Echo Bay has been the gathering place for 5 generations of the Kenyon family.

Echo Bay has been the gathering place for 5 generations of the Kenyon family.

Echo Bay has been the gathering place for 5 generations of the Kenyon family.

It’s an 18 acre parcel of land along Eastside Road, Okanagan Falls that slopes down to the Skaha lakeshore. When the Kenyon’s bought the property in 1967, the former owners had torn out an aging apple orchard and the land was left fallow. In 1978, Al and Nella Kenyon moved to Echo Bay full-time. They planted alfalfa first and a mixture of grasses to start raising a few cattle and chickens.

A large house was built in 1989 with an apartment on top for them and communal living quarters for the family below, where their 3 sons and daughter and their grandchildren would spend the summers and commute to work.

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SONY DSC

Although for years the family talked about growing grapes, it wasn’t until 2013, under the direction of long time grower Richard Cleave, that we planted vines.  In 2015 and 2016 we made our first wine with Alan Dickinson at Synchromesh at Synchromesh Winery. Presently, Kelsey Rufiange, grand-daughter of Al and Nella Kenyon, is the winemaker at Echo Bay. She studied oenology and viticulture at Lincoln University and worked vintages in New Zealand, California and Australia.


Although for years the family talked about growing grapes, it wasn’t until 2013, under the direction of long time grower Richard Cleave, that we planted vines.  In 2015 and 2016 we made our first wine with Alan Dickinson at Synchromesh Winery. Presently, Kelsey Rufiange, grand-daughter of Al and Nella Kenyon, is the winemaker at Echo Bay. She studied oenology and viticulture at Lincoln University and worked vintages in New Zealand, California and Australia.


Growing

Growing

Growing

Our 5-acre vineyard is planted with Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon along with smaller quantities of Malbec, Carmenère, Petit Verdot and Sangiovese. The soil was deposited by glacial meltwater and is a mixture of sandy/silty loam with randomized gravels. With south-west facing slopes, our vines experience a greater exposure to afternoon sun, allowing for our later ripening varietals.

Without being dogmatic towards any particular growing method, we practice chemical-free farming and focus on nourishing our vines through various natural practices such as organics, biodynamics, and permaculture. A small acreage allows us to be intimately involved in the evolution of our growing season. Applications such as compost, plant ferments and preparations are added to our vines and soil while cover crops such as clovers, alfalfas, mustards and yarrow are encouraged to fix nutrients and strengthen structure. By building up biodiversity in our soils and vineyard environment, we can recreate a more resilient ecosystem that will need less reliance on outside inputs.

Winemaking

Winemaking

Winemaking

In the winery, we strive to make our wine with minimal intervention. The native yeasts are left to spontaneously ferment our grapes into wine as healthy grapes from the vineyard help encourage clean and trouble-free fermentations. With yeasts playing a significant role in aromas and flavours, we believe that indigenous ferments are a way to create a truly authentic wine of place. 

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Curious about our label? 
Read more here. 

Curious about our label? Read more here. 

Curious about our label? Read more here.

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