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Wine column: Power couple buys winery from another power couple

Ben Bryant loves drinking, making and growing Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

As such, his newly acquired winery, 1 Mill Road in Naramata, makes only wines of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

"Yes, we're very focused," said Bryant with a laugh.

"They are the wines we enjoy drinking and making and Naramata (and another vineyard in East Kelowna) are so suited to growing Pinot and Chard."

</who>Cynthia and Davie Enns, left, have sold 1 Mill Road Winery in Naramata to Katie Truscott and Ben Bryant.

This story has three beginnings and one ending, so far.

Bryant is originally from Australia where he was chief winemaker at Pernod Ricard, which has the massive global brand Jacobs Creek.

In 2018, he moved to the Okanagan to become the winemaker at Mission Hill Winery in West Kelowna and help it to a Wine Align 'Canadian Winery of the Year' award.

Bryant is now Western Canada operations director for Andrew Peller, the conglomerate that owns Okanagan wineries Peller, Sandhill, Wayne Gretzky, Red Rooster, Tinhorn Creek, Black Hills and Gray Monk.

But 1 Mill Road is his passion project, along with his life and business partner, Katie Truscott.

Truscott is from the Okanagan, but spent 10 years in South Africa writing about wine, before returning to the Valley in 2018 to become the sales and marketing manager at Kitsch Wines in East Kelowna.

Bryant and Truscott met here in 2019 and recently purchased 1 Mill Road from David and Cynthia Enns.

The Enns made a name for themselves founding and growing Laughing Stock Winery in Naramata before selling it to another wine conglomerate -- Arterra -- which owns other Okanagan wineries such as Jackson-Triggs, Sumac Ridge, Nk'Mip, See Ya Later Ranch, Inniskillin and Culmina.

The Enns are now part of Naramata General Store, a boutique grocer that also happens to run BC and international wine clubs.

</who>1 Mill Road currently only has one Pinot Noir for sale, but next year will expand to sell Chardonnay and Pinot Noir Rose.

The Enns exclusively grew and made Pinot Noir when they had 1 Mill Road.

Bryant and Truscott are expanding the mandate to include the other Burgundy flagship wine Chardonnay.

So, from the 2022 harvest, 1 Mill Road will release Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir Rose in 2023.

"The wines from 2022 are already proving amazing," said Bryant.

Production from the 2022 harvest will only amount to about 1,000 cases, but the couple plans to bolster output to 3,500 cases a year in the future.

Currently, the only wine 1 Mill Road has for sale is the 2021 Block Two Pinot Noir, which is available online at 1MillRoad.ca for $240 for six bottles.

The wines will be available primarily through the wine club, which Bryant prefers to call direct-to-consumer or subscription.

To subscribe to shipments of six or 12 bottles twice a year go to the website.

Membership also means first access to new-release wines, discounts on additional wine and tours and events where 1 Mill Road makes its wines at the Naramata Wine Vault.

Mamas for Mamas

At first glance, baby formula and wine have nothing in common.

But they do when, over the next week, you can drop off baby formula, diapers, pull-ups, baby wipes, baby wash and baby lotion at Time Family of Wines in Penticton.

The winery, which makes and sells the Time, Chronos, Evolve and McWatters brands, is collecting the items for the Mamas for Mamas charity that serves mothers and their children.

You can also drop off soap, shampoo and conditioner for moms.

The winery will also help add to the Mamas for Mamas fundraiser with its Paint and Sip for a Cause event on Monday, 6-9 pm.

It's a painting class where you'll create a cherry blossom, grape cluster or old tree canvas while sipping wine and nibbling on charcuterie.

You can also bring the aforementioned items to donate at the painting class, too.

Register for $50 at TimeWines.ca

Holiday Cheer

Wineries of the Okanagan Falls-Skaha Lake Winery Association are putting on Heart of Wine Country Holiday Cheer events this weekend.

Wineries will be offering tastings and many will also have mini-holiday markets so you can buy gifts and food from local artisans.

Steve MacNaull is a NowMedia Group reporter, Okanagan wine lover and Canadian Wine Scholar. Reach him at [email protected]. His wine column appears in this space every Friday afternoon.



Send your comments, news tips, typos, letter to the editor, photos and videos to [email protected].



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