Browsing CategoryLake Country

Prepare to be amazed. Not only by 50th Parallel’s unique, award-winning wines, but by their newly completed facilities. A 200-metre-long building, constructed of concrete and steel at one end, evolves into glass at the other. A 12-metre, one-of-a-kind cantilevered canopy floats out over indoor and outdoor restaurants and a transparent tasting room. Curtis Krouzel and Sheri-Lee Turner-Krouzel had a dream to build a wine destination, and they are fulfilling that dream. In 2009, they took possession of 61 acres on Okanagan Lake, which Curtis describes as “probably the brightest vineyard site in the world.” Sixteen hours of daylight in the…

Any visit to Gray Monk Estate Winery in Lake Country is cause for celebration, but this year it is extra special. The Heiss family is celebrating what they’ve called their 35-45-55 anniversary. It has been 55 years since proprietors George Sr. and Trudy Heiss tied the knot, and their relationship has been a match made in heaven in more ways than one! They’re also celebrating 45 years of grape growing and 35 years of crafting some of BC’s finest wines. The Heiss family are not only pioneers in the BC estate winery world, but they’ve succeeded in working virtually every…

Spring is all about anticipation, and there’s plenty to look forward to in Vernon – cycling, hiking, and of course good food and drink. This spring, visitors can introduce their palates to some exciting new tastes along Vernon’s Tasting Trail.   On March 30th, Okanagan Spirits will release its BRBN Bourbon-style BC Corn Whiskey. This is only the second year for BRBN. Last year’s release sold out in under a week. Producing a bourbon-style whiskey has not been simple. Tyler Dyke, CEO of Okanagan Spirits says they first had to figure out how to grow grain corn in BC. But…

When you visit Gray Monk Estate Winery in Lake Country, you enter a vibrant world of color and the quintessential Okanagan view, with lush vines framing the shores of Okanagan Lake.  Along with the superb wines, it is an experience that entices locals and visitors alike to sip their internationally renowned wines, dine on gastric delights at the Grapevine Restaurant and discover the perfect gifts in their large and well-appointed wine shop. Proprietor Trudy Heiss is heartened by the continued strength of their customers’ loyalty.  They enjoy a huge Alberta following and their local customers, including over 2,000 Wine Club…

There is a certain je ne sais quoi about visiting 50th Parallel Estate Winery that makes you feel completely and utterly alive. Maybe it’s the 16 hours of sunlight that bathes the stunning lakeside location on the east slopes of Lake Okanagan; perhaps it’s the unstoppable, determined life-force which feeds the 61 acres of vines. Most certainly, it’s the effervescent passion and focus of 50th Parallel co-founders and proprietors, Curtis Krouzel and Sheri-Lee Turner-Krouzel, which infuses every single square inch of this world-class wine destination. After hand-planting the first vines in 2009, this extraordinary couple and their team continue to…

Gray Monk Estate Winery is BC’s oldest family run winery under the guidance of George and Trudy Heiss and their three sons. Trudy explains the success of their amazing award-winning wines very simply. “We have always aimed to achieve high quality and keep it consistent.  We focus on getting better, not bigger,” she says. This winter they’ve been busy with bottling, planning, budgeting and developing advertising plans. “Spring and fall are great times for corporate retreats.  We can comfortably seat about 50 people.  July and August are very busy with the touring market.” The wines themselves are testaments to their…

50th Parallel Estate Winery has become a leading winery in the North Okanagan. With a focus on quality through every intricate detail from vineyard row orientation to the décor of the wine bar, clearly no detail is too small. The founding management team of Sheri-Lee Turner-Krouzel and Curtis Krouzel were meticulous in the design elements of the winery from the start, seeking to create a masterpiece of wine production and sales. The person tasked with actually creating the wines of such a detailed venture would have to be equally fastidious and equally enthralled with Pinot Noir as Sheri-Lee and Curtis.…

Gray Monk Estate Winery is, simply stated, stunning and lush. They consistently produce some of the finest wines in the land and now, they’re thinking big! This year, Gray Monk is introducing a new three-pack, the Odyssey Tier Trio, including wines personally recommended by proprietor Trudy Heiss. It features the Odyssey Merlot, Cabernet and Meritage. “We’re thinking big at Gray Monk. The three pack of Big Reds is a less expensive way to taste our family reserve, high end, limited product grown in Osoyoos.  We’ve been very successful with our white wines, and now we’re at the same level of…

A lot of the thought that owners Curtis Krouzel and Sheri-Lee Turner-Krouzel put into planning 50th Parallel Estate Winery revolved around Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris. So it’s little wonder that these wines receive much of the attention in the vineyard and in the cellar. The vineyards were oriented so as to provide shade to Pinot Noir clusters (which are particularly susceptible to sun damage) at the hottest time of day in the summer. Winemaker Grant Stanley has been famously enamored with the variety and brings a considerable amount of knowledge to 50th Parallel’s top wine as well as the other…

Baco Noir is a hybrid grape variety that used to be more common in the Okanagan Valley until the late 1980’s. In planting the vineyards for Ancient Hill, Richard and Jitske Kamphuys sought to create wines with intense fruit flavours using only grapes that were appropriate for growing on their property northeast of Kelowna. “I want to make really tasty wines,” says Richard. Baco Noir turns out to be perfectly suited to the unique microclimate of their estate vineyard. Making Baco Noir the flagship wine on this special property has been working out well for Ancient Hill, who have developed a…