Summerhill Pyramid Winery is renowned throughout the Okanagan Valley. More than a vineyard, winery and restaurant, it is a thriving entrepreneurial eco-system; proof that a sustainable business can be a successful business, and a beacon for everyone who values nature, local and sustainable cuisine, and wines that express purity and authenticity.
“Summerhill’s vision brings so much joy to my work. It lets me invest my creativity into doing something that I feel is of real value for the guests and for the world.”
A quick look around Summerhill tells a convincing story, from visitors lounging on the patio enjoying the stunning views to those wandering through the gardens; everyone is smiling, chatting, eating, drinking, and having a good time. There must be something in the air, the food, the wine…. dare we say it is the good vibrations of love?
Hospitality is a key part of Summerhill’s founding vision, and one that fortifies the food & beverage manager Paul LeGrange. Says LeGrange “We want to make sure our guests can feel the love that is behind everything we do here.”
Working closely with LeGrange, winery chef Alex Lavroff took the helm of
Summerhill’s Sunset Organic Bistro this spring and is feeling the vibe. “I moved back to the Okanagan three years ago with my wife and new baby. The community of chefs in the Okanagan has been amazingly supportive. They recommended me to Summerhill when they heard of an opening, and I feel like I’ve found my home. Summerhill’s vision brings so much joy to my work. It lets me invest my creativity into doing something that I feel is of real value for the guests and for the world.”
Chef Alex Lavroff and his dedicated team are committed to using only the best ingredients from the onsite biodynamic gardens and honoured organic farmers and foragers from around the province. The purity of Summerhill wines work well with chef Lavroff’s ethos in the kitchen, where the clarity of flavours speak for themselves.
Summerhill wines are fine examples of man working symbiotically with the harmonious notes of nature. The bold, smooth 2012 Cabernets are a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc from organic vineyards in Osoyoos. True to the local terroir, they hold notes that are distinctively and proudly rooted in the South Okanagan.
Summerhill’s dedication to organic and biodynamic principles reaches into all corners of the business and beyond.
“Biodynamics is about the farm as an ecosystem, and it does not exist in isolation,” said Summerhill’s CEO Ezra Cipes. “It’s about the welfare of the whole region. We would love to see the whole valley working organically. My dad [Summerhill founder and proprietor Stephen Cipes] and brother Gabe, along with a group of dedicated visionary volunteers, have launched the “2020 Vision” campaign. They are working to see the whole valley organic by 2020. It is a brave vision to think we could get the whole region seeing clearly in such a short time, but it is the right vision. It is a vision of true sustainability. And it is doable! Whole countries have embraced this vision. Look at Bhutan and Denmark. What do these countries understand that Canada doesn’t? We hope that all the farmers and residents of the Okanagan will listen and understand what these countries are doing and embrace that vision at home.”
There are not many places on this planet fortunate enough to enjoy farm-to-table cuisine; the Okanagan is one of the lucky regions of the world, and with Summerhill’s vision of an Organic Okanagan, visitors and locals should be able to enjoy the bounty of nature for generations to come.
This year, the vineyard, gardens and wetlands will be open to visitors where they can learn more about the beauty of biodynamic culture and take some time to feel the harmonious vibe of Summerhill.
It’s a beautiful simplicity of being.
~ Henrietta Poirier
(pictured: (l-r) Paul LaGrange, chef Alex Lavroff & Ezra Cipes)