From its stately and strategic location overlooking Penticton, Perseus Winery provides a natural welcome to visitors heading toward Naramata Bench.
The 1950’s heritage building has been reinvented by designer Tony Giroux and is now home to the winery and an information centre, with an education centre to come for next year.
As the first winery visitors approach the Naramata Bench from Penticton, Perseus is well-positioned to provide a warm and information-packed welcome. Part of the sun-filled tasting room is dedicated to holding brochures from other Naramata Bench wineries and businesses and it includes a flat-screen television to show related videos, too.
With new winemaker Matt Dumayne now in place, winery CEO Rob Ingram sees a bright future for Perseus, which is the first of a four-winery group planned for the coming years (the second, in West Kelowna, will include a huge winemaking facility to serve the others).
Not that its recent past is anything to sneeze at. Perseus’s flagship wine, Invictus 2009, has been getting rave reviews. Globe and Mail wine writer Beppi Crosariol says it’s one of the best five reds in BC. It took a Silver Medal this year in WineAlign’s National Wine Awards of Canada, too.
Ingram has the same high hopes for the about to be released Helios, a unique blend of Pinot Noir, Pinot Blanc and Syrah grapes.
Dumayne will have plenty of fruit from some exceptional vineyards to work with. Hailing from New Zealand, he is veteran of 25 vintages at wineries in his country’s Central Otego region, as well as California, Australia and Oregon.
In New Zealand he created a custom crush facility and also had his own label. De Vine Wines was a critical success, getting a 96 point score and five star reviews in Gourmet Wine Traveller.
He also has experience in converting a vineyard to organic and biodynamic farming practices.
For his part, Ingram admits he is on a steep learning curve, taking wine courses and immersing himself in the business. But what he lacks in winery experience is compensated by his business savvy. Originally a chartered accountant, he has more than a decade’s experience managing start-ups and had senior roles with large corporations in several different industries. He’s a customer oriented big picture guy who understands business but also wants to be environmentally responsible.
“I worry about what we are leaving for future generations,” he says. “I want to be part of making this a better world. Our wineries will reflect those values.”
~ Lorne Eckersley