A 15th anniversary is traditionally celebrated with gifts of crystal, or in modern times, glass. Either way it’s crystal clear that this small family-run estate winery is committed to filling our glasses with delicious wine for years to come as it has done in the past 15 years. Jan and Jack Fraser bought the winery with the thought that it would be a great retirement project. Says Jan, “Little did we know, we’ve never worked harder in our lives and now our whole family is fully engaged in every aspect.”

Son Jason is the vineyard manager for the family’s three Summerland vineyards. Jason maintains the Thornhaven vineyard and is cellarmaster/winemaker with help from the highly regarded consulting winemaker Christine Leroux. Daughter Cortney Riep has a lead sales and marketing role and contributes to label design. You’ll see Cortney’s artwork featured in the wine shop. Cortney’s husband Nick, when not teaching school, is the Okanagan sales representative and runs the wine club. Together with their children, Peyton, Colten and Brooklyn (namesake of the Brooklyn’s Blend), they maintain Elmo’s Vineyard, home of the highly sought after Orange Muscat grapes. Jan and Jack maintain the Jackson Heights vineyard.

The seasoned and knowledgeable staff is also an important element of Thornhaven’s success.

Planning is in full swing for 15th Anniversary at this stunning south-western style winery tucked into the slopes of Little Giant’s Head Mountain with a magnificent Summerland vista. You’ll see revised labels unveiled and Thornhaven will be releasing their XV, which is the Syrah-Cabernet Sauvignon blend exclusively available at the winery, to mark the occasion. The popular music on the patio is back with a big line up of entertainment including some regulars and a few surprises. No reservations are required for first come/first serve seats to enjoy wine tasting and the live music featured 1 to 4 pm on weekends throughout the summer. Light snacks such as bruschetta, cheese, charcuterie and crackers are available to buy along with Thornhaven wine by the glass. Guests are encouraged to bring their own picnics— you’d be amazed at the sumptuous spreads folks prepare to enjoy with their Thornhaven favourites.

Wine tastings are free. For hours and details on 15th Anniversary and other events, see Thornhaven’s brand new website thornhaven.com

~ Roslyne Buchanan