Couple is off to a great Start………

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Paul Gardner and Julie Rennie, owners of Pentage Winery located at 4551 Valleyview Road in Penticton have recently received a prestigious award and opened their tasting room.

On July 24, the Honourable Judith Guichon visited Pentage to present Gardner and Rennie with a 2014 Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Excellence in British Columbia Wines.

Pentage was one of only 12 wineries in B.C. to receive the honour.

The winning wine was Syrah Reserve 2010.

The couple named their winery “penta”, Greek for five, in reference to the number of red varieties they initially planted, including Syrah.

The other four reds were Cabernet Sauvignon, Carbernet Franc, Merlot and Gamay.

Since those initial plantings in 1997, Pentage has accumulated an enviable number of awards, including being selected as the 2011 B.C. Winery of the Year.

On August 2, Gardner and Rennie opened the tasting room in a renovated portion of the original production facility.

The large airy open space offers a spectacular view overlooking the vineyard and Skaha Lake.

“People enjoyed coming here even before we opened the tasting room. We hope even more visitors will want to come now,” said Gardner, who has led up to 300 tours of the property over the past several years.

The room features a tasting bar which consists of three stainless steel tables that can be reconfigured to accommodate future banquets and other special events.

“Our target market is anyone who appreciates good wine. I believe we offer an excellent wine at a fair price,” Gardner said. “I’d like to keep our wine competitive with offshore wine.”

Currently, approximately 70 per cent of Pentage wines are sold to restaurants, primarily in the Lower Mainland, and the remainder through retail and internet sales.

“I want to make no more than 5,000 cases a year. We can sell that much without getting into shipping wine which is expensive,” Gardner said.

Pentage’s five-blend ice wine is generating considerable interest in China where ice wine is a popular high-end gift.

The tasting room is the latest development of the long term project that began in 1996 when Gardner and Rennie purchased their original 9.3 hectare acre property, an abandoned orchard.

A decade later they purchased a 4.8 hectare property just minutes away from their winery.

Both vineyards were planted with a north-south orientation.

“This allows the canopy to capture as much sunlight as possible for photosynthesis both in the morning and afternoon. It also helps to avoid mildew problems by allowing the necessary sun exposure,” Gardner explained.

“I’m lucky because I have a background that makes me self reliant,” said Gardner, a former marine engineer. “When you’re stuck on a ship, you’ve got to fix problems yourself.”

His ‘can do’ attitude has been critical to the development of Pentage on the steep slopes above Skaha Lake and no more so than in making a natural formation in the granite bluffs into a 465 square meter cave.

“It’s wonderful for storing barrels—only a few degrees of change during the year and the humidity is constant at about 75 per cent,” Gardner said.

This fall he plans to transfer the production facility to the cave.

“It’s especially gratifying to receive feedback from customers saying how much they enjoyed a bottle of Pentage on a special occasion such as a family reunion,” Rennie said.

The tasting room is open daily from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

For information visit www.pentage.com or call (250) 493-4008.

 

Pentâge Winery | November 3, 2014 | Awards Events Media