Summerhill Pyramid Winery News & Blog
Interested in organic winemaking, meeting our growers and our visionary Stephen Cipes, in-depth tasting notes, or being tantalized by Chef Jeremy Luypen's renowned cooking skills? Pick a category on the right to delve in.
In today’s (post) modern world, business has a profoundly powerful effect on the structure and content of our daily lives. As entrepreneurs in a multifaceted industry that involves farming, manufacturing, marketing, and hospitality, we see ourselves as having a responsibility to contribute to culture in a way that aligns with the eternal values that nurture health and happiness in humanity. This responsibility is our primary motivator, not profit alone.
My parents started working with Summerhill Pyramid’s organic certifier all the way back in 1988. Organic certification is important because it provides transparency for the way we farm and make our wine. Now I am thrilled to announce that on May 15, after a two year accreditation process, Summerhill has become a Certified B Corporation®, which provides the same kind of transparency for the way we run our business. Our overall impact on our Earth and community is looked at; everything from the way we hire and treat our team members to every aspect of our supply chain. The B Corp™ certification is a mark that means we prioritize people and planet alongside profit, and are using business as a force for good.
A few more facts about B Corps:
- There are over 2700 Certified B Corporations from more than 130 industries and 60 countries
- Summerhill Pyramid is the first winery in Canada to gain the certification, and one of just 26 wineries worldwide
- The B Corp community works toward reduced inequality, lower levels of poverty, a healthier environment, stronger communities, and the creation of high-quality jobs with dignity and purpose.
- The certification process uses credible, comprehensive, transparent, and independent standards of social and environmental performance, assessed in five categories: governance, workers, customers, community, and the environment. You can find Summerhill’s impact report here.
Summerhill Pyramid is Canada’s most visited winery. We welcome thousands of visitors onto our farm from all over the world. The founding vision to bottle among the very finest wines in the world has been achieved, with trophies from the highest levels of competition in France, England, and around the world to show for it. But the greatest legacy is the change that we strive to nourish daily. Our greatest goal is an ongoing one of service to humanity, engendering a culture of gratitude for people and planet with every heavenly sip of our organic wine.
CEO, Summerhill Pyramid Winery
Here is an article just published in the New York Times Magazine showing the demise of almost 90% of the insects on our planet and the realization that human food production may be the major cause of their disappearance worldwide. As you know, the food chain is dependent on the insects and this is a grave moment that we all face. We can take heart and save the planet and ourselves by growing organic and by only buying organic foods and beverages.
Let’s all consider a radical ‘inner crusade’ by consuming organic foods and beverages. It is URGENT that we take back our power as giant corporations have us under their thumb so to speak and we MUST break away from this fatal course!!! A bonus is we will become vitally healthy and ‘in tune’ with nature again!!!
PLEASE ALSO CONSIDER SIGNING THE DECLARATION TO CONVERT OUR LAWNS AND GARDENS TO ORGANIC EVERYWHERE IN THE WORLD BY GOING TO ORGANICOKANAGAN.COM
Thank you for visiting and supporting Summerhill, a world model of ‘man and nature’ with certified organic wines and cuisine. Your loyalty means the WORLD has hope!
THANK YOU VERY VERY MUCH,
For our local community and for those wise enough to visit us in the "offseason", check out all of the specials and programming we're running until spring!
We hope to see you soon!
Summerhill Pyramid Bistro
- Every day from 3 – 5 pm - $5 happy hour small plates and glasses of wine!
- Monday – all night happy hour!
- Tuesday – Pizza Night!
- Thursday – Fondue Night!
- Sunday – Prime Rib Night!
Visit the bistro page for more details
Call or click for reservations – 250 764 8000 ext 130
Culinary Classes at the Summerhill Estate House
Looking for something fun to do this winter? Join storied Chef Mara Jernigan for hands on cooking classes at the glorious Summerhill Estate House. From basic skills and healthy eating to Mexican, Sicilian, pasta from scratch, and even bean-to-bar chocolate, there is a class for every taste! Classes are every Sunday afternoon and Thursday evening. For more info on classes and booking information click here!
Complimentary tastings in the Summerhill Wine Shop
Our tasting room is open every day from 10 am – 6 pm, with complimentary tastings. We look forward to welcoming you! No appointment needed.
Gourmet Meals to Go!
Each week our chefs create a family style meal based on the most delicious cuisines from around the world. Order a full, set dinner menu for 2 or more people directly from our website. You can even order wine alongside your meal! Each week features the flavours of a different cuisine, from Greece, Italy, india, Mexico, the Caribbean and more. We hope you will join us on this culinary adventure right from the comfort of your own home for only $20 per person! Ordering is easy. First choose your pick-up time, and then proceed to the menu to order. Click here to order now, our chefs are standing by!
The production team holds the two newly released Demeter certified biodynamic wines, 2017 Summerhill Vineyard Riesling & 2017 Summerhill Vineyard Gruner Veltliner. L-R: Eric von Krosigk, winemaker; Brett Thiessen, vineyard manager; Gary Leslie, maintenance lead; Holly Pierce, enologist; Michael Alexander, cellar master / assistant winemaker; Gabe Cipes, biodynamicist
My brother Gabe moved back to the family farm in 2004, and I followed in 2005. At that time our vineyard had been managed organically for 17 years. We noticed that the leaves were a little yellowish green and the crop was smaller than it should be. One of our mentors Gabriel Howearth described to us that no matter how you do it, farming is always mining. Crops mine nutrients from the soil, and we are hard on the land when we drive a tractor over it. Conventional farmers can add nitrogen fertilizer, but organically it is not so easy. We had to build up the soil so that nitrogen and other nutrients could be available to the vines, and so we set upon the Biodynamic path.
Biodynamics views the farm as an ecosystem, connected to the greater systems of the earth, solar system, and universe. It’s a wonderful feeling for the farmer to be a part of something greater than oneself, and the biodynamic program of composting and making special plant and manure preparations is demonstrably good for the farm. By 2012 my brother Gabe had been practicing Biodynamics for long enough that the leaves on the vines were green again and the crop level was back to a balanced, sustainable level. At that time we sought Biodynamic certification through Demeter Canada. Also at that time, we started to experiment with making wine biodynamically.
The biodynamic wine standard is quite beautiful. It describes “…the human being in the role of an artist to develop soil, fertility and plant in such a way that fruits of vital quality become available,” and then a production method so that “Nothing shall conceal the true nature of the factual properties of the produce.” Therefore when we make wine biodynamically we add no yeast or nutrient and no fermentation or processing aids of any kind. We create the right environment for the juice to turn naturally to wine, and we monitor the process. At the end we clarify the white wine with bentonite and add a little sulfur as a preservative. That’s it; that’s all.
The first year we made wine this way was 2013 with our Summerhill Vineyard Riesling. Winemaker Eric von Krosigk says the process gave him new gray hairs. The fermentation was slow and the wine developed H2S, which does not smell at all pleasant. Apparently this chemical reaction occurred because there was not enough nutrient in the juice for the yeast to do a tidy job. Eric ended up pumping that wine through the air into a new vessel so that the atmospheric oxygen could act as a nutrient for the yeast. The smell and taste of H2S receded and the wine ended up being beautiful for all its imperfection. We learned a lot about the health of our vineyard through that early trial, and have made wine in the same method from our estate grown fruit ever since. Now when we make wine biodynamically it is proof of the vitality of our vineyard.
This year we decided to see about certifying our wine as biodynamic through Demeter Canada. From the 2017 vintage we vinified Riesling and Gruner Veltliner as single estate varietal wines. Summerhill Vineyard is now healthy and vital to a point where the fermentation happened beautifully. Assistant Winemaker Michael Alexander says that the process is still stressful for the winemaking team, as the transformation of sugar to alcohol does not happen as quickly as when we add organic yeast to the crushed fruit, but after a few slow days it happens naturally and efficiently enough to show the true nature of the fruit and of the farm, and creates wine with an individualism that is the essence of the aesthetic pleasure a bottle can provide.
-Ezra Cipes, August 14, 2018
This week we heard from a concerned group about our use of the Om symbol on our Organic Meritage label. The concern raised was about using the deeply meaningful, spiritual icon on a bottle of wine.
Most people who know my family know us to be reverent. Our mission always includes an element of spiritualizing culture, and that is what drew us to use the Om symbol on this wine, as well as other religious iconography on some of our other bottles (use of the Kabbalistic Tree of Life on our Tiferet and Keter labels especially). We love the meaning of Om. It is a beautiful, resonant symbol.
I had the opportunity to speak on the telephone with the gentleman who brought the offense to my attention. He kindly explained to me that the nuance of the way the symbol is used is meaningful. For instance, no one is outraged that the Om symbol is used on hats and shirts, but using it on shoes might feel different, and certainly it feels different to have it on a wine label. I take full responsibility for overlooking this. Once it was explained to me, it was obvious and I immediately understood that it was indefensible. I promised right away to stop using the symbol on wine labels.
I apologize for offending and I hope this note is illuminating and helpful.
CEO, Summerhill Pyramid Winery
Job Opening: Baker
October 3, 2017
Summerhill Pyramid Winery has an immediate opening for a reliable, experienced and organized baker who will provide both desserts and baked goods for the Sunset Bistro and events.
Bakers Duties and Responsibilities
Open the kitchen in the morning
Set up for breakfast
Make baked goods for breakfast as needed
Make pizza dough
Create, in collaboration with the executive chef, desserts and dessert menus based on seasonal, organic ingredients
Document all baking and dessert recipes and keep on file
Work with executive chef to cost all recipes
Documented photos of all dessert plating
Train evening and events cooks to plate desserts
Create seasonal dessert specials
Maintain par stock and mis en place for desserts and baked goods, including frozen back ups where necessary
Keep baking area and dessert areas of fridges and freezers clean and orderly
Maintain par stock of all ingredients for dessert/baking area, passing order lists to executive chef
Oversee and adequately train assistant(s) during the busy season
Ensure appropriate par stock on days off
Baker Competencies and Qualifications
Minimum of 3 years experience in baking or pastry
Prefer a baking or cooking graduate
Highly organized and self motivated
Accustomed to working with recipes
Large quantity experience
Good communicator to stay abreast of all functions
Passoinate about seasonal, local, organic ingredients
Clean, organized and focused
A reliable “morning person”
Able to make seasonal adjustment of volume and labour
Respectful of co-workers, rules and regulations
Summerhill Pyramid Winery is a seasonal, hospitality based business and therefore requires staff that can adjust to seasonal fluctuations and be counted on during the busy season. You must be willing to work weekends and holidays and the occasional evening if needed. Shortlisted applicants will be called for an interview.
Hours of work:
A minimum of 40 hours per week, 6:30 AM to 2:30 PM or as required
Must be willing to work Saturday or Sunday as needed
Start date: ASAP
Remuneration based on experience
Apply with resume and references by Oct. 10th to:
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Under the Mistletoe...come join us at the Summerhill Christmas Craft Show!!!!
Summerhill Pyramid Winery is celebrating the 2017 Holiday season with Hand-made crafts and our organic wine paired together. Please read through the event detail and please apply! We will see you under the Mistletoe!
Saturday, November 25, 2017 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Extensive P/R provided. Organic foods and beverages will be available for sale at the event. A KIDS KORNER with face painting, ginger bread house decorations and much more!
SUMMERHILL PYRAMID WINERY
Address: 4870 Chute Lake Rd. Kelowna BC V1W 4M3
6’ (wide) x 6’ (deep)
TABLE & CHAIR
A Table is NOT provided. A table rental is available for extra $10.
One chair comes with your booth.
You have to share with your neighbor, but there are some outlets available. Please bring your own extension cord if you are going to use the outlet.
$50 included one chair and a glass of Summerhill wine!
All products must be original.
Every artisan must have their products juried even if sharing a booth.
Exhibited work must be consistent with photos submitted to jury.
All products must be of high quality and hand-crafted.
Your product will be juried for quality, durability, originality and presentation.
We will not accept artisans who use manufactured goods or kits.
Fees are fully refundable up to October 15th. No refunds will be given after October 15th.
Contact Ria Cipes at email@example.com for applications.