When traveling through the scenic Salmon Valley, between Salmon Arm and Vernon, you will find OVINO vineyards and winery perched on a bench well above the valley bottom. This glacier carved landscape offers mostly sandy and sandy loam soils, marbled with infrequent layers of clay.
The vines are located on a sun drenched knoll to maximize photosynthesis and air flow, supported by a drip irrigation system.
In 1992 the property was purchased by John and Catherine Koopmans, who established a small dairy farm on this 31 acre property as well as keeping a small flock of sheep. In 2006 it was decided to sell the cows and in 2007 a four acre vineyard was planted with four varieties of grapes: pinot gris, pinot meunier, gewurztraminer and the old cold hardy standby marachel foch.
In 2009 an additional 3/4 of an acre was planted in newly developed fungal disease resistant varieties, cabernet libre and regent, both red wine grape varieties.The flock of sheep is still around (hence the OVINO name) and is given access to the vineyard in the dormant season to clean up weeds and provide natural fertilizer. At OVINO we strive for sustainability in our farming methods.
John’s interest in wine was sparked while studying agriculture in the Netherlands. Since then he has been making wine and beer on a small scale at home. It was decided that for the first few years making wine commercially, a winemaker with experience in larger quantities would be consulted. Preferably one familiar with cold climate growing conditions . Who better then award winning Hans Nevrkla, the pioneering vintner who’s persistence and creativity gave rise to Larch Hills winery, the first one this far north.
OVINO winery is a true family project, with John and Catherine’s daughter Jessica and her husband Don Gawley helping out with many of the day to day operations, and other family members helping at harvest time. Estate grown grapes are supplemented with some purchased grapes, mostly the same varieties, from nearby vineyards. An arrangement that is likely to continue in the future.
Be sure to stop by the tasting room when in the area. At present our tasting room can only be entered via a short set of stairs and therefore is NOT wheelchair accessible. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this might create and hope to address this issue at some time in the future.
Please click an image below to see it larger:
How to Contact Ovino Winery:
1577 Yankee Flats Road
Salmon Arm, BC
Phone: (250) 832-8463
From Salmon Arm:
Follow TCH west to salmon river road/Gort’s cheese turn off. Follow Salmon river road thru silver creek for 15 km,then right on yankee flats road for 2 km.Look for OVINO winery sign.
From HWY 97:
East of Falkland and west of Vernon turn north onto Salmon river road for 3-4 KM,Then turn left up the hill onto yankee flats road and follow for 11 KM. Look for OVINO winery sign.