Luke & Jennifer Smith
I started my wine journey early; my mother was the secretary of the Vancouver chapter of the International Wine and Food Society. By my late teens I was enamored with the history of wine and food. In 1981 (pre-history according to my kids) I sat across from a kindred soul at our workplace. Craig Walker was also an avid student of fine wine and great food. We dreamed of vineyards in Napa and evenings with friends as we poured wine made from our grapes. To this day I am sure some of our co-workers remember our Friday wine and food pairings in the office, especially when Craig discovered a new cheese we had to pair with that new wine.
And like a newly planted vine, that desire to grow remained unchecked for 22 years. In 2003 we bought a fallow piece of land on the then sleepy Naramata Bench. Now, as I write this in 2021 my vineyard and others on the Bench are considered the most exciting wine producers in Canada and we are being recognized worldwide.
And even now, as I write this my passion keeps asking me “what can we do next to make memorable wine?”
Jennifer, the real brains behind Howling Bluff. Jen is an RN at the Penticton Regional hospital, and seemingly for ever Jen worked in the ER there. In her spare time, she raises 4 kids, one of which is me and is by my side for as many wine events as possible. Jen is the foundation on which all of this relies.
Daniel, our in house “Fort” maker. Some of you have heard the story of how Howling Bluff came to producing (Port) or fortified wine as we call it in Canada. Suffice it to say to you that our most coveted and expensive wine came to be after a very robust father son discussion in 2009. The end result is that Daniel gets to tell me ‘I told you so dad”.
The family. I am banned from bragging and embarrassing them, but I can say I am so proud of each of them. The 3 youngest, Kyle, Keara and Maiya are all at University. The part they do not want me to mention is that Kyle is finishing second year Law at Allard Law school at my old alma matter UBC Vancouver and Keara is about to graduate with her Bachelor of Science from UBC as she prepares to apply to Medical school and Maiya is in a very tough first year, due to Covid. As she navigates her way to teaching.
Now you know “who’ and “what” Howling Bluff Estate Winery is. Thank you for reading.