WINERY TEAM Sage Hills Estate Winery is a family business which was started in 2006. From left are winemaker and viticulturalist Keenan Thrussell, Rick Thrussell, Toby Thrussell and sales and marketing director Tyler Thrussell. Rick Thrussell also serves as president of Summerland’s Bottleneck Drive, an association of wineries, cideries breweries and distilleries. (John Arendt/Summerland Review)

Wine industry has grown in Summerland

Bottleneck Drive represents 18 wineries, three cideries, one brewery and one distillery

When Rick Thrussell began Sage Hills Estate Winery in 2006, Summerland had a small but growing wine industry.

“We wanted to grow grapes that were designed to grow on the site that we had,” he said.

He and his wife looked at properties in Washington, Oregon and Vancouver Island before choosing to start a winery in Summerland.

When he began the winery, his property on Matsu Drive was the only winery in that part of Summerland. Today, from his tasting room windows, he can see five others nearby. “These didn’t exist when I came here,” he said.

READ ALSO: Bottleneck Drive tasting rooms to open in April

READ ALSO: Grand Sommelier Express returns for third year

The wine industry in the community has grown, and today Summerland’s Bottleneck Drive represents 18 wineries, three cideries, one brewery and one distillery, with more to come.

Thrussell is the president of Bottleneck Drive and is working to promote the wineries and the community.

“Bottleneck Drive is about driving tourism to the town,” he said. “There’s so much the community has to offer.”

He added that the growth of the wine industry has changed the way Summerland has promoted itself.

In the past, he said the Summerland Chamber of Commerce used the lake and the beaches as the focus of its tourism efforts, but Thrussell said the focus has needed to expand beyond the lake. Everybody’s on the lake and everybody’s got beaches,” he said of the communities in the Okanagan Valley. “We’ve got to start marketing what’s different about Summerland, not what’s the same as everywhere else.”

Thrussell expects the wine industry in Summerland and in the Okanagan will continue to grow, with wineries emphasizing the quality of the wines.

“The valley as a whole is going to continue to make its name based on the quality of the wines we produce,” he said. “Our focus has to be on quality.”

To report a typo, email:
news@summerlandreview.com
.



news@summerlandreview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Public shows support for alcohol in outdoor spaces: City of Penticton

City council will vote on whether to continue allowing public consumption, on Tuesday, July 7

Princeton RCMP arrest suspects in violent Salmon Arm home invasion

Two men who allegedly staged a violent home invasion in Salmon Arm… Continue reading

Interior Health will not expand Police and Crisis Team

Southeast Division Chief Superintendent Brad Haugli asked IH to expand the program

Haze over Okanagan and Shuswap skies may have drifted from Siberia

Few active wildifres so far this summer in B.C.

Community Foundation of South Okanagan Similkameen funding applications accepted until July 24

Emergency Community Support Funding available to organizations within the region

13 new B.C. COVID-19 cases, Langley Lodge outbreak ends

Health care outbreaks down to four, 162 cases active

Okanagan Realtors donate big to North Westside fire department

Two Kelowna-area Realtors made a generous donation to the North Westside Fire… Continue reading

SilverStar security recovers stolen bike

Reminders to residents to keep bicycles locked up, eyes open for suspicious activity

‘Justice for Mona’ protests planned in Kelowna, Lower Mainland

Security camera footage shows Mona Wang being dragged, stepped on during RCMP wellness check

Orphaned Okanagan beavers admitted to rehab centre

The two beavers are in the care of the Fawcett Family Wildlife Health Centre

Intent of killing at centre of Surrey man’s Okanagan murder trial

B.C. Supreme Court Justice Allison Beames is anticipated to return with her decision in August

Kelowna neighbourhood pond dries up again

The RDCO filled up the pond on Hall Road but it’s drying up again

Penticton RCMP seek help locating missing woman

25-year-old Iesha Blomquist was reported missing to Penticton RCMP on June 30

Most Read