Columbia Gardens Winery
The decision to purchase the already successful Columbia Gardens Vineyard and Winery was an easy one for owners Tersia and Ben de Jager. Originally from South Africa, the couple love the beauty of the Kootenay region with its distinct four seasons and scenic rivers running through, comfortingly reminding them of their hometown. Add in a welcoming and friendly community, and it’s an ideal recipe for a fruitful business and positive lifestyle.
Established in the early 1990s, the Vineyard located 10 km southeast of Trail, was purchased in August 2013 by the de Jagers, who were thrilled to see that the local community was excited to have them on board. After searching for the best location for over a year, the de Jagers were finally able to fulfill their lifelong dream of owning a vineyard.
Ben’s love of winemaking began many years ago when he was a student at the Marlow Agricultural School in Cradock, South Africa. During his time there, he worked on various farms and vineyards, learning to make wine himself and becoming fascinated with the art and craft of perfecting vintages. However, when the family moved to Canada in 2006 and Ben found work as an electrical and mining engineer, he still had the desire to pursue his vision of making wines full-time.
Living in Flin Flon, Manitoba at the time, the couple began researching BC wine regions to look for their future home and vineyard. After researching several properties in the Okanagan, Tersia finally made a decision to get on a plane and take a look at the Columbia Gardens property, which had been for sale for a while. Within hours of being on-site, she knew the vineyard and community were where her family was meant to be.
Staying true to the vineyard’s already thriving business and varietals, the de Jager’s are expanding the property adding additional features such as a guest house with three self sustained rooms and conference/small event facilities and upgraded wine tasting room to include an outdoor venue, eventually leading to the vineyard being a place for the community to gather and celebrate their beautiful region.