– The Beginnings –
In the early 1990s, Donald Munro, a professor of forestry at the University of British Columbia, and his wife Carol purchased a four-acre plot of land in the heart of the Naramata Bench. In 1997 and 1998 they began planting pinot noir vines, to Professor Munro’s exacting specifications. All of the vines, from Dijon clone 115, were own-rooted. Initially, the grapes were sold to Kettle Valley Winery, and a few bottles from that era still exist today.
– The Allander Family –
In 2002, the property was purchased by Torsten Allander, a retired engineer and project manager in the pulp and paper industry, and his wife Kicki. They continued to sell the grapes to Kettle Valley. However, in 2004, they decided to craft their own wines on a trial basis, and brought their son, Gustav Allander, on as the winemaker. Foxtrot’s first estate pinot noir, from the 2004 vintage, was made at nearby Lake Breeze Winery. The trial was successful, and in 2008, the Allanders constructed their own winemaking facilities on the Foxtrot property. They began making a chardonnay as well as another pinot noir label, The Waltz, from purchased grapes. In 2012, after having acquired and cleared an adjacent orchard property, they began expanding the estate vineyard plantings.
Until its sale in 2018, Foxtrot was a family affair. Torsten Allander, among whose many achievements was oversight of the William R. Bennett Bridge in Kelowna, brought his dynamism and passion for detail to every aspect of building and outfitting the new winery, and spent many hours learning each aspect of viticulture and winemaking, including many hours with the prestigious barrel makers at François Frères, absorbing each nuance of the barrel selection process. Torsten also became Foxtrot’s head salesman, using his passion for fine food and wine to introduce Foxtrot to many of the best restaurants in Vancouver, Calgary and throughout British Columbia. Meanwhile, Kicki Allander was not only managing the business but could often be found in the vineyards, carefully pruning the vines. Gustav Allander, who had been Foxtrot’s winemaker since its founding in 2004, and was responsible for many of the pinot noir and chardonnays that have garnered numerous accolades over the years.
The legacy of the Allanders is profound. We continue to be inspired by their total commitment to quality in the vineyards and in the cellar.