Most Beautiful Okanagan Wineries
The winery has become the new art gallery for big-time architects who want to make a reputation-boosting statement building.
While dozens of wineries in the Okanagan have jaw-dropping views, these are the five that have amped up their vineyards with buildings as impressive as the surroundings.
Mission Hill, Kelowna
Architect: Tom Kundig, 2000
When Anthony von Mandl hired the Seattle-based Kundig 14 years ago, he was something of a hidden gem in the architecture world. These days, he’s arguably the best-known residential architect in North America and his work on Mission Hill—all warm modernism mixed with awe—is the anchor piece of architecture in the entire valley. Von Mandl has reengaged Kundig for a new project currently under construction for the boutique Martin’s Lane label.
Okanagan Crush Pad, Summerland
Architect: Brad Tone, 2011
There is no more classic idiom than “form follows function,” and this custom crush pad—meaning they make their own wine but also make wine for other people’s labels—didn’t have the luxury of grand public spaces. But co-owners Christine Coletta and Steve Lornie (a former builder) worked with Tone to create a triumph of utilitarian chic—everything moves, everything can be hosed down and a visit here is a chance to see a beautiful showcase of the hard work of making wine.
Painted Rock, Skaha Bluffs
Architect: Dominic Unsworth (designer), Robert Mackenzie (architect) 2013
Painted Rock has achieved huge success in a relatively short period of time, so it showed amazing restraint to eschew a big, flashy tasting room in favour of this model of elegant simplicity. Its gleaming white facade channels Richard Meier and at a compact 1,700 square feet it makes sure to complement, not overwhelm, the perfect setting of vines that terrace down to Skaha Lake.
Architect: Cedric Burgers, 2013
Owner and industry legend Don Triggs spared no expense on his new endeavour—the vineyard planting and management is unreal—but for his winery and tasting room, he had Burgers channel a more down-to-earth vibe of modern farmhouse (albeit the nicest farmhouse you’ll likely ever see). A mix of clean modern lines and warm cladding, its low-slung rooflines are set off to the side so as to not dominate the site.
Architect: Nick Bevanda, CEI Architecture, 2012
Bob and Senka Tennant built Black Hills into one of the valley’s first cult wines, but with their new venture they wanted to keep production small and focused—and Nick Bevanda built them a winery to match. It’s purpose-built and compact but has enough zip, like those Mondrian-esque windows, to excite (and it only cost $600,000).