Holy Smokes – We did it!

So here’s the thing…sometimes, even the best of intentions get sidetracked! I really did mean to send out this newsletter on the day we opened – Thursday, May 17th but, well, that didn’t happen. So, here we are four weeks into our 2017 sales season and already, we see that our little yellow buildings are doing their jobs, attracting visitors to us from the busy Black Sage Road. Less than a year ago, we started construction and now, we’ve actually done it, we are open to the tasting public. To say we are pleased with the result would be an understatement.

We have been moderately busy so far. Not only have our buildings attracted tasters, many of the South Okanagan wineries send people to us! Some people are surprised by this generosity, thinking that all wineries are in competition. That is absolutely not the case and Jamie and I have experienced this over and over again during our time here. Many people have stopped by to offer assistance and advice and we couldn’t be more pleased to be part of this community.

    Before we officially opened our doors, we threw a friends/family/construction crew party to say thank you to everyone who has helped us along our journey. We got lucky with the weather for our party but, as always, the wind was raging for most of the day. The highlight for me was the surprise visit from some members of Kwantlen First Nation – my siblings and I are members of Kwantlen – achieving our First Nations status through our Mother’s heritage. They arrived in a group and started singing and drumming their way into our party and I have to admit, it took my breath away! They blanketed Jamie and I (a huge honour) and did a few more songs for us. Then, Chief Marilyn Gabriel said a few words expressing Kwantlen’s happiness for us and their pride that one of their members had opened a winery. It was truly moving and Jamie and I will never forget this beautiful gesture.

So, the week after our party, we opened up the shop for the long weekend and not knowing what to expect, we were overwhelmed with the number of visitors we had! It was a lot of fun but really nothing compared to the following weekend.

Our Oliver Osoyoos Winery Association puts on the Half Corked Marathon each year in May. People dress in costume, run a half marathon winding through vineyards and drinking wine all the way! It was insane! In the space of 3 short hours, 1,350 runners came through our winery – we had never seen the likes of it! I had to include some pictures for those of you who have never seen this spectacle before.
Each participating winery was invited to put something in each runner’s swag bag so we chose to put in a card for people to enter into our draw for two free tickets to next year’s event. Our very happy winner is Zerlina T. from Burnaby. We look forward to seeing you again next year, Zerlina.
And the next day, many of the runners returned to our little place to taste and purchase wine – it was a great weekend, so much fun to see so many people having such a zany good time (us included!)
So, that is what we have been up to for the last few months. The vines are growing like crazy, at least four to six feet straight up in the last six weeks. It’s all we can do to keep up with the progress, tucking the tender vines into the wires so they don’t snap off in our very windy conditions. The picture on the left was taken on April 27th and the one on the right June 11th. The growth is amazing to watch!
And one last thing, we are releasing another wine at the end of July – July 28th to be exact. We think this is a pretty special wine – our Gamay Noir that we have lovingly called “Gorgeous”. I wanted our newsletter people to have the first chance to have a bottle or two put away as we only produced 110 cases. And, as newsletter people, you are entitled to a 10% discount on all purchases whether you are here in the tasting room or if we ship your wines to you.
We will not have an online store as such but if you would like to have some wine shipped, please do give us a call or send us an email. – we would love to hear from you! And we do hope that you will be able to visit us in person.
I hope you are having a happy Spring – Summer is right around the corner, along with the South Okanagan heat. That will make our grapes very happy indeed.