Perched above Okanagan Lake with stunning panoramic views of mountains, vineyards and the lake, Gray Monk Estate Winery offers guests a true taste, or sip, of the Okanagan lifestyle. With a bustling wine boutique, a full service banquet facility and a world-class restaurant, the winery is equipped to host guests for all occasions.
From the original holdings of 20 acres planted in 1972, the Heiss family now owns and farms 100 acres strategically planted throughout the Okanagan Valley. Intuitively, they purchased land in the deep South Okanagan near Oliver and Osoyoos for the red wines in their portfolio. The various locations of their vineyards provide an opportunity for the terroir to express itself in the wine therefore building complexity and originality in all the wines.
The winery's name, Gray Monk was chosen because colloquial names in Austria and in Hungary for Pinot Gris mean gray monk. One of their key accomplishments was the introduction of high quality vines into Canada. In 1972, George Heiss obtained 2000 vines of Pinot Auxerrois, 10 vines of Gewurztraminer and of great importance, 50 vines of Pinot Gris from a nursery in Colmar, Alsace, France. Today, Pinot Gris is reputed to be the white signature grape; not only for Gray Monk Estate Winery but for the Okanagan Valley. The grape thrives in this sun drenched valley, consistently delivering a terroir driven, fruit forward, benchmark wine.
The Heiss family is proud to remain as British Columbia’s oldest family owned and operated winery. The founders, George and Trudy, invite guests to join them this year as they celebrate three monumental Milestones: 30 years of wine making, 40 years of grape growing and 50 years of marriage. From their cherished vineyard near the 50th parallel – a trail blazing family winery has led the way, shaping the “BC Wine World” enjoyed today.