Cawston died Aug. 26 of a heart attack. With his legal background, he was an outspoken and respected grower who served as a director of or as president on boards of various packinghouses, most recently the B.C. Tree Fruits Co-op, the Okanagan Valley Tree Fruit Authority, the Plant Improvement Company, the B.C. Investment Agriculture Foundation, Sun-Rype Products and B.C. Tree Fruits... Andrew Peller Limited expanded its reach into the premium wine business in B.C. with the $95 million purchase this September of Gray Monk Estate Winery, Tinhorn Creek Vineyards and Black Hills Estate Winery. In the announcement, national marketing director Adine Fabiani said the company has long admired them as competitors and accepts the responsibility of continuing to deliver a “remarkable wine experience;” adding, “These wines have the potential to compete in the growing luxury wine market in the province, across the country and around the world.” Peller began in the Okanagan nearly 60 years ago, started by the grandfather of today’s CEO, John Peller. The company already owns Trius, Thirty Bench, Wayne Gretzky, Sandhill, Conviction, Red Rooster and a number of value-priced brands...


Industry pioneers the Fitzpatrick family, who bought Uniacke Winery in the Mission area of Kelowna in 1986 and changed its name to CedarCreek Estate Winery, have completed renovations to their Greata Ranch vineyard facility and opened Fitzpatrick Family Vineyards. It features sparkling wines such as the 2013 Fitz Brut, which was awarded a gold medal at the National Wine Awards of Canada this year. CedarCreek was bought by Mission Hill Family Estate proprietor Anthony von Mandl and his family in 2014, and is also under renovation... Another Okanagan wine industry pioneer, Harry McWatters, celebrated creation of his 50th vintage this year with the first crush of Chardonnay grapes from the Black Sage bench at the new facility for his Time Wineryin the former Pen-Mar Theatre in downtown Penticton. He began in the Okanagan wine industry

ong-timeB.C. Fruit Growers’ Association member and industry leader Rob Dawsonof

with Casabello Wines in Penticton in 1968, then went on to work for a number of large beverage corporations before founding Sumac Ridge Estate Winery in Summerland in 1979. He sold it in 2000 to Vincor International Inc., and retired from that winery in 2009. Vincor was taken over by multi-national Constellation Brands in 2006, and early this year, Constellation’s Canadian wine business, which includes Jackson-Triggs and Inniskillin, was sold to the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan for about $1 billion...

In the 2017 national WineAlign Wine Awards, La Frenz of Naramata was named Best Performing Small Winery of the Year in Canada. Owners Jeff and Niva Martin moved to the Okanagan in 1994 from Australia, with Jeff first working at Quails’ Gate before the couple founded La Frenz in 2002. Several other Naramata Bench wineries were in the running for that award this year, including last year’s winner, Lake Breeze, which was third. Meyer Family Vineyards of OK Falls took second place, while Daydreamer Wineswas fifth and Laughing Stock Vineyards, both of Naramata Bench, sixth. Ontario wineries took the top three awards in the Top 25 Wineries category, with Road 13 Vineyards of Oliver fourth; Mission Hill Family Estate fifth; Quails’ Gate Estate Winery sixth; Burrowing Owl seventh; and La Frenz 10th. Meyer Family Vineyards came in 12th place, Bench 1775 in 13th; CedarCreek 14th; Inniskillin Okanagan 15th; Lake Breeze 16th; Nk’Mip Cellars 19th; Wild Goose 22nd; Daydreamer 23rd; and Laughing Stock 25th. In addition, a platinum award went to the Tantalus 2014 Old Vines Riesling...

In the 2017 All Canadian Wine Awards, the trophy for best red wine went to the 2014 Howard Soon Red from Sandhill, while best dessert wine went to Gehringer Bros. 2015 Signature Riesling Icewine. Best sparkling wine was awarded to the Noble Ridge 2012 The Oneand best fruit wine went to Krause Berry Farms 2016 Cassis. Medals of merit included double golds for: the Noble Ridge sparkling and its 2014 Chardonnay Reserve; Monster Vineyards’ 2016 Skinny Dip Chardonnay; 50th Parallel’s 2015 Chardonnay; Nk’Mip Cellars’ Qwam Qwmt Riesling; Hillside Winery’s 2016 Viognier; Church & State’s 2015 Trebella; and Niche Wine Company’s 2016 Small Batch white. In the red wines, double golds went to: CedarCreek’s 2016 Platinum Rose Block 1; Monte Creek Ranch’s 2014 Cab Sauvignon Reserve; Cassini Cellars 2013 The Aristocrat; Gold Hill Winery’s 2013 Merlot and 2013 Syrah; Van Westen Vineyards’ 2014 Vivre la Vie; Church & State’s 2014 Merlot; Stoneboat Vineyards’ 2014 Pinot Noir; 50th Parallel’s 2015 Pinot Noir; Tinhorn Creek’s 2014 Oldfield Reserve Cab Franc; Sandhill’s 2014 Howard Soon Red and 2014 Small Lots Syrah Phantom Creek; Chaberton’s 2013 Reserve Syrah; St. Hubertus’ 2014 Oak Bay Vineyard Marechal Foch; Beaufort Vineyard’s 2015 Foch Cab; Blasted Church’s 2014 Holy Moly; and Orofino’s 2014 Red Bridge Red. As well, Coastal Black Estate Winery’s 2017 Strawberry Sparkling and Gehringer Bros.’ 2015 Signature Riesling Icewine were awarded double golds...

British Columbia FRUIT GROWER • Fall-Winter 2017


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