(photo: Judy Kingston welcomes Winemaker Brad Cooper to the team.)

Once upon a time there was a very successful lawyer with a high-powered Toronto law firm. She was also an accomplished cook who trained as a chef in France. Then, one day, a car steam-rolled through a red light and changed her life forever. And, she says today, for the better. In was on a trip to BC while she was recuperating from her injuries that she happened upon a For Sale sign on a Naramata orchard. By the time she boarded the plane home to Toronto later that day, Judy Kingston was the proud, and a little bewildered, owner of what was to become Serendipity Winery.

It is a story she tells often, but it bears repeating because Judy’s story is one of hope, emphasizing the need in all of us to be open to change. “Serendipity” is how she describes her come-by-chance entry into the wine business and the theme has served her well in the decade since she planted her first vines.

Now, with five vintages behind her, and daughter Katie O’Kell having joined her team, Judy says she couldn’t be happier with the way her life has unfolded. And it got even better in July when highly-regarded winemaker Brad Cooper agreed to move over to Serendipity, where he will continue to keep alive Judy’s commitment to making the best possible wine from the best possible grapes.

New releases become available when they are ready to drink, so there is always a surprise or two to be found at Serendipity. Another awaits, but not for another year. Katie’s pet project, a sparkling Blanc de Blanc, is aging happily in the bottle.

~ Lorne Eckersley