Getting to Know My Neighbours - Sage Hills Estate Winery, Harvest 2014
Most days I look out my window from home that sits on the point at Crescent Beach in Lower Summerland toward the bluffs and the path I've walked up to get to town since … well… since forever. I live in a place that's been in my life since the first moment I can recall... Back to my point (no pun intended), I look up to the clay bluffs and path that winds up the sage hillside, where these past several years I have been fortunate to see Sage Hills Estate Winery has made its home on the gorgeous perch, overlooking us.
They've graced the land with what may be my favourite contemporary home in the valley. And what is more, they've made this piece of Summerland paradise even greater. Through organic stewarding and farming they have obtained organic certification and they have planted said sage hill perch with organic Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and Gewurtztraminer. I had an instant affection for so many of their choices before I had even tasted their single varietal site specific wines of the three wisely chosen varietals for the vineyards. Then I got to fall in love all over again when I in fact tasted the wine from a terroir that couldn't be much closer to home.
The organic vines are in their 7th leaf and 4th vintage. The wines are getting well deserved attention and have taken home several awards. I'll let the elegant wines speak for themselves. Pick up a bottle at a BCVQA location or visit their website for a list of retailers and to make online orders.
This story is about getting to know the family and team at Sage Hills Estate Winery who are out tending the vineyards and making the wines on this beautiful sage hill. The rest of the story is in photographs with captions :)
I arrived at Sage Hills on the Saturday afternoon of October 11 while the team of owners and family and friends lent a hand in bringing in the third vintage of Pinot Gris.
Meet Rick Thrussell, owner and founder of Sage Hills Estate Winery since 2007 when the first Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and Gewurtztraminer were planted.
Keenan Thrussell, Rick's son, has been working at the winery since it's start. He has made his way through the winery ranks to vineyard manager.
Toby Lodge can always be found where Sage Hills wine is… She is Rick's partner and a smiling face you will often see pouring at events or in the vineyard.
Rick and Keenan organize the bins of Pinot Gris that are coming in for the crush.
Father and son work well together.
Meet Winemaker Andrea Lee. This is usually how you will find her… surrounded by stainless, checking the ferments, testing the brix, up and down ladders, cleaning tanks or any other number of winemaking activities.
Andrea checks a ferment underway
Rick and Andrea
The Estate of Sage Hills Estate Winery, a favourite architectural project of mine and home to Rick and the family.
The north facing vineyard looks out toward Peachland and if you look really close, down to my little world on Crescent Beach.
Now, go find some of this Summerland organic wine and celebrate it!