It’s a cause for celebration in Summerland, as Thornhaven Estates Winery marks its 15th year anniversary this summer. The picturesque adobe styled winery was born as a retirement project by Jan and Jack Fraser, but has since become one of this modest town’s most well-known and beloved wineries, and also holds the distinction of being Summerland’s oldest family-run winery as well. This is evident in every aspect of the vineyard, with the whole family deeply involved in the day-to-day operations of the winery at every level.
In addition to Jan and Jack, who also run the Jackson Height’s vineyard, son Jason is winemaker and cellarmaster for the estate and oversees three of Thornhaven’s Summerland vineyards. Meanwhile daughter Cortney heads sales and marketing for the winery with husband Nick while also overseeing the Elmo’s Vineyard, where the winery grows its coveted Orange Muscat. It’s a tight-knit operation that has allowed Thornhaven to maintain its unpretentious charm that so perfectly fits in to the atmosphere of Summerland itself.
The anniversary celebrations kick off on the May 21st – 22nd weekend with Jeremy Head followed by the popular return of the annual Music on the Mountain concert. Campfire Junkies take the stage for the Bottleneck Drive’s Heard it through the Grapevine festivities and come Canada Day Thornhaven marks the start of the summer season and the birth of the nation with music by Pam Ferens. All of this occurs on the beautiful southwest-style patio built into the slopes of Summerland’s iconic Little Giant’s Head Mountain which looks down over a rolling vista of vineyards, Lake Okanagan and the Trout Creek Canyon.
Of course, no anniversary is complete without wine. Bubbly is the wine of choice for anniversaries and Thornhaven’s 2015 Infusion, a popular sparkling wine made from the classic Champagne varietals Pinot Meunier, Pinot Noir, and Chardonnay, will be released just in time for the start of the festivities. However, those who come by the wineshop will also have the opportunity to try the newly released XV red blend. Made especially for the 15th anniversary the XV is only available at Thornhaven Estates, but did you really need any more reason to come down the Bottleneck Drive and join the party?
Specially crafted and released for the 15th anniversary of Thornhaven Estates, this 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon – Syrah blend is smooth to the pallet and finishes with hints of both black cherry and plum.
~ Blake Allen