Following an international career in the oil and gas industry that assisted them in developing a palate for fine wines, proprietors Oleg and Svetlana Aristarkhov moved their family to the Naramata Bench from Alberta to establish Moraine Estate Winery.

Oleg notes when they first emigrated from Russia to Edmonton in 1995, he experienced his first Canadian wine and it tasted terrible. It took a vacation in the Okanagan many years later for him to see the potential of BC wines.

In 2010, he and Svetlana bought a six-acre home site and planted 3.5 acres in Pinot Noir, naming the vineyard “Sophia” after their youngest daughter. Then in 2012, they bought a winery and vineyard that had gone bankrupt. It was planted in eight acres of Merlot, pinot gris, Viognier, Malbec, Cabernet Franc, Syrah and Riesling. The winery’s name “Moraine” is a tribute to the glacial soils that — with the gentle slopes, sunshine and reflection from Lake Okanagan — comprise the terroir that contributes to fresh, elegant, fruit-driven wines of distinction. That vineyard was renamed “Anastasia” in honour of their oldest daughter.

“The family is one of nature’s masterpieces,” said George Santayana, Spanish-American philosopher, poet and humanist. This tenet is embraced by the Aristarkhov family as they have created a masterwork winery, engaging the talented winemaker Jacq Kemp to assist them.

Moraine Estate is consistently in the highest rankings by online sites such as TripAdvisor for its stunning portfolio of award-winning wines at affordable prices; congenial and knowledgeable family and staff; and breathtaking views. As they move forward this year in building a state-of-the-art new facility, another pillar of their attention to detail will be enhanced. It will house a new wine-producing facility, retail and tasting area, exterior patio lounge plus two guest suites sure to be popular with visitors seeking scenery along with amazing wines.

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