Wine Country Pioneer: Adolf Friedrich Kruger
October 5, 1931 – NOVEMBER 20, 2016
We are sad to announce the passing of the much loved Adolf Friedrich “Fritz” Kruger on November 20th, 2016 at the age of 85 years. Patriarch of Wild Goose Vineyards in Okanagan Falls, Adolf was a pioneer of the local wine industry and was instrumental in creating farmgate status for wineries – a crucial moment in wine country history.
Born in Kehrberg, Germany on October 5, 1931, Adolf spent much of his childhood growing up during the war years. After the war and having fled East Germany, he and his brother immigrated to Canada in 1951 settling in Winnipeg, where he met his wife Susanna and had two sons, Hagen and Roland. After studying English and yacht design, Adolf moved his entire family to Vancouver in 1964. At age 52 Adolf, who was semi retired, visited long time friend Nick Broderson who owned a vineyard in Kaleden and after that visit, a dream was born!
Adolf and his sons purchased a 10 acre parcel of land in Okanagan Falls and in 1984 Wild Goose Vineyards was established. In the mid to late 80’s as free trade began to cast a dark cloud over the BC wine industry, Adolf did not sit idle, but began to lobby government for a number of years to change winery licensing and in 1990 Wild Goose Winery was licensed as BC’s first Farmgate winery to grow, produce and bottle on site! Adolf played a large roll in the formation of the BC Wine Institute, wine standards, and the VQA program that declared 100% BC content in wine.Adolf was inducted into the BC Wine Museum and won the BC Wine Industry Founders Award in 2006.
– The Kruger Family