The oldest and most original winery in British Columbia!
“80 years ago, an industrialist, a priest, and a financier corroborated together to spark the humble beginnings of Calona Winery. Though vastly different from one another, the mismatched trio shared a conviction to create something extraordinary here in the Okanagan Valley.”
“I feel it in my bones” 🍷
Produced and bottled in Kelowna, BC V1Y 2K6
This winery is one of the reasons the Okanagan has become such a famous wine growing area. They have evolved from the original winery of the Valley to an award winning powerhouse owned by Andrew Peller. Since the new ownership in 2005, they have introduced the new label and artwork to really catch any wine lovers’ eye. To really understand this winery’s importance, you have to learn about their humble beginnings.
It all started in 1931, with the three pioneers of Kelowna’s wine industry. Launched that year, as “Domestic Wines & By-Products” the first wines were made with apples, and were so unstable that they went bad on store shelves! That didn’t stop them…
The priest who is on the Pinot Noir bottle (Monsignor W.B. McKenzie) had a huge role in getting the word out about their new product, despite the unsuccessful first few batches. He arranged that the winery would make sacramental wines for the local Catholic Church. His parish was filled with local families that helped invest in the winery.
Vernon has a role in the winery’s history as well. The military camps which are located on the highway out to Kelowna bought the wines, which helped their financial gain to the success they have today.
The 1960’s roll around and they started becoming the stars that they are thanks to the Capozzi brothers (sons of one of the founders) who’s family lived on the parish that Monsignor the founder owned. Without their perseverance, and belief in their trade the winery may not have survived. Even though they were from the Okanagan which was not known for wine at the time; they went to Gallo in 1970 to ask them to invest in them. Gallo is still one of the biggest wine producers in California. Conviction even copied the way they shaped their bottles, and product offers!
Gallo didn’t sign with them, but the East Coast giant of the time: Standard Brands Ltd. of New York and Montreal sure did. Thus, Schloss Laderheim their original flagship wine was born. At the time (1977), it was a German inspired white wine made with Okanagan Riesling grapes. It was and still is half the price of a German Riesling. Four years later, it became the largest selling domestic white in Canada. To this day, they are a table wine producer with brands like Royal white and red.
The VQA program began in the 1990’s and so did the fame of the winery. The first line of wines “the artist series” were made with artwork by different Canadian artists. Caught up in the competition of other wineries and their flashy labels; they decided to change the labels to the ones that grace our shelves now!
Calona/Conviction wines are award-winning, rivaling the world's most established names to prove the Okanagan Valley is at the international forefront of fine VQA wine production. Thanks to the prime growing conditions, superior equipment, a masterful balance of old-world techniques and visionary winemaking they have established their place in the forefront of fine VQA wine to prove the Okanagan is where the best is at!!!
Continued with part two….