Wild Goose Vineyards and Winery

Back in 1980's British Columbia's Okanagan was sparely populated outside of its two main cities Kelowna and Penticton. There were the tourist spots along the beaches of its numerous lake. It was then in 1983 that Adolf Kruger purchased a barren piece of land east of Okanagan Falls. Upon his return to his newly purchased property he discovered a large flock of Canada geese feeding amongst the tumbleweeds, boulders, and rubble. As he approached, the flock of geese took flight and flew to the north. This vision inspired Adolf to call the property Wild Goose Vineyards.

Adolf Kruger was one of the most influential pioneers of the British Columbia wine industry

In 1949 the entire Kruger family fled the communist regime of East Germany and spent a year as refugees in West Germany. Adolf and a brother came to Canada to work on a wheat farm near Winnipeg. Adolf began designing yachts, a passion that led the Krugers to move to Vancouver in 1964. When the company he worked for began reducing staff in the 1982 business recession. He decided a change was needed.

He found it that fall while visiting a friend, grape grower Nick Brodersen, who has a vineyard near Kaleden. In February 1983 Adolf bought his own property south of Okanagan Falls. "It was a terrible place, nothing but sagebrush and cut-down trees and an old gravel pit," he says. "Even though it was a terrible piece of land, the price was right." As he feared, his engineering design job was eliminated in January 1984. By March the Krugers were pounding in the posts to support the vines they began planting that spring. 

Adolf first planted Riesling and Gewürztraminer; he quickly secured a contract to sell the grapes to Mission Hill Winery. Adolf began company with other winery owners and the BC government to establish Farmgate wineries. Once objective was achieved Wild Goose Vineyards was established in 1991. He decided his ten-acre vineyard would be planted entirely to vinifera. With white wines then in vogue, he planted only white varieties, Gewürztraminer and Johannisberg Riesling.

Wild Goose Vineyards original building
1990 Winery

It was not easy for a small winery to interest buyers in Canadian Wine but Adolf along with his two sons Hagen and Roland became one the best wineries in Canada producing award winning wines year after year. The winery has won more Lieutenant Governor’s Awards for Excellence in Wine than any other Okanagan winery.

Adolf has been honoured by the industry with, among other accolades, the Founder’s Award in 2006

Today the winery is run by Adolf's sons and grandson General manager Roland Kruger, left, winemaker Nicholas Kruger, and managing winemaker Hagen Kruger. Wild Goose is producing 11,000 cases of award-winning wine each year. Photo by Abra Bennett/Great Northwest Wine

After 15 years in their modest looking and sized tasting room, Wild Goose completed construction of its new tasting room and wine shop in the summer of 2012.  The new building has a spacious tasting room with a panoramic north facing patio overlooking the Stoney Slope Riesling Vineyard with Peach Cliff Mountain in the backdrop They also opened the Smoke and Oak Bistro. The Wild Goose Bistro team believes in using local products and flavours in new ways to bring the world of cuisine to Okanagan Falls.

Noted author and blogger John Schreiner wrote "the family-owned Wild Goose Vineyards has always been in the top 10 of my favourites. The wines are reliable and affordingly priced. Even more important, the Kruger family which owns the winery, is among the most pleasant families in the B.C. wine industry"

Wild Goose Vineyards & Winery Mystic River Gewürztraminer 2014 was awarded The Lieutenant Governor’s Awards for Excellence in British Columbia Wines making them an eight time winner.

2016 Pinot Gris produced by his Kruger and Adolf's grandsons won best of show at the international Cascadia Wine Competition. In total  the judges awarded eight gold medals to Wild Goose wines. Among those were three best of class awards and four double gold medals, a list that included the 2015 Red Horizon Meritage, a Right Bank Bordeaux style blend, as well as the 2016 God’s Mountain Riesling.

At the Canadian Nationals they took home 2 Gold, 2 Silver, 3 Bronze

Although best know for their white wines we recently enjoyed bottle of their Merlot 2013.

If you visit in winery in the Okanagan make sure you visit Wild Goose Vineyard!  
2145 Sun Valley Way, Okanagan Falls, BC V0H 1R2, Canada

Where to stay ~ Where to Dine ~ Weddings in the Vineyard


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