Blasted Church Vineyards celebrates 20 years of operations in Okanagan Falls by raising a glass to a bright future under new ownership.
The icon winery will mark the the milestone anniversary with a ‘Seven Deadly Sins’ party on Aug. 20. Wine lovers in the Okanagan are invited to join proprietor Sean Morrison, winemaker Evan Saunders and other team members for an epic party with speech and sparkling wine sabring starting at 6 pm.
Guests will taste through seven food stations to enjoy winery chef John Burke’s creations paired with award-winning Blasted Church wines.
There will also be an opportunity to take to the dance floor with live music by Jon Bos or during DJ Lady of the Mist’s set. Cosmic-Co-Motion will provide further entertainment. Tickets at $150 per person are available online at blastedchurch.com. Guests are encouraged to dress as a favourite ‘sin,’ with a prize for the best costume.
Morrison purchased a majority interest in Blasted Church in the summer of 2020. He has worked with many of Canada’s leading brands: The Keg, lululemon, A&W, Mr. Lube, Boston Pizza and Air Miles Canada.
Bringing irreverence to the Okanagan
The year was 2002 when the Campbell family acquired Prpich Hills Winery and Vineyard in Okanagan Falls to create a new, irreverent winery they renamed Blasted Church Vineyards. The name refers to the iconic house of prayer in Okanagan Falls that endured a controlled blast in 1929.
Blasted Church Vineyards launched its inaugural vintage with labels illustrated by Whitehorse-based artist Monika Melnychuk. Bold and witty, the 2002 Pinot Gris label depicted well-known characters in the B.C. wine industry such as journalists Tim Pawsey and Jurgen Gothe attending mass.
In 2005, Blasted Church became the first B.C. winery to move to screw cap closures completely.
The winery has become a place where people gather and has been known to host some of the most fun festival after-parties, known to some as the midnight service.
A challenging year
The year 2020 was challenging for everyone, and especially for the team at Blasted Church. When the world shut down, the winery had to pivot to offer direct-to-consumer sales through their website. When summer finally arrived, the Christie Mountain fire threatened the winery and vineyard, and the team was evacuated for six days (many staff members were also evacuated from their homes).
When the team was permitted back to the property, they witnessed helicopters filling their buckets in Skaha Lake and flying directly overhead, sometimes so low that they could feel the drops of water falling from the buckets. To show gratitude for the firefighters’ life-saving efforts, the winery team painted a big “Thank You” on the parking lot pavement for the crews to see, still visible today.
In the past 18 months, many things changed. The world started opening again, visitors are back to the tasting room, and new team members have come on board. What has not changed is the team’s wish to continue to produce top-quality wines that reflect the Skaha Bench terroir and impress critics in Canada and beyond.
Blasted Church Vineyards in located in the revered Skaha Bench Sub GI.