Meyer Family Vineyards has one of the best “non-views” of any winery in BC. Visiting the wine shop is like being hugged by a vineyard. But that doesn’t mean that it’s secluded or difficult to find. “We’re literally between Penticton and Oliver,” says Sharon Misselbrook, wine shop manager. “We’re right under Peach Cliff Bluff on McLean Creek Road.” In less than 2 minutes from Highway 97 in Okanagan Falls, you can begin your decent through the vineyards into a serene vineyard experience like no other in BC. It’s no wonder that owners Jak Meyer and Janice Stevens decided to move their family to the house on the property and are now enjoying being more involved in the community.
That appreciation of place is important when you are crafting single-vineyard Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The two main sources for their grapes come from their vineyard surrounding the winery, the McLean Creek vineyard, and the Old Main Road Vineyard located in Naramata. These two locations are the focus of their Pinot Noir and Chardonnay portfolios, which have been garnering accolades and awards. The 2010 Tribute Series Sonja Gaudet Chardonnay, grown exclusively on the Old Main Road vineyard, took home the Top Oaked Chardonnay in Canada, and was the number one BC wine at the 2012 Canadian Wine Awards.
With that many high-profile awards, international clients will surely be taking notice. In fact, British importer Ellis of Richmond has recently added them to their extensive portfolio of international wines. They are the first winery from Canada to be imported by Ellis, a family-run company that has been in business since 1822. For their first shipment, they have selected the 2011 Reimer Pinot Noir, 2011 McLean Creek Vineyard Pinot Noir and the 2010 McLean Creek Vineyard Chardonnay. These wines will no doubt make a splash on British restaurant wine lists.
Back in OK Falls, there is lots to look forward to this summer, including new wine releases – Gewürztraminer and Rosé – a new picnic area, and a new festival in September called the “Celebration of BC Pinot Noir” which will bring together a convivium of wineries that focus on Pinot Noir.
(in photo: JAK Meyer and daughter Sydney with winery dog Bruce Meyer)~ Luke Whittall