The Facilities at Burrowing Owl Estate Winery

According to proprietor Jim Wyse, the winery at Burrowing Owl Estate Winery is among the world’s most modern.

“…the winery at
Burrowing Owl
Vineyards is
among the world’s
most modern.”

He and former consulting winemaker Bill Dyer visited existing wineries in BC’s Okanagan Valley and the US Pacific Northwest to determine what worked and what didn’t. “Everyone was very open,” Wyse recalls. “We asked what mistakes they had made and they told us.”

Gravity flow cellar
One feature they chose for the new winery was gravity flow. “If you have a hillside as we do, gravity flow is a natural choice,” he says. “The idea behind gravity flow is gentle treatment of the picked fruit. It doesn’t have to go through a pump every time it’s moved, nor does it have to be pushed through lengthy pipelines. Either can cause additional bruising to the fruit. Another feature of Burrowing Owl Estate Winery is a cool, temperature-controlled cave/cellar for fermentation and barrel aging.” Both Jim and Bill were committed to a traditionalist philosophy, in which the wine is interfered with and manipulated as little as possible.

The production facility at Burrowing Owl Estate Winery, mostly underground, was completed in 1998. A viewing tower featuring an informative tour display, was constructed in the spring of 2002.
May 2003 saw the opening of a spectacular new wine shop, tasting bar and restaurant. Architect Robert Mackenzie was called back into service in the fall of 2004, for the expansion of the underground caves to double their capacity. On completion – in the spring of 2005, the final phase began – a new structure to house a larger wine shop, executive offices and a 10 room Guesthouse. “Our main focus”, says Wyse “is to continue producing world class wines that will showcase the premium Burrowing Owl vineyards, this wonderful facility and our signature hospitality.”