The site was originally operated by a partnership between three field engineers who were kicked out of Russia by the communists after the revolution. After irrigation canal water became available inthe early 1920s, they planted tree fruits and ground crops.
The land was next sold to Tim Robin, one of the largest growers in the area, who continued to farm it as an apple and peach orchard.
The property was sold in a derelict state to Hungarian Arpad Pallay in 1961. Arpad (deceased in 2004) planted apples, cherries and ground crops. He was the first farmer in the lower valley to circumvent the growers’ co-op and took his fruit direct to Vancouver. As a juicy side, his daughter Kate married the son of the fruit inspector who has always trying to catch Arpad selling his fruit outside the co-op!
Peter and Helga Serwo purchased the winery site in 1985. Coming to the Okanagan Valley in the late 1960s from Germany, where they worked as building contractors and grape growers. They continued these callings in Canada and were responsible for a good chunk of the early Golden Mile plantings including the original Tinhorn Creek site. Pam and Mick Luckhurst purchased the land in 2003, when Peter and Helga wanted to slow down after 50 years of viticulture.
PHILOSOPHY OF ROAD 13
The wine making philosophy is to grow great fruit in the vineyard, maintain this fruit character through careful steps in the wine making, and finally, to perfect the texture of the mouthfeel of the wine with the use (or not) of barrels and fining.
Great wines are grown in the vineyard, period. Grapes brought in from the vineyard at a certain level of quality cannot be made into a higher quality wine. Thus, we use good growing practices and low cropping yields to ensure that the vines and fruits receive the correct amount of sunshine, water and nutrients to put them in a position to make great wine.
We like to use oak barrels. All reds and certain whites are aged in oak barrels for varying lengths of time, looking for the perfect balance between fruit intensity and oak extraction. While the taste and effect of oak barrel aging are pleasing, they should never dominate the fruit flavour of the wine but rather complement it.
The final blend is painstakingly arrived at, whether it is several lots of Chardonnay to make a varietal Chardonnay wine, or Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc lots to make a blended red wine. As all grape lots that are received at the winery are kept separate thoughout their processing and ageing, there are many blending options available to make a wine that is much greater than the sum of its parts. Blending is primarily about brining complexity; it’s about building layers. A singer varietal wine can present itself louder, but do you hear the trumpet or do you hear the symphony?
WINES OF ROAD 13
We present Road 13’s wines in three distinct tiers: a red blend and a white blend called “Honest John”, a varietal series of red and white wines under the Road 13 classification, and a premium tier of small lots and blends under the Jackpot designation.
Our blended red and white wines is a tribute to Honest John Oliver, BC Premier from 1918–1927. Honest John epitomized British Columbians’pioneering values: hard work, self-reliance, dependability and neighbourliness. His greatest achievement was the construction of the irrigation canal that transformed the (Golden Mile) South Okanagan and areas into outstanding farmland.
Southern BC is home to hundreds of old gold mines with names that acknowledge the region’s past exploration. One, called Jackpot, inspired us. Evoking the joy of winning a hard-earned prize, it made a fitting title for our top wines – the reward for our hard work in the vineyard and cellar.
Road 13 wines express the special character of the South Okanagan’s renowned Golden Mile.
Our motto, “It’s All About the Dirt,” reflects our belief that great wines start in the vineyard.
road 13 vineyards
13140 316A Ave
Road 13 RR1 S-28A C10
Oliver, BC V0H 1T0
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