Uppercase Winery

uppercase sign against mountain in background
Uppercase Winery tasting room behind the vines

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.

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.

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.

Wild Goose Winery

History

It all began in early 1983 when founder Adolf Kruger purchased a promising piece of land east of Okanagan Falls. Upon his return to his newly-purchased property he discovered a large flock of Canada geese feeding amongst the local flora on the rocky terrain. As he approached, the flock of geese took flight. This vision inspired Adolf to call the property Wild Goose Vineyards. Adolf first planted Riesling and Gewürztraminer with the intention of selling the grapes grown. Over the next few years, outstanding wines were produced by purchasers of these aromatic grapes. In the late eighties Adolf and two other parties formed a plan that would allow smaller wineries to make wine using grapes grown on site that could be sold through the “farm gate”. After much lobbying and persistence, the farm gate winery was born in British Columbia. Wild Goose Winery became the seventeenth winery in BC and was established in June 1990. The winery started producing Riesling, Gewürztraminer, and Maréchal Foch. Over time Wild Goose would establish itself as a premium small producer of VQA wines. In July of 2021, the Wyse family of Burrowing Owl Vineyards proudly announced their acquisition of the tremendously popular Wild Goose Vineyards & Winery. Burrowing Owl Estate Winery’s knowledge and experience in producing ultra-premium wines provide a solid platform for Wild Goose products to continue delivering excellence for years to come.

Blasted Church

History

Situated on a bench overlooking Skaha Lake, Black Market Wine Co. crafts distinctive small lot wines. In addition to our organically-farmed Conviction Ridge vineyard in picturesque Kaleden, other vineyards from which we source our grapes are responsibly and sustainably farmed by growers who care as much about quality as we do. Our journey began as Garagistes, producing just 100 cases of the 2012 vintage of our signature red blend The Syndicate. Working out of another winery has provided us the opportunity to grow and develop our craft. 2020 marks the start of a new chapter as we open our own winery and tasting room in Kaleden.The vines at Blasted Church grow on sloping plateau above the eastern shore of Skaha Lake. From the windswept hilltop where the wineshop is situated, there are picture postcard views across the lake to the village of Kaleden on the western shore. The vines grow on sandy loam; the good mix of sand and clay give the soils good water-holding capacity. The winery makes its own compost, adding it to give the vineyard more organic matter. Vines were first planted here in the 1970s by Croatian-born Dragan (Dan) Prpich who came to the Okanagan in 1973 after working as a millwright in a Hamilton steel mill. Having grown up in a winemaking culture, Prpich decided in 1995 to add a winery to the vineyard. He opened the winery in 2000 but, as a consequence of family tragedies, sold it in 2002. Evelyn Campbell, the new and current owner, was a certified general accountant who had an independent practice in Vancouver. Wanting to run a business of her own, Evelyn investigated seven wineries during two and a half years before buying Prpich Vineyards. Putting her own stamp on the winery, the name was ultimately changed in consultation with Brandever Strategy Inc., a Vancouver company specializing in branding wineries. The name, Blasted Church, was inspired by a colourful chapter in the history of Okanagan Falls. In 1929 an Okanagan Falls congregation sent a crew under foreman Harley Hatfield to dismantle and move a Presbyterian church from Fairview, the mining ghost town near modern-day Oliver. Hatfield used a small dynamite charge inside the building to loosen the nails. The steeple fell down but the rest of the church was dismantled successfully and rebuilt in Okanagan Falls. It came to be referred to as “the blasted church,” and served Presbyterian, Anglican and United congregations well into the current century. The stained glass windows in the church were a gift of Major Hugh Fraser, who owned the property that became See Ya Later Ranch Vineyards. The story of the church, along with other vignettes of Okanagan Falls history, has been memorialized through the colourful caricature figures that populate the Blasted Church labels. Original art was commissioned for the initial family of labels and again in 2010 when the labels were refreshed. The labels have won numerous international design awards. More to the point, the labels powered a more than 10-fold growth in the sales of Blasted Church wines over the first decade after the Campbells acquired the winery. In 2018, the winery introduced new labels where figures from classical paintings are plucked from their holy surroundings and placed into modern-day scenarios. Inspired by Renaissance era masterworks, these creative labels depict an artistic rebirth at a time of increased innovation in the Blasted Church wine program spearheaded by winemaker, Evan Saunders. In the last year Evan has expanded the wine offering with a new selection of revered wines called the Small Blessings series, named for their small lot production and made with minimal intervention in the cellar using techniques that are often labour intensive, but which allow the fruit to shine. The winery also introduced wines made in a clay amphora and a clay egg, and even bottled the 2016 Sacrosanct Cabernet Franc in handmade terracotta – all produced by the same craftsman using the same clay in the town of Impruneta, Italy. Blasted Church is the first winery in Canada and among the first in the world to source terracotta bottles.

Black Market Wine Co.

History

Situated on a bench overlooking Skaha Lake, Black Market Wine Co. crafts distinctive small lot wines. In addition to our organically-farmed Conviction Ridge vineyard in picturesque Kaleden, other vineyards from which we source our grapes are responsibly and sustainably farmed by growers who care as much about quality as we do.

Our journey began as Garagistes, producing just 100 cases of the 2012 vintage of our signature red blend The Syndicate. Working out of another winery has provided us the opportunity to grow and develop our craft. 2020 marks the start of a new chapter as we open our own winery and tasting room in Kaleden.