1286 Wilson Road, Hillier
Robert and Sally Peck got the inspiration to start their vineyard while honeymooning in the Okanogan Valley in the late 1990’s. After purchasing their farm and deciding to settle in the County, the couple were unsure of what to name their future vineyard. The former owners of the land informed them that there was a substantial sugarbush on the property: Sugarbush Vineyards was born.
Hand-harvesting their vineyard, and producing six different grape varietals would be enough to keep most people busy, but three years ago this ambitious couple decided they would begin tapping their sugarbush – the old fashioned way. Using no tubing, they tap about 100 trees using traditional buckets. Once collected, the sap is boiled down over an open fire using an old fashioned sap pan. This takes a considerable commitment – the first one up in the morning, must light the fire and keep it going until 11pm. This hard work amounts to the production of about 5-10 litres of syrup a day. The entire season produces about 50 litres for the family to sell in their winery, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year.
Admittedly, they make maple syrup for the fun of it. Though not a large-scale operation, they’d be thrilled if you visited them! This year, Sugarbush Vineyards will be boiling the syrup adjacent to the tasting room, making maple fudge s’mores for children, and selling many maple goodies in store. Visit them and take the 2-3 km hike out to their sugarbush (please bring appropriate outdoor clothing). After your walk enjoy a tasting of their wine – made entirely from grapes from their vineyard.
- Purchased property on Wilson Rd in 2000.
- Planted grape vines in 2002 and 2003.
- Opened winery tasting room in 2007.
- Tapped our first trees (30 taps) in 2010.
- 100 taps in 2012. Boiling down over an open fire using an old family flat pan.
- Bought a small wood fire evapourator in 2014 and now have 150 taps and buckets. All sap is collected by hand.