Nestled between McIntyre and Eagle Bluffs, near the southern shore of Vaseux Lake, our 7.5 acre vineyard has grown five carefully-tended varietals since 1997: Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Chardonnay, and Riesling. We have since added Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Syrah, Viognier and Gewurztraminer, and have been having lots of fun blending since then!
The terroir is rocky (we have hand-harvested many tractor loads of rocks during our time here!), with good drainage. The vineyard benefits from the hot dry desert/grasslands climate of the South Okanagan, and its friendly accompanying sun exposure all day long.
A fun fact: the soil here is peppered with shards of multi-coloured glass... remnants of one of the property's previous occupants: a building made out of glass bottles. We wish this was still standing, but sadly it was demolished before our arrival.
After Arnie Elgert (Mindy's husband and Lisa's dad) purchased the property in 1991, the land lay unplanted for several years as he researched potential crops. Hemp? Seabuckthorn? Ginseng? The advent of vineyards in the South Okanagan had begun some years previously and was spreading rapidly. In the winter of 1996 Arnie finally made his decision: grapes it was!!
Planting began the spring of '97 with the help of friends, and finished the next year.
A commercial deep-sea fisherman since the age of 17, Arnie's dream was to eventually expand the vineyard to include a winery upon his retirement from the fishing industry. Preparations were made, but all plans were put on hold when Arnie was diagnosed with cancer in 2007.
After his passing in 2008, the vineyard was put on the market, but ultimately the girls decided to carry on with the original plan: to open a tiny winery. The license was obtained spring of 2011, and the first vintage made that fall with the assistance of Karnail Singh Sidhu of Kalala Organic Estates in West Kelowna.
Behind the Name
When we planted our vineyard in 1997, we enlisted the help of family and friends in choosing the name. We received many suggestions, but were most inspired by the miracle of Cana in Galilee, where Jesus of Nazareth turned water into wine.
"... a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.” ... Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons. Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water”; so they filled them to the brim. Then he told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.” They did so, and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside and said, “Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.” - JOHN 2:1-10