Step out on to the land of Sage Hills and breathe deeply: the air is clean and vibrant with organic life.

Rick Thrussell (pictured) and his family bought Sage Hills in 2006, with a vision of making premier wines from organic grapes. When choosing land the terroir was of the utmost importance, and Sage Hills proved to be the perfect balance of wind, sun and soil. Rick works with the environment by choosing varietals that will thrive on the land, in this case, Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and Gewürztraminer.

Rick was introduced to the art of winemaking by his grandfather who made wine in the garage, and over the years he developed a discerning palate and love of fine wines.

The dedication to provide quality wines without compromise drove Rick to invest in 100% pure varietals imported from France to ensure consistency in taste and quality. By adhering to high standards, the Sage Hills label needs no trendy names or marketing gimmicks;

the wine speaks for itself with an understated elegance.

With an additional two acres in Oliver, Sage Hills Winery is now producing Syrah and will be the first winery in the Okanagan to produce a sparkling Pinot Gris in true Grand Cru fashion. Watch out for that in 2016.

Sage Hills proudly holds Salmon Safe certification. The requirements exceed those of certified organic, but Rick is dedicated to leaving a healthy environment for future generations. Indeed, his boutique winery is a sustainable business model for a wine industry that focuses on quality over quantity.

For wine lovers looking for a taste of the unique boutique wineries in the Okanagan, the Sage Hills tasting room opens this June.

~ Henrietta Poirier