By Katie Truscott
The Tale of the Modest Butcher
Isadore Boucherie, one of the first settlers in West Kelowna arrived in the valley on April 1, 1888. He was a charming gentleman, well known for his impeccable manners and good looks. He was a cattle farmer that loved a good steak and a stiff drink. As legend has it, Isadore Boucherie and Father Pandosy were old friends. After a long day of drinking which lead to Isadore winning an epic drinking bout, he stood up over Father Pandosy exclaiming “I am the greatest wine drinker in the valley!” to which Pandosy replied “well aren’t you the Modest Butcher.” The name stuck and the story would carry itself through the years as a focus on cattle shifted to grape vines and Mt. Boucherie evolved into an estate winery.
A New Chapter Begins
I was excited about my visit to meet with Rob and Zoë, Head Sommelier and Marketing Manager at Mt. Boucherie Estate Winery. It was my first time to this West Kelowna winery. I was rather excited as rumours had been swirling about a new facility getting ready to open its doors.
I was greeted with a glass of 2017 Mt. Boucherie Syrah, warm smiles and a tell-tale buzz of excitement. Rob and Zoë couldn’t wait to show me around the new building. As I sipped on the Syrah, I noted just how beautifully concentrated and rich it was. Violet, fig, cracked black pepper and dark juicy fruits overwhelmed me. As we made our way to the new 15,000 square foot Wine Experience Centre, I stopped in my tracks. It’s a beautifully modern building, with clean lines and an inviting presence.
The Wine Experience Centre
This impressive, modern building was designed by Ciccozzi Architects and boasts a tasting room, roof top patio, private event space and restaurant. The décor is classy, yet unpretentious. With powerhouses Dustin Martin (restaurant manager) and Dan Carkner (head chef) at the helm of the new restaurant, The Modest Butcher serves up amazing, farm-to-table dishes without an ounce of pretention, modestly offering the best dining experience in Okanagan wine country.
The wine menu will feature classic wines from around the world to complement Mt. Boucherie’s own award-winning portfolio. Two new wine ranges are rolling their way out with the original vines series and the restaurant’s signature modest butcher line. There is also a full bar service, offering an epic cocktail menu as well as craft beers and world class spirits. Dan Carkner, the modest butcher himself, is keeping things real in West Kelowna with great food in a relaxed atmosphere.
Plans for the weekend? Be sure to make a reservation and dig into an epic steak at the latest hot spot in the valley.
With an expected opening early April, you can be the first to book, by signing up for the e-news online at mtboucherie.com
A Brief Note on the Vineyard
Before we dive into the impressive new facilities up at the winery it’s important to touch on the vineyard, which serves as one of the main sources of inspiration for the winery and new building. With switching vineyard management to organic farming principles, the vines and soil have moved leaps and bounds forward with more sustainable and regenerative farming practices and the elimination of herbicide use.
Vineyard Manager Brett Thiessen took the reins in May 2019, switching vineyard management to organic farming principles. Since then the vines and soil have moved leaps and bounds forward with more sustainable and regenerative farming practices and the elimination of herbicide use. His young blood, youthful energy and an ability to think outside of the box is what got him hired. He spent his first day on the job throwing away all systemic and synthetic materials thus beginning a long journey towards sustainable, natural and healthy vineyards.
Thiessen manages 200 acres of vines, which span s five vineyards in both the Okanagan and Similkameen.
With the the ultimate goal of sustainability in mind, many techniques have been used, such as minimal till and no till on soil, cover cropping for nutrient sequestration, erosion prevention, as well as providing shelter for pests on the ground instead of in the vines allowing the vineyards to be in their natural state.
A compost program has recently been implemented that utilizes waste from harvest and manure from local farmers. In November 2019, Mt. Boucherie broke ground on another 80 acres in the Similkameen with just under half being rehabilitated and dedicated as a habitat for wildlife.
Thiessen’s goal is to offer clean and transparent wine to consumers starting in the vineyard — while farming with nature instead of against it. Great wine starts in the vineyard producing first class fruit that can be handed over to new winemaker Jeff Hundertmark to work his magic. “The goal is to implement sustainability in everything we do from the vineyard to the wine to the table.”