2237 Sun Valley Way
Okanagan Falls, BC V0H 1R2
Stags Hollow is the fulfillment of Larry
Gerelus and Linda Pruegger's dream. Situated on a picturesque bench surrounded
by mountains, lakes, vineyards, and nature reserves, they are located just south
of Okanagan Falls on 10 acres of prime grape growing land.
This region lies midway (about 21 Kilometers) between
Oliver and Penticton. Its a gorgeous area with twisting back roads
leading to magnificent views. The charming town of Okanagan Falls
rests on the south end of Skaha Lake. The wineries here can boast about
some very fabulous views.
The soil types vary so dramatically that some vineyards grow fine
Burgundy grapes; others succeed with Alsace whites and still others
with Bordeaux varieties. This is a wine tourist’s paradise, with every
style of wine available, from sparkling to icewine.
From the day the vineyard was purchased in 1992, concerns for the environment have been a priority at Stag’s Hollow. A geothermal system was built into our home and winery building in 1995 at a time when going ‘green’ was not yet the thing to do. When space in this facility ran out, a new winery building was constructed in 2005, which again included a geothermal system. This system heats and cools the winery building, heats and cools all the wine tanks and provides different heating and cooling requirements to the barrel room, fermentation room and wine storage areas. In addition, high efficiency windows, energy efficient lighting, and high insulation values were utilized throughout the building. All these environmental initiatives earned Stag’s Hollow recognition from Fortis BC and the Federal Government in 2006.
In 2017 they moved into a newer tasting room above their production cellar, just 70 metres north of the former tasting room and house closer to their neighbours at Wild Goose.
In July 2018, the region around winery was officially recognized as being geologically unique in the production of wine grapes and was given its own designation of a sub-geographical indication (sub-GI). Okanagan Falls became only the second sub-GI in BC, the first being the Golden Mile Bench in Oliver in 2015. The process began over a year earlier by engaging a team of scientists who specialize in soils and viticulture to study the region. They determined that an area stretching roughly from Peach Cliff at the north to Vaseux Lake at the south, from approximately Highway 97 to the west to the steep granite hillsides to the east, had soils, topography and climate that positively influence the development of grapevines, determining quality.
In that study, it was also determined that the sub-GI is made up of two distinct landscape elements - one in the northern section (25% of sub-GI) around Shuttleworth Creek that is made of alluvial floodplain and gently sloping sediments, and one in the southern section (75% of sub-GI) that is characterized by undulating glaciofluvial soils and kettles formed by chunks of glacier that melted under the deposited soils. Each of our two vineyards are located in those distinct landscapes, and in fact our ‘Hollow’ is an ancient kettle hole that was formed 12,000 years ago.
Stag’s Hollow initially made its reputation with Merlot, Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc. It also developed a cult following for Vidal. Recently the winery planted two Spanish varietals, Tempranillo and Albariño, and two Italian varietals, Dolcetto and Teroldego.
Keira LeFranc - Winemaker
Keira grew up in the Okanagan, and actually got her start in the wine industry in our tasting room as her summer job in 2012. Showing a keen interest in the cellar side of things, after completing a science degree, she jumped at the opportunity to join our vintage team on the crush pad in 2013, which really solidified her passion for the industry. Following that first harvest, Keira spent 2 years training and working as a Sommelier in Australia, where she completed her WSET level 3 and CMS Certified Sommelier courses. Missing getting her hands dirty in the cellar, she returned to the Okanagan to join our vintage crew again in 2015, before returning to the Southern Hemisphere to complete a Postgraduate Diploma of Wine Science in New Zealand, and an overseas harvest. She made her final move back to the Okanagan shortly thereafter, and joined our team permanently. Keira took over as Winemaker at Stag’s Hollow in July 2018.
In 2019 the winery was sold. The new owner is Eric Liu, the proprietor of Bench 1775 Winery on Naramata Road. Larry and Linda will continue to manage Stag’s Hollow and are completing the planting of 18-acre Shuttleworth Creek Vineyard. That vineyard, just north of Okanagan Falls, has been under development since 2011. A new clone of Pinot Noir will be planted.