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Winery’s test sample given thumbs up

Volcanic Hill  estate winery proprietor Bobby Gidda, and Wine Country consulting winemaker Daniel Bontorin, toast their award winning rosé, a winner of the Lieutenant Governor’s Award for the achievement of Excellence in B.C. Wines  - Sean Connor/Capital News
Volcanic Hill estate winery proprietor Bobby Gidda, and Wine Country consulting winemaker Daniel Bontorin, toast their award winning rosé, a winner of the Lieutenant Governor’s Award for the achievement of Excellence in B.C. Wines
— image credit: Sean Connor/Capital News

For a winery that’s just over a year old, West Kelowna’s Volcanic Hills Estate Winery is already putting itself in some prestigious company as it was awarded the Lieutenant-Governor’s Award for Excellence in B.C. Wines for its 2010 Rosé.

Bobby Gidda says he was surprised to learn last week the family-owned winery was among 11 recognized because he wasn’t sure how the rosé would turn out.

“Last year, we entered and didn’t win anything but this year it means a lot that the rosé won because it was the first year we tried it…it was a test sample,” Gidda said.

“Now that we won, we are going to go into production on it. We did 280 cases and we will try to double production.”

Daniel Bontorin, his winemaker who is from Osoyoos,  was testing Central Okanagan grapes grown in a cooler climate while Gidda wanted to test the market to see how the rosé would move.

They both got their answer.

The winery will host the lieutenant-governor and other officials from Government House in Victoria later this month.

While they have been making wine for the past few years, they have only taken the process entirely in house for the past year.

For Gidda, who is just 26, operating the winery has been a lifelong dream.

His family was once part-owner of Mt Boucherie estate winery.

As a child he watched the entire operation hoping to run it one day.

He spent four years earning his business degree and 10 months at Okanagan College learning at its wine sales course, learning accounting and everything else he would need.

“I prepared for this adventure,” he says.

He also has plenty of family help from his wife Harpreet, his brother Amit, his sister Christina Tumber and her husband Pirthipal, and of course his father Farwan.

While pleased with the honour, it certainly isn’t the first.

The wine-making duo won a silver medal for their 2008 vintage chardonnay ice wine at the French Chardonnay du Monde competition last year.

Other Central Okanagan wines also cited with excellence awards by the lieutenant-governor included Sandhill Wines’ 2009 small lots Syrah and the St Hubertus and Oak Bay Estate Winery’s 2009 dry Riesling.

 

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