Hours of Operation: SUMMER: Daily: 9:00AM - 6:00PM, , WINTER: Daily: 9:00AM - 5:00PM
Established in the heart of Okanagan Wine Country, Sumac Ridge Estate Winery is located on Highway 97 just north of the charming lakeside town of Summerland, British Columbia. The winery has been dedicated to producing 100% British Columbia grown wines since its inception.
Sumac Ridge is the oldest operating estate winery in British Columbia and founder Harry McWatters is one of the most seasoned executives in the industry. In 2006 McWatters will complete his 38th vintage and will celebrate the winery's 27th vintage.
At the Summerland winery site, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Noir and Riesling grapes are grown on a vineyard sloping towards Lake Okanagan. Further south is Black Sage Vineyard, a 115-acre vineyard in Oliver (in the south Okanagan) where such noble red varieties as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc are grown in addition to a number of white varieties such as Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Blanc, and Chardonnay. The winery augments its own supply of grapes from other respected vineyards throughout the south Okanagan and Similkameen Valleys.
2006 marks the 25th anniversary of the winery opening and celebrates the colourful thirty-eight year career of McWatters who has led many innovations. If he had it all to do over again McWatters says he would jump into the fray in a heartbeat. "The industry attracts people from all walks of life yet they share a common passion for the process of growing grapes and making wine. It is a product that attracts people who like to celebrate good living, good food and good times and it is hard not to get swept up in the excitement that it generates," states McWatters. "British Columbia grown wines have not always been glamorous or highly sought-after, but I am thankful that the wine industry collectively forged through some bleak times to see wine lovers embracing VQA wines and making the Okanagan Valley a wine touring destination."
What's next for the winery and McWatters? This year, Sumac Ridge will be releasing a new Sparkling Pinnacle Brut, an ultra-premium sparkling wine made from Pinot Noir that has been aging in the bottle for four years. The winery also has a Sparkling Shiraz in the works. McWatters predicts that Sumac Ridge will continue to be an innovator and continue its work as a leader in the Canadian wine industry. "The winery has had so many firsts in the Canadian wine industry that I can't believe we will stop at this point and merely coast on the reputation we have built over the last decades." Is he up for more vintages? "You bet - I can't image doing anything else."
Distribution: Winery, online order, VQA stores, liquor stores and nationally by Vincor