and room for more vines. The original planting in 1986 included Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay. The winery’s name is inspired by the ridge at the top of the property and by the noble varieties that they intended to plant. The vineyard is an example of Gravel Hills Terroir, has favourable sun exposure, and heat units comparable to Bordeaux. This has proved to be a vineyard with immense possibilities. Upon taking ownership, the D’Andreas planted for the first 5 years. The southern exposure has the heat to mature their Bordeaux reds while the northern exposure suits the Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Gewurztraminer and Sparkling production.

The wine shop is perched at the top of the ridge, with views both of Peach Cliff to the north and Vaseux Lake and McIntyre Bluff to the south. A consulting winemaker assisted Jim and Leslie in the creation of Noble Ridge’s first vintages. They expanded in 2006 by purchasing the neighbouring property on the east side of Oliver Ranch Road. “Being able to obtain some land in our area is of great importance to us,” Jim says. “We are strongly of the view that the Okanagan Falls ‘appellation’ is a premiere wine-growing region.” The new property included Merlot and Chardonnay vines planted in 1998. It also had a sturdy building which they converted into a 3 story, gravity-fed winery. Okanagan Falls was designated as the second sub-Geographical Indication (sub-GI) in British Columbia, in 2018. Noble Ridge is Noble Ridge is an estate producer, relying primarily on its own grapes. Ultimately, they plan to cap annual production at approximately 10,000 cases. “Our goal is to make premium quality wine,” Jim says. “After travelling the world and tasting various wines, I am convinced that Canada can and is producing excellent, world-class wines.”

Play Estate Winery

History

A passion project for Stagewest Hospitality and the Pechet family since 2013, Play Estate Winery is the culmination of decades of experience in making guests feel welcome. With a renewed vision for 2023, the team invites visitors to drink, eat, and experience Play.

See Ya Later Ranch

See Ya Later Ranch_views
See Ya Later Ranch truck
See Ya Later Ranch Nelly

History

This winery has as rich and colourful a history as any in the Okanagan. In the early 1900s, brothers Sam and George Hawthorne carved a homestead and a ranch on this slope above Okanagan Falls, giving their name to the mountain here. In 1919 the ranch was purchased by Major Hugh Fraser, a former Montréal accountant. While serving in France during World War I, he was captured and spent two years as a war prisoner prior to the armistice. Shortly after the war, he came to the Okanagan to visit a playwright friend and liked the wide-open spaces so much that he stayed. Here, near the town of Okanagan Falls, he planted vines and seeded a legend. The ranch was his home for more than 45 years. The Major oversaw the planting of the first vines in 1961. The varieties were primarily Maréchal Foch, Chelois, Buffalo and Bath, the hybrid and labrusca varieties in general use in Canadian vineyards at the time. The grapes were sold to Andres Wines Ltd. by the Major. When he retired to Penticton in 1966, dying four years later, Bill Worth took over for several years before selling to a foreign buyer. Albert LeComte, a Saskatchewan-born sign company owner from Vancouver, bought the ranch in 1983. He converted the old dairy barn on the property for wine production and opened LeComte Estate Winery in 1986. One of his initial labels was a red blend called Count Bergerac. It was common then for Canadian wineries to devise labels that gave a French patina to a Canadian wine. LeComte’s most successful wines were made from newly planted Gewürztraminer. These caught the attention of Sumac Ridge founder Harry McWatters who needed more Gewürztraminer to supply one of his top brands. He recognized that the ranch was one of the Okanagan’s best sites for the variety. In 1995, he bought the winery and renamed it Hawthorne Mountain Vineyards. Both this winery and Sumac Ridge were acquired in 2000 by Vincor. In 2003, Hawthorne Mountain created the See Ya Later label for its reserve wines. The wines were so well received that Major Fraser’s favourite phrase became the winery’s third and current name.

Stag’s Hollow Winery

Background

Stag’s Hollow Winery has more than a few firsts to its credit. In 1995 it was the Okanagan’s first winery to install energy-saving geothermal technology for heating and cooling. In the 1999 vintage, it was one of the first wineries to sell Futures. In 2006, it was one of the first wineries in the Okanagan to plant Tempranillo, Spain’s major red varietal. Then in 2011, it was the first in the Okanagan to plant Dolcetto, a red wine grape from northwest Italy’s Piedmont region and Teroldego, a rarer grape from the Trentino region in Italy. These innovations flow from the pioneer spirit that brought Larry Gerelus and Linda Pruegger from professional city careers to Okanagan Falls early in this wine region’s development. Stag’s Hollow was just the third winery in the Okanagan Falls’ region.

Born in Winnipeg in 1952, Larry trained as an insurance actuary. He was an independent pension and benefits consultant in Calgary while Linda, a Calgary native, worked in banking and then in marketing with an oil company. Ready for a career change, Larry sought out career counselling. The test suggested he was better suited either to running a ski resort or operating a winery. When he began researching Okanagan vineyards in 1991, the industry veterans he consulted kept recommending Okanagan Falls. In 1992, he bought a four-hectare vineyard growing Chasselas and Vidal, under contract to Mission Hill. When the contract ended in 1994, Larry grafted most of the Vidal to Chardonnay and all of the Chasselas to Merlot and Pinot Noir. The vineyard was back in production the next year and Stag’s Hollow built its first winery in 1995, opening the following year under a name inspired by a chance fawn encounter in the vineyard and the significant and dramatic kettle hole (the “hollow”) in the centre of the property. The original winery was incorporated with Larry and Linda’s residence. The building was equipped with the first geothermal heating and cooling system among Okanagan wineries. The energy savings were so significant that the investment paid for itself in three years. Stag’s Hollow expanded in 2006, building a separate winery with about four times more production capacity. Once again, a geothermal system was installed that circulates liquid through underground lines using the earth’s constant temperature to heat or cool the winery as required. In the first year of operations in this new winery, Stag’s Hollow saved an estimated 100,000 kilowatt hours of electricity by using this geothermal technology in conjunction with high-efficiency lighting and windows. In 2020, the south-facing deck off the wine shop was covered with solar panels, to help offset the power requirements for the winery building. This also provides a shaded spot for outdoor tasting experiences, overlooking the “hollow”.

In 2011, Stag’s Hollow purchased 18 acres of land 2km north of the Estate property. The following year, planting commenced with Tempranillo, Dolcetto, Albariño, Pinot Noir and Muscat. Named the Shuttleworth Creek Vineyard for the creek bordering the east boundary, planting continued over the next few years, adding Teroldego and Syrah. A new adventure, Shuttleworth Creek vineyard created new excitement for the winery, adding new and interesting varietals to the Okanagan, that were being planted elsewhere in the World. As those vines mature, Stag’s Hollow is finding that more and more of its premium fruit is coming from the Shuttleworth Creek Vineyard. In April of 2019, Stag’s Hollow was purchased by Eric Liu. Eric prefers to stay in the background, and Larry and Linda stayed on for a couple of years to help transition the winery team for the future. Today, Stag’s Hollow is known for producing some of the regions most celebrated wines, including Merlot, Pinot Noir and red blends, along with more rare and interesting varietals like Albariño, Tempranillo, Dolcetto and Teroldego.