The adventure began in the fall of 2005 when Kingston embarked on a holiday wine tour of the Okanagan with a view to finding a retirement property in the south Okanagan. Instead, she found an old orchard in Naramata. This was the first Serendipity “aha” moment, as she set out to convert the orchard to a vineyard with the goal of establishing a new boutique winery.
Beginning in the spring of 2006, the property was completely re-landscaped to provide the optimum slope and orientation for the new vineyard. Kingston selected the wine varietals for planting to match the micro climate and four distinct soil types on the property. In 2007, she planted eight acres of vines, with Syrah, Merlot and Cabernet Franc as the main reds, and Viognier and Sauvignon Blanc as the whites. Subsequently she has added to the vineyard with additional plantings of Syrah, Pinot Noir and ‘a little Malbec for blending’.
The first harvest was in 2009, and was of exceptional quality. It was a tribute to the many hours of hard work and dedication that Kingston put into the vineyard, and her goal of producing quality over quantity. To add complexity and diversity to the wines, additional grapes have been purchased from local Okanagan growers who share the same commitment to quality. In the time since releasing these first wines, the winery continues to delight, surprise, and capture accolades and in 2013 the winery was named BC Winery of the Year at the New York International Wine Competition.
Nestled among the rolling hills of the picturesque Naramata Bench, a visit to Serendipity is all about discovery, surprise and warmth. Each guest of the winery becomes a member of the extended Serendipity family. Visitors enter the estate through a simple farm gate entrance but after rounding a short dusty bend between rows of vinifera, they come face to face with the winery’s gorgeous 25-foot double doors, which feature Serendipity’s logo cast in stunning wrought iron.
The wine shop features a rotating selection of local photography and artwork, which can be enjoyed when sampling the current winery releases. For the smallest visitors, a handful of barrel lids have been adorned in chalkboard paint, allowing little fingers to create unique works of chalk art, while adults can taste at their leisure.
Visitors to the estate enjoy taking in the stunning views of Okanagan Provincial Park, Okanagan Lake, and Giant’s Head Mountain.
The winery charges a modest $3 for a full flight of tastings. Serendipity also hosts annual events each summer including their open air movie nights, which allow ticket holders to experience the romance of watching a classic film between the vineyard rows, with a glass of wine in one hand and a bowl of popcorn in the other.
SECOND-IN-COMMAND: Katie O’Kell
WINEMAKER: Bradley Cooper
WINERY DOGS: Toby & Whiskey
VINEYARDS: The winery sources grapes from its own 12.5 acre vineyard, 10 acres of which are under vine, as well as from select long-term contracted growers.
AVERAGE CASE PRODUCTION: 4000 cases
DESIGNATED VITICULTURAL AREA: Serendipity Winery is proudly located on the Naramata Bench in the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia. The wineries of the bench are found on an 11 kilometre country road that runs north from the town of Penticton along the eastern shore of Okanagan Lake.
SOIL TYPE: There are four major soil types in the estate Serendipity Vineyard and specific grape varietals were planted with that in mind. The soils are predominantly sandy (Viognier), rocky (Syrah), Silt (Sauvignon Blanc), with underlying fingers of clay (Merlot).