Unlike its namesake volcano (that hasn’t been active for more than 60 million years), Mt. Boucherie Estate Winery is erupting with exciting initiatives. The architecturally stunning new Wine Experience Centre, which opened this year, is tangible evidence of Mt. Boucherie’s re-envisioning.
The continuous evolution of Mt. Boucherie can be seen in this flagship modern façade which dramatically features the surrounding vineyards and hills of West Kelowna and Okanagan Lake.
The evolution begins in the vineyards, where the roots run deep and their legacy is highly respected and nurtured. Brett Thiessen, manager of viticulture, is proud to steward some of the oldest vineyards in British Columbia. They grow the best quality vinifera grapes on estate vineyards in the Okanagan Valley, Golden Mile Bench and Similkameen Valley, without the use of synthetic chemicals.
The sustainable practices go beyond growing grapes to a partnership with the Okanagan Similkameen Stewardship Society (OSS) on Mt. Boucherie’s 80-acre property on the bank of the Similkameen river. Mt. Boucherie recognized the area as a sensitive riparian zone where deer fences and infrastructure were blocking wildlife. It’s here, in a cold spot on a floodplain, that Mt. Boucherie removed original posts, wires and vines from the previous owners.
In addition to restoring the nature corridor, catch ponds for floodwaters are being dug to create a breeding ground for the endangered spadefoot toad. It’s a whole-ecosystem approach to increase beneficial biodiversity around Mt. Boucherie’s new vineyard and return space to crucial species of the area. Once completed, some 10 to 15 acres will have returned to natural habitat.
Thiessen maintains that sustainability is more than running a tight budget and being profitable by growing on every acre. “I plan to work with nature instead of against it, restore and give healthy land back to wildlife, encouraging them to be around our vineyard instead of inside it. It’s our way of giving some of it back and benefiting the entire ecosystem.”
The OSS partnership assists in identifying vulnerable species of plants and animals and monitoring the progress. OSS staff and volunteers help clean up the current infrastructure, and source and plant native tree and grass species. To learn more about OSS’s initiatives, visit osstewardship.ca/about.
Wine Country Accommodations
Watch for three exciting new private guest houses anticipated by October at Mt. Boucherie, with shuttles to and from the airport. The inspiration for these includes a taste of wine country living, with guest experience options planned including wine touring, dining, golfing, skiing and more.
New Menu, Private Dinners
Responding to the reception of locals and guests, head chef Dan Carkner has expanded The Modest Butcher’s menu. They feature the best steaks in the valley, from six-ounce tenderloin to 32-ounce tomahawk. There’s also a range of vegan and vegetarian options. The restaurant is open 11 am to 9 pm daily. The food and service is exceptional, while keeping the vibe modest and welcoming.
Private spaces are available for seated dining experiences—ideal for small celebrations such as birthdays, corporate events and Christmas parties. On the ground floor, the impressive Summit Barrel Room has a 400-square-foot digital screen for sharing presentations or special memories. It’s perfect for a group looking for an intimate dining experience or corporate get-together. For more information on the menu and pricing, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The recently released 2017 Summit, Mt. Boucherie’s flagship red wine, scored 94 points from Rick VanSickle in its first review. This proprietary red blend, with intense aromas and flavours of cassis, black and red fruits, fresh tobacco, cedar and distinct minerality, is $59.99.
The Original Vines series is now available. Created from vineyards established in the ‘80s and ‘90s, these wines spotlight old blocks, keeping them distinct from Mt. Boucherie’s other families of wines. These small lots are crafted from estate vineyards in Okanagan Falls, Golden Mile Bench and the Similkameen Valley. Head winemaker Jeff Hundertmark has treated the fruit as gently as possible, making every effort to best reflect these choice sites.
For those customers unable to make the trip to the picturesque Mt. Boucherie tasting room, monthly sales continue online. Shop at mtboucherie.com to explore the diverse wines available.