Exuding commitment and joy in your work as Summerhill Pyramid Organic Winery’s team does, the enthusiasm can rub off on guests. That’s why customer satisfaction ratings remain consistently high chez Summerhill, why every visit to the iconic Kelowna landmark proves to be an adventure and why it is lauded as “Canada’s most visited winery.”
From the beginning, Founder/Proprietor Stephen Cipes was keen to showcase the quality of Okanagan-produced wines and to enhance the tasting experience for guests. To that end, Summerhill invests in recruiting the best people and providing staff development.
“We’re so proud of our wonderful staff in the Wine Shop and restaurant. Managers Gabriel Osborn and Li Zhou ensure our Wine Shop is enthusiastically managed and each guest feels welcome. In the Bistro, under the direction of our talented Executive Chef Jeremy Luypen, that warmth extends to our dining guests by the team of Scotia, Sue and EunMi,” says Cipes.
Summerhill Pyramid Bistro offers “extraordinary organic dining,” and food service is now expanded with Small Plates Extraordinary Organic Eats. Cipes asserts, “It complements our 200-seat restaurant with delicious options — what I like to call fast-food organic.”
Wine-paired small plates are available, as well as family meals-to-go. And for the picnic areas, an array of authentic German, Russian, Italian, Mexican, Syrian, Polish, Greek, Chinese, Japanese, Quebec, First Nations food is featured, using local, organic ingredients year-round. Partnerships with local culinary experts who’ve mastered their mother countries’ cuisines enable a rotation of this variety of organic street foods. Place your order at the new Organic Kitchen Container window and enjoy at onsite picnic tables, in the food hall space or to-go.
“It’s meant to be family friendly, where you can mix and match like a fun, family picnic. In addition to suggested wine pairings, non-alcoholic beverages appropriate to the cuisine will be available,” explains Chef Luypen.
The cuisine’s flavours are accentuated using only local, organic and sustainable growers/producers, and Summerhill’s own permaculture-style organic gardens, which are overseen by Gabe Cipes, biodynamicist/permaculturist. In recognition of his excellence in the gardens and vineyards, and his leadership in organic stewardship, Gabe has been promoted to Vice President.
Additionally, recognizing his exemplary work with Winemaker/Viticulturist Eric von Krosigk, Brett Thiessen was appointed Vineyard Manager to make Summerhill vineyards “a model to the world of operating a large organic vineyard,” reports Stephen Cipes. He hopes to persuade all of the Okanagan to go organic, “as we have the least pests of any viticulture area in the world given we’re the world’s northernmost fruit-growing region.”
Organic Okanagan DECLARATION
“We’ve made great progress with the Organic Okanagan DECLARATION to convert the entire valley by 2020. With so many conversions underway, we’ve extended the date to 2025 and invite everyone to sign the DECLARATION at organicokanagan.com Join us to convert your own lawn and garden to organic,” urges Cipes.
In the spirit of continuous improvement, Summerhill is undergoing new branding that features a stunning photograph of the sun shining over Okanagan Lake and the vineyard’s pyramid. Watch for new labels and signage. It’s also in Cipes’ completely revised book, All One Era, available in the Wine Shop and at amazon.com
The Summerhill Experience
Due to popular demand, the Summerhill pyramid is open all day for visits. Inside its theatre, guests can enjoy movies highlighting the wine, the family and the winery. Upstairs, the pyramid provides a perfect space in which to meditate. For those who wish to join in on a guided experience, a tour is available at 2 pm daily.
These expanding opportunities to experience Summerhill wines also include the main Wine Shop tasting room, new VIP tasting rooms, the Robert Bateman Gallery tasting bar, the Gazebo and the warehouse tasting station. Open daily, year-round, check out summerhill.bc.ca for current hours, latest news and to book tours.
Awards and New Wine
At the Okanagan Spring Wine Festival Summerhill’s 2016 Riesling was awarded Best Varietal and Cipes Brut received Gold, making it the single most awarded wine in Canada, having received Gold every year for 26 years consecutively!
Heads up, too, says Cipes, for the most beautiful red wine to be released lovingly finished in Summerhill’s exclusive in BC, nine 10,000-litre Italian-design French Oak casks. Summerhill is excited to share the results of the hard work and dedication to vegan, organic and minimum- intervention winemaking by Eric, Steve, Michael and Ezra.