ith the introduction this spring of two new talented additions, Perseus Winery is starting to have the makings of an all-star team. CEO Rob Ingram has added winemaker Jason Parkes and wine wizard Jesse Harnden to the group.

“We are very excited to have Jason and Jesse with us,” Rob says. “They are hard working, creative men with excellent reputations in our industry.”

The Peachland-born Parkes makes wine under his own label and has consulted for some the Okanagan’s finest wineries. Harnden is a certified sommelier, and also has winemaking and vineyard degree to his credit. He was a popular fixture at Mission Hill for many years, and becomes the director of sales and marketing for the Terrabella group. Mica Knibbs has also been brought in as the marketing and social media co-ordinator.  “Three idea people,” as Rob describes them, Parkes, Knibbs, and Harnden will offer plenty of options for creativity while they pursue fine wine farmed in the Okanagan and Similkameen Valleys.

Perseus Winery continues to position itself as the gateway to the Naramata Bench and renovations are underway to build it into a wine education centre featuring private tasting rooms and vineyard tours.  They have also brought in Chef Paul Cecconi to offer his “simply fresh food” for guests looking for a casual bite on their large patio overlooking Lake Okanagan.  Ample parking allows visitors to leave their cars behind and hop on the Okanagan Wine Shuttle, which makes scheduled stops all day long at wineries along the Bench.
Perseus kicks into full-time operation on May 1st, opening 7 days a week through October 31st. Visitors will enjoy the winery’s best-selling Pinot Gris, Viognier, Cabernet Franc, Syrah and their flagship “Invictus” Bordeaux blend.  Great values can be found in the popular Bag in Box wines, which include Cabernet Shiraz and Pinot Blanc.

With the construction this year of a winemaking facility in Kelowna, Ingram expects production to reach 14,000 cases in 2014, and that will increase as the enterprise gradually moves toward its plan for three strategically located wineries. The Kelowna winery will be built over the next year and a half, but there is a plan in place to open a temporary tasting facility this summer.  It will be set right beside Sunrise Vineyard and offer guests a great chance to taste multiple brands in a fun, causal setting amid the vines.  The momentum that started at Perseus continues to grow.

~ Lorne Eckersley