Wild Goose Winery
Proprietors: Roland Kruger & Hagen Kruger
Winemaker: Hagen Kruger
Viticulturist: Hagen Kruger
Vineyard size: 11 hectares
Key grape varieties: Riesling, Gewürztraminer, Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot
Production: 14,000 cases in 2014
Wines: Riesling, Riesling Stoney Slope, Gewürztraminer, Pinot Gris, Mystic River Gewürztraminer, Mystic River Pinot Blanc, Autumn Gold, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Black Brant, Red Horizon Meritage
Food Facilities: Smoke & Oak Bistro "Southern Flavours with Okanagan Flare"
The Kruger family began planning this winery in 1988 when the outlook for Okanagan wineries was exceptionally bleak. Two-thirds of the valley’s vineyards were pulled out that fall because the free trade agreement was taking away the wine industry’s protected status. One exceptionally pessimistic Victoria bureaucrat told Adolf Kruger that Wild Goose Vineyards would be lucky to sell 2,000 bottles of wine. Seldom has a prediction been so wrong. Wild Goose has grown to one of the largest and most awarded of the Okanagan Falls wineries, including nine Lieutenant Governor’s Awards of Excellence in Winemaking.
The vineyard name was prompted when Adolf flushed several Canada geese from the sagebrush in 1983, while inspecting the barren four-hectare site he was purchasing for a vineyard. Born in Germany in 1931, Adolf had come to Canada when he was 20 to take up a career in engineering, drafting and yacht design. Living in Vancouver, he also became a serious home winemaker. When there was a downturn in the engineering business in the early 1980s, he prepared for a career switch to an Okanagan Falls vineyard. In 1984, he planted Gewürztraminer and Riesling, varieties he was familiar with from his youth near the Rhine where his taste for wine had developed.
The winery regulations at the time required estate wineries to own or manage a minimum of 20 acres. In June of 1990 Adolf, along with the owners of two small vineyards on the Naramata Bench, persuaded the provincial government to create regulations allowing “farmgate” wineries on smaller vineyards. Wild Goose was the first licensed to grow, make wine and bottle on site!
The winery, which continued to sell most of its grapes until 1995, opened in modest quarters in the family home, expanding carefully as demand grew for the wines. Finally, in 2012, Wild Goose made a substantial addition that includes a spacious wine shop, facilities for food services and conferences, a deck with a view over the vineyards and a 40 seat restaurant.
Wild Goose has become a multi-generational family winery. Hagen Kruger, born in 1960 and Adolf’s eldest son, is both the winemaker and the viticulturist. His brother Roland is the General Manager of the winery. Hagen’s son, Nikolas, born in 1985, has also come on board as assistant winemaker, with studies at Okanagan College and practical experience in the cellars at Tinhorn Creek, Hester Creek and, in 2008, at Bremerton Wines, a family winery in Australia’s Langhorne Creek region south of Adelaide.
The Smoke & Oak Bistro at Wild Goose Winery is celebrating its third year with a new chef, new menu and extended hours. The Bistro takes guests on a culinary trip around the world with a menu inspired by the heat of South America and the smoke flavours of the Southern USA . Vine trunks and oak staves are used to smoke our meats in an authentic competition worthy smoker, imported directly from Tennessee. Chef Richard Desnoyer’s style is to use flavours and accents to keep the dishes’ main ingredient the star of the show.
The three generations of winemakers at Wild Goose welcome you to the winery to share a table and a glass of wine with your friends and family, in a fun, family friendly BBQ environment.
2145 Sun Valley Way
Okanagan Falls, B.C. V0H 1R2
Tasting Room Hours
April 1 – Mid June
Daily 10am – 5pm
Mid June – Mid October
Daily 10am – 7pm
Mid October to April
Mon- Fri 9am – 4pm (sales only or by appointment)
The Smoke and Oak Bistro
Early May- Mid June
Wed-Sun 12noon – 5pm
Mid June – Mid October
Daily 12noon – 7pm
For reservations, please call 250-497-8919