Little Farm Winery
Similkameen Valley, BC, Canada
Aussie import Rhys Pender and Canadian Alishan Driediger and their two young daughters are the family behind Little Farm Winery. Having worked in food and wine and hospitality all over the world, they settled in Canada and opened a bakery in Kelowna which they happily ran for many years. When a dilapidated farm house and the surrounding farm went up for sale in Similkameen they jumped on it, selling everything they owned and planting their first vines in 2009 on calcium carbonate rich soil (think Chablis and Champagne).
The Similkameen valley is an incredibly beautiful mountainous region, boasting the highest concentration of organic farms in Canada and some of the most epic views. It's a challenging region to grow grapes with intense sunlight and powerful winds, lots of snow and dry summers. The winters are cold and although they lost 70% of their vines to frost their first year in, Rhys and Alishan have slowly been replanting their home vineyard and now produce 6 wines spread across a tiny 1000 case production.
They have 4 acres of Chardonnay and Riesling planted on their home farm in Cawston, called the Mulberry Tree Vineyard and they buy Cabernet Franc grapes from the nearby Blind Creek Vineyard as well. All of the farming is organic and the land they are on has never seen chemical intervention.
These highly drinkable, low intervention wines are all produced from single-vineyards with the goal to discover the Terroir of the Similkameen Valley and express it in the finished wines. Grapes are picked early to retain acidity and wines spend their whole lives resting on lees which results in complex, mineral wines with long lives ahead of them. Some wines have the help of added yeast and an addition of sulphur but are otherwise additive free. Like many of our favourite Canadian wines, these are often turned down by the VQA tasting panel for being atypical, a sure sign of their uniqueness.
Rhys is one of Canada’s few MWs, and is the youngest person in the country to hold this prestigious title. When he’s not making wine he is travelling the globe consulting, judging and running his own wine school for the WSET in the Okanagan.
Little Farm Winery will never be big and will always focus on making small batches of single-vineyard wine that reflect each site’s unique characteristics. The goal is to make interesting, characterful, consciously made wines and look after their farm. Enjoy
2015 Little Farm Riesling
2015 Little Farm Chardonnay
- Ellement Wine and Spirits