Even as a small boy, Rick Thrussell of Sage Hills Winery and Vineyard had an affinity for wine. At the age of 6 his family allowed him one small glass at special holidays, at 12 he could discern aromas and nuances and at 18, when other boys were carting a case of beer, Rick brought a bottle of wine. While working as a homebuilder in the Lower Mainland, his love affair with wine continued as he took wine appreciation and Sommelier classes. After deciding it was time to retire he turned his eyes towards his lifelong dream and searched for the perfect vineyard site. Washington and Oregon were considered, but in 2006 Rick found the perfect site in Summerland. It met his criteria: windy for organic farming practices and an amazing view. Perched on the side of a hill looking over Lake Okanagan, it is truly a spectacular site for Sage Hills winery. “I wanted to create a Grand Cru model: low yields, terroir driven, meticulous standards and organic to create high quality, small case lot wines that reflect the land where they are grown.”
Sage Hills has a new tasting room that is opening this spring, here you’ll be able to see the land and understand the passion that goes into every bottle—and share a little of Rick’s vision. He says, “People told me about starting a vineyard and making wine. What they didn’t tell me was how much work it was! I guess be careful what you wish for..!”
But I get the feeling that he wouldn’t be anywhere else.
2013 Syrah $48.00
A brand new release. A single variety Syrah with aromas of vanilla and pepper and intriguing notes of cigar box and chocolate.
Wine lovers can also have the chance to taste Sage Hills wines at the Garagiste North-Small Guys Wine Festivals scheduled for June 27th in Vancouver and September 27th in Kelowna! www.garagistenorth.com
Photo: Rick Thrussell
~ Terry Meyer Stone