Located on the upper bench of West Kelowna, Kalala Organic Estate Winery is an award-winning producer of organic wines. Since 2006, this small and humble winery has been producing wine from spectacular grapes that are hand-picked from their certified organic vineyards throughout the Okanagan Valley.
In 2016, Kalala Organic Estate Winery’s 2013 Chardonnay Ice Wine received the highest marks in the prestigious Chardonnay du Monde® competition, held annually in France. More than 782 wine samples from 39 countries were entered into the 2016 competition, and this small Kelowna winery took home the top spot, generating the praise of the judges and locals alike.
Kalala Organic Estate Winery has embraced the organic method since the very beginning, but it wasn’t until September 2010 that their vineyards were certified organic. With decades of experience in viticulture and winemaking, owner Karnail Singh Sidhu and his team feel passionate about the organic movement.
“I believe that organic is the best way to make wine and that what we are doing today affects our children’s futures tomorrow. We should do better for them, not worse; we should leave land in a better condition and long-term, it’s good for everybody and good for the generation that comes after. That’s why we are organic; It’s important.” Karnail Singh Sidhu, Owner & Viticulturist
“Our big secret is the grapes. When good grapes come in, it’s not that hard to make good wine out of them. And we have good grapes.” Tibor (Tibby) Erdelyi, Winemaker
The Chardonnay Ice Wine is one of Kalala Organic Estate Winery’s best loved varietals and the 2013 vintage even took home a gold medal and the highest number of points in the 2013 Chardonnay Du Monde international competition in France.
Not to be confused with its icewine cousin, the 2012 Zweigelt is a signature sip from Kalala. With a deep purple body, the wine boasts aromas of sweet cassis and vanilla, along with flavours of oak mixed with cassis and leathery tannins.
The Aspire wine is a complex red blend, featuring Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Syrah with rich, fruity aromas of blueberry, cherry, and a hint of cloves. The Merlot grapes were grown in Kalala’s Oliver vineyard and the Cab. Sav. and Syrah were grown in Kalala’s Palson Vineyard in Osoyoos.
This organic wine is a classic example of Pinot Gris, with flavours of citrus, apple, and pear, along with a crisp finish. The grapes for this varietal are grown in Kalala’s Westbank Vineyard, ensuring lots of morning sun exposure and cool summer evenings.
“We do lots of research and development in the vineyard to improve organic production. Most people probably don’t know that we have lots of qualified, experienced people here. In terms of years, we are just a baby. But in terms of knowledge, we have decades of experience.” Karnail Singh Sidhu, Owner & Viticulturist
Kalala opened to the public in 2008, making them a relatively new winery within the Okanagan landscape, let alone on the world stage. As such, their humble tasting room and production facility are located within the same building, but what they lack in luxury, they more than make up for in heart and education.
With less than a dozen staff, each team member at Kalala Organic Estate Winery wears many hats; The winemaker and shop manager are one in the same, and it isn’t unusual to enjoy a tasting with the owner or winemaker himself. The intimate knowledge of the grapes, wines, and organic techniques offers guests an intimate experience that other wineries charge hundreds for.3361 Glencoe Road, West Kelowna, BC
The shelves of the Kalala Organic Estate Winery tasting room and wine shop are lined with medals, both local and international. If this were the Olympics, Kalala would have an impressive medal count, to say the very least. To date, Kalala Organic Estate Winery has brought home more than 104 awards from competitions around the globe, including the U.K., South Korea, and France.
“Everyone here is part of our family. Because we are small, we take ownership in the winery and that they are invested in the organization. It’s important that our team feels that pride in what they do.” Karnail Singh Sidhu, Owner & Viticulturist
Giving back to the community is an important part of the culture at Kalala Organic Estate Winery. Throughout the year, the winery owners and staff are involved in a number of local organizations, including the Westside Community Food Bank, the MS Walk, BCSPCA, and Rotary International. Each year, Kalala also welcomes students to the vineyard for fall tours, introducing youth to agriculture and viticulture.