Five Cool Wineries for 2016

By Jeannette Montgomery

Why it's cool: Crafting quality wines since 2001, seemingly on the QT

Wine to watch: Quiet-restraint-meets-richness-and-depth 2014 Solstice Pinot Noir

In 1996, Joe and Margrit Zuppiger sold their 10-year old Alberta dairy farm and purchased 16 acres in Lake Country just North of Kelowna. The Family planted vines and built a small winery, while son Manuel studied winemaking in their home country of Switzerland, opening a modest room open to the public in 2003. From the first vintage of 1,000 cases to their current 15,000 cases per year, the original acreage now includes one leased vineyard and a long term buying contract from a neighbor. In 2015 they built a new, modern tasting room and barrel cellar to keep up with demand for their wines. Joe runs the vineyard. Margrit the office, and Manuel the cellar.

Manuel's depth of knowledge is hidden beneath a friendly modesty. After 15 years and even with increased production, he still works the cellar with only one fulltime assistant and a small seasonal crew at vintage. In the summer, his sisters (Karin and Janine) return from Montreal and Vancouver to run the new bistro that overlooks Lake Okanagan. Aromatic white wines and delicately layered reds anchor a portfolio that provides a beautiful expression of the diligent and consistent work of this unassuming family. 

janine zuppiger