Kitsch Wines is owned and operated by Trent and Ria Kitsch. The Kitsch family’s Okanagan roots stretch back to 1910 when Kelowna was still a small, lakefront pioneer settlement. Four generations later, this entrepreneurial family takes great pride in helping to shape the past and the future of the Okanagan Valley.
Trent and Ria launched SAXX Underwear Co. and expanded the business for several years before selling majority ownership in 2010 to an apparel distribution company. They have blended their passion for wine and creative entrepreneurship to produce premium, sustainably-grown wines. With a little help from some friends, the young family transformed overgrown fields into lush vineyards, set on historic apple orchards that originally served as the Kelowna Land and Orchards (KLO) headquarters. Proceeds from the SAXX sale had enabled them to plant 13 acres of grapes in 2013 and 2014 in East Kelowna. The largest planting is Riesling, about five acres in two blocks. The other varieties are Chardonnay, Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir. 2015 production was just under 1000 cases.
The grounds provide an eye-catching view over the city and Okanagan Lake. Their single-vineyard wines embody the region’s rich soil and sun-soaked valleys. The winery and the tasting room are housed in a former garage attached to Chateau style home of Trent’s father. Cultivated through generations of ambition and love, the Kitsch family has captured the Okanagan in a glass.
Grant Biggs was recruited as winemaker in 2015. He spent the previous two years working at Tantalus Vineyards. Before that, he had been an assistant winemaker at Mt. Boucherie Vineyards, had done a crush with a large New Zealand winemaker, and had enrolled in the distance learning program from the University of California at Davis. Previously, Grant had worked as a sommelier at Raudz Regional Table and Victoria Pub Company.
The Kitsch Wines
Kitsch Wines currently offers three white wines, and will expand to a Pinot Noir based Rosé next spring.
2015 Kitsch Chardonnay – Not a fan of an oaked Chardonnay? Then you might just love this. It’s refreshing and true to our Chardonnay grapes. Only very lightly oaked, this Chardonnay has fruity tones with a crisp finish and is what we are affectionately calling The Gateway Chardonnay.
2015 Kitsch Pinot Gris. This Pinot Gris is the ultimate summer smasher with floral notes on the nose and succulent cantaloupe, honeycomb and rose petals that on the palette. Best of Varietal Silver winner at the 2016 Okanagan Spring Wine Festival!
2015 Kitsch Riesling. Beautifully balanced between sweet and acidic, this idyllic Okanagan grape proves that young vines can still produce complex and delicious wine.
- Release a 2017 Rosé.
- Two different Rieslings. One maintaining this years’ style and adding a second, more acid-driven wine.
If you are in Kelowna during July, you should definitely plan to take in the Kitsch Wines Launch Party July 16th or stay for the Winemaker’s Dinner on July 24th.
Source: The photos and wine notes are courtesy of Kitsch Wines.