Members of the Dhaliwal family followed their destiny to make great wines.
Sukwinder Dhaliwal immigrated to Canada in the 1990s with a borrowed $5 in his pocket, and settled in the Okanagan Valley. He made ends meet by working in agriculture, eventually focussing on managing vineyards.
Sukwinder, along with his brother, Balwinder Dhaliwal, learned to turn grapes into gold, growing fruit that became award-winning wines for numerous well-known Okanagan wineries.
“That’s when we started thinking, something’s missing. We want to be at the front end,” said Sukwinder’s daughter, Neelam Dhaliwal.
The brothers began purchasing property together on the side. Eventually, they couldn’t maintain the balance of growing their own grapes and working full time. They pivoted into managing their own vineyards and consulting for the industry.
The Dhaliwals now grow many varieties on 350 acres, including rare grapes, like Grenache and Mourvedre. About 90 per cent of their grapes go to other wineries in the valley, and 10 per cent are used for Kismet wines — enough for about 6,000 cases.
Kismet means Destiny
“We’ve always worked to establish ourselves as a hard-working and determined family,” said Neelam, who is operations manager at the winery. “It’s been a dream of ours to share our labour of love and hard work directly with customers.”
The word Kismet in Sanskrit means destiny. The language is used to good effect by the winery, which named its top red blends after the spiritual laws of destiny — Karma, Mantra and Moksha — and each tells a story of the Dhaliwals’ journey.
New Releases for 2018
• Sparkling White — the winery will be putting out 200 cases of the dry sparkling wine, reminiscent of a citrusy cider;
• Lotus Rosé — a mix of Cabernet Sauvignon and orange Muscat, like lotus blossoms blooming from muddy water;
• Malbec Reserve — aged in expensive barrels, it’s a very intense and powerful flavour, with a bit of mint, and reminiscent of Argentinian wines
Eat, Sleep, Enjoy
Kismet winery is one of the few in the South Okanagan with a guest house. It’s designed with delicate Indian décor and includes a hot tub, fire pit and picnic area.
The Kismet bistro features the family’s secret recipes for authentic Indian cuisine. The response so far has been outstanding. Since opening, they’ve expanded the bistro to accommodate more guests and special events.
They also have a beautiful space in the centre of the vineyard that can be reserved for private events.
The wine, food and beautiful venue make a perfect recipe for spectacular events.
“People are blown away at how well the wines pair with Indian food,” said Neelam.
Last year, Kismet launched a wine club membership, which includes access to exclusive releases. They have been overwhelmed by demand.