3 Mile Estate Winery is a family venture, and when you step into their tasting room on the Naramata Bench, you are surrounded by their passion and love for their business. From the stained floors, to the wrought iron interior work and the tasting bar itself, this has been a hands on, do it yourself, venture for the family members. "Everyone's involved," says Gayle Rahn, who along with sister Colleen Gunther manages the Tasting Room. "We find a job for every member of the family, from vineyard work to cellar. Our dad Dennis is out working the lower vineyard, he's never been more fit in his life!" Husband Jake Gunther is the main Viticulturist and runs his pigeon operation onsite – with an added bonus of high nitrogen fertilizer for the vineyard. Husband Darryl Rahn is involved in cellar production and is the go-to techie guy.
"When we bought the property in 2006 we had no idea how much work was involved," says Colleen. Originally they were just going to grow grapes but that was a lot of work for little return, so decided to make wine. Winemaker Kelly Symonds was contracted and Colleen jumped in as Assistant Winemaker to learn the craft and magic of creating exquisite wines. "We love that we are involved from vine to bottle. That's one of the beauties of being a boutique family winery."
The tasting room displays the whimsical and colorful wine art of local artist Janis Blyth (also seen on this issue's front cover). Somehow the art pairs beautifully with the contagious enthusiasm of the two sisters. Soon to be added are several guest rooms with a lovely view of the lake, and freshly baked continental breakfast items from another family member, Colleen's daughter Brandi.
When you step into 3 Mile you get the feeling that you've just joined the family. The atmosphere is fun and relaxed, the wines are excellent and the whole experience is contagious. “We believe that the true measure of our wines is whether people like them or not, and very few people leave our winery without a bottle tucked under their arm.”
2010 Gewürztraminer $19.95
Classic lychee and spice, nicely dry, beautiful mouth feel, excellent finish.
2010 Cab/Merlot $24.95
Blackberry and black currant, white pepper, touch of spice, soft tannins with a beautiful finish.
2010 Pinot Gris/Viognier $21.30
Tropical notes, great acidity, creamy mouth feel, and clean finish.
~ Terry Meyer-Stone