Nighthawk Vineyards

chef inserting pizza into pizza oven

History

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™.

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.

Bonamici Cellars

bonamici branded bottles sitting in the sunshine on a red table cloth
Phil and Mario in vineyard working on the vines.

History

Founded in 2012, Bonamici Cellars is a collaboration between consulting winemaker,
Philip Soo and good friend and business partner Mario Rodi. Phil and Mario met while
working in the corporate world – Phil as a winemaker and Mario in sales & marketing.
Sharing a passion for great Italian wines and a love for the Okanagan inspired them to
create Bonamici Cellars.
Bonamici – Italian for “good friends” captures the essence of the brand. It’s about
celebrating life with great wine and delicious food bringing family & friends together
around the table to enjoy one of life’s simple pleasures.
In 2016, after searching extensively for a permanent home for Bonamici they found the
ideal site – a picturesque 10-acre property in the Okanagan Falls area surrounded by
world class award winning wineries.
Since then, a 9-acre vineyard has been planted, a beautiful tasting room and picnic area
overlooking stunning valley views opened and a new production facility completed in the
fall of 2020.
We invite you to visit and Discover BONAMICI – experience our hand-crafted, Italian
inspired wines.

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.