QUAILS’ GATE WINERY HAS MUCH TO CELEBRATE IN ITS 30TH YEAR
By Roslyne Buchanan.
As the 30th Anniversary celebrations of Quails’ Gate Winery opening its doors on Boucherie Road in West Kelowna winds to a close, there is much to applaud.
CEO Tony Stewart admits the early wines weren’t up to the high standards that have now been consistently achieved at the winery. “Today, we make flagship Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays and are part of North America’s leading culinary destination. It’s been quite a journey.”
The evening featured small lot and library wines so guests could taste for themselves how far Quails’ Gate has come. There were many vintages that were a surprise to sample. Guests even had the rare opportunity to taste some California selections. Along with the special vintages, there were multiple grazing stations prepared by Old Vines Restaurant, live music from chart topper Andrew Allen, and lots of opportunity to interact with representatives from the Stewart family and other key personnel. Winemaker Ross Baker spoke to the legacy of winemaking at Quails’ Gate and discussed current approaches.
With Quails’ Gate decked out in holiday décor and the amazing wine and fabulous cuisine, the ambiance made it truly a night to remember.
Quails’ Gate continues to evolve and expand with wineries now in California’s Lake Sonoma and Valley of the Moon and the original 81-hectare Stewart Brothers Nursery property purchased from other family branches in East Kelowna to be planted in grape vineyards. The Westside property has been family farmed since 1956 and actually members of the family have farmed in the Okanagan Valley since 1908.
Trophies for business of the year and large business of the year were bestowed on the winery at the Greater Westside Board of Trade Key Business Awards 2019. Quails’ Gate had been named one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies in 2016, 2017 and 2018, and received Trip Advisor’s Certificate of Excellence. It was voted one of Canada’s Top 100 Restaurants, ‘Most Romantic Restaurants’ and ‘Best Outdoor Dining Restaurants’ by Open Table. At the Best of BC Wine Country Awards is rated ‘Best BC Winery Restaurant Showcasing Local Food’.
There are so many notable awards I hesitate to list them given I’m liable to miss one or not get it entirely accurate: For example, the 2017 Stewart Family Reserve Chardonnay was awarded Platinum at the 2019 WineAlign National Wine Awards of Canada. WineAlign 2019 awarded Gold for 2016 The Boswell Syrah; Silver for 2018 Dry Riesling, 2017 Rosemary’s Block, and 2017 Chardonnay; Bronze for 2018 Chenin Blanc, 2018 Lucy’s Block Rosé, 2017 Richard’s Block Pinot Noir and 2017 Riesling Icewine.
Additionally, 2017 Rosemary’s Block Chardonnay was awarded Silver medals at Chardonnay du Monde 2019 and at the International Wine & Spirit Competition 2019.
At the 2019 British Columbia Lieutenant Governor’s Wine Awards, Quails’ Gate received a Gold Medal for 2017 Stewart Family Reserve Chardonnay; Silver for 2017 Richard’s Block Pinot Noir; and Bronze for 2017 Rosemary’s Block Chardonnay and 2017 Stewart Family Reserve Pinot Noir.
The real award is just spending time at Quails’ Gate whatever the season. Given its stunning scenery, warm architecture, outstanding restaurant, great gift shop and consistently delightful wines, it’s always a highlight of the Westside Wine Trail. Quails’ Gate is an iconic Okanagan winery and restaurant you love to show off to company or just bask in the glory of living in the region.
For current hours and specials, go to quailsgate.com
Featured photo: Quails’ Gate Senior Sommelier Louise Dabisza pours special vintages