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.

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.”

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.

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.